Chicken roundup?


12 Years
Jan 20, 2008
I am starting my flock this year, after not having any since I was a child. For those of you who free-range, how can you round them up before sunset if you need to enclose them early? I'm thinking of the times I have to leave unexpectedly or if the neighbors dogs come around.


11 Years
Feb 3, 2008
Raymond, Mississippi
Get them hooked on BOSS (Black Oil Sunflower Seeds). My one free ranger comes flying when she hears me rattle the seeds in the bag. If that doesn't do it, when the others start their feeding frenzy, she comes flying for them!
Actually, almost any treat will do.


12 Years
Mar 28, 2007
you just asked the million dollar q.ive chased my hens into their hnhouse a few it wasnt fun or easy.i finally just started locking up the 1s that was in the henhouse an leaving the others out.only doing that when i needed to lock up before complete dark.then if i had to go somewhere would lock them up when i got home that nite.theres no way you can herd chickens in their henhouse.

Buff Hooligans

12 Years
Jun 11, 2007
When you first introduce your chicks to the coop, lock them in there for several days (with no outdoors time at all). They will "bond" with the coop as being their safe home, and automatically go in there when dusk falls and they can't see danger as well. You won't have to chase them or persuade them to go there.

Edited to say, sorry - I can't address the question of having to suddenly get them to safety if dogs come around, etc....
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12 Years
Nov 3, 2007
podunk... I mean Wabash, IN
Once they know the coop is their "home/safe haven" - Snacks are a good way. I've also used a rake and just held it and swung it lightly with a "shuching" have been able to get them to head towards the run and coop. Once I get them into the inclosed run I can backtrack and get the one or two who decided to run the opposite direction.
It does take a time or two for them to get the idea of heading for the coop but I can get them in pretty fast now. Our sheltie barking at them (wanting to help) actually does. I just have to get her to bark at them fm the right direction.

Getting them in w/ stray dog's being the threat is another matter. Your dealing with the dogs actions panicing (sp) your flock & probably scattering the flock all over. That is an issue I haven't had to address yet.


12 Years
Aug 13, 2007
The Quiet Corner of CT, USA
Since I only have 3 hens and a rooster, round up is pretty easy. At dusk, there are in the run, if not the coop. On weekends when they are out in the yard, and the dogs need to go out, I just walk behind them, softly clapping my hands, and go towards the run gate. When we are about 10 feet away they just go right in. Once the dogs are finished in the yard, they all come right back out.

In a couple of weeks, my new chicks will arrive. When they finally join the rest of the flock, then we'll see how roundup goes. I'm hoping they'll just learn from the others, or follow Brewster's leadership.

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