Chickens escaping

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by operationindigo, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. operationindigo

    operationindigo Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2013
    This morning I opened the door of my chickens' run to check food and water and one chicken scooted out of the gate - my little brown leghorn. I quickly shut the gate and ran after her to grab her. I finally got her in my hands, then the other chicken - my barred rock - scooted out the gate and bolted. Within 30 seconds the chicken jumped our backyard fence and flew up into a tree. I spent almost an hour chasing her around and praying she didn't hop the fence next door with the three watching and barking dogs inside it. I tried to lure her back with food - clearly not interested. Finally, she tried to hop up into a tree and missed and fell into some bushes. I was terrified she was injured, because she just sort of sat in the bushes and stopped trying to run from me. I pulled her out, put her back in the run, and within about 30 seconds she was back to normal, munching on a piece of apple in her coop. I was so scared - we live in the city and she could have gotten to the road, etc. Hopefully they don't get out again, what a chase!

    Have your chickens ever escaped? What do you do to get them back?
     
  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I range my birds, so I lose one every now and then. I usually put plenty of scratch around the coop and kind of check in bushes and look around the property etc. There are plenty of hiding spots and places that they can wander off to. I live in a rural area with many predators, so if the missing girl isn't back by the next afternoon, I kind of consider it a lost cause and add one more chick to the list for next year.
     
  3. operationindigo

    operationindigo Out Of The Brooder

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    My main concern is that they'll be walking around the city if they get out. We live about 5 minutes from downtown, so a chicken living here is extremely unusual. It must have looked hilarious to see me chasing them around the neighborhood.
     
  4. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens at large is not a problem for me as my closest neighbor is 1/2 mile away but you must be able to catch yours if they escape. You do not want to give your city council any reason to amend the chicken keeping ordinances. Work on taming them so you can walk right up to them and pick them up no matter where they are. It will take some time but they are very motivated by food so use that in the short term. You need a chicken hook that snags a leg so you can pull her to you. 6-8 feet of heavy wire with a hook on the end will do the trick. To prevent an escape, when you go in the pen, toss a handful of scratch at the far end to keep them busy while you work.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
  5. operationindigo

    operationindigo Out Of The Brooder

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    I get worried about it too because my city JUST past an ordinance allowing chickens in the city here in Jacksonville. Do you have any suggestions for trying to tame them? Even when they escaped, they were totally uninterested in any food I offered and seemed more interested in "rebellion" and kept exploring. They do take food out of my hand, etc. but they seem to not want to be touched besides more than the occasional pet here and there. But when I come to see they every day in their run they immediately start making noises to me and calling to me (probably for food, but I like to think they're greeting me) - so they do show some social nature. Any suggestions? I'm going to work to make a chicken hook just in case.
     
  6. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it's easiest on both them and you to work with them at dusk. Wait for them to go in the coop and roost than go in and just touch them. Might even be just "thinking" about touching them. Linger just long enough to get their attention but not long enough for them to start squirming and trying to move away. Might be as little as 3 seconds. Read your birds. If you can identify the lead hen, work with her first. Some of it will rub off on the lesser girls. Every night build the time up to the point where you can pick her up than put her back down in the same spot. (they work hard for their spots in the perch so don't mess that up). Save the treats and scratch for training opportunities. I'd start by just tossing it down by your feet so they have to come up to you to eat. Work them up to where if you can touch them, they are rewarded with a goody. They'll get the reward system quickly with yummy treats.

    It might be easier and faster to concentrate on 2-3 birds at a time. Get them to where you can walk up and pick them up easily than move on to the next group.
     

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