Crazy Penelope (Flew the Coop!)

deemathes

Chirping
May 7, 2015
111
4
71
Lillington, NC
So, I came home with a 10 week old Japanese Bannie, and as I was transferring her from box to her new home, she went hog wild and escaped. We all tried to catch her and couldn't. She is a VERY good flyer!!! Since she had never known our coop as home, or even our yard as home, I was sure she was gone. She flew deep in the woods. For three days we could hear her out there, but couldn't find her. Then, nothing. I was sure a predator got her. Two weeks later, it's about sunrise and I rounded the corner into the back yard and startled Crazy Penelope!! She jumped, and squawked, and flew back into the woods. I set out a bowl of water there at the woods edge and sprinkled some feed. When I came home from work, I could see her scratchings all around the water bowl. For the next two days (including today) I can spot her every morning at sun up there at the edge of the yard. Any creative ideas on how to capture her? Once I get her, I plan on clipping her wings and "homing" her to our secondary coop by herself for a couple weeks before introducing her to our flock. I doubt she will ever tame, but I hate the idea of just abandoning her to the wild.

Thanks!!
 

klohman

In the Brooder
Mar 9, 2015
60
4
41
Illinois
Dog crate, food bait and trail cam?? Haha!
It might be crazy, but it just might work!

Bait her with scraps into a dog crate (or some other large container) and with surveillance (whether personal, trail cam, etc.) when she goes in, go out real quiet and close her in. Obviously face it away from where you would approach so she doesn't see you coming up!

Worth a shot, right?!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,334
126,572
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Do your other birds free range? She may eventually join the flock.
I'd keep putting food out for her and move it closer and closer to the coop or cage you want her in.

A live trap might work, set it up so it won't trip and get her used to eating in there, then set the trip.

I was able to trap a stray hen by setting up a crate and putting feed/water there, once she was comfortable going in there every day I rigged a wire from the crate door to a nearby hiding spot and when she went in to eat I pulled the crate door closed. But it took hours of observation and patience....I could see all from my window and hiding spot was out of sight of the crate trap.
 

deemathes

Chirping
May 7, 2015
111
4
71
Lillington, NC
Yes, thank you for the ideas. We don't free range, unfortunately the neighbor's dog gets loose and already took three of my babies from me. Still crying over that.

She (Crazy Penelope) will come all the way up to our coop and run, but the second she sees a human she splits!!! LOL!! Next week I will be migrating my flock to their new coop. I will leave the old coop door open with food and water. Hopefully she will go inside and I can creep up on her and lock her in there. Home her to that coop (which I would want to quarantine her, anyway) then integrate her into the flock.

This is my plan so far, will let you know how it goes!!! (I love both the above crate ideas! They will serve as my plan B!!!
 
Last edited:

deemathes

Chirping
May 7, 2015
111
4
71
Lillington, NC
Now that the Crazy Penelope Saga has come to resolution, I am posting the details in case anyone else has a similar situation.

So, Crazy Penelope was coming around quite regular. She was even getting more comfortable with us milling about the yard. If we got too close though, she would take off. Such a flier!!! Every morning I would put a bowl of food and water out there for her, and she would come out of the woods and eat. I started moving the food closer to the old coop up on the back of our house. I have been leaving that coop door open. Yesterday morning, she didn't come out of the woods to eat. I was concerned, as that has been a pretty regular thing. I found out why later.

As she had been getting pretty bold hanging out in the yard, I had the idea of letting our flock out of the run to let them range about the yard (with strict supervision) to see if CP would join them then just coop up with them when they go in. She is smaller than our other birds, as she is a Japanese Bantam and the flock is all large fowl (approx 10 weeks old and hearty). The event had plenty of sparring, mainly between our #1 hen (Agnes, Barred Rock) and #2 (Naomi, EE). Everyone sort of calmed though, and were pecking about the yard. CP gave one hen (Ada, Speckled Sussex) a pretty hard peck in the head. No bloodshed, but it still wasn't cool and it made me uneasy about the integration. I only even tried it because CP hangs around the run a lot, even under the coop which is only separated from the run by hardware cloth. She would lay and chill with the flock, just on the other side of the wire. When we went to coop up the flock (leading from behind) CP took off to the woods. We decided to just keep up with that method (letting our flock socialize with her) for awhile and see how it goes.

This morning, I put the food out for CP and she didn't show up. I saw her yesterday afternoon and evening, so I knew she was still alive since not showing up the morning before. So odd. I went on with my day. I had to close the door to the old coop to get the truck out to go run errands, so I did and went about my day. Upon coming home, I found Crazy Penelope in the old coop!!! Evidently, she has been sleeping in the nest boxes in there the last couple days. When I come out with the food, she hides. That is why she hasn't been meeting me for breakfast!!!

So there is how CP was caught. I am keeping her in quarantine over there for a while, and will work on integrating her to the flock when I feel it is safe for all. :)
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,334
126,572
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Now that the Crazy Penelope Saga has come to resolution, I am posting the details in case anyone else has a similar situation.

So, Crazy Penelope was coming around quite regular. She was even getting more comfortable with us milling about the yard. If we got too close though, she would take off. Such a flier!!! Every morning I would put a bowl of food and water out there for her, and she would come out of the woods and eat. I started moving the food closer to the old coop up on the back of our house. I have been leaving that coop door open. Yesterday morning, she didn't come out of the woods to eat. I was concerned, as that has been a pretty regular thing. I found out why later.

As she had been getting pretty bold hanging out in the yard, I had the idea of letting our flock out of the run to let them range about the yard (with strict supervision) to see if CP would join them then just coop up with them when they go in. She is smaller than our other birds, as she is a Japanese Bantam and the flock is all large fowl (approx 10 weeks old and hearty). The event had plenty of sparring, mainly between our #1 hen (Agnes, Barred Rock) and #2 (Naomi, EE). Everyone sort of calmed though, and were pecking about the yard. CP gave one hen (Ada, Speckled Sussex) a pretty hard peck in the head. No bloodshed, but it still wasn't cool and it made me uneasy about the integration. I only even tried it because CP hangs around the run a lot, even under the coop which is only separated from the run by hardware cloth. She would lay and chill with the flock, just on the other side of the wire. When we went to coop up the flock (leading from behind) CP took off to the woods. We decided to just keep up with that method (letting our flock socialize with her) for awhile and see how it goes.

This morning, I put the food out for CP and she didn't show up. I saw her yesterday afternoon and evening, so I knew she was still alive since not showing up the morning before. So odd. I went on with my day. I had to close the door to the old coop to get the truck out to go run errands, so I did and went about my day. Upon coming home, I found Crazy Penelope in the old coop!!! Evidently, she has been sleeping in the nest boxes in there the last couple days. When I come out with the food, she hides. That is why she hasn't been meeting me for breakfast!!!

So there is how CP was caught. I am keeping her in quarantine over there for a while, and will work on integrating her to the flock when I feel it is safe for all.
smile.png
Ha!! Great!
 

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