Escaping Chickens


In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 10, 2008
Titirangi, Auckland, NZ
Hi, I'm a super newbie at this chicken thing. I picked up my 3 beautiful new chickens yesterday all mixed breeds so am unsure what sort of chickens I have. But so far today they have all escaped from their new pen about 4 times now 1 has gone missing and I'm incredibly upset. They are all so gorgeous and I don't know exactly how they got out. Suspicions are that they flew over the netting. They are all between 15 and 18 weeks old. What are my chances that my lovely little chicken will come home and what should we do? They were going to be allowed to free range as soon as they had got used to their new surroundings anyway. Does my coop need to be made higher, should I clip their wings or just let them explore and hope they don't disappear?

You'll be pleased to know my girl actually spent the night under our barbeque in the courtyard. When we tried to usher her into the pen she took off next door and I finally managed to catch her 3 doors down. She has got out again since but she seems to just like to be just outside the pen where she can see her friends but not be confined. (Although the pen is very, very large) I've provided her with water, scratch and some food so she can happily hang about under the feijoa trees. We don't have many predators here we're in a suburb called Titirangi in Auckland, New Zealand so the worst I can expect is Dogs, Cats and Rats. I'm guessing I'll have a hard time getting little girl back into the coop for roosting tonight but we'll see how it goes. Any suggestions? So far every time I go near she takes off. I'm hoping soon they will get used to us and be more tame.

All girls safely inside coop tonight, no missing chooks. Thanks for your help:)
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12 Years
Jun 6, 2007
Winston Salem, NC
If you clip wings - only clip one on each bird. It puts them off balance - however it may not work. Hopefully nothing caught and made a meal of the missing one. Chances are if the other two stay in the lot, the escapee will return looking for food and company. Good luck. Lynn


12 Years
Jan 1, 2008
If you get them back you have to make sure they don't get out until they get to know hteir home. If they can get out remember predetors can get in.
Hopefully they will realize you hold the food and return.
This may turn out to be a hard lesson. I hope not. Good luck.



12 Years
Oct 26, 2007
Los Angeles, California
Yes, the probable escape route is over the netting. And clipping wings on one side of the hen doesn't always work.
I would suggest putting a netting over the top, so they can't get out.
Have you checked for predators in your neighborhood? I'm in a suburb, and we have raccoons (nasty animals!), skunks and possums. All will get into a netting type set up and kill your hens. We also have coyotes, but it's the previous predators that concern me more.
Good luck on keeping your girls where they belong. Your Marco Polo may come back this evening to be with her friends. Be ready to entire her into the coop with tempting goodies.

Forgot to mention .... hardware cloth is the best enclosure material if you've predators in the area. Not only does it keep the hens in, but keeps those preds OUT.
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11 Years
Mar 3, 2008
Raymond Maine
My chickens always call to each other until they reunite again as a flock. I have one dum dum
(cute though) hen that is always wandering off. The roos crow and crow and crow until she comes back-then they give her a good peck on the behind!


12 Years
Jan 14, 2008
st paul mn
in my opinion pens need roofs. It makes it secure and gives them shelter from sun and weather while alowing them to run around. I open the pen in the morning and close it in the evening so they can freerange all day if they want, and if they get scared or wet they can run inside where it's safe from everything.

just my 2cts

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