ferrel hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by choopes, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. choopes

    choopes Out Of The Brooder

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    My crop of chickens I raised are getting up to juvenile size. When I was transferring them gently carrying them one at a time to their new bigger permanent home. One hen got spooked and flew past me. She seems wild. I can't get close to her. She has survived for about 2 weeks now roaming the yard. Every time this has ever happened with other birds, they get over in the woods adjacent to my property and disappear after a day or two. I see this one hen every morning early, and again before sunrise. I try to put out feed and water, but I'm not sure she is getting it. I would like to somehow catch it . But how? Any ideas?
     
  2. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could use something like a butterfly net but ideally you want another person to help you herd the bird into a corner.
     
  3. Eric 2016

    Eric 2016 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Best way to catch a chicken is while they are roosting. Search the area at night with a flashlight. If you don't get her the first night try again, they typically roost in the same area. Heck she might even be roosting on or near your coop.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Something that sounds easy but usually isn’t, can you determine where she is roosting? If you can find where she is sleeping you can probably just grab her after it is well dark. But the secret is finding out where she is sleeping (she’s hiding from predators so it probably won’t be easy) and it being somewhere you can actually get her. She’ll probably be too high for you to get her from the ground.

    Do you have access to a live trap? With the others free ranging with her this probably won’t work as you’ll catch one of the others first, but bait a trap with food. Maybe keep the others locked up and set the trap near them. She’ll probably come visit them just for the company.

    Or maybe make a trap. Prop one side of a cardboard box up on a stick and put food under it. Have a long string tied to that stick so you can yank it out when she goes under it. You’ll have to be far enough away so you don’t frighten her when you move. Hiding halfway behind something would not hurt but may not be necessary. I’d take a book to read and set up a chair in the shade. Could take a while. For both trap ideas, maybe leave the other chickens locked up and see what she does so you can get an idea where she might go before you set up the trap.

    Do you have a run? If you leave the door open with food inside, will she go in the run with the others? Maybe you can hide out nearby until she is inside, then close the gate before she runs away.

    Mike Rowe did a “Dirty Jobs” episode on people in Miami trying to catch feral chickens with nets. It was hilarious to watch them chasing the chickens. They were pretty unsuccessful and they were in really great shape. In my opinion, I think you catching a feral hen with a net is pretty unlikely but you are certainly welcome to try. If you can get help you might be more success herding her into the run, but I think it is highly unlikely you can do that on your own.

    Good luck. Somethings may sound easy but actually doing them can be pretty tricky.
     
  5. Eric 2016

    Eric 2016 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Live trap is a good idea, I have to let my chickens out of my raccoon traps all the time. I have several pens of different type bantams and every time one gets loose i just wait till dark and go grab it off the top of the pen where it's roosting. I've found that they still try to stick as close to the others as possible.
     
  6. choopes

    choopes Out Of The Brooder

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    my farm South Alabama
    No chance of catching her with a net. 50-75 ft is about as close as I can get. There is no hearding her. She hauls butt as soon as she sees me. I have thought about letting the others run the yard some in hope she will join. There is a big bush she goes to. Maybe this is her roost. I'll search tonight after dark with a flash light.
     
  7. Eric 2016

    Eric 2016 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That would be a great place to start. Good luck
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Live trap locked open, with food water inside, until she gets comfortable going in to eat/drink, then set the trap to close when trigger is stepped on.
    Just read a story where this worked, other birds had to be kept confined.

    I caught a stray hen a couple years ago using RR's box and string method,
    except it was a wire dog crate with a 'string' of fine wire rigged to close the crate door from a nearby shed that I could sneak into without her seeing me.
    Crate/trap was set up where I could see it out window where I work all day, after a few days she would come every evening to eat before roosting.
    After one fail (pulled way too hard and broke wire-haha!) couple days later, with a far more judicious pull of wire, I got her.

    If you do find where she is roosting, when you grab her get both hands around both wings and do not let go!
    Learned that from failure with stray hen and then success with a luckily low roosting stray cockbird this summer.

    Most options take time, patience, and observation.
     

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