Getting hens from my aunt, how to catch them?


In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 1, 2010
We're headed down to VA to my aunt's house to get some pullets to start our flock in a couple of weeks. The only issue is that her chickens are truly free range.
As in, they don't let her near them, and she hunts eggs for real by looking around her yard to find them. She got a pair of chickens as a gift from her son several months back and now has about 20 chickens running around her yard

So, how would you go about wrangling these birds if you were newbie city slickers that never had kept chickens before?
(I haven't handled chickens since I was knee high to a june bug...)
Buy one of those big fishnets at WalMart - ya know the ones with a pole type handle? I use those if my kiddos are feeling like giving me the runaround. Best yet is to wait to let them out of the coop. Just don't release them for the day until you can get the ones you want while they are still in the coop. Do the previous if she has no coop - and you are going to need at least one other person to help you so they can "cut them off at the pass" if they are making a run for it.
If they aren't roosting too high up in the trees I'd just get them at night. Grabbing them off the roost will be much easier on you and the chickens. Good luck with your chicken wrangling!
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I agree. Find out where they are roosting at night and take them from there. Might be worth your while to wear a long sleeved shirt whilst grabbing. My hens, who are in their coop safe and sound at night, still bite first and ask questions later if I grab in the dark.
I agree with catching them off the roost if posible but I'm wondering if you will be happy with these birds. If you are a "newbie city slicker", these chickens may not be the best start for you. They will be wild and not easily handled. They will NOT be pets. If they are used to free range and you put them in a small cage, they will not be happy and will constantly be trying to get out. They MAY eventually settle down but, I believe, it will be a long time before that would happen. I don't mean to rain on your parade, just trying to let you know the facts.
Look for a tool to catch chickens that is a wire hook on a wooden handle (I forget what it's called). It is used by coming up behind the bird and hooking a leg, and the tool is about 5-6 feet long. There is a picture of one in Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, and I have seen them for sale on some chicken sites/supply sites on the web. Personally I have not used one but they are an old timey tool that is supposed to be very effective if you can get within 5-6 feet of the bird.

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