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HELP! Trying to catch a lost/found feral chicken!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by denise70, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. denise70

    denise70 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Meaford, ON
    I need help big time. On Facebook, a person in my town (Meaford, Ontario, Canada) posted that there was a chicken in their yard (and area around their yard) which was lost from the Fall Fair. Our fair is Labour Day weekend - so she has been out their fending for herself since Sept 3rd. She even had chicks at one point.

    I tried to help lure her with food, etc. but to no avail. She is pretty "wild" and not interested in being caught. The property owners where she hangs out have put out bird seed for her which she eats, but no one has really gotten near her this whole time. They have contacted the Agricultural Society which host the fair and someone had noted they lost a chicken, but no one has come out to claim her - there was a Poultry show at the Fair this year so the owner may have traveled from pretty far away to show her.

    She is pretty thin right now and flies REALLY well. When we got close (about 4ft away) she was in a branch and flew at least 300ft at about 20ft high in the air!

    I need help figuring out how to catch her so we can re-home her. At first I had thought of only trying to have two people to do this, so we didn't scare her, but now I see where she is hiding out is too vast (a ravine) with too many places she can go but we can't. Plus, since she was from the Fair, I assumed she was more tame and well handled. She is obviously a fancy show bird (looks like a blue Americauna - but I am no expert) who would have been well kept one would think.

    Now I am thinking a crew to drive to the direction we want might work. Or sneaking up with something to throw over her????

    Has anyone had luck with:
    • catching a wiley chicken with a live trap and bait (like a raccoon trap) - we were thinking this might work but it was tried already with a home-made trap. She never went near the trap even though food was in it.
    • using a net/netting to catch a hen (like bird netting, a blanket thrown over or a fishing net)
    • Some other ingenious plan we haven't been able to hatch!

    I want to get her asap because she probably won't last much longer in our climate. It has been pretty mild with not a lot of snow, but generally, we have about 3ft of snow by now. Bird seed isn't a great diet and foraging will soon be nearly NIL. There are lots of foxes, skunks, raccoons, minks and birds of prey in our area.



    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  2. joesmania

    joesmania Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 8, 2012
    EDIT: Erased by the poster joesmania
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  3. DeepFried

    DeepFried Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2012
    If you can locate where she roosts (and can reach it) maybe you can get her as she sleeps. I have used a 6 foot dip net (like the ones you hunt shells and such at the beach) to safely catch non-tame birds. Then you can put her in a dog crate or kennel for transport. Catching her in "her environment" would probably be the least stressful for her.... but if she is really wiley, you might have to get a few assistants to help with a "chicken run". Slowly approach her from the directions you don't want her to go, to drive her to a large open area. Then get her to fly, have some folks waiting to catch her (large nets, etc.) on her descent to the ground (hence the need to push her to an open area, so she won't light in a tree). Catching a bird that is not capable of extended flights is easy as they begin to land, they are the the point that they cannot stay in the air any longer, and hopefully "fall into your lap...or net, or whatever". Maybe not the most effective method, but plenty fun ; plus the show is pretty good entertainment for the neighbors who could not (or wisely did not) participate... :D

    If that doesn't work... I guess traps, snares or the inevitable pre-cooking ritual (bang) could be the last resort.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  4. arcy liger

    arcy liger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 6, 2012
    I think you should catch her in the night as joesmania said ....... you should quietly go and catch her in dark with the help of others just encircle her so that she cannot escape


    and where did the chicks go......
     
  5. denise70

    denise70 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Meaford, ON
    They all disappeared :( The mad who originally posted about this chicken told me it looked like crows picked off the chicks.

    Apparently they were only present early on - likely she was breeding prior to being lost.
     
  6. denise70

    denise70 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Meaford, ON
    Thank you for the replies. I will try at dusk either tonight (if I can get home fast enough - it is getting dark when I leave work) or tomorrow.

    I will update on how it all goes!!! Thanks again!
     
  7. arcy liger

    arcy liger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you can try on this weekend and donot scare her or she'll be lost for a long time you can also take your most friendly and attached chicken too her but do not want your chicken to be like her but you can try....[​IMG]
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Catching bird on roost is likely easiest method. In my youth I used to actually run such birds to exhaustion to catch them. It required jumping fences and rapidly climbing trees but was doable since chickens do not have the enduarance we have. My birds were American Games which out fly and run the OP's with ease yet was doable. I like to run bird to point it attempts to hide in grass, then carefully pick it up. Chase duration will be at most 15 minutes. When bird flies up high have long stick or something like corncobs to throw at it to keep it moving. You want bird to fly since that exhaust bird more rapidly.
     
  9. StarLover21

    StarLover21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good luck- she is gorgeous!
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  10. Mac14

    Mac14 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northern California
    My first thought was that you could bring 1 or 2 of your chickens that are very very tame and let them lose, and since they are social animals then they could lure her into something... but I know that there are some risks. But I hope you get her soon. :)
     

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