How to catch a rogue hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ctcasper, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. ctcasper

    ctcasper Songster

    Apr 4, 2008
    We got two hens given to us a few months ago and one of them got away when we went to put them in the coop. They were both free range before so she scavengered for food and has survived so far. She disappeared for a couple weeks but is back now and is venturing into the yard more and more even with us out there. At first she wouldn't eat anything we put out for her, but now we leave out some feed and she will eat it, but will not go into the coop with the others at night when they are let out to free range, she sleeps instead in pine tree in the yard. [​IMG]

    I wouldn't care except I want her eggs [​IMG] and it's getting cold out so I know she would be better off in the coop with the other chickens. Any suggestions on how to catch her and if she will even go back in with the flock when she is let out to free range later on? She hangs out with them when they are out just fine, but doesn't seem to let either of my roosters mate her.
  2. TaLani

    TaLani ~ Gemini Chick ~

    Oct 2, 2008
    Bryson City, NC, coon trap w/ treats inside???
  3. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    If you can get up to where she roosts, it is easiest to just pick them up after dark. Otherwise, a fishing net on a long pole is helpful for catching them during the day. If you use the net method, have someone take video for us all to watch. I have had to use the net, and it is quite comical.
  4. TaLani

    TaLani ~ Gemini Chick ~

    Oct 2, 2008
    Bryson City, NC
    Quote:We have a fishing net that we've had to use on our Amer Game hen to put her back into our run & she didn't thrash around in it too much when we caught her. But, the other chickens were definitely watching us catch her because if I move the net when I clean out the coop the chickens go a running big time. I thought it was a fluke the first time I noticed how they acted when I moved it so I did a test...I walked around the run with it and they'd move to the other end of the coop to get as far away from it as they could. Evil on my part, but funny at the same time. [​IMG]
  5. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Crowing 9 Years

    Oct 16, 2008
    I would suggest the night time capture..

    If you try a fish net and miss, you will have to increase the length of the handle 10 feet for every missed attempt.. once caught in a net, you might as well throw the net away.. If they see you with the net, they take off running..

    am I right or wrong??

  6. UrbanChickenMama

    UrbanChickenMama Songster

    Nov 29, 2008
    Vancouver, WA
    I agree with the night time catch as well.

    As for will she intigrate into the flock. I've been told they need to be cooped up (ha! no pun intended - [​IMG]) in the hen house for 2 days prior to being let out. Then they will establish that as their home and *should* go back to it each night.

  7. If you are having luck with feeding her and you have time to wait...continue to feed her but each day move the feed closer toward the coop/run.
    Also if possible, keeping the other chickens cooped will force her to come closer to the coop. The idea is to get her feeling safe near the coop.
    It's a wait and see game, but I've always caught the chicken.
    BUT..the fastest way to catch her is when she is up the tree.
    IF there are other trees closer and easier to get her from, as it gets closer to time to roost. Go down to where she usually roost and stand there and MAYBE she will go into one of the others trees where grabbing her will be easier with less fear of injury to her and to the person doing the nabbing.
  8. chickenpiedpiper

    chickenpiedpiper Songster

    Aug 4, 2008
    New Durham NH
    I agre with the above posts about a night time catch, it is soo much easier, and less traumatic for everyone involved, one thought that might help, if you can put a ladder near her tree, move it closer each morning, so she sees its not a direct threat, you could eventually get it right up to her favorite spot, then one night just walk out and scoop her up! Who knows what kind of trauma she dealt with while away, she may have a very good reason for not wanting to be cooped, a night time catch, might be just what she needs. Once you loose a birds trust, it is VERY hard to get it back.

    Good Luck to you which ever way you have to go!
  9. About 2 years ago one of my banties got loose and I didn't see her for about 2 weeks. Then just before I left for St. Louis (I was making sure the chickens had enough food and water) I noticed her trying to figure out how to get in. I knew where she roosted and planned the day after I got back from St. Louis. I was able to catch her after dark where she was roosting. If you know where your loose hen roosts try to catch her after dark. Good Luck at trying to catch your hen. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  10. ctcasper

    ctcasper Songster

    Apr 4, 2008
    The funny thing is, the reason they were given to us is because when the previous owner went to butcher like they always do in the fall, they couldn't catch either of them. So to get them for us, my husband caught them at night in the barn rafters, they were then put in a box and carted home and put in the coop with the others, only she flew out under his legs when he was trying to take the other out of the box. We have time and are getting ready to move them from their temporary chicken tractor to a full sized coop and run, so I will try and get her to come into the run somehow. Once they are in the run, they may not be let out of the larger coop until time to put them into their chicken tractor in the spring anyway, so she should be well accustomed by then.

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