I have a wanderer


11 Years
Jan 16, 2010
Powhatan Va
So my SS formerly named Dot (short for Dorothy a good solid English name) is now named Rogue. She sees a fence as something to be on the other side of. Until this week the Premier fencing had been keeping her home, only wandered afar when I had them out in the yard, I have a privacy fence on one side and I have put cattle panels with chicken wire 2' up to keep them home. Her feathers are clipped, but she finds a way to get around it. last Saturday she wandered over to my across the street neighbor and was helping him work on his car. :rolleyes: He was very nice about it and shepherded her on back across the road. Said he would take her for a spin when they fixed it. . BUT I DON'T want her talking to strangers. Much less riding in cars with them. None of the others have her wanderlust, thank goodness.
Then yesterday she found a way through the poultry netting, (yes it is hot)my next door neighbor sent me a text that she had tried to catch her, but she couldn't. I got home expecting to find goodness knows what (vivid imagination here) but she was up on the roost like nothing had happened. I think I've got her thwarted from there, she was squeezing between the first post and the shed wall, the post is now anchored by 4 hooks.
She must have seen that old Geico commercial. Short of tethering her while the others get Yard Privileges, any ideas? That does not give me a lot of confidence, and not even sure I could do it.
If I make her a big long 'chunnel' it would keep her safe and I could move it around to give her variety. anyone make one here?
I also have a cheap Go-Pro camera I could strap on her.
My neighbors are all very nice, and it is a chicken friendly place, but there are also a lot of wandering dogs, cars and dangers I have not imagined yet.
She does lay her egg before wandering. She is 10 months + or -.
Your story cracked me up! Kind of reminded me of a Speckled Sussex I used to have that would run off and spend the entire day with the wild turkeys, and come wandering back in the evening after hanging with this rough bunch all day long.

At the age your hen is, she may be satisfying her urge to be sure that there aren't better scrounging to be had at the farthest points from home, and she may outgrow this if it's indeed a phase.

But you're right to be concerned she might meet a bad end if she runs into the wrong critters. Trying to outwit a chicken can be challenging. Sometimes they really are smarter than we are.
I'm a little worried she will find the Rooster Down the Road! I can just see yours, sleeves rolled up, smokin' with that rough pack of Turkeys!
Going to give a Chicken tunnel a shot, maybe by the time she is bored with that the wanderlust will have passed.
My SS tends to be the same. My kids are diligent enough to keep them all in the yard, but Specks is the one who's most likely to be the furthest from the flock. And... the rest of the flock will follow her. I don't have fences yet, and that's part of the reason we send the kids out to herd them, as I don't know how my neighbors will react to my chickens in their yard. Also, my girls don't free range all the time, they're only out if somebody's home to keep an eye on them and only for a couple of hours before dark.
Agreed, a tractor may be needed in this case. I saw a post quite a while ago by a reader who put a weight on his wanderer's ankle. That plus clipping a wing, curbed the habit. I don't remember what he used, nor can I endorse the idea as being "safe". But it was a prime example of "out of the box" thinking and problem solving.
I'm glad my other girls don't follow her! Seems like it might be a breed tendency? I've just never had one so determined to explore. They have a very large run, but only get yard time on weekends when I am here. Not that it does much good
It certainly could be a breed tendency. My two remaining SS are independent cusses, almost never found with the rest of the flock. When I don't happen to see one of these hens, I generally search in the opposite direction of where I see the flock. There I will find her, all by her lonesome, contentedly poking around in some bushes or even busy leaving a cecal on my front porch. Most of the time these two SS will be together, but often they like to "just be alone".
My two SS are incorrigible feather pickers. They both wear pinless peepers but still manage to chew the roosters' neck feathers down to a mess of slobbery ruin.

But each SS is so chuck full of irresistible personality, I wouldn't think of getting rid of them. Besides one is an amazing broody hen, and both are still laying regularly at age seven years.

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