Need tips to catch two chick escapees

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by alessadry, Dec 21, 2017.

  1. alessadry

    alessadry Songster

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    So last night, I heard chicks (I think they are about 12-14 weeks old, they are fully feathered) crying for no reason. I see them near my fence only to notice they are outside the fence! I am not sure how in the world they got out, there are only two very small spaces in between one gate post and another and I guess they must have squeezed through. So we waited for it to get a bit dark and we went to try and grab the 3 chicks.

    Even though it was a bit dark, catching them was very difficult. My husband was on one side, I was on the other. I only managed to get one which put up quite a fight. We tried to get the other 2 and they ran towards the dense brush. We walked around with the flash light for hours, but no where to find. We had to give up at some point as the brush is very dense (we are in Arizona) and our arms and legs were full of scratches from all the thorns.

    I was expecting the worse. I couldn't sleep thinking of the poor babies out in the cold and predators. Anyhow, they survived the night and they are again around the fence trying to reach their mother (which has other 2 chicks) but there's nothing I can do to get them to figure out how to go through the small holes they went through to escape. I tried luring them with a string with a strawberry attached, I tried getting mom near the opening, I tried tossing treats through the hole, I tried to put my hand through the holes with food to attract them, but nothing. I already wasted 5 eggs that I scrambled just for them to attract them through the hole. They are also skeptic of me, so forget about trying to hand feed them and catch them.

    So I am planning to try again tonight, maybe when it's darker? I am planning to locate where they are and then go around the fence and try again, but I might need a flashlight to find them. Any ideas or tips on what I can do to suceed? I am worried because tonight it is going to be 27 degrees! I don't feel like spending another night worrying!
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
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  2. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Crowing

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    Just open the gate if there is one and let mama hen come out and get them. They will follow her. You can use 2 long sticks to guide her and her brood back inside. Hope it works! They probably won't be able to figure out how to get back thru a small hole. ;)
     
  3. alessadry

    alessadry Songster

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    Thanks, I was thinking of that, but we have free-range chickens and therefore opening the gate could mean ALL the chickens escaping, which may end up into a much bigger problem! Also, my chickens are wary of the gate because we often get deliveries so they avoid that area as much as possible. I wasn't even able to get momma too close to it, she'll go up to a certain point and then make an about turn.
     
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  4. ShiftyShickens

    ShiftyShickens Songster

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    tiny chicken pitfall has helped me before. dig a hole, place a small towel over it and some loose grass or leaves, then either wait or attempt to coax them over it. usually it'll only capture one at a time and often the other chickens are not as likely to fall into the same trap. i make sure it's deep enough to prevent the baby from jumping out and has a small enough diameter to prevent the girl from flapping her wings to help get out. i go two and a half feet deep at the deepest and one foot wide at the skinniest. hope that helps out! good luck
     
  5. ShiftyShickens

    ShiftyShickens Songster

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    make sure NOT to weight the edges or corners of the towel for fear of if they do go in nothing with go in on top of them.
     
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  6. alessadry

    alessadry Songster

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    Shiftyshichkens that's a very interesting idea, thanks! I think I will give it a try. I might need hubby's help when he comes home from work as the ground here is very hard here (desert caliche).
     
  7. Junochick

    Junochick Songster

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    I suggest a fishing net,or toss a sheet over them. Good luck getting your babies back
     
  8. Brahma Chicken5000

    Brahma Chicken5000 Araucana Addict

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    I hope you catch them tonight :fl
     
  9. ShiftyShickens

    ShiftyShickens Songster

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    i've used the tiny pit fall four times in all my years raising chickens and ALMOST every time in the morning there is a chicken terrified at the bottom. it must be super scary but is better than running a-muck waiting for wiley coyote to come along. be sure that the hole cant collapse as well, sandy soil can be deadly if a chicken is at the bottom and the hole caves in. clipping a chicken wire sheath to fit into the hole can help prevent collapse but will aid in the chicken re-escaping. treats directly over the center will help coax the babies in and often with my later versions due to dealing with smarter chickens i lessened the size of the towel to barely covering the whole while making a makeshift upraised border around the hole that doesn't sit on the towel at all but more so around the entire area. the upraised border was square and sat about six inches high. this made the chickens jump down to get the treats and bam... chicken in the trap.i used the dirt from the hole to go around the boarder to ramp up the incline to the top of the boarder on it's perimeter there for not being so obvious to our feathered friends. again i wish you luck!
     
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  10. ShiftyShickens

    ShiftyShickens Songster

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    also a card board triggered drop box has helped me tremendously and is super simple. one large box, food, a stick, and string. tie the string to the stick and place the box upside down using the stick to prop it up. then place food beneath and wait at a distance at the other end of the string. pull when they enter, pure magic.
     

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