One of my chickens ran away

ChickenJV12

Songster
Sep 28, 2018
141
259
132
Hudsonville, MI
As some of you know, I got some new chickens last Saturday. Today, I let them out to free range for the first time. And one of my Jersey Giants hasn't been seen since this morning, and I've searched everywhere for her. What should I do?

EDIT: She came back and is fine. Thanks for helping, though, everyone.
 
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EggWalrus

Free Ranging
Aug 14, 2017
2,241
5,430
577
Southeast Alabama
I have a 3 yo RJF that has been having a hard time molting, plus the younger, larger, stronger roosters have been beating him down. About a month ago the county road crew cut the grass on the side of the black top down at the end of the dirt road. Floyd (the RJF) happened up that way and found a plethora of grass seed where they cut. For over two weeks I had to go up there and herd him back to the yard so he wouldn't get hit. Then week before last he would duck off into the swamp when he'd see me coming. I finally had it, I wasn't going to kill myself by trying to keep a chicken from committing suicide.
I would still look for him beside the road then I checked the mail but never saw him. Then yesterday, he popped up beside the road again. I figured something had gotten him since I hadn't seen his body in the road. once again, he headed for the swamp. This morning I saw him on the edge of the yard with a hen, trying to coax her to go to the swamp with him. All I can do is hope he makes it out there till he finished molting and maybe decides to come home. I'll lock him up if I can ever catch him roosting somewhere, but you can't get within 50 feet of him if he sees or hears you.
Maybe yours will come home tonight when it's time to go to bed and roost. Best of luck to you.
 
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ChickenJV12

Songster
Sep 28, 2018
141
259
132
Hudsonville, MI
You should train them by rattling a bucket of treats or hitting the metal pail with a stick.... to sound off that you are bringing treats. It's useful for next time when there is a chicken astray and you just signal the 'treat sound' and they'll come running towards you.
What "treats" could I use?
 

Callender Girl

Free Ranging
Sep 18, 2018
2,211
12,144
666
North Central Iowa
Cracked corn makes some good noise. Or, bird feeder seed mixes. Neither is a suitable everyday feed, but that may be why they are attractive -- wouldn't you rather have a yummy, sweet hunk of chocolate than a good-for-you bowl of oatmeal?

When my runner ducks decide they'd rather not listen to me about coming home, I start by leaving a wee trail of cracked corn on the route I want them to use; then I give the container a good rattle. Soon, they are headed in the right direction.

BTW, they don't make any noise, but as a reward, my chickens LOVE grapes. When the wayward one comes home, perhaps some juicy grapes will entice her to stick closer to home! Good luck!!
 

EggWalrus

Free Ranging
Aug 14, 2017
2,241
5,430
577
Southeast Alabama
Scratch if a treat. It's NOT feed. And it will get them to come running. If you have an old metal pail, or even a frying pan that you can bang a spoon against and it rings, then you have a dinner/treat bell. You can ring it out the back door just before feeding (or while feeding to begin with) or treating them and within a week they will be like Pavlov's dog and come running to you.
 
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MANNA-PRO

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