whats the best way to catch/pickup/ grab a chicken?

Americano Blue

Make everyday count
6 Years
Apr 14, 2014
(Insert Something Sarcastic)
My Coop
My Coop
I have had many people tell me different ways to pick up my hens. some make a "shepherds hook" from a coat hanger and grab the chickens foot to catch their birds, some use a fishing net, some corner them and grab the bird they want and some grab them by their legs and hang them upside down until they calm down. I used to grab them by their feet and hang them upside down until they called down but then some one told me this can hurt/ kill my bird. HOW DO I HOLD MY BIRDS???
I try not to catch my birds during the day unless it is necessary**. I do showmanship with my birds, so I handle them as I would in a show. I do this by putting my hand under their body with my pointer finger on their chest bone and my thumb on one side of the body and my other three fingers on the other side. That way when they start to flap I can hold to them and have control. (if it helps I can post some pictures)
**My chickens are cool with being handled, but catching them is hard so I wait until night and they are in the coop so I can catch them. There is the exception of the aggressive rooster who if I need to lock up because he ain't being nice then I tell our dog to "go get the chickie-chickie" He will flip the rooster on his back and holds on to him and waits until I take the nasty boy

The holding the bird up side down will only kill the bird if done improperly (we have to do that in showmanship) If you do it right then everyone will be ok
I bribe mine with tasty treats and get them to hop up to where I can easily handle them. If I'm trying to put them in the coop.... I tease them with the treat dish, put it in the coop and sit down while they all walk in.

I'm new at this... But its been working. I think I've trained them to do my bidding for treats. They are only 10 weeks old, but gentle and very cooperative.
Last edited:
Sixchickflock, watch out they will learn. I used to be able to do that now they all stay just out of my reach with that catching. The leading them in to the pen will take more treats and pushing from behind if the think they want to go in the pen. (why must you chickens be smart!!)
thanks for the advice!!! I've tried the treats and the one bird I want never seems to come
. I plan to show my one of my Muscovy ducks and let my chicken-less friend show one of my hens for 4-H.
My birds are not the socialist things in the world. Also can I tag them with zip ties? they all look the same except my big one named Americano. I usually would tag them but I need to know the pecking order
. If not zip ties what else would work? (I'm new at this whole chicken thing)

Welcome to BYC!

I rarely have the trouble picking up my birds as none of them run for me. BUT, I can understand how difficult it might be to catch them. If I have to briefly chase a chicken to catch them, I will corner them and grab them at the base of the tail. Not the feathers, but the base of the tail. At the same time I grab them around the breast. This usually stops them in their tracks. Then I grab them over their bodies holding down the wings so they can't flap out. I have never used those hooks, but this sounds like a recipe for broken legs. If I were you, I would work with your birds to tame them up. Go sit down on their level with them with treats. Do this every day for 15 or 20 mins. Lure them to you and get them to be comfortable climbing on your legs and lap. The more you work with them, the quieter they will be. My birds are so docile, I rarely chase a chicken anywhere. I am stepping on them far more than anything.

Good luck with catching your birds and welcome to our flock!
Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! If I can't just pick them up, I like to use a net, usually the fastest/easiest way for me. X4 if you work with your birds they get used to being handled, starting at night is usually pretty easy since they won't react much, and then using treats eventually during the day to get them really tame.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom