Catching a Chicken Inside the Coop… and the One Who Escaped
If you’ve ever had to catch a chicken you know it’s not an easy task. The trick is simple, you just have to work smart, not hard. How? You probably already know a chicken can run faster than a human, so chasing a bird around like a maniac is going to get you absolutely nowhere. To make it even more difficult, chickens are smart, so any device you’ve used before such as a pole or net, is something they’ll remember immediately, and run.
There’s a simple answer to catching a chicken, the only drawback is you’re going to have to work at night. Wait until your chickens have gone to roost for the evening. Enter the coop wearing a headlamp (keep the beam of light pointed at the ground) hover over the bird and place both hands over the wings so the bird can’t flap around. Then gently remove chicken from the perch. You can wrap a towel around the bird if you’ll be treating medically, or if you just want a bit more security, especially if your handling a rooster.
Catching an Escaped Chicken from the Coop
You’re going to need a little patience here, but there’s a simple solution. Chickens are happiest when they’re in a comfortable and predictable environment. If one of your birds has escaped from the coop, chickens enjoy their freedom for awhile. However, come sundown they will most likely return to the safety of the coop to roost for the night. The rest of the flock will rarely leave the roost after dusk, so it’s a good bet you’re safe to open the coop door for your escapees return.
Remain calm and unhurried, a chicken will easily pick up on your anxiety. You don’t want the bird to be reluctant or fearful to return to the coop. A sparse trail of scratch leading into the coop might add a bit of helpful incentive. Keep your distance from the coop door, wait for the bird to join the flock, then approach the coop to close the door.
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