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newlaidegg

How to catch a chicken

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Wow, I'm here again! I could spend a lot of time in here asking questions! :oops:

 

Well, four days in and I thought I'd let the girls out to free-range. Our warren, Ginger, is POL, she is really friendly already happy to feed out of our hands and was a doddle to pick up and place gently in the eglu. However, the Blackrock (Doris) and Bluebelle (Queenie) are a bit older and wiser to the ways of the farmyard. :shock: After 3 boxes of raisins they had had a great time but were not going back in the run under any circumstances. It took me over an hour and I managed to get Queenie back in but Doris just kept circling the eglu. By this time it was dark and I went back into the house, for a glass of wine and left the door open.Five minutes later, Doris appeared in the porch and jumped up onto the windowsill at which point, cornered, I managed to pick her up and take her into the garden. I placed her in the run and she trotted straight into the eglu.

 

So what advice can you give me on getting my older, wiser hens to play ball? I am tempted to only let Ginger out to free range until the others are a little more 'hand tame'!

 

Thanks!

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I have an orange corn cup that the chooks recognise as holding treats. when they see me carrying it they folow me, I throw a handful of corn into the run and they charge after it. Works every time :) .

 

Good luck with catching your chooks! :)

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I agree - food in a familiar container! They very quickly learn if there is food involved! I have a silvermetal dog bowl. As soon as they see it, even the non layers come running. One lady blew a whistle every time she took treats out in a bowl. Now they come running to the sound of the whistle! (very handy if you need to get them in quick, ie if you see a fox :? )

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Same kinda thing here - I use a shiny silver bowl too- the girls will follow it anywhere even if it's empty :roll: spend a couple of days giving them treats from a "special" dish and I think your problem will be solved :lol:

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I like the whistle idea Snowy!

 

I use a silver dog bowl too.

 

I also find that sweet corn works far better than any other treat to get them in the run. In fact they only ever get it for that purpose.

 

I scatter a bit to get them near the door,and then dash up to the Eglu end of the run and sprinkle it through the bars.

 

There is a mad dash as they all try to get to it at once.

 

Makes me laugh every time.

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mealworms always do the trick for mine, but I agree they do recognise a familiar container and a call or sound.

 

I shout 'chook, chook' to call them back in to the Eglu with the mealworm pot in hand, and now if mine have disappeared into the garden and I'm worried about them, I just have to shout that and their little heads come popping out in hope of a treat!

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I have an orange corn cup that the chooks recognise as holding treats. when they see me carrying it they folow me, I throw a handful of corn into the run and they charge after it. Works every time :) .

 

Good luck with catching your chooks! :)

 

Snap! I have a little pot which I bring out and shake and they usually come running - and yup, a handful chucked into the run usually does the trick - although having said that, Pepper is getting to be a bit of a rebellious teenager, and is dragging her feet a little ("ah - just a little bit here I neglected to scratch - just give me a second to check for slugs will you, mum? Oh and look - I missed this bit earlier too.........") :?:lol: But I can usually persuade her in the end......

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Thank you all, I am feeling much more confident now, but will build in the 'special bowl' thing before I let them out again! :D The whistle sounds good too... just need to find a whistle...

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ours just seem to come running when they see us :roll:

 

when they have been free ranging I call them down and then lob a hand full of something in the run and they go charging in after it.

 

we have had fun hours playing round and round the mulberry cube though :lol:

 

cathy

x

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One lady blew a whistle every time she took treats out in a bowl. Now they come running to the sound of the whistle! (very handy if you need to get them in quick, ie if you see a fox :? )

That would be ME!!!!!

 

Sometimes I deliberately wait until they're both out of sight and blow the whistle - its like something out of Top Gun - 2 chickens running towards me, full pelt, wing assisted.

Then I walk to the run, 'playing a tune' on the whistle and they march along - we call it the marching band !! They get the treat bowl in the run and I close the door - everyone is happy.

 

I'm planning to video it some time - its so funny.

 

H

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My 3 used to all come charging at the sight of mealworms but Molly has decided that's not her style any more.

 

After days of running round in circles, I've perfected a new technique. I have an old brush I keep in the garden (for poos/hemcore etc) - I hold it out in front of her to stop her running away and then I can use the other hand to get hold of her. Works every time :lol: .

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Hi everyone, I'm always reading this forum but haven't joined in yet so I though it was about time I did! I've had my 2 lovely girls since April and my dog training friend told me to make a different noise or say a word everytime the hens did the correct thing, and then reward them with a treat. I started with making a clicking noise whenever they ate out of my hand - they now associate the clicking noise with food and I can get them to come to me whenever I want (it's really helped when they've been scared by an aeroplane or next door's cat is looking a little too interested). Other things they've learned are: when I want them out of the kitchen I say 'out' and point to the garden; when I want them in the Eglu run I say 'in'; when I want to pick them up I say 'up' and when I want them to follow me I say 'come on'. They'll do all of these things just with the voice command now, but I do give them the odd extra treat to keep them interested!! Have I gone too far? :!:

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Mine refused to be caught until they started laying, after which they became much more amenable. Now, I only have to step out into the garden and they're there, round my feet, and if I go to the eglu, they charge in in the hopes of a treat. Whatever method you adopt, they'll soon get used to it.

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Hi, I use a shaker for my chickens. If they are foraging in the garden and I cant see where they are or I want them to come to the door without me going outside, the shaker sound sends them running from all directions. They know there is always food where the shaker noise is coming from. Good luck!

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My older girls are trained to the clap. I clap and walk towards the run and they all go in. I'm not sure how I did it though, I always used to clap when putting them away (often with the aid of birdseed) and now they don't seem to need it. The new girls tend to pick up the idea pretty quickly, within a week or so. I like to imagine the older girls telling them about it at night when they're all snuggled up.

 

NOTE - this has not worked to date on a cockerel. Uppity little ********s

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We always click and ours come running , trained them by using corn .

There was a time when i used a great big fishing net :oops: when they were babies :oops:

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I still have to use the landing net to catch Artemis Fowl and occasionally Paxo.

 

They are both Pepperpots, which are supposed to be more skittish than gingernuts.

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its alot easier to pick them up when they are all laying because you uproach them and they crouch down! my advice.....distract them with food, works every time!

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Chase them into a corner or against a fence...keep low to the ground and put your arms out wide, bum in the air...when they get to the fence they realise they have no-where to go and squat down with their wings out...then just pick them up, turn round and look at everyone laughing at you as you've run round the garden like a maniac! :lol:

 

It probably won't work if they are young as they won't squat...the alternative of course is FOOD! :roll:

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