How to catch chickens

Stalking a chickenNow and then, you’ll need to
separate a chicken from the flock.  For us, this happens when a
chicken is being picked on (unheard of now that our
chicken waterer gives the flock something
else to peck at) or when we want to eat the chicken for dinner the next
day.  We’ve tried all of the hard ways to catch a chicken, and
here are the ones that really don’t work:

  • Run after a chicken
    Boy is this funny to watch!  We’re actually able to catch our
    Golden Comet hens this way, but only because they crouch down when we
    get close.
  • Throw a towel or sheet over the
    .  Although this technique works to some extent if
    you’re in an enclosed space (like a coop), it still tends to resemble a
    Three Stooges routine.

Holding a chicken
I’ve read that old timey farmers had a tool with a long handle and a
loop on the end that would snag a chicken’s foot and make it trip, but
I’ve always been afraid to try this for fear I’d injure the bird’s
leg.  Instead, when we think far enough ahead, we do it the easy
way — just grab the chicken off its perch at night.  Once night
has fully fallen, chickens don’t want to move because they won’t be
able to see to get back up to their safe roost, so they just let you
pick them up.  (Be sure to hold your hands around the chicken’s
wings in case it gets excited.)

You probably don’t want
to kill your chicken at 9 pm (and shouldn’t anyway since it’s best to
keep them off food overnight so that they have an empty crop, making
the carcass easier to clean.)  So you’ll also need an isolation
pen.  A wire cage can work, but Mark likes to keep our chickens as
happy as possible even when they’re on their way to the slaughtering
block, so he separated off a small section of one of our chicken
to give the birds a more gentle spot to spend the
night.  By keeping this space small and making the opening on the
top, it was easy to grab our cockerels when we wanted them.

Chicken isolation pen

Latest Comments

  1. Ron Hyer April 9, 2014

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