Friday, November 07, 2008

Advice on chicken wrangling

I have now been a chicken farmer for three plus months. Here's what I've learned so far.

  1. Chickens are unpredictable. They zig when you think they are going to zag.
  2. No matter how many people tell you how easy it will be, expect some difficulties.
  3. Chickens are fun to watch. They can entertain you for hours.
  4. Chickens poop A LOT!
  5. When you decide to let your flock free range, I mean really free range, expect some difficulty in getting them back into the coop. If you are by yourself you may end up chasing a chicken around for half an hour or more because she simply doesn't understand English. She can't get it in her super small brain that she could go up that ramp into the coop. After using a broom and other objects to try to "gently" guide her up the ramp you may resort to removing your shirt in an effort to scoop her up in it. DO NOT DO THIS. It will not work and you may or may not be spotted by a neighbor! (Thank God we live 700 feet off the road with trees all around us)


frugalmom said...

Note to self: (When I have my own flock) not under any circumstances be led to believe that by running around with my shirt off this will aid me in actually catching said chicken.

Good to know.

Mim said...

Marc: Well, ya know, if ya got it flaunt it! I was desperate ya know.

Gail said...

All these lessons you learn the hard way will never leave you.

I always had chickens for pets. Became quite fluent in chickenese.

NOW, my sister is the chicken wrangler and I just look out for piles.

Hang in there, it will get easier. At about dark, they may start going in their pen by themselves.

Anonymous said...

Whooohoo!!!! Welcome to the half naked chicken club, my friend!! :) btw...I've got a rooster who would LOVE to meet you! ;)

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Now, who in the WORLD told you it was gonna be EASY?!! I think the words we used were "fun", "exciting" "you're gonna love it", etc....but easy? I, myself, am still waiting for the easy part. :-)
And you know why the shirt thing didn't work? Because it's supposed to be your PANTS. Seriously. Take off your pants, put them on the ground and chase the chickens INTO them. You can catch two at a time this way if you get them to run down the legs.

Mim said...

Gail: Thanks for the encouragement.

Ang: Who knew there was such a club. What, do you have to get half naked and announce it to the whole blogisphere to find out? Um, I'm sorry you'll have to tell your roo I'm already taken. LOL

Danni: You are right. I don't believe anyone used the word "easy". And you are also right it is FUN, and I do love it. Have you really tried the pants, or are you just really going for seeing if I make a complete fool of myself? LOL

WhiteStone said...

Aha! I think I can help here! Decades, that's half a century ago...I lived on a farm. We had lotsa chickens. We often used a 'chicken hook' to catch chickens. Basically it's a 4 or 6 foot length of heavy wire or light steel rod that is forked on one end. If you can find something a bit heavier than a wire coat hook, that will work fine. About five inches from one end, bend it into a U shape. The other end is the handle, so if you can wrap it or put a wood handle on it, that will be fine. No handle is necessary, but its handy. If you can look here, you'll see a pic. You simply hook it around the leg of an errant chicken and you've got him (or her).

Mim said...

whitestone: Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the tip. Might have to have the Engineer make one for me.