Chickens

Old May 29th 2005, 8:01 am
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Smile Chickens

In the UK, pets were restricted to the odd goldfish and a dog we had for 7 months that just didn't settle with us {he was from a pound and we had no history about him- did EVERYTHING to help him.} Since we arrived in NZ we have 4 rabbits. We just would not have had room in the UK for one hutch, never mind 4. We also have a cockateil that is becoming more and more tame and yesterday our family increased by 4 with the arrival of 4 chickens.

Rob spent the last few days contructing a coop for them. The idea was for them to have free run of one section of our garden {all fenced, as there was a swimming pool there in years gone by}. This morning we opened the coop to check they were OK and to let them out......and 2 of them FLEW AWAY !! We back on to a gulley and one of them flew off into the bushes, we were horrified. The second one ran frantically around the garden and then made its way over a fence into next doors garden and away !!

We just didn't know what to do, I stood there shaking a tin with chicken meal in it, hoping they would come back. Youngest daughter started to make a "lost chicken poster". Two hours later one of them { and we weren't that familliar with which one was which at that stage}, wandered back in to the garden......... and under the house !!!

We tried to coax it back to the coop without success. We had to go out for lunch, so drove off with a heavy heart that we had lost one chicken and would NEVER be able to catch the other one. I wasn't sure I could face the friend from work and tell her, that less that 24 hours after getting 4 of her chickens we were down to 2 !!

By 3 .30pm when we returned they we BOTH, hiding under the house from the rain. You cannot believe how relieved we were !!! But that was just the start, how to get them in to the coop and stop the other 2 escaping?

By 4pm there was 3 of them running around the garden, as one of the others escaped as we tried to get the first 2 in !!! By 5pm we had 3 back in the coop and only one, who we have called Josh still on the run. 5 minutes later it flew from the hand rail by some steps on to the roof !! {We were crapping ourselves by now, as it was getting dark !!!} More food rattling and more corn being thrown and it was eventually back on terra ferma. There was some sort of "hen talk" going on between Josh and the 3 in the coop. He obviously wanted to be in the coop, just wouldn't give in !!! Eventually during an almighty down pouring of rain he surrendered and hid under a pile of patio chairs. Rob quickly picked him up and we all breathed a sigh of relief.

It was 5.30 and we had all 4 back in the coop !!! We were all soaked through in to the bargain.

Any tips on getting chicken back in to their home?

AN EXHAUSTED GILL AND ROB.
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Old May 29th 2005, 8:19 am
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Default Re: Chickens

Originally Posted by Gill and Rob
In the UK, pets were restricted to the odd goldfish and a dog we had for 7 months that just didn't settle with us {he was from a pound and we had no history about him- did EVERYTHING to help him.} Since we arrived in NZ we have 4 rabbits. We just would not have had room in the UK for one hutch, never mind 4. We also have a cockateil that is becoming more and more tame and yesterday our family increased by 4 with the arrival of 4 chickens.

Rob spent the last few days contructing a coop for them. The idea was for them to have free run of one section of our garden {all fenced, as there was a swimming pool there in years gone by}. This morning we opened the coop to check they were OK and to let them out......and 2 of them FLEW AWAY !! We back on to a gulley and one of them flew off into the bushes, we were horrified. The second one ran frantically around the garden and then made its way over a fence into next doors garden and away !!

We just didn't know what to do, I stood there shaking a tin with chicken meal in it, hoping they would come back. Youngest daughter started to make a "lost chicken poster". Two hours later one of them { and we weren't that familliar with which one was which at that stage}, wandered back in to the garden......... and under the house !!!

We tried to coax it back to the coop without success. We had to go out for lunch, so drove off with a heavy heart that we had lost one chicken and would NEVER be able to catch the other one. I wasn't sure I could face the friend from work and tell her, that less that 24 hours after getting 4 of her chickens we were down to 2 !!

By 3 .30pm when we returned they we BOTH, hiding under the house from the rain. You cannot believe how relieved we were !!! But that was just the start, how to get them in to the coop and stop the other 2 escaping?

By 4pm there was 3 of them running around the garden, as one of the others escaped as we tried to get the first 2 in !!! By 5pm we had 3 back in the coop and only one, who we have called Josh still on the run. 5 minutes later it flew from the hand rail by some steps on to the roof !! {We were crapping ourselves by now, as it was getting dark !!!} More food rattling and more corn being thrown and it was eventually back on terra ferma. There was some sort of "hen talk" going on between Josh and the 3 in the coop. He obviously wanted to be in the coop, just wouldn't give in !!! Eventually during an almighty down pouring of rain he surrendered and hid under a pile of patio chairs. Rob quickly picked him up and we all breathed a sigh of relief.

It was 5.30 and we had all 4 back in the coop !!! We were all soaked through in to the bargain.

Any tips on getting chicken back in to their home?

AN EXHAUSTED GILL AND ROB.
LOL - oh Gill that has made me laugh. I can just pictur it now - the rain was bloody awful this afternoon as well (just as I was meeting Jonny Wilkinson - did I mention that already????? ) - I have friends who had 2 chickens - also from the UK - they both got Gaping Mouth (some kind of weird chicken illness where they get a worm in their throat and then end up not breathing?? yeugh! They have since had some baby ones again. Anyway - they used to keep theirs in the coop so I'll ask her for you and see what they did. - Although someone on here is bound toknow a secret or 2 to rounding up chickens.
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Old May 29th 2005, 9:43 am
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Default Re: Chickens

I need to find out more about clipping their wings. Any advice?

Gill
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Old May 29th 2005, 9:43 am
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Default Re: Chickens

Grilled chickens won't fly away....
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Old May 29th 2005, 10:08 am
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Default Re: Chickens

LMAO over that. It reminds we of a similar story when my Sister got her first horse in Oz. We turned her out in a ten acre paddock (the horse -not my sister) and didn't manage to catch her for three weeks. Me and my dad had to build a corral in order to trap her. Alot of cursing and swearing and laughing went on that's for sure

My sister keeps chickens now in Somerset - After the horse incident she would probably not be the ideal person to ask

Regards
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Old May 29th 2005, 10:13 am
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Default Re: Chickens

Originally Posted by Gill and Rob
In the UK, pets were restricted to the odd goldfish and a dog we had for 7 months that just didn't settle with us {he was from a pound and we had no history about him- did EVERYTHING to help him.} Since we arrived in NZ we have 4 rabbits. We just would not have had room in the UK for one hutch, never mind 4. We also have a cockateil that is becoming more and more tame and yesterday our family increased by 4 with the arrival of 4 chickens.

Rob spent the last few days contructing a coop for them. The idea was for them to have free run of one section of our garden {all fenced, as there was a swimming pool there in years gone by}. This morning we opened the coop to check they were OK and to let them out......and 2 of them FLEW AWAY !! We back on to a gulley and one of them flew off into the bushes, we were horrified. The second one ran frantically around the garden and then made its way over a fence into next doors garden and away !!

We just didn't know what to do, I stood there shaking a tin with chicken meal in it, hoping they would come back. Youngest daughter started to make a "lost chicken poster". Two hours later one of them { and we weren't that familliar with which one was which at that stage}, wandered back in to the garden......... and under the house !!!

We tried to coax it back to the coop without success. We had to go out for lunch, so drove off with a heavy heart that we had lost one chicken and would NEVER be able to catch the other one. I wasn't sure I could face the friend from work and tell her, that less that 24 hours after getting 4 of her chickens we were down to 2 !!

By 3 .30pm when we returned they we BOTH, hiding under the house from the rain. You cannot believe how relieved we were !!! But that was just the start, how to get them in to the coop and stop the other 2 escaping?

By 4pm there was 3 of them running around the garden, as one of the others escaped as we tried to get the first 2 in !!! By 5pm we had 3 back in the coop and only one, who we have called Josh still on the run. 5 minutes later it flew from the hand rail by some steps on to the roof !! {We were crapping ourselves by now, as it was getting dark !!!} More food rattling and more corn being thrown and it was eventually back on terra ferma. There was some sort of "hen talk" going on between Josh and the 3 in the coop. He obviously wanted to be in the coop, just wouldn't give in !!! Eventually during an almighty down pouring of rain he surrendered and hid under a pile of patio chairs. Rob quickly picked him up and we all breathed a sigh of relief.

It was 5.30 and we had all 4 back in the coop !!! We were all soaked through in to the bargain.

Any tips on getting chicken back in to their home?

AN EXHAUSTED GILL AND ROB.
Made ma laugh a lot!
I used to keep chickens in Devon - we had a meshed run for them so they couldn't escape but used to let them run around free whilst we were there - they always came back to their coup to roost at night. Our biggest problem was foxes and we'd lose about one every 6 months or so. We named them brown chick 1, brown chick 2 etc etc and in the end we got to about 'New new brown chick 4!'
I think you'll find that if you can contain them to their coup and literally just around for a few days they will associate that with home and naturally go there each night. If you can get them out from under the house that is. Catching a chicken is hysterical - if you're watching that is!
Good luck!
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Old May 29th 2005, 10:41 am
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Default Re: Chickens

Originally Posted by Biddy
Made ma laugh a lot!
If you can get them out from under the house that is. Catching a chicken is hysterical - if you're watching that is!
Good luck!

Trying to catch a chicken is hysterical when you're trying too !!!
At one stage Rob whisked his t-shirt off and tried to throw it over one of them !!!

We have called them, Josh, Ginga, Pex and Elvis.

Gill
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Old May 29th 2005, 10:45 am
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Default Re: Chickens

Originally Posted by Gill and Rob
Trying to catch a chicken is hysterical when you're trying too !!!
At one stage Rob whisked his t-shirt off and tried to throw it over one of them !!!

We have called them, Josh, Ginga, Pex and Elvis.

Gill
How about - Houdini, Biggles, Branson and Ronnie Biggs!
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Old May 29th 2005, 1:05 pm
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Default Re: Chickens

Fantastic story, very funny. Made me laugh alot. Them chickens are groovy.
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Old May 29th 2005, 1:45 pm
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Default Re: Chickens

I had a good friend in the UK who kept chickens - he had a "coop" and they more or less stayed in the garden. They were not restricted to one are of his backgarden/back-yard and so they got into the habit of laying their eggs in unusual places. He first thought that their egg laying days were over, but then he found them laying eggs everywhere except in the coop. One of them started to eat her own eggs. Then the chicken head count dropped. First he thought it might be a fox then finally he realized it was somebody stealing his chickens - one by one, I guessed they ended up on somebody's dinner plate.

By the way, does NZ have foxes?

Originally Posted by Gill and Rob
In the UK, pets were restricted to the odd goldfish and a dog we had for 7 months that just didn't settle with us {he was from a pound and we had no history about him- did EVERYTHING to help him.} Since we arrived in NZ we have 4 rabbits. We just would not have had room in the UK for one hutch, never mind 4. We also have a cockateil that is becoming more and more tame and yesterday our family increased by 4 with the arrival of 4 chickens.

Rob spent the last few days contructing a coop for them. The idea was for them to have free run of one section of our garden {all fenced, as there was a swimming pool there in years gone by}. This morning we opened the coop to check they were OK and to let them out......and 2 of them FLEW AWAY !! We back on to a gulley and one of them flew off into the bushes, we were horrified. The second one ran frantically around the garden and then made its way over a fence into next doors garden and away !!

We just didn't know what to do, I stood there shaking a tin with chicken meal in it, hoping they would come back. Youngest daughter started to make a "lost chicken poster". Two hours later one of them { and we weren't that familliar with which one was which at that stage}, wandered back in to the garden......... and under the house !!!

We tried to coax it back to the coop without success. We had to go out for lunch, so drove off with a heavy heart that we had lost one chicken and would NEVER be able to catch the other one. I wasn't sure I could face the friend from work and tell her, that less that 24 hours after getting 4 of her chickens we were down to 2 !!

By 3 .30pm when we returned they we BOTH, hiding under the house from the rain. You cannot believe how relieved we were !!! But that was just the start, how to get them in to the coop and stop the other 2 escaping?

By 4pm there was 3 of them running around the garden, as one of the others escaped as we tried to get the first 2 in !!! By 5pm we had 3 back in the coop and only one, who we have called Josh still on the run. 5 minutes later it flew from the hand rail by some steps on to the roof !! {We were crapping ourselves by now, as it was getting dark !!!} More food rattling and more corn being thrown and it was eventually back on terra ferma. There was some sort of "hen talk" going on between Josh and the 3 in the coop. He obviously wanted to be in the coop, just wouldn't give in !!! Eventually during an almighty down pouring of rain he surrendered and hid under a pile of patio chairs. Rob quickly picked him up and we all breathed a sigh of relief.

It was 5.30 and we had all 4 back in the coop !!! We were all soaked through in to the bargain.

Any tips on getting chicken back in to their home?

AN EXHAUSTED GILL AND ROB.
 
Old May 29th 2005, 6:00 pm
  #11  
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Default Re: Chickens

We used to cut one of their wings off

Not as gruesome as it sounds, you cut off the feathers not the flesh, then they can't fly away.
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Old May 29th 2005, 6:18 pm
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Default Re: Chickens

I laughed my socks off when I read this. We were planning to keep chooks in NZ as well but I may well think twice now.

Don - doesn't this make them run round in circles?
N
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Old May 29th 2005, 6:33 pm
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Default Re: Chickens

Originally Posted by nessie
Don - doesn't this make them run round in circles?
N
Nope. In these enlightened days I'm not sure if it causes them any pain, either, I don't know about nerve endings in feathers but they didn't squawk much apart from with the indignity and certainly didn't fall over or run round in circles as I guess some feathers don't weigh very much or have aything to do with the sense of balance
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Old May 30th 2005, 9:45 am
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Unhappy Re: Chickens

Day 2 with the chickens ..............and we are down to 1 chicken !!!!

We decided to let them out this morning and just keep a "good eye on them". Rob said they just pottered around the garden in a little bunch made up of the 4 of them. Everytime he went out, they followed him and in general seemed pretty settled. They even tried to follow him into the house !!

Aparently all 4 of them were in the garden at 3pm and by 3.30pm THEY WERE ALL GONE !!!

6PM and ONE of them retuned alone and sneaked into the coop....

Where the hell they went we just don't know. We have rattled tins of chicken feed, asked at neighbours and searched the bushes with torches all to no avail. There is still 3 missing. We've left food out and the outside light on for them....as if they'll care !!!

Did get some great advice about clipping one wing. Had they been here I would have done them tonight. Guess that doesn't stop them "running away" though !!

Gill
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Old May 30th 2005, 5:06 pm
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Default Re: Chickens

Originally Posted by Gill and Rob
Day 2 with the chickens ..............and we are down to 1 chicken !!!!

We decided to let them out this morning and just keep a "good eye on them". Rob said they just pottered around the garden in a little bunch made up of the 4 of them. Everytime he went out, they followed him and in general seemed pretty settled. They even tried to follow him into the house !!

Aparently all 4 of them were in the garden at 3pm and by 3.30pm THEY WERE ALL GONE !!!

6PM and ONE of them retuned alone and sneaked into the coop....

Where the hell they went we just don't know. We have rattled tins of chicken feed, asked at neighbours and searched the bushes with torches all to no avail. There is still 3 missing. We've left food out and the outside light on for them....as if they'll care !!!

Did get some great advice about clipping one wing. Had they been here I would have done them tonight. Guess that doesn't stop them "running away" though !!

Gill
I know this off-topic, but are we going to see a picture of you in the 'pictures of us' thread? I tried to find a funny for the 'not serious' one but failed dismally, I'm still looking and I'll post one if you do. Go on, you know you want to.

Phyl
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