How to Catch a Chicken- 5 Best Tips

HOW TO CATCH A CHICKEN-5 BEST TIPS

It’s a good idea to know how to catch a chicken if you own them. There will most definitely come a time when you will need to catch one. If you know how to do it, it will be less traumatic for them and you too! There are several simple ways to do this, without losing their trust.

5 Tips For Beach Fishing
5 Tips For Beach Fishing

1. Wait Until Chicken is Roosting at Night

This tip only works if you are able to wait until nighttime and is by far the easiest way to catch a chicken. If you are able to wait until the chicken is roosting at night, you can easily go into the coop and scoop the chicken up off of its roost.

I often will only sell or put medicine on chickens in the evening, after my flock has gone in to roost at night. This way, I can easily grab the one that I need without getting the whole flock worked up chasing one around.

How to Catch a Roosting Chicken

Step 1: Wait until it is roosting for the night. It is best to give your chicken a good hour to settle on the roost before venturing into the coop. By this time, all of your chickens should be in a “trance state” or stupor.

Step 2: Gather materials needed. The only thing you need is a dim flashlight so you can identify which chicken you are trying to catch. I like to use a headlamp on the lowest setting. This way I have both hands available to grab the chicken.

WHEN GRABBING THE CHICKEN, USE BOTH HANDS TO FIRMLY SECURE THE WINGS AGAINST ITS BODY.

Step 3: Using both hands, swiftly scoop up the chicken. When grabbing the chicken, use both hands to firmly secure the wings against its body. If you don’t do this, it may begin to flap its wings and get away from you. The quicker this is done, the less chances of fully waking the chicken.

Step 4: Hold the chicken close to you.

Step 5: Get out of the coop before you disturb the rest of the flock and send them into a frenzy.

2. Distract Chicken With Food

Feeding Hens black oiled sunflower seeds
DISTRACT CHICKENS WITH FOOD

Food is one of a chickens favorite things in the world. It is very simple to distract a chicken with food, especially if you know what their favorite treat is! I normally wouldn’t suggest giving treats first, but it makes for catching one go a lot easier!

Step 1: It is best to use this method when they are hungry. If you can, do this before you have given them their morning feed.

Step 2: Choose your chickens favorite treat. Mine especially like the following:

Best Treats to Distract Chickens With

  • Mealworms– I breed my own at home to save money!
  • Chicken Fodder– I make my own at home to save money on feed cost!
  • Instant Pot Yogurt(Lactose Free)– This is my chickens favorite!
  • Crickets– I breed my own at home. It saves a lot on money and is a great high protein treat for chickens. Good treat to serve during a molt.
  • Sprouted Grains– This unlocks so many more nutrients.
  • Table Scraps– Be careful giving table scraps, but they do love them!
  • Fermented Feed– This is so easy to make and unlocks so many more nutrients that are otherwise locked inside the grains!

Step 3: Scatter some food right in front of you. All of the chickens will crowd to get at the food.

Step 4: Slowly reach down and pick up the chicken up from behind. The key is to move slowly. You don’t want to scare them. Use both hands to secure its wings. If they come loose, they are likely to flap and get away.

3. Scoop Chicken up When it is Laying an Egg

broody buff silkie hen
HOW TO CATCH A CHICKEN WHEN THEY ARE IN THE NESTING BOX

This method for catching a chicken can be used if you know that you will be needing to vaccinate a hen, will be selling her or needing to catch her for any other reason. If you don’t need her right away, place her in a small crate until you are.

How to Catch a Chicken When They are in the Nesting Box

Step 1: If you know that you will be needing to catch a particular hen, wait until she is in her nesting box laying an egg.

Step 2: If you will not be needing your hen right away, have a small crate with nesting material ready for to put her into.

Step 3: Without hesitation, scoop the hen out of her nesting box and place her into the crate. If you hesitate, she may quickly hop out of the box. You can either scoop the hen up before or after she has laid her egg. Just make sure you provide nesting material if she hasn’t laid yet. Otherwise you will end up with a cracked egg in the crate.

4. Corner Chicken Into a Smaller Enclosure

If you need to catch a chicken right away, this tip is for you. The object is to back the chicken into a smaller enclosure and then corner it so it is easier to catch.

How to Corner a Chicken Into a Smaller Enclosure

Step 1: Have a smaller enclosure in mind that you plan to have the chicken retreat to. Leading them towards their chicken coop has always worked for me.

Step 2: Locate the chicken that you want to catch and slowly guide her to her chicken coop. You can do this by stretching your arms out and guiding her in the direction you want her to go, the chicken coop.

Step 3: With both you and your chosen chicken inside, close the chicken coop doors.

Step 4: Use the same tactic that you used to guide the chicken inside the coop to guide her into a corner. Move slowly. Don’t chase her.

Step 5: Once you have her in a corner, reach down and pick her up with two. hands. Make sure you hold her wings down securely. If her wings get loose, she can easily flap her wings and get away.

5. Using a Fishing Net to Catch a Chicken

How to catch a chicken with a net.
HOW TO CATCH A CHICKEN WITH A NET

This is another tactic that can be used if you need to catch a chicken right away. Using a fishing net to catch a chicken works best if your chicken doesn’t see it coming.

If you miss, you will have a chicken that is on guard and will be more difficult to catch. I have found that this tactic only works once with each flock.

The next time they see a long fishing net come into the chicken run, they are likely to quickly scatter. They will begin squawking like you are about to kill them and will most likely squabble some obscenities.

How to Catch a Chicken With a Net

Step 1: Get a good quality fishing net, with a long pole. Make sure it is big enough and the holes are small enough so your chicken can’t escape.

Step 2: Locate the chicken that you are wanting to catch.

Step 3: Keep the net close to your body. Waving it around will only set the flock off running.

Step 4: Slowly approach the chicken with the net at your side.

Step 5: Once you are close enough throw the net towards them to capture them. Hopefully you catch them the first time. If you don’t, it will only get more difficult because it is on to you and so is the rest of the flock.

Step 6: If this doesn’t work, you may want to resort to cornering the chicken in a smaller enclosure, such as the chicken coop and then capturing it.

CONCLUSION: How to Catch a Chicken- 5 Best Tips

5 BEST TIPS-HOW TO CATCH A CHICKEN
1. WAIT UNTIL THE CHICKEN
IS ROOSTING AT NIGHT
2. DISTRACT CHICKEN WITH
FOOD
3. SCOOP HEN UP WHEN IT
IS LAYING AN EGG
4. CORNER CHICKEN INTO A
SMALLER ENCLOSURE
(CHICKEN COOP)
5. USE A FISHING NET TO
CATCH A CHICKEN
5 EASIEST WAYS TO CATCH A CHICKEN

Backyard Chickens Mama - About Me - Get your chickens laying more eggs. Basket full of eggs with 3 hens.

About the Author

Jenny is a chicken enthusiast and has raised a variety of different breeds of chickens in her Northern California backyard for the past 23 years. She enjoys using incubators to incubate and hatch fertile chicken eggs so she can raise baby chicks from day 1. Some of her favorites include Crested Cream Legbars, Marans, Silkies, Orpingtons and Olive Eggers. These breeds make a beautiful basket of farm fresh eggs! Both she and her husband built their own chicken coop and she and her Dad built her current chick brooder. Jenny likes to share tips and tricks that she has learned over the years to make it easier for others to raise happy, healthy and productive chickens. Just last year, Jenny released a Special 9 Herb Chicken Nesting Box Blend that helps to increase hen egg production as well as keep chickens happy and healthy.