A blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Retrieving chickens from the neighbor’s yard is a common event on the Miller Farm. However, yesterday brought a new twist.

One of the white hens was in the yard behind ours. We don’t know these neighbors – yet.

I called for Rachel – master chicken getter, and we headed to the back of our yard. The plan was for Rachel to reach over the fence and “get” the chicken.

Plan A failed–too much brush and the chicken would not cooperate and stay near the fence.

We moved on to Plan B. Someone had to go into the neighbor’s yard. There was a fence and we couldn’t go over it, couldn’t go around it but there was a gate – we could go through.

But it was directly behind our largest beehive. Since it was night, the bees were sleeping and as long as we didn’t wake them up, we were fine. (See previous post on Don’t Wake the Bees.)

Rachel went through the fence, through all the brush and tried to convince the chicken to come home. The renegade hen actually went the opposite direction – it does have a birdbrain, remember.

After countless attempts that resulted in mosquito bites and scratches, we decided to resume the hunt in the morning. Next morning, the renegade hen was nowhere to be seen.

Rachel was afraid a possum had gotten it. The hen couldn’t fly away. We clipped wings to prevent any other wandering chickens. Then we spotted her two yards away. Since she is white, she is easier to spot.

Rachel went off to resume the chicken hunt. I joined her after getting water and food for the good little chickens that stayed in the coop.

We approached from the front yard this time. Once again, we met a fence. Once again, we couldn’t go over it, couldn’t go under it and this time there was no gate.  Only a small opening through which we were able to squeeze.

Renegade hen was in the far back of this yard among much undergrowth. We split up to try to corner her.

At one point, I came to a dead fallen tree. I couldn’t go over it, couldn’t go around it, and refused to go through it.

Once again, we gave up the hunt and returned home.

This afternoon we took all four dachshunds for a walk. We were joined by a former classmate of Rachel’s who graciously agreed to take one of the leashes. We told him about our wandering chicken just in case he spotted her somewhere in the neighborhood.

bradley with chicksA few houses down from ours, Rachel spotted Renegade Hen once again.

She handed me her two leashes leaving me with three dogs while she resumed the chicken hunt.

Bradley and I watched from a safe distance knowing that Bella would have too much fun hunting this chicken. After a few unsuccessful minutes, I handed my three leashes to Bradley, who by this time probably wished he had stayed at home.

Rachel was tromping through the brush calling, “Here chick chick.” One thing we learned is that chickens do not come when called.  rachel and renegade hen

I stood guard should the chicken try to make a run for it.

Finally, we had success.

I took two leashes back from Bradley, Rachel carried the chicken, and we headed back to the house, hoping this will be our last chicken hunt.