One evening I was spending an unusually quiet moment by myself. My younger three children were in bed and my husband went upstairs with my oldest to watch TV in our bedroom. I was reading and enjoying the peace and quiet.
Then I heard my rooster, Foghorn, making lots of noise. It was already dark and I was surprised to hear him. I ran onto the back deck and saw all three chickens right behind the house, obviously upset about something. At this time of day they should have been locked in their coop for the night.
With the craziness of our evening routine, I had forgotten to put them to bed. Oops! I grabbed a flash light, put on a pair of shoes and ran outside. By the time I got out there, they had moved to the front yard. I grabbed Brownie, one of the girls, and put her in the coop in the back yard.
When I returned to the front yard, the other girl, Muffin, and Foghorn had crossed the street and were in the neighbor’s front yard.
Why did the chicken cross the road? (Sorry, I couldn’t help it!) 🙂
I was able to catch Muffin and returned her to the coop also, but not the rooster. He was spooked and was not coming back home! No matter what I tried, I just drove him further from home. I decided to leave him alone with the hope that he would come back on his own.
I called it a night and prayed that I would see him again in the morning. At 5 am I heard him crowing, so I new he survived the night and was close, but I didn’t know where he was.
A few hours later I found Foghorn across the street two houses down. He was hanging out in a stand of trees on the neighbors’ property line (I’m sure they loved that!). A friend and I tried to coax him out. No luck. I brought some food over to try to lure him home. No luck.
I posted a message on a chicken forum and didn’t receive any helpful advice. I called my town’s animal control officer to ask if he had any advice for me. He laughed at me and explained that because our town allows chickens to roam free, he’s never had to catch one.
Finally, I asked for help in a Facebook Group that I’m a member of. It’s actually a group for bloggers, but I knew that a number of other members were homesteaders, so I thought they might have dealt with a runaway rooster before. Rhonda at http://www.positivelythoughtful.com had the answer!
She suggested that I bring one of the hens over to him, but hold on to her rather than put her on the ground. Let them “discuss” the situation. Then leave with her and he should follow. It worked!
I couldn’t believe it. I brought Muffin, Foghorn’s favorite girl, and he followed us across my neighbor’s big front lawn and across the street. He did get sidetracked by another neighbor’s garden, but a friend happened to be driving by at that time and she stopped to help. She walked behind him while shaking her car keys, which was just enough to keep him following me and Muffin.
So now you know how to bring a runaway rooster home!
Has your rooster ever run away from home? How did you bring him home?