Straying poultry, and advice on what to do if you notice any?
Backyard poultry keeping has become very popular over recent years, the thought of collecting your own eggs together with the appeal of these charismatic personalities hens and other poultry do make great, exciting pets.
One drawback A hen will dig up/eat plants they like the look of they just aren't fussed if that plant costs many pounds or if its a free weed. of poultry keeping is to successfully confine these master feathered escape artists. Hens seem to be able to get out of impossible spaces and have no respect for other peoples boundary fencing, this may not be an issue for some people, but if you have a pristinely kept garden with expensive specimen plants, this will be a big problem.
What are your options
If you have this happening in your garden? Firstly identify where the hen/s are from and how they are entering your property.If you know where the hens live it may require you to take a visit to the poultry keeper, and advise them of your problem, and ask them to address this issue
If you are unable to identify where they are from
It is advisable to treat as stray poultry that belongs to nobody. Start with putting up posters in the general local area include shops and public spaces, also utilise social media platforms to expose your appeal to a broader audience and hopefully will boost your chances of successfully finding an owner who may have just lost them and looking are for them.
If all the efforts to locate an owner fail
It's down to you to either block the entrance to avoid them entering your space or confine them and find someone to rehouse them. Should you need to enclose them you, need to gain the trust of the poultry, and is achieved by feeding them, please avoid kitchen scraps as these aren't good for birds and can potentially cause a disease/viral risk, a mixed corn mix from your local pet store is better and will bear better results.
Gaining the hen's trust
Will take a little time, and once the birds are approaching you freely, you can start to use where you feed them as a way to move the birds to a place you need them to be. To confine them successfully, you need something large enough to confine them in and use the food to get the birds into where you need them to be.
Try not to rush this part of the process because it may be tempting to try catching them when they are near to you or almost in the container/shed you want them to be. But use caution because if you fail to confine, and the birds escape this will make the process to catch them much harder, and it will take twice as long because time will be required to regain the bird's trust.
Once you have confined the birds
You need to find someone or a rescue organisation to take the birds from you, an internet search for someone local to help may be the best way to go.
The Yorkshire Animal Welfare society will take any stray hens and either return to an owner or re-home responsibly.Also, you could call a larger organisation like the RSPCA who will also help if you have nobody locally can help.