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The Foolproof, DIY Chicken Catcher You Can Make In 3 Minutes

The Foolproof, DIY Chicken-Catcher You Can Make In 3 Minutes

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While catching chickens to be processed last fall, my brother and I were having a debate about who could make the best chicken catcher.

We laughed about how, as kids, we would make one and then snag every hen in the barnyard a couple times each. And if you caught the rooster, it was a huge deal. After a few times of snagging him he was pretty hard to catch.

This was long before the Internet, video games and a million channels on TV.

It brought back memories of the time a few years ago when my boys were getting old enough to help — which means they could walk a few steps without falling down — and I declared we needed to catch all the broilers in the next few days to butcher.

They asked, “How we gonna’ ketch ‘em?”

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“I’ll make a chicken catcher!” I exclaimed.

Of course, I had their attention then.

So we went on the hunt for the materials, which consist of a piece of No. 9 wire and a pair of pliers. I explained how, as kids, we would rob a wire coat hanger from the closet (without mom seeing us, of course) and use it to make the catcher. This sparked a whole new line of questions about “how could you bend a hanger?” So I explained how clothes hangers once were metal wire — not the plastic ones you see now.

That was almost as weird to them as making a chicken catcher.

chicken catcherSo with both of them following along behind me, I grabbed a pair of pliers and cut a piece of No. 9 wire about three feet long or so.

I then bent a U-shape in the end. I told the boys to go get a stick, about the size of a chicken’s leg or a bit bigger, and I placed it inside the U, making sure it was against the bottom of the U shape. Taking the pliers, I squeezed the U, almost shut up against the stick, which left a long tail.

I then made a few fine adjustments based on years of making chicken catchers. We were done, and it had taken a total of about three minutes.

The boys both looked at the wire, and then looked at me, and said, “How do you catch a chicken with that?”

So off we went to demonstrate. I opened the movable pen, reached in with the wire, and before they know what had happened, I pulled a bird to me by the leg. Before I knew it, my youngest was screaming, “Let me try!”

How do you catch chickens? Share your tips in the section below:

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  1. Exactly the kind we used to use! And once we caught them we would gently place them on the ground on their side and put our finger in front of their nose. We would slowly drag our finger out away in a straight line along the ground. The chicken would be “hypnotized” and remain motionless for two or three minutes. We had seen Grandma do this when it was time to butcher. It kept the bird still for the ax to fall.
    We had no intention of hurting them. It was just hilarious, to a 10 year old, to see them stay stretched out on the ground as we backed away. Mom finally made us stop badgering the chickens, but it was far more fun than any video game! And not everyone can claim to be a chicken hypnotist!

  2. My Dad and I used heavy coat hangers when I was a kid. Made them the same way. The finger trick works too.Had to9 do this every other month to trim their wings

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