Intro: Ancient Chicken Trap
Alas! I have researched the web and found no information on this trap, fortunately, I still remember it when it was taught to me by a cousin 28 years ago while I was on summer vacation in the countryside. What better place to document it than https://www.instructables.com! So here goes...
Imagine being stranded on an island or trying to rebuild a community after a zombie apocalypse and you find some chickens! Hunting them would be simple for most, but you want to capture and domesticate them for the eggs! Here I present to you the knowledge on how to build a simple chicken trap, the ancient way!
Step 1: Gather the Materials
You will need the following:
1. A coconut or other bowl-shaped container (half a coconut if you are stranded on an island, an ordinary bowl or even a ramen noodle plastic bowl would do for urban setting)
2. the spring mechanism, coconut frond midrib (pickup the dried fronds, not fresh as they are flexible, mostly used for weaving) or fashion some from bamboo or wooden skewers or twigs. plastic pickup sticks would also do! you can find and improvise on a lot of materials for this once you see the assembled trap.
3. a string or light rope. for the island scenario, you can gather some from local flora or fashion a rope from the coconut husk strands as shown in the picture below. for urban setting, you can find a lot to use ranging from making some from your shirt, using shoelaces, paracord, etc. also shown is the dried coconut husk where you can get the fibers.
Step 2: Prepare the Main Body and Spring Mechanism
Here are the materials I have gathered for my trap. Half a coconut, some dried frond midribs, and a red string.
The next step would be to cut the spring mechanism so that it would form parabolas on your bowl as shown in the pictures.
You can use a coconut half with a husk, my sample here has its husk removed (I got it from a local wet market outside our place)
Do not put the edges of the spring mechanism too deep inside the bowl. The sticks/ midribs would just bend downwards when touched by the chicken and will not flick/jump when touched by the chicken.
Do be careful when working with this part! We don't want the midribs to jump up and poke your eyes!
Step 3: Set the Snare
Next step would be to prepare your string or rope by creating a noose that would tighten on the chicken's neck. For the chicken's safety, add a stopping knot somewhere along the string so the noose will not full close and choke the chicken :D
Put it on top of the spring mechanism as shown in the picture. The trap is done! Oh yeah, you would need bait, hopefully you have saved some of the coconut meat, shred it using a shell or rock and sprinkle some on the area near your trap. Not too close to it as the chicken's scratching motion might disturb the trap and prematurely trigger it. Put some inside the bowl as bait. For urban setting, use some rice or dried corn bits or even bread crumbs as bait. Secure the other end of the string using a stake driven to the ground or tie it up to a tree or sapling.
Be careful with the spring mechanism! They might jump and poke your eyes!
Add the stopping knot so the rope or string will not fully close on the chicken's neck. You are going to leave the trap, you want the chicken alive to domesticate it!
Secure the other end. Do not underestimate the power of wild chickens! Once snared, they will run and even try to fly away! They can easily pull or even break the string/ rope you used.
Step 4: Working Mechanism
Now you know how to make the ancient chicken trap. It works by flicking the string over the chicken's neck once the chicken pecks on the bait you set inside the bowl. The trap works by relying on the chicken's pecking behavior, the upward movement of its head would bump on the fronds and cause them to spring out and ensnare the neck. The sudden jerk would cause the chicken to panic and run, tightening the noose around its neck. It'll be ready for you to subdue and capture it for domestication.
Some final notes on the chicken trap:
Always be careful in making the trap, simple may it seem it could still misfire and hurt you.
Making the string too small would cause the chicken to peck under the string/ rope.
Using a deep bowl might not work as the chicken would not easily see the bait inside it.
Chickens are...uhm, chickens! They'd flee in the first sign of danger. Wild chickens you may find on an island would surely be suspicious so give your trap some room to work.
Secure your trap, dig a little to put your bowl in the ground to avoid it being bumped and tilted by the chicken. A half coconut with husk would sit properly if the bottom of the husk has been chopped off and is flat.
Step 5: Final Notes
So there you go! I am happy to have documented and shared this knowledge with you. Hope you'll have fun in making your own chicken traps! Don't forget to post some pictures and share some experiences doing it!
Some more notes:
I have seen this work on chickens. I do not know if it would also be effective on other birds. Please free to try it out and post your results!
This trap is better than the drop trap - the chicken may approach it from any direction and does not need someone to jerk the stick securing the drop trap
Sometimes (like what happened to me on my first trap), the part of the spring mechanism closest to the chicken flung first, the string flung under the chicken's neck (the string should go over the head), the string did not snare the animal as intended. My second try did capture the chicken as I have adjusted the spring mechanism by not putting its edges too deep inside the coconut.