New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

No Love - Page 4

post #31 of 132
Originally Posted by Blooie View Post


I highlighted one phrase in your post that caught my eye, and I wanted to give you a little food for thought.  Define "successful".  If you don't feel successful because they don't follow you around like spring lambs follow their moms, then that is a problem for you.  But if you define "successful" as having healthy chickens who are living in a good, clean environment with plenty to do, the freedom to be chickens, getting a good diet with a few treats tossed in, and who will reward you with delicious eggs and their antics, then you have indeed been very successful.  My dad used to tell us  "You can't climb to a success point and stop.  You have to reach the underside of success and then build on it, little by little. Be satisfied with the small steps because it's the journey that measures the success."  I hope you get what you want.  But remember that they are just chickens....balls of feather and feet, and it's unfair to ask them for more than they are prepared to give yet.


Good luck!

I love your dad's words about success.  It's a great way of putting it, really visual. You should post it in the Quotes and Thoughts For The Day thread!  I myself am going to remember it.  Thanks for sharing it.   :thumbsup

post #32 of 132

So, @Alexandra33 and anyone else, would you say that (other than treats) you did anything with them when they were little that helped them be more tame and friendly once they got over the terrible teens?  The reason I ask is that I just got 4 little girls who are around 5 weeks old.  They're two Dark Cornish and two black ones which may be either Black Star or Australorp.  The guy who sold them to me had both and wasn't sure which was which at this young age. 


I still consider myself a newbie.  I've had my little flock for about 5 years and now am down to one hen, and that's why I finally got some new girls.  My original girls were around 16 weeks or so when I first got them, so I've never been through the chick stage.  They were all BOs.  They were reasonably friendly, some I could pick up, others I had to wait until evening when they were drowsy on their roost if I needed to do anything with them.  None were ever cuddly or lap-sitters.  I consider my girls to be pets.  We hand-fed them treats, talked to them, etc, and they'd  follow us around when they'd be out free-ranging.  Sometimes they'd peck at our legs if they wanted something.  I loved them all and was okay with their degree of friendliness but I've always been curious about the really cuddly friendly ones.  I was wondering if I should be doing more with my little girls.  I'm basically just hanging with them, giving them treats and all, letting them settle (I've only had them a few days now.)  If I need to pick one up they all pretty well freak out and I hate to do that so I was just giving it time.  Which sounds like what pretty much everyone is saying, but is there anything else?  Is it nature or nurture?  Anybody?

post #33 of 132



All the advice here is great! There was also a really nice thread on a related topic a while back:


People gave the OP some helpful advice and supportive thoughts; you might want to take a look at it.

Edited by Ballerina Bird - 9/23/15 at 9:55am
post #34 of 132

There is a rising issue with people cuddling their chickens too much and getting sick.  sure my chickens like to jump up on my lap when I sit in the "treat chair" but their feet are covered in chicken poo and they aren't clean creatures.  they can transfer mites and other pests onto your person that you then track into the house.  I'm just saying, chickens, although we think animals are all here to be our companions, are not companion animals.  I would focus more on consisten feeding so they get into a routine and at least aren't working against you, but other than that, the more you cuddle the more problematic it becomes.  

post #35 of 132

You are so wrong! Chickens can make wonderful pets. I grew up during WWII, in Germany. My first pets were chickens because there wasn't enough food to feed a cat, and even less a dog. After the "bad time" (= WWII and the deprived years following it), our chickens would sit on our laps together with our cat. 

post #36 of 132
Originally Posted by Tati View Post

You are so wrong! Chickens can make wonderful pets. I grew up during WWII, in Germany. My first pets were chickens because there wasn't enough food to feed a cat, and even less a dog. After the "bad time" (= WWII and the deprived years following it), our chickens would sit on our laps together with our cat. 

How interesting to hear this piece of history regarding chickens! I know that as a chicken keeper, I end up thinking about them mostly in the present day, as they forage around me, and it is fascinating to be reminded of a longer history of rewarding human-chicken relations and to hear someone's personal experience with that, especially as connected to an important world historical event. I am glad you shared this.

post #37 of 132

I am very much dedicated to hygiene. (I wash my hands every time I have touched any of our animals [chickens, cats, or dogs], door knobs, or faucets, before I touch my face or handle food. I also wash my hands at numerous other occasions, and we disinfect door knobs, faucets, and computer keyboards on a regular basis..)


However, I must say that when I grew up, in Germany, during WWII and the years following, hygiene wasn't up to today's standards,  and our chickens were pets. They were actually my first pets (as there wasn't enough food to feed a cat), and they got handled a lot.  


I never got sick as a result from handling our chickens, who liked to be picked up and carried. (I had them trained to spread their "elbows" on my command "duck duck!" for easier pick-up.) After the end of a day's work, my grandmother would rest on a chair, and the chickens would line up to get onto my grandmother's lap to get their fluffy behinds massaged, which, I must admit, were occasionally covered with lice. (I don't think that there was any suitable insecticide available at the time. Several years after the war, DDT became available. I don't know whether it was used on our chickens and they survived it. I only know that friends treated a flea-covered cat, they had recently adopted, with DDT, and the poor thing died a horrible death.) 


None of my family members, who all handled chickens and none of whom adhered to hygiene rules too much, ever came down with any illness that could be blamed on handling chickens.


I have, meanwhile, read several books on germs and hygiene, and found that washing my hands about 50x a day is still not enough to avoid all dangers from household germs, but greatly reduces these dangers. I am an advocate for adhering to hygiene rules (with or without handling chickens), but I would consider it an overkill to refrain from treating chickens as pets because of fear of contracting illnesses. 


We have obtained baby chicks, last spring, which have just started laying eggs. We consider these chickens pets, and they love to come onto our laps and also to sit on our shoulders. (Unfortunately, they, so far, don't like to be picked up. I also have not yet accomplished to teach them "duck duck!".) I use extra garden/chicken-yard shoes when I enter any of the chickens' residences. I check my clothes for "accidents" after close contact with the chickens, and I wash my hair when our chickens got into it. Thorough hand-washing is a no-brainer anyway.


The world is filled with pathogens. Avoiding animals is not the answer to stay safe. Hygiene is. (The danger to contract a serious illness from a human is much higher than to contract any illness from an animal.) Yet no matter what one does, germs cannot and should not ever be avoided 100%. There is always a remaining risk.


There remains the danger of bird flu, which we take very seriously. (I have suffered 10 pneumonias and numerous other serious respiratory infections throughout life, most of them during times when we had no chickens. Any new respiratory infection, of whatever source, could be my last one.) Bird flu is a danger to all bird keepers, no matter whether or not they treat their chickens (and other birds) as pets. Luckily, there is a good chance to hear about bird flu from the media before a pandemic will hit one's own chickens. So bird-owners can take precautions (best before any bird flu erupts anywhere on our globe).


We have automatized feeding and watering, installing devices from outside. In case bird flu hit our area, we could care for our chickens without entering their predator-safe enclosures. (They have a winter residence, near the house, with a small run, and a summer residence, farther away from the house, which a huge run.) Mind you, the manure would pile up, but this would probably be the lesser of two evils. If bad came to worse, we could enter with rubber boots, gas masks, and hazmat suits (which we own) and go through a complicated disinfection procedure, after leaving the enclosure.


If you are afraid of contracting illness from your chickens (which, definitely, is a possibility), make sure to take the proper precautions. But don't overdo it. Always keep in mind: Veterinarians are constantly exposed to zoonotic pathogens, and they haven't become extinct yet, even though most of them do not practice hygiene as much as I do. :-)

post #38 of 132

I am fairly new to BYC, and I am a computer idiot. I only find comments, more or less, by accident. I do not know how to befriend anyone on BYC, don't even know whether or not this is possible. I am a writer. I have written an (unfortunately, still unpublished) memoir of my time growing up in Hitler's Germany. (I was born 1939, but as an early developer, I remember unusually far back. Therefore, my memoir covers the years 1940 to 1945, when the war had ended and I started school.) One of the chapters in my book covers our getting chickens. We had to trade the first chicken for my grandmother's best couch. We had to trade the following chickens for other valuables. And obtaining feed for the chickens was a difficult (and illegal) venture. (What was legal wasn't obtainable, and what was obtainable [with difficulties] wasn't legal.)


You can find me on Goodreads (the only internet website where I am regularly active). Here is the link to my Goodreads profile page:


In case you would like to read my early-childhood memoir before it gets published, and don't mind reading a bothersome-to-read PDF, I would gladly send you the PDF if you give me your e-mail address. (I still don't know when my 3 existing books will get published. We have been haunted by Murphy's Law. Wildfire, Flooding, health-problems, house-/petsitter catastrophes--you name it, we have had it.)

post #39 of 132

My chickens have been pampered as much as the rest of the animals at home however; the friendliest ones are the Rhode Island Reds. They are very sweet and like to be picked up and talked to. The NH Reds, Black Jersey Giants are all very antisocial. It must be the breeds differences.

post #40 of 132

I have five 8 month old girls (Blk Australorp?, White Leghorn, 2 EE's and 1 Barred Rock).


I got them when they were about 8 weeks old.  They would have nothing to do with me for about 4 months.


Then someone suggested a special whistle or call just for them.  Once I started using this particular 3 tone whistle and giving them mealworms when I called they came running!   Whenever I give them greens, etc. I use the whistle as well.  If I sit on a bench with the bag of mealworms they are finally hopping up to sit in my lap for first dibs on the treats.  I don't exactly think it's affection...I think they're just pigs! :idunno

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying