Free ranging skittish pullets
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Hi I live in the city and am fenced in in my backyard. I have one hen who is a little older who we can trust to let her out to free range in the backyard. She likes to be picked up and handled. I want to let my other birds out in the backyard but they always run from me when I approach them. I'm afraid that if I let them out, they will take off and give me a hard time getting them back in the run. Should I wait until they are older and more mature to let them out? The oldest is a 9 month cinnamon queen, then I have 2 22 week black sexlinks and 3 17 week barred rock (one mix).
Age will not necessarily get rid of skittishness. A better option is to tame the birds so they are more trusting of you. I see a HUGE difference in my flock with the birds that have been handled frequently as compared to the few that have not been handled. My tame birds have no fear of me at all-bringing their newly hatched chicks right to me and not minding their being handled. Those that have not been handled-they act more like wild pheasants; fleeing the slightest sound.