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my orpington chicks think I'm a monster :(

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

1st time chicken mom.  I have 3 english orpingtons that I brought home only days old.  I handled them with not too much fuss, but as the have gotten older they freak out any time i reach into the crate, even if I'm just changing out food and water dishes.  They dart to the back trampling each other to get to the back corner where they continue to flap around, kicking up bedding, until I close the coop.  Just to be clear, I have never done any harm to them and talk to them constantly as they are in my house with us.  I imagined them as pets and eggs are a bonus but I got this breed specifically for their personality.  They are now about 6-8 wks old and are about to combine with my 5 sizzle chickens that I have raised without any personality problems.

Advise?

post #2 of 5

Have you tried handfeeding them? :) A good way to a chicken's heart is through its stomach. I will say, though, that some chickens are naturally unfriendly and it's simply not your fault if they're skittish.

 

~Alex

Alex the Golden Campine- talented flier, mischievous little busybody, crackly-voiced conversationalist, loyal sidekick, and my sociable, cuddly sweetie.

 

"But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8

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Alex the Golden Campine- talented flier, mischievous little busybody, crackly-voiced conversationalist, loyal sidekick, and my sociable, cuddly sweetie.

 

"But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8

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post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by brendakay View Post
 

1st time chicken mom.  I have 3 english orpingtons that I brought home only days old.  I handled them with not too much fuss, but as the have gotten older they freak out any time i reach into the crate, even if I'm just changing out food and water dishes.  They dart to the back trampling each other to get to the back corner where they continue to flap around, kicking up bedding, until I close the coop.  Just to be clear, I have never done any harm to them and talk to them constantly as they are in my house with us.  I imagined them as pets and eggs are a bonus but I got this breed specifically for their personality.  They are now about 6-8 wks old and are about to combine with my 5 sizzle chickens that I have raised without any personality problems.

Advise?


Birds feed on each others fear. When one is afraid all will be too.

 

For birds, anything coming down on them from above is something to be feared; hawks, etc. To offset this try to be on a level with them as much as possible.

 

I find that my chicks get tamer, less fearful as they get bigger and age.

 

Watch for that chick that first starts the fuss. More handling of that chick might also help.

 

When I tame chickens, and some are really wild, I bring them into the house, set them on my knee or outstretched leg, have a cup of coffee or a beer, every little while I offer a treat. It's really amazing just how fast they tame. It works even faster if you have a tame bird to have with the wild one.

 

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

They do love treats and I have slowly extended my handful of mealworms while talking to them.  Once they realize that I have food they will come over one by one, peck like crazy, and dart back. :)

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

I do have a cage where I enter through the front, and there is one chick that starts the fuss first, so I will start working with her more.  Thanks for your feedback :)

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