Afraid to be caught, fine being held

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wayward, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. wayward

    wayward Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 15, 2013
    This is Spike, he is coming along about 5 months old now. He was given to me as a chick after all of his siblings were eaten by skunks.
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    We received him and his only surviving sister, Midnight, who had not received as much direct handling as Spike. Spike was pretty chill, not nearly as jumpy as his sister in their younger days. It seems now that I just can't get my hands on him, but when he finally gives up running away (or I trick him with a handful of grass) he's pretty much putty in my hands. He just lays around accepting all the petting and treats, letting out happy chirps and squeals. If you set him down anywhere on the lawn, on the deck, or even in the house he just waits to be picked up. But if he's in the coop or the pen, its a struggle for the books.

    Before Spike, we only had adult chickens. A couple NH Reds and a couple Orps, each with their own comfort regarding human contact. Usually only the Orps tolerated being held, one even enjoyed it. Spike and Midnight are the first chickens we personally raised from chicks (we've got about 16 more chicks now all reaching 2 months in age that we hatched.)

    Down to the point now, I'm just asking why. Why is he so scared of me, yet calm when I hold him? Should I expect this from all of my chicks or will it vary, does anything in particular cause it or is it pretty much up to nature who ends up with which attitudes?
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2013
    He views you as the head rooster, and this is what you want. It prevents you from having a mean rooster. When they just start jumping into your lap you start having problems, sometimes quickly and sometimes further down the road. If there was another head rooster in there and he misbehaved the head rooster would chase him and either pin him down or peck him, in essence this is what he sees you doing to him. By holding him you are showing that you are in charge as roosters are very proud creatures and there is nothing proud about being held. Don't get me wrong even roosters love to be pet but the action of getting there is not pride worthy. You are doing a great job with him. Try not to get him first thing out of the coop as this is his time to check the area for safety and show the hens their first morning treat. They get a little feisty if you mess up that routine.
     
  3. wayward

    wayward Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 15, 2013

    Thanks for the information, I really appreciate it. That makes a lot of sense. Spike isn't really the man of the coop, he submits to a very big and scary NH Red roo named Alpha. I never do mess with their morning routine, though. I guess I can go on and appreciate that Spike is "respecting" me by being a big.. chicken. Thank you!
     

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