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Any reason to avoid hand-feeding?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by einhard, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. einhard

    einhard In the Brooder

    Jun 15, 2011
    Hi folks -- I searched the forums, but didn't see anything. Our chickens have access to several large outdoor runs that we rotate for fresh grass, along with chicken feed and a seed block. In the evenings when we're just chilling with the chicks, the little chicken farmers (ages 4 and 2) like to help feed 'em. It's pretty cute seeing them with their hands out and the girls are pretty gentle. Anyway, is there any reason we shouldn't hand feed the flock? I wasn't sure if we were setting up a bad habit w/ the chicks where they might peck the fire out of us later.

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    It's a good way to begin to tame your chickens. I'd let them have at it.
  3. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Songster

    Jul 10, 2010
    I do it with BOSS and it is fun for everyone, they seem to enjoy it and I have fun watching them. Plus, whenever I come out with a bag of seeds, they come running up to me like begging dogs. I see no harm in feeding them that way.
  4. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    If you don't have any roosters it's a good thing to get the kids invovled, but if you have a rooster I would advise against hand feeding the rooster. It's the main reason or habit that contributes to them turning bad on you. Ok so now let the Nay sayers wiegh in as they most certainly will on the rooster topic.
  5. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Go for it. The only problem will be when they run you over to get at the treats. LOL It is good for taming them and getting them easier to handle, enjoy!
  6. einhard

    einhard In the Brooder

    Jun 15, 2011
    Good deal. I got to wondering about it when one rooster thought my finger was a juicy caterpillar. [​IMG] they're about12 weeks old and very gentle so far. I guess I'll keep our spoiling routine going.
  7. shortstaque

    shortstaque Songster

    Sep 29, 2010
    Bucks County, PA
    Quote:The only reason I can think of not to do it is you or the kids will be followed closely, often tripped, everytime you go near the flock. It will look a little like this:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] ................ [​IMG] ..................... [​IMG]

    and when you forget the treats? You'll look like this [​IMG]

  8. Roo on Harley

    Roo on Harley Chirping

    May 25, 2011
    Have fun! Please watch what we feed them tho.
  9. OwensMom

    OwensMom Songster

    Oct 4, 2009
    CO Western Slope
    Quote:Al6517 I agree with you!!!! I've raised numerous specie of animals. When you take away all fear of humans then they had better have respect for humans. Roosters are more aggressive(to a greater or lesser extent) than hens and once they know that they can intimidate you it is very difficult to instill respect. It is very easy to intimidate a small child and once that child shows fear he/she is done for in roosters eyes!! I suggest that you choose one hen. Remove her from the flock for feeding time and love her all you want. Then return her to flock. Keep on friendly terms with rooster but don't give him idea that he deserves treats.
  10. tysonandperdue

    tysonandperdue In the Brooder

    Mar 25, 2007
    New Jersey
    I've had chickens for about 12 years - both roosters and hens....I also had roosters (and hens) growing up. As a child, I always carried my rooster around in my arms and handfed him too. He enjoyed being loved and held and he never hurt me. In fact, he enjoyed it more than the hen. I am much older now but still enjoy handfeeding both the roosters and the hens and still don't have a problem with either. I really think it depends on the rooster(s) you have. My roosters are very gentle and I'd never be without them. In fact, some of my roosters are nicer than some of my hens. Good luck with whatever you decide.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011

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