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Are broody-raised chickens more skittish?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Schrebergaertner, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. Schrebergaertner

    Schrebergaertner Songster

    Dec 13, 2010
    Our first two batches were from hatchery chicks and got lots of human attention as they were growing up in the nursery. There are differing levels of calmness around people, but in general they're all pretty tolerant (and some are just sweethearts!). Our most recent three were raised by our broody and they are pretty much psycho and go nuts whenever a human gets within 10 feet. I was wondering whether that's to be expected, since they got a lot less human interaction since mama did all the work.

    Am I right? Do others who have both human raised and broody-raised noticed a difference in the calmness and general behavior of the grown-up birds? Is it too late now to do anything about it?


  2. spikennipper

    spikennipper Songster

    Jul 25, 2009
    Kent, UK.
    Absolutely, as you say the less human contact they have when growing the more fear they show towards us when adult, I have 4 birds two brooded and two hand raised the hand raised are completely tame adult birds, the brooded won't let you anywhere near them, I am sure if you picked the birds up daily and handled them you may be able to reverse it some what but it will upset them quite a bit, I have chosen to leave mine be, being able to handle them isn't a priority to me although it is helpful when they need treatment! [​IMG]
  3. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Songster

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I don't think its too late. I had a couple birds that I got as pullets that did not want to let me near them.

    I used mealworms and now we are all good friends. I would sit low and still on the ground a ways away from them and toss them worms. As they started eating I would toss the worms gradually closer and closer to me. I was careful of their tolerance and stopped when they got scared. Each day and would push a little closer and after a few days of doing this every day for an hour or so they would eat out of my hand and climb in my lab. They now let me handle them without a problem.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  4. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Songster

    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    I have both people raised and broody raised chick/chickens. When I decide to let a Mama hen hatch and raise her own babies, I know that I will only mess with them when necessary. You can try to force love them, but their cries will traumatize the mother hen. I would leave everything alone. I know my mother hens get really upset when one of their babies cries out.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I guess I'm different in that I interact with my brooder-raised chicks only minimally, so I don't really notice much difference. None of my birds are pets, they're livestock. I can approach them, and catch them if necessary, but I don't interact with/touch them as a rule.
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Broody hen can make brood more human wary or make taming easier. A not to tame hen makes for former and tamer hen makes for latter.

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