Bad ol' Chickens!!!


10 Years
Jun 4, 2009
New Caney, Texas
I have several different breeds and they are all demanding and unruly! Now I am exaggerating somewhat but I do wish they were a little friendlier.
I raised them from day old chicks and I handled them a lot hoping they would get used to it so I could handle them when I needed to. Nope!

Golden and Buff Laced Polish... aloof, superior
Cuckoo Morans... demanding, pushy
Golden Wyandottes... mean! mean as snakes!
Araucanas... unapproachable
Blue Andalusians... I have 1, 1 out of 5, that is sweet. She likes to be held and petted. She is the most outgoing of my flock but the other BA's are quite shy.

Do these behavior issues have anything to do with me having so many different breeds or are these temperments typical of each of the breeds I have?

I was wondering what other peoples experiences have been with different breeds.

I'm very curious! Please share!



In the Brooder
10 Years
Oct 7, 2009
I have two silver laced wyandottes and I find them to be mean also and very skittish. My other chickens are nice! I have 2 gold lace, 2 buff orpingtons and 2 bantams ( also skittish).
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11 Years
Sep 5, 2008
Solon Springs, Wisconsin
I have 13 hens all of different breeds, except for a couple duplicates.
They respond to me in one of two different ways: Love me when they think I have goodies for them; or want nothing to do with if I don't have goodies.
I suppose it is natural in their world to not like being touched - to them there is no such thing as friendly touch.


11 Years
Aug 8, 2008
Sonoma Co, CA
I second the above- they like me (run up, follow me around) when I have food they want (or they think I might- meaning I have a bowl or bag in my hand), and ignore me or avoid me if I do not appear to have food. Chickens can be tamed, but they do not seem to LIKE human contact, they more or less tolerate it. Like the show birds- they get used to handling, and do not seem to be stressed by it- but do they like it? Probably not. If you want a cuddly bird, that will actively seek you out and want to be touching you at all times---- get a cockatoo! If you want to have an easier time catching and handling your birds, do it all after dark when they are sleeping- chickens turn into lumps of putty on their perches after dark...


13 Years
Apr 12, 2009
Vashon, WA
Today I think I have mean chickens too. I was late getting home, and their food had been empty for several hours making for some hungry chickens. When I got the food out, the pretty much mobbed me and several of them pecked hard at my hand. Or, more specifically at my ring. Ouch! They've done this since they were tiny, I guess they really like the shiny silver? But today was by far the worse... the finger is still red and hurting several hours later. This is not the way to get your food faster.

So, the worst of the biters is my Naked Neck Turken, and she's always had the most skittish attitude. Although now that she's laying, she is much easier to catch. The barnevelder is fast and doesn't go in for being touched, but she's very sweet and likeable. The welsummers are about the same, not much for being petted, but friendly if you've got snacks and willing to do tricks for them. But our EE's are super friendly, and really don't seem to mind being petted. As babies they would fly across the room to land on my head, and wanted/needed to be held! They're more stand-offish now that they're grown, but they are still by far the easiest to pick up and handle and don't seem to mind being petted.


10 Years
Oct 5, 2009
My rooster is an EE/Dorking cross (I think!) and he is super friendly - can easily pick him up and he likes to be held. My three RI Reds are skittish (pullets) and an australorp that is, too. However, the silkies .. oh, wow! No wonder these are so popular - if you want something to hold and pet, get a silkie! So sweet - and they look like little living muppets! I have a white (Blanca) and a black (Nuit). And I do plan to get more ...! Laura


11 Years
Oct 14, 2008
North Front Range Colorado
I have an assortment of breeds (see below) and mostly they are opportunists, will hang out with me if they think I have something delicious. EXCEPT, one of my Buff Orpingtons is really friendly, likes to be picked up and held (also fearless, and I'm a little worried that the friendly, fearless chickens that we grow to love are the ones that don't survive as well... she's the one out all alone in the pasture happily eating grasshoppers, not watching the sky, etc. And of course, I love her the most!) And my white Cochins follow me everywhere, want to be involved in all the decision-making on the coop, come into the feed room with me, squat immediately when I come up to them, which I guess means they think I'm .... sexy? friendly? dominant? Not sure. But they are really friendly birds. I raised them all and picked them up when I could, but I think it is entirely innate behavior.
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10 Years
Sep 24, 2009
Hillbilly from West Vir-ginny
Chickens are cool,,,,
BUT,,,,their behaviors are at times frustrating,,,,,hellaciously hilarious,,,,,bewildering. It just depends on the mood the chicken is in for the day.
For the biggest advice....patience....and the more time you spend with them...the better.



14 Years
May 25, 2008
Sometimes genetics contribute--
Many breeding lines of large fowl Wheaten and Blue Wheaten Ameraucanas seem to be exceptionally great people-pals. A number of mine have been real snugglers--very happy to be stroked, rubbed gently under their wings or on the back of their neck, or patted while snuggled up under my chin. I've had 5 that liked to fly up onto me--2 did it on request when I'd hold out my hand or arm. No food needed.

I think training also has a lot to do with it.
Two techniques below can help chickens be calm enough to be petted and cuddled--and therefor have the chance to NOTICE how pleasant the experience can be. If the chicken is anxiously anticipating fleeing, it cannot pay attention to what you are doing while you are handling it or trying to hand-feed it, etc.

Something I've found to be effective in teaching chickens to not be afraid of people is to linger and pet them right after you fill their food or water (ESPECIALLY THE WATER). They'll "squeal" and jump away at first, but their hunger or thirst will bring them right back. Rub them gently in front of one of their wings or on their breast. It seems they soon associate this stroking with pleasantness also from their little crops getting filled at the same time.

Another extremely effective method for gentling chickens: After catching one, hold and stroke it a while until it calms down. To release the chicken, slowly lower it toward the ground while holding its wings against the side of its body. If the chicken starts to struggle, immediately lift it away from the ground. Then try moving toward the ground again. As soon as it wriggles again, lift upwards again. Once it stays calm all the way to the ground, hold it there just a couple seconds, maybe give it a stroke, and let it go. Chickens learn that stressing out and trying to wrench away isn’t rewarding. Most learn very soon to be calm and relaxed while being handled.

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