Best way to get pullets used to me n the kids

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by henrietta101, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. henrietta101

    henrietta101 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 8, 2011
    I have four 11 week old pullets I bought a week ago. (an australorp, isa brown and 2 rir x new hampshires). the little australorp is likely a little younger than stated, and she is very friendly and not fussed about us. the others are a little different. They will come over and love to eat from out hands. they do not like to be pat although two are getting a littlebetter. What should our expectatinos be about being able to touch them? I thought if I regularly give them some feed from my hands and be gentle with them they hsould get more confident with us.
    the kids have been great and will stay quiet and touch their backs after a bit really gently. They love them already.

    Are we on the right track?
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If they come to you, gather at your feet, looking up for you to feed them, make little happy noises when they are around you, then that's good enough for me. They are chickens and I really don't mind them being chickens. You'll get the odd one(s) who are very content in becoming actual pets, in that they like you to hold them or pet them, but many, many chickens do not care for that. That's fine too. Some squat almost every day in front of me, and I gently rub their backs and ruffle their butts and then they shake it off, fluff up and move away. That is essentially re-inacting the mating ritual for them. Some never do this. Again, it's all good.
  3. beach livin'

    beach livin' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2011
    mine dont like me. they run away from me everytime the see me or anybody for that matter. they are 22wks and we got them when they were 16wks. im content with them being a chicken. at first i wanted them to love me, but i soon got over that [​IMG]
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Once they start laying, they are much easier to catch and hold. I have 14 chickens now. Out of these 14, I have 3 that go out of their way to get attention. The rest just use me for food. [​IMG]

    But I only have four that are laying age, so I have high hopes! [​IMG] Once I get any of the others in my arms, they will sit with me willingly, but I have to catch them first. [​IMG]
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Like people, chickens have different personalities. I've always worked a LOT with my birds, because they're pets. Some will never be lap chickens...some love to be petted/snuggled... and many fall somewhere in between. I have a flightly little 11 week old hamburg that I figured I'd never be able to cuddle. She's very skittish and startles easily. But once I have her on my lap cuddling her, she drapes her loonnngg neck over my arm and starts closing her eyes. One of my EEs the same age is very easy to pick up, but doesn't care for being petted longer than 5 seconds or so (probably long enough to determine there are no treats and she just go My big BO girl will actually peck and run other lap hoggers off of my lap to win her spot, while my GLW big girl honors me by allowing me to pet her about 2x a year. [​IMG] They're all different.

    Sit quietly among them (no loud voices or fast movements). Don't just hand them the treats. Sprinkle some on your lap (make sure they see you sprinkling). Make them come to you. Even when they hop up on your lap, don't pet them. As the days/sessions go on, start to gently pet them. And if you pick them up, do it carefully, cradling them securely and talking soothingly to them. If they fuss, don't put them down automatically - often it's an initial reaction and they calm down within a minute or two and enjoy it.
    Yours are at a skittish age, so it'll take more patience. Good luck! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:My SS Hamburg mix was the same way at that age. She started to come around when she started laying. That girl is the best layer tied with my production red. She squats for me, but is the fastest out of everyone. They are a very flighty breed [​IMG]

    I wish my BO would smarten up and be friendly like most BOs [​IMG]
  7. blondebarnbabe

    blondebarnbabe Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 30, 2011
    New London, WI
    Quote:So true. Like people and most animals, they are all different personalities. Of course children are eager for the "bonding" with animals, and since they are not prone to give up that desire, will keep trying to tame the chickens. Quiet voices and treats are a must, but I find that sitting in my hen house and sipping a hot cup of coffee and just observing is enough to incite curiosity even in my young pullets. I swear that one of my black Ameracauna cockerels is doing his darndest to win me over before I either re-home him or send him to freezer camp. It's a great learning opportunity for kids to just sit and watch them go about their chicken business. They learn their behaviors, social ranking, and in the meantime they learn the art of patience in earning an animal's trust.
  8. gamelife

    gamelife Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 6, 2011
    Getting them used to treats every now then helps. My son and I give them a variety of things from leftovers to garden scraps. Its always something different so its like a surprise to them when they see us. Now the hens let us pet them while they eat. They have even jumped on our shoulders without any care. Friendly, probably not just curious.
  9. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    Feeding them out of hand is a good start. Also avoid taking grabs at them...that may be tough for the children, but it's a must. If a chicken thinks it's going to be grabbed/held/picked up whenever it comes near you, then it's going to keep a safe distance and be rather skittish. Being very calm, avoid large quick movements and be rather soft spoken around them for least until they become more comfortable with you. Basically, do what you can to show them that you're no threat to them and a source of good stuff and they'll warm up. They may never be able to be hugged/cuddled since you didn't raise/handle them from chicks, but you should be able to get close to them and touch them when you want to, most of the time.
  10. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens


    This is way too hard! I must hold them! [​IMG] I save my cuddle times for dusk though. That's when it's easiest to hold them.

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