i have 5 pulletts... well one is big and super strong so we will see, but I have had these 5 and a half week old pullets for 3 days now.. I make sure and try and pick them up but they run from me. Any advice in bonding with these older pullets?. TIA
Most chickens don't like being picked up. They are prey animals and associate being lifted with being eaten.
Use treats (not too many!) like cut fruit, meal worms, canned tuna or sunflower seeds and sit with them in a large space like the coop and run. Toss food a short distance away and let them come to you while you speak to them softly. Don't reach out to touch them until they're quite close (like eating out of your hands without stretching) and don't be too surprised if they still try to run for a long time. Go slow and try to get them on you lap of their own accord.
Eventually they'll warm up to you. Right now it's been 3 days. They have no idea where they are or how to survive here and there's a giant monkey reaching down and trying to scoop them up and eat them every day right now - they need to be given a reason to trust you. Give them a lot of time, some space, move slowly, and consider tempering your expectations. Not every chicken becomes hand friendly, likes being touched, or being close to humans.
Some of my chicks took to me right away. One came out of the box totally in love with me. Some panicked every time I opened their cage. Now they older and most of them are comfortable and get excited to see me. Only 2 like to be held though. The rest love to sit near me or on me but I am not allowed to touch them! Give it time. They will learn who you are and that they can trust you. You have the food so you will be very popular
I spend small periods of time during the day hanging around my chickens while they forage. I find that they eventually get used to my presence and even follow me the general direction of where I’m going if I happen to move away. It helps to always have a treat in your pocket to offer the closest chicken. I can bring the whole flock running over with an open palm with nothing in it!
I casually pet my chickens when they wander by or when they’re eating. They don’t love it, but they tolerate it just fine. Sometimes they will casually move away. Other times, when they’re fixated on something else they will ignore the fact they’re being petted.
I will occasionally pick them up out of the blue. They will give me a look that says “what are you doing human”, then hop off and continue with whatever they were doing before. Once in a blue moon, one will find my arm to be a nice perch and take a nap on it.
I don’t plan to have my chickens act like puppies, all I want is for them to perceive me as being of zero threat to them, and so far I think it’s been working out.