Bonding with Silkies (Training Diary)

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by Eggnog101, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. Eggnog101

    Eggnog101 Chillin' With My Peeps

    527
    11
    101
    Jun 26, 2012
    My five beautiful one
    year old
    hens love to be around people, they run to you for food, they jump on your back, and when you come near their pen, they cluck and garble.
    Then this summer, I raised eight silkie chicks, one was attacked by my dog, and then I was down to seven chicks. They never did like being touched, they always ran and peeped and just plain made you feel bad for touching them. I handled them as much as I could, but it was hard to keep track of them, and I'm not even sure if I handled certain ones. So that's probably the reason I'm having so much trouble with them now. They run when I walk past them, they won't come anywhere near me, and they glare at me. I decided that this had to stop, if I need to treat them for some injury, I don't want feathers flying. So I decide to try making friends with them. And so, this training diary began.

    October 9th, 2013.

    Today, after school, I grabbed two small plastic bags, and filled one with Cherios, and one with Mealworms. I planned on putting the one year olds in the chicken tractor, and feed the silkies treats, in an attempt to win them over. After the one year olds were in the tractor, the silkies came slowly walking out of the pen also, at first I was going to chase them back into the coop, but then I just opened up the other door to form a sort of barricade, one door on the left side, one door on the right, the coop in front of them, and the chicken tractor was behind them, it didn't completely close them off, but it was okay. First the brown silkies-Carmel and Cadbury-came out, then the partridge-Princess-next came two of the white ones-Marshmallow and Charlotte- and then the final partridge-Wings-. I looked in the coop for the final white silkie, Annemarie/Annie, and found her laying an egg, so I left her be. I watched the six others scratch around in the grass for a while, before I opened the bag to the Cherios, and threw one out. It went unnoticed, I threw out three at a time, and they seemed to realize what I was throwing, they slowly ate the treats, looking very happy. I heard an angry cluck come from behind me, turning around, I found my one year old flock leader, Skye, glaring at me. I guiltily threw about half the bag into the tractor, and heard happy munching moments later.
    The silkies soon grew bored of the Cherios, and resumed hunting in the grass once more. After fifteen minutes of this, with them staying as far away from me as possible, I brought out the big guns... Mealworms... The first one I threw, once again, was unnoticed (Perhaps their so fluffy they can't see. Or maybe they were just busy), I threw on directly in front of Carmel, and she gobbled it down. Yelling to the others about her new food source, most of them came over. Annie, having come off the nest just in time for the mealworms, gulped down the next one I threw. Soon, I had drawn them all close to me, (I had to throw a good number of mealworms to the big girls too, so they wouldn't get jealous) I placed a mealworm on my boot, and waited. Carmel slowly walked over to me, and pecked it off my boot, this was the first time she had willingly touched me. A few more on my boot, I placed a couple on my leg, and they were quickly gobbled up by Princess. I placed on my palm, and they ignored it, they looked at me, obviously waiting for more mealworms to be thrown. I put a few more on my hand, that sealed the deal for Carmel, and she snapped at my hand, I won't lie, it hurt, but I didn't want to scare her, my hand never moved. After seeing that it was seemingly safe, Princess bossily pranced through the flock and pecked my hand repeatedly, she didn't seem to understand I had to dip my hand into the bag to get more. Once I got more though, she and Carmel ate them. Nearly everyone wanted some then, but they didn't want to stick around, they walked up, pecked at the hand, and then raced back to the compost heap.
    Soon, I was out of mealworms, and I gently corralled them back to the coop. After making sure they had slightly warm water (It's cold around here) and enough food, I left.

    I planned on sitting with them later today, not giving them treats or anything, just sitting with them would be nice. But I had to get a cavity drilled, and was crashed on the couch until nightfall.

    The silkies didn't get along with the big girls normally, but lately, Carmel and Cadbury are sleeping on the perch with my Eastern Game Bantam, Chipmunk, while they rest ignore their perch and sleep on the ground in a big silkie pile.

    Thank you for reading, more should be up tomorrow!
     
  2. Veer67

    Veer67 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nice! My Silkie Mellow used to be a sweetie and would follow me around everywhere and jump onto my lap for neck rubs. For some reason when she joined my new baby chick flock she started ignoring me, now she runs away from people instead of at them. Now my baby chicks are friendlier than she is. I wonder if her behavior will change once she starts laying eggs. [​IMG] Anyways I will be reading your training dairy, good luck on taming your chickens! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  3. Eggnog101

    Eggnog101 Chillin' With My Peeps

    527
    11
    101
    Jun 26, 2012
    Thanks Veer67, it's nice to know I'm not talking to myself :p


    A quick little update:

    So far, every day (When I'm able) I go out with some fresh treats and mealworms, each day they act the same, but they're starting to run to me when I open the door for the morning. Whenever I come near them, they rush away.

    I've been using the big girls as influences, and feed and play with them even more often than usual.

    So sorry for how short this is, but school and other activities have been taking up a lot of my time.
     
  4. chicnman

    chicnman New Egg

    6
    3
    4
    Oct 18, 2017
    We have been trying to tame ours as well using mealworms. They will take them out of your hand but run away if you try and touch them. If you grab them they act like they are being murdered and freak out. Once we have them we pet them for a while. They close their eyes but soon want to escape. Been doing this for weeks. Think we have anti social silkies.
     
  5. sue25

    sue25 Chillin' With My Peeps

    791
    870
    161
    Apr 25, 2017
    Hephzibah GA
    Trying to.train my baby chicks as well. They are contained for the most part in a.small space so when I am near they can't go far. My other silkies are quite tame and come running to me for hugs and cuddles.
     
  6. chicnman

    chicnman New Egg

    6
    3
    4
    Oct 18, 2017
    How often would you hold the tame ones?
     
  7. sue25

    sue25 Chillin' With My Peeps

    791
    870
    161
    Apr 25, 2017
    Hephzibah GA
    Minimum of three times daily and carry them around with me making kissing noises and trying to immatate there content soft clucking sounds.
     
  8. ThatCrazyChickenGirl

    ThatCrazyChickenGirl Out Of The Brooder

    46
    44
    44
    Sep 13, 2017
    I have a house silkie who thinks she's a human. She's incredibly tame, and will actually get irritated if we don't cuddle her enough, or leave a room without her.

    But even she HATES being picked up from straight above. Reaching down on her freaks her out. Perhaps its instinctive, as that's how a predator would get her? We've found that slipping our hand under her, lifting her up from her breast, causes her to scramble on to our hand with no fear.

    It might be something to keep in mind when you start holding them.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by