Buying adult hens


8 Years
Mar 30, 2014
Cavan, Ireland
Hi all,

I am thinking of buying some adult hens, but I would like to get chickens that are very tame. My husband wants to get chicks instead, and that way they would be used to us from day 1. Is it possible to tame hens that are already adults or will they never be as tame as chicks we have raised ourselves?




Oct 8, 2013
New Hampshire
The first chickens I got were 4 one-year-old hens. My neighbor had handled them some, but they were not "pets." He had to re-home them when his wife got sick of them, so they came to live with us. They have become very personable with me, but that's because they see me as the food lady :) They didn't seem to have any problems learning that their new home was home, even though it's just right across the street from their old home.

I got day-old chicks after having the older hens for awhile. They're all grown up now (about 1.5 years old now) and while they are all relatively friendly, several of them would prefer not to have much human contact, even though I was around them daily right from the beginning.

I would say all are very tame though- they hang around people without being skittish, they generally let you pick them up when needed (some fight that more than others!!), and they seem to see humans as a good thing vs. something to fear.

So I don't think it is necessarily a guarantee that chicks you raise are friendly while older hens aren't- probably has to do with breed, the amount of time you plan to spend around them on a daily basis, and how much they appreciate the food you bring them!
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7 Years
I would personally get chicks from a known friendly breed and raise them with as much human interaction as you can... Almost all my birds let me (and anyone else they know) pick them up, handle them, pet them or what not, almost all were raised from chicks and broodered in the house... I only have a few that are stand off-ish, and most of them were not raised by me... No guarantee either way, but I'm willing to bet in the big picture, ones you hand raise are more likely to be friendly, especially towards you...

Another thing to consider with buying older birds is that in many cases they person getting rid of them is getting rid of them for a reason and it might not be the one they are telling you... They could be sick, have bad attitudes, or in many cases are past their prime and egg production is questionable...
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6 Years
Jan 18, 2014
I hope it works out.. I have now been on both sides of the coin. I think getting pullets you can see their personality and how people friendly they are, while with chicks you will see when they grow up.

Honestly there are pro's and con's to both.

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