Can I teach the chickens to be friendly?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by squeakyballs, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. squeakyballs

    squeakyballs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2009
    Tucson, AZ
    My husband and I want to get 3 or 4 chickens for our back yard. We are thinking of ameraucana and buff orpingtons (I just saw pictures of silver laced wyandotte... and I see lots of good posts about RIRs. I'm falling in love with those now, too). It is okay to keep the different breeds together, right?

    My husband does not want us to get chicks though. He worries too much about them making our house smell. If we get pullets, will they still learn to be friendly?

    I've read posts about how some of you guys have super friendly chickens that sit in your lap, or perch on your shoulder. I know that a lot of it depends on the birds individual personality, but how much depends on them being hand raised? What if someone else hand raised them, would they still like us?
  2. wings

    wings Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    Most of it depends on how well you handle them. If you hold them, feed them from your hand, and play with them almost daily, they should be great.
    It depends on where you put your coop for smellienss. On a hot summer day, it can stink!
    I have RIR, Buckeyes, getting BR and Wyandottes. It's fine to mix breeds. It would be boring otherwise!
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  3. ScoobyRoo

    ScoobyRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2008
    Land of OZ
    [​IMG] from Kansas and [​IMG] I do think it depends on how they are raised from the get go. If coming from a different environment into another who knows? Time will tell. All of mine are friendly but wont jump into our laps. Having a young boy and his friends around can stir them up a bit;) But our 'Rooster Booster' is quick to put the boys in line! You will have fun and the best of luck!
  4. trinity

    trinity Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2009
    Amarillo Texas
    i had some so friendly that if you sat down they got in your lap.I have one that answers when i call her and she fallows me around if im handle them alot talk to them and feed them by hand and they can be as loving as a cat or dog.if you want your kids to do the same i would look at the breed and kids are older and love them all but my little nephew is scared to death of my jersy giant fallowing him wanting him to give it attention [​IMG].
  5. azelgin

    azelgin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
    Hi Tofu,
    Are you sure you can limit yourselves to just three or four chickens? We have 49 now and another 35 eggs in the incubator! We're just a few mile south of you down past Sonoita. Keep us in mind when you decide you need some chickens. We really don't need 84 chickens.
    We got our two batches of chicks last year, about two months apart. The first flock were all SLWs. Since this was our first attemt at chickens, we spent alot of time checking on them in the brooder, handling them and hand feeding. The second batch was a mix of Buff Orpingtons, Ameracaunas (EEs) and Golden Laced Wayondottes. These were handled much less than the others, as the weather was much warmer and we were now taking care of over 50 chickens.
    The SLWs are friendly, but not the come sit in you lap kind of friendly. They prefer not to be picked up. Same with the GLWs. The Orpingtons seem to be naturally friendly and inquisitive. Almost a pest at times. They seldom struggle to escape when you pick them up or handle them. Set them on your lap and they'll sit and visit for awhile. The EEs are are also very friendly and will jump on your lap at times.
    Handling them does help to make them friendly, but I think the breed makes just as big a difference too.[​IMG]
  6. TXmom

    TXmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have our brooder with 2 and 3 week old chicks in our living room. We have several different breeds and they are all very friendly so far. As a 6 year old son is carrying around a Leghorn right now. They are not known for being friendly birds, but all of ours are...they jump on us when we sit next to the brooder. My husband had 2 Leghorns on his arm and a Rhode Island Red on his shoulder last night...they all jumped onto him willingly just because he was sitting in a chair next to them! I had my Frizzle and Buff Orpington take a nap on me yesterday while I was sitting on the couch.

    Of course, I don't know how they will be in a few months, but I think they are exceptionally friendly right now because we're always around them.
  7. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    You should be able to tame them, Tofu. Something good to eat in your hands is a magnet for chickens. They will soon be pushing up against you. Pet their chests rather than their heads and backs. Touching them there indicates that you are dominant and they are naturally afraid.

    You and your family can be happy with a small number of hens. But, I won't suggest that you actually have them in your own home after they are a couple weeks old, no matter how few they are [​IMG]. A coop in the backyard is a good chicken home.

    I can't agree that we need a great variety of birds. Yes, they can get along with each other but it helps for them to be about the same size. And, "birds of a feather" and all that . . . They will still each have their own personality even if you have a hard time recognizing who is who from across the yard.

    Welcome to BYC!

    Steve [​IMG]
  8. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    My flock is my first and they were hand-raised and yet I never fed them from my hands. Click on my home page to see brooder and how we kept spare bathroom odor-free. I'm thrilled with my hens, they are laying an average of 11.5 eggs daily at this time. Nice, friendly...and they're 'mutts'- Golden comets bought locally at our co-op when 12 hours old, so they imprinted immediately. They still think I'm their mother, and as adults all can be handled easily. [​IMG]



    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  9. squeakyballs

    squeakyballs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2009
    Tucson, AZ
    Thanks for the offer, azelgin! I'll have to send you a message when we are done building the coop.

    And, don't worry! I didn't mean we were going to keep them in the house forever. I just meant at first, until they were a little bigger and not going to get too cold outside.

    We have an old playhouse in the back yard (10' x 10') that we are going to make shutters and a door for, and a "door" into the nest boxes so they are accessible from the outside. Then fence in an area around it for their coop (not sure how big, yet). We have a fenced acre of land, so I thought I could let them out of the coop a few hours before "bedtime" each afternoon so they can roam around looking for bugs. I'm just a little worried they will roost in a tree, instead of in the hen house.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2009
  10. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Ours were taken outside on warm days (predator safe, moveable chain link and harware cloth dog pen) and brought in for the night. If the brooder/cage is cleaned daily they are pretty much odor free (cats? not so much).

    Are they tame/friendly? They, unlike our turkeys, have their own haunts and schedules (when we're here to range `em), but they remember. They always come up on the back deck and hang out before they go to roost. They sit around us and preen, they don't particularly like to be touched or picked up, but they feel free to crowd us.

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