Can you train chickens to NOT peck you so hard?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Debutante, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. Debutante

    Debutante Songster

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    This may seem like an idiotic question but my almost 5-week-old pullets (mostly, I hope) have started pecking our hands quite hard. This is not a big deal for me but it is frightening and painful for my little grandchildren. We want these hens to be "pets" and I don't believe they're being malicious, they just don't realize their own strength. :) Can chickens be trained like dogs and horses to stop being "mouthy" or rough?
    Also, could this be a sign of cockerels in our midst? One (a Buff Orpington) is especially large and much fiercer than the rest.

    Thank you in advance for your comments or suggestions!
     
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  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Got my Puppy

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    I personally don't allow such behaviors nor to I hand feed, I scatter all treats. I think you can have either one way or the other, and it would be impossible to teach them to peck lightly.
     
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  3. Debutante

    Debutante Songster

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    Yes, I agree! We NEVER hand feed them anything and they don't get treats yet. The kids just like to hold them on their lap and pet them. Mainly, the chicks just peck at their freckles or at anything that seems "new and exciting". Like you, I'm not willing to tolerate any bad behaviours in chickens or my other animals!
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Got my Puppy

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    That's the main reason I don't over handle my chickens because they will peck at you. I had some last year that got too friendly and started pecking my hands for stuff, one got hit on the head when I got startled and dropped my feed scoop on it, and another I ended up kicking slightly because it kept getting in front of me. Both stopped after my accidental corrections.

    Chickens can peck at eyes so your kids need to be very careful, some members have learned the hard way about that.
     
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  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    I must be doing something very wrong hand-feeding chickens used as pets and for public display. Please advise.
     
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  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Got my Puppy

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    Are you ridiculing me?
     
  7. Debutante

    Debutante Songster

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    YIKES!!! I'd hate to think about getting an eyeball pecked by a chicken! That'd be a whole new level of "BAD"! Thank you for the heads up. I think our chicken-cuddling days are over. :) I'll switch to letting the kids scatter treats around their pen, when the time comes.
     
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  8. ChickenCowboy02

    ChickenCowboy02 Predator Slayer

    You don't have too stop just keep them away from eyes;)
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Got my Puppy

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    All the handling up to this point will ensure they remain friendly birds that are nice pets that should follow your kids around and come running for treats.
     
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  10. Debutante

    Debutante Songster

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    I agree, but only for the older kids. One of mine has just turned three and she wouldn't remember to keep the chicken a safe distance from her eyeballs. :eek:
     

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