Caught stray/feral pullet, how can I tame her?


8 Years
Apr 16, 2011
El Monte
My brother in law caught one of the chickens left behind by a neighbor that moved away. This pullet is probably 5-6 months old, and has never had any human interactions. She is very skittish and runs away from us. We've had her for a couple of days now and try to keep her separated from my other hens by a welded wire fence (my BiL just released her in the backyard to interact with our chickens, so much for isolating her, although three of our chickens come from the same flock but we got them much younger, so at least they've been already exposed to the same stuff this new one has
). Right now i put her in a dog crate inside the coop so she can start learning to sleep there instead of trying to climb the trees. We got also a barred rock hen a couple of week ago that has become the new head hen, and she does not like the newcomer, that's another reason I keep them separate so they don't hurt each other too bad.

Now, how can I work with this pullet to get her less afraid of humans? I know she stays still if I wrap her up in a towel and hold her, but I want her to at least stop being afraid of us and come when called, even if she never becomes a lap hen
Patience and persistence. And lots of treats. We just added 9 to our flock, including 4 skittish, never-been-handled pullets. My boys were more than happy to pick them up, pet them and carry them around, per my instructions. Then, before they are put back on the ground, they get a treat. Right now it's 2-3 slighly crushed cheerios, because unlike fruit, you can stuff them in your pockets and always have them on hand. Do this many times a day (persistence).

One week later, they don't try to run (as much) when we call them and try to pick them up (patience). And it will continue to get better.
Come when called, lap hen? My chickens never "come when called" they "come when I call them to eat" they'll stand by my feet but will never let me grab them, but I guess mine are pretty tame. What you need to do, it grad her a few times a day, and pet her, and stroke her comb, and feed her treats. That almost always works good luck
I have three 5 month old pullets that came from that same street flock, one barred rock hen, and a 5 month old light brahma cockerel. so now the boy has 5 girls to love, or rather have surprise sex with them because he is not subtle at all and harasses them
He isn't that bad. Roo has never tried to attack any of us, and the flirting is not 24/7. I think he gets tired of running around the pullets, but to give the girls a break, I keep them separate during the morning when the flirting is the worst. My barred rock is having a bit of a hard time dealing with such an enthusiastic bf, but when he's not trying to mount them, they all walk around the backyard together, and even nap together during the day
Good luck! My Clarice was a stray, and I've never touched her in the nearly 7 years she's been w/ me! She was adult when she came to me (the neighbors caught her for me when she roosted in their tree at night) and she's never changed her mind about one thing: She is a WILD CHICKEN and DON'T YOU FORGET IT!! She still acts, despite my being the purveyor of amazing and much loved treats, as if my goal in life is to kill her.

I don't mind. I appreciate her take no prisoners attitude and am sure that it's stood her in good stead--she's super healthy and still laying regularly at age 8.

Go ahead and try, but if you can't "tame" her, just love her for who she is. Works for me!
Well, even if she never learns to enjoy being handled, I hope at least she eventually stops being afraid of us

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom