Chicken Bonding?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kherokee, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. kherokee

    kherokee Chillin' With My Peeps

    177
    7
    86
    Nov 4, 2014
    Connecticut
    [​IMG]Hey there! Back on Halloween day, I rescued her from a factory farm. Beaten bloody, I rehabilitated her in my warm basement with protein packed grain, treats like apple turnovers, and free range of my basement. By now all of her feathers are coming in beautifully.

    Kevin, (my hens name, named after a pigeon lmao!) loves company and sits on my computer while I do work, and recently, started to lay eggs! She laid one two days ago in her nest, then one this morning on my desk chair! (so proud of her!)

    Still, she's too nervous to be picked up. I have to chase her and that stresses both of us out, so while im on the computer, I usually tickle her toes until she makes a giggly sound and pokes my fingers away. (in the morning she calls for me like a rooster at exactly 7am). We have some sort of connection but Id love to be able to cuddle her and hold her and be able to put on a chicken diaper until the weather clears in the spring where she can go free range.

    thanks for any tips, tricks, or stories you guys may have! :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2014
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    10,220
    3,276
    461
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Congratulations! She's awfully sweet-looking. She's probably already started to bond with you, but her background, the way in which she was raised, doesn't hold any information for her on how to relate to people.

    I don't know what kind of commercial operation she was living in, but I'd imagine it didn't include much freedom. Therefore, letting her have the run of your basement is probably more stressful to her than you probably think. What I would do is to make her world a bit smaller and more manageable for you both. If you have a large dog crate, I'd install her in it with a nesting area to lay eggs.

    This should make her feel more secure, and it will be easier for you to handle her. I would get some meal worms and have bonding rituals, saying her name as you offer her a worm. Try stroking her while she takes the worms from you. This should make her become more comfortable being touched.

    Gradually increase the amount of touching, and begin to handle her. Using treats for each new stage will help in the bonding. Go slow, take your cues from her. Chickens like to be talked to, using their language. "Chook, chook, chook." She will respond if she's relaxed. Keep saying that to her. It will inspire trust.

    It shouldn't take long for her to begin to enjoy being held.
     
  3. 3ChickensNADuck

    3ChickensNADuck Out Of The Brooder

    80
    4
    38
    May 30, 2013
    Lakewood, CA
    Hi and congrats, I was wondering if you knew the breed of the bird? I have one that looks exactly like yours but never knew what she is
     
  4. kherokee

    kherokee Chillin' With My Peeps

    177
    7
    86
    Nov 4, 2014
    Connecticut
    @azygous thanks so much for the tips! I cant wait to bond with her!

    @3ChickensNADuck she's a blue sumatra :)
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. kherokee

    kherokee Chillin' With My Peeps

    177
    7
    86
    Nov 4, 2014
    Connecticut
    @azygous I followed your advice and bought some meal worms. I called her name and made a kissing sound and she came right over. I threw a couple around me then put my hand in the middle and she ate right from my hand, with hesitation and fear, but it's an amazing start!! :D
     
  6. ernie85017

    ernie85017 Chillin' With My Peeps

    158
    7
    83
    Jun 24, 2012
    First, YAY to you for rescuing the poor girl.

    Second, being bonded is pretty fun. When young Frannie's brothers were killed (protecting her) from a raccoon, she didn't know how to go to bed at night without them and was distressed. They had their own little perch and would cuddle together as they were hatch mates and not fully grown. I took her in the house, in a cage, for a couple nights, and then she believed I was her mom. When I would come out in the morning to let them out, I would feel pecking on the tail of my robe. She wanted my attention. I would sit down and she would hop onto my lap for some pets!
    I miss her!
     
  7. kherokee

    kherokee Chillin' With My Peeps

    177
    7
    86
    Nov 4, 2014
    Connecticut
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I never raised her as a baby which is my problem, but she sits with me and slowly starts to eat from my hand. hopefully in the spring I can take in one or two more suma chicks :)
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    10,220
    3,276
    461
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Baby steps![​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by