Chicken....chickens.....Scared of everything

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Gabbychick, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. Gabbychick

    Gabbychick New Egg

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    I'm new to having chickens. I got my 2 beautiful Light Brahma hens 1 month ago. They were about 22 - 23 weeks old. I did a great deal of reading before getting them and they were greatly anticipated. They live in a chicken tractor with an omlet fencing system for more room to roam. They are very friendly to me but are scared of everything else. If my pigeons fly they run into the coop. A bluejay yells and in the coop again. They seem to spend almost all of their time in the coop even though they have a great run. The are fed orgainic grains, beetles, superworms and all the vegs and fruits . How can I get them to not be such "chicken" chickens. We do have a great deal of property and they are quite close to the house as I like to look out and see them. We also have a dog who is learning to stay away from the tractor.
     
  2. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    Congrats on your new flock! Brahmas are a great breed!

    Your birds are probably scared because they are still fairly new to their new home. They are stressed by the changes. Give them time. Make to keep all things that frighten them at bay. I know you can't control wild birds and sounds but try and keep your dog and other people away for a while. Also make sure to spend time with them each day. You are lucky they like you. Usually birds who are new to a home don't even like their owners. So keep on bonding with them.

    You may also want to check out our learning center. There you'll find tons of helpful info.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center

    Glad you joined and good luck!
     
  3. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to the forum. I love my Brahma. She is mild mannered but not especially scared. Well, it might not sound nice, but if you block the entrance to the coop for a few hours in the afternoon say, then they would have to stay out in the run and get used to the sights and sounds and realize most of them are not all that scary. I might keep your dog away while they are temporarily blocked from the coop. You can give them some extra superworms to make up for the anxiety they learn to tolerate. Are superworms just really big meal worms?

    Oh I just read Mountain Peep's reply, which makes my answer sound a little mean, LOL. You can give them more time if you want, and see how it goes. It is great that they feel comfortable with you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Chickens are just that...chicken! So you need to give them time to adjust. I would go out and sit with them and get them used to being with you. Bring some treats and sit with them. This will help greatly in getting them to bond with you. Once they are not so afraid of you, they will venture further away from their comfort zone, especially when they see you coming. You will need to sit with them for a few weeks. Sit for 20 mins a day. You will find that they will start looking forward to you coming to sit with them and before you know it, they will be much more interested in being with you. If you can get them to familiar up with you, they will be more interested in learning more about their surroundings.

    Keep all the noise, kids, dogs and anything that scares them away from them. Just quiet peaceful surroundings. Move slowly around them, talk softly and always pack goodies for them. Soon they will be stalking you for love and enjoying their new home.

    Good luck and welcome to our flock!
     
  5. Gabbychick

    Gabbychick New Egg

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    Thanks for all the replays. They are all helpful. Super worms are the biggest mealworms you've ever seen. They are usually fed to reply tiles. You can find them at Petco in the reptile area. My girls REALLY love them.
     
  6. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. The first breed I ever had were Light Brahmas (about 50 years ago), and they were gentle giants. You've received some good advice by the other members. Chickens are always stressed and scared when they are first moved into a new and unfamiliar environment. They will calm down as they adjust and grow used to it. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your Brahmas.
     
  7. Gabbychick

    Gabbychick New Egg

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    Thank you all for your replies. I already feel like I'm one of the flock. I do realize that one month is really not a great deal of time in chicken life, especially since they have flown from Texas to upstate NY and had to deal with all the new sights and sounds of country living. I will slow everything down for them and take it slow and easy. I love sitting with them as they calm me as it seems like I calm them. In time do you think that I could walk the property with them loose and then return back to the tractor. One last question. I will be changing them to a coop house for the winter as we get lots of snow here. Will they have issue with changing their home or just the appropriate stress with a new home.
     
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Eventually once they get used to being around you and the yard, they will get the hang of returning to the tractor.

    I once moved my flock into a new coop hundreds of feet away from the old coop. They never missed a beat on laying and other than a bit of stress for a couple days, they adjusted really quickly. They had the runs for about two days and were a bit nervous, but did quite well and after a couple days, they were perfectly comfortable in their new digs. :)
     
  9. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Oh, and when you do move them, you will need to lock them in for several days and not let them free range. This will retrain them not to return to the old tractor or coop and will let them know it is safe to be there. They will then bond with the new coop and will return to the new coop instead of the old, or just being confused. :)
     
  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    [​IMG]Hi and welcome to BYC. When you are sitting with them and something startles them - do you talk to them to calm them? Gee that's a lot of "thems".

    For instance you could talk reassuringly and say"oh that's just some sparrows." etc. so they notice it didn't frighten you. Maybe I am assuming too much on the part of chickens. I know other animals notice voice inflections .
     

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