Chicken is afraid of other chickens!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Nikosbirds, May 24, 2016.

  1. Nikosbirds

    Nikosbirds Out Of The Brooder

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    I recently adopted an 8 week old Ameraucana rooster who is the sweetest chicken I've ever met. He was raised as a pet and doesn't mind being handled. Falls asleep when you pet his head and is lovely with children. The problem is, I'm not sure he even realizes he's a chicken. He completely freezes up when around other birds, even 7 week-old chicks. If he gets pecked, he runs and sticks his head in the corner. Any thoughts on how to socialize this guy? Do I just bite the bullet and put him in with the others? They're not getting any younger..
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    Pen him next to the others, let him see them and get used to them. Anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. He will become more comfortable with them. I also wouldn't keep petting him. That sometimes make a rooster attack the keeper later on, although you said he already is over attached to humans, so hopefully he behaves himself as he matures.
     
  3. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    Oldhen has it right. You need to expose him to the others so he will become socialized to the flock. He has imprinted on humans and that's going to confuse him when he gets his hormones around four months of age unless he becomes more of a chicken.

    Treat him as any new chicken being integrated into a flock. He needs to feel safe, but also a part of the flock. If he's spending all his time in proximity to the other chickens, he will gain self confidence as he becomes familiar with them. Soon you will be able to let them all mingle and he should do fine.

    Go ahead and enjoy cuddles with him for now, but be ready to adopt a hands off policy as soon as his behavior starts changing. You don't want to give him mixed signals, confusing his brain that is being flooded with hormones that you're a chicken, too.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I would stop cuddling him now....by the time he starts feeling his oats, it may be too late to turn the tide.
     
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  5. Nikosbirds

    Nikosbirds Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 2, 2014
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    So, Update:

    I've been keeping him along side the rest of the flock and not doing so much human contact.

    BUT:
    I think he may be partially blind. He generally will stand in one spot during the middle of the day. In the morning and evening, he will walk along the edge of the run fence. I did see him sort of "feel" a step on a flat surface, where he lifted his leg higher than necessary. I haven't seen him focus on anything and he doesn't scratch and peck. When he gets his bowl of chick feed he will stand and eat for a long time. I assume he's really hungry since he's not eating anything else.
    Also, he is mostly white. I know with some animals, lack of pigment sometimes goes along with blindness.

    So, anyone have experience with blind chickens?
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Partially blind can do ok...totally blind not so much.
    Just keep an eye on him, observe closely...be patient.
    He won't peck food if you toss it on the ground?
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    One of my old d'uccle roosters is blind in one eye and is failing in the other. He high steps and walks backwards a lot, but he can still find food. He's much smaller than his brothers now, so he might not make it another winter.
     

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