Chickens run away from me, why?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by KauAnnie, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. KauAnnie

    KauAnnie Chirping

    Jun 30, 2011
    I have 3 hens that dont like me. I bring out the food and they run away until I put it in my hand, then they will slowly come and eat from my hand. When I pet them, they will start chirping and move away quickly. Theres one hen that will lay down when I pet her. And everytime they see my feet and run away.

    I hear everyone elses chickens come to them and mines run away.

    A friend told me to hold them on their back and tickle their bellys, does it work?

    This is the 4th day in their new home.

    Thanks [​IMG]
  2. nivtup

    nivtup Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Shelton Washington
    I would just give them time.

    4 days is just the beginning.
  3. turbodog

    turbodog Songster

    Feb 21, 2010
    Independence, La.
    When we first put our EE's out in the coop they would run from us if we stepped in. After bringing them treats on a daily basis, they come running up to the door when we step out in the yard. The way to a chickens heart is patience.....and TREATS! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Time and goodies will bring them over.
  4. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Songster

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    I think a lot has to do with the breed and upbringing as well. I have 3 brown leghorns that act just like yours, and I've had them for nearly 2 months. I have a Buff Orp that I bought 4 days ago, and today she jumped up on my lap while I was outside watching them and sat there for a while. Who knows [​IMG]
  5. Kaeta44

    Kaeta44 Chirping

    I agree with the last person's post - it all depends on the breed, and also you need a lot of patience. The more time you spend with them, the more they will get to know and trust you. I still go into the hen run and just sit and watch them and talk to them - sometimes with treats but not always (healthy stuff and not too manys treat or they'll get overweight and won't lay). I've had my hens for a year and a half and they'll all eat out of my hand. But after all this time some of them are perfectly happy to be picked up and cuddled while others hate it. I hope your friend was joking about turning them over and tickling their tummies!
  6. KauAnnie

    KauAnnie Chirping

    Jun 30, 2011
    Thanks everyone! [​IMG]
  7. wayneh

    wayneh Chirping

    Jan 25, 2011
    N. E. Alabama
    Quote:ditto to this post. Its got a lot to do with the breed of the chicks. our white leghorns are quite standoffish, our buff orp will follow you everywhere.
  8. Kudzu

    Kudzu Songster

    Mar 27, 2011
    We bought pullets, dumbest chickens I have ever seen. Had to teach them how to be chickens, had them for a few months and they are now 100% chicken. Give them time and treats.
  9. Stacykins

    Stacykins Crowing

    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    Get a turkey? [​IMG]

    Seriously my three young turkeys are so freaking friendly I am afraid I am going to step on them! They never went through a scared phase, and I can carry them around all day. If I sit down with them they are all in my lap making happy chittering noises wanting to get petted on their necks, backs, and chests. I only have two hands and three turkeys though!

    I have three pullets (two black copper marans and one black australorp that hatched with the turkeys) the same age as the turkeys, and they only give me the time of day when I have treats, and as soon as the treats are gone, they run away! I don't try to hold them if they don't want to, since I don't want them to fear me, but it bums me out a bit!
  10. Erebus

    Erebus Chirping

    I "inherited"? well, "care for" someone else's flock. These birds have been left mostly to their own devices and have had a number of different baby sitters over the years, including some that just left them to their own devices and didn't feed them at all.

    Most of the birds are quite standoffish. They do not want to be touched. There is one bird who seems to be older who may have had some decent people time invested and she will let me pick her up grudgingly if I corner her on a perch.

    The Barred Rock cockerels will let sometimes let me get close enough to grab a leg when they are feeding which is how I catch them for the meat.
    My chicks (now 22 weeks) have had a higher proportion of their life interacting with me so the runt that spent 3 weeks hand raised will run to my feet for treats and sometimes let me pick her up but even with her limp I will still sometimes have her run from me.

    These birds are good at avoiding predators (thankfully here in NZ we don't have foxes, raccoons and other medium sized mammal predators.
    They are not really "pets", they are egg layers and birds raised for meat, and they are free-range chickens who are good at foraging and keeping each other safe from hawks [​IMG]

    I'm not going to take it personally if they have a basic distrust of mammals, even if that's where their food is coming from.

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