Chicks not as friendly ever since they moved outside


In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 1, 2014
Hey y'all,

So I know that RIRs aren't known for their great personalities, but I raised mine from day 1, and they were just the sweetest ladies when they lived in their indoor brooder. They would climb all over me and fall asleep in my lap.
I moved them to their outdoor coop/run st around 5 weeks (after a period of having short outdoor "play dates"), and ever since then they've become indifferent to my presence. I try to spend lots of time with them, but it doesn't seem to be helping. They are currently just over 8 weeks.
Any thoughts/advice? I miss sweet chickies!
Food. Really tasty incredibly delicious food. Meal worms might be a good start.
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FOOD! x2 The bringer of the best treats is always the best friend so pick something very high value like mealworms and only hand feed it. It may take some time for them to get used to it but once they do they will likely come running when they see you.

Something else to consider is that chickens, like people, go through personality changes as they age and mature and they do tend to have a grumpy teenage period where they can be more skiddish and less friendly. They are in a new place which might be stressful or exciting and they have their own social hierarchy to work out.

Once they start laying and reach maturity they will likely be more friendly and a little easier to handle, or at least that has been my experience.
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Bribery works. You could use the same call or noise each time you bring out the treat bowl and they learn quickly to come when they hear it. Some chickens seem to have different personalities which emerge as they mature and get past this flighty, too busy to notice you stage. Eventually a few come to you unprompted, some just for treats and I have one that will not come near me even if I produced a pile of mealworms and peas. If they are broody or moulting all bets are off but for the most part Scooby snacks work. We sit in chairs next to their run in good weather, maybe that keeps the hens used to having us near them also.
I use a dog training clicker to get their attention, they come running. I have 9 buff orpington pullets that are now in their own coop, run. They get small cut up grass, bugs from under the lumber pile. Pick up the bugs with an old dust pan and toss it in dirt and all to them.

They are also in the big hens old area, so they will get used to whatever is in the ground and some of the droppings from the big girls in there to get immunity.
It's funny you mention a dog training clicker because clicker-training elephants is like 80% of my work day, haha. I've seen videos of people clicker training chickens, and now y'all have got me thinking :)

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