Crazy flock!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by curiouslychris, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. curiouslychris

    curiouslychris Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 1, 2013
    The backyard
    My flock of chicks is five weeks old, and I recently moved them to a transient coop on my back porch while I build their permanent home. Up until four weeks, I had to keep them in an oversize Rubbermaid bin (21 chicks got pretty cramped in there by four weeks!), which made it hard to get them used to human contact, since the only thing they saw every day was a hand coming down out of the sky. Needless to say they were always terrified!

    Now that they've been in their new home about a week, I've been able to handle them properly and show up with goodies every day, mealworms, oats, veggie scraps, and they love it. I have 12 RIRs, 8 brown leghorns, and 1 Wyandotte, and I've slowly been introducing them to the yard in mixed groups, each day taking a couple more outside until today I managed to get all 21 out and running around. For the most part they stick near me, running to hide between my legs when they get scared, but I'm having trouble with the leghorns. Every single one of my RIRs loves to play with me, and they'll even hop up in my lap when I sit on the ground. Every one of my leghorns thinks I want to eat them!

    Today the worst happened: I had two leghorns, one pullet and one cockerel, run off into the woods as I was gathering everyone up to carry back to the coop (the porch it's on is screened in and they haven't figured out yet how to climb the porch steps and find the coop themselves). I doubt I'll see them again, but at this point I've pretty much said good riddance. The leghorns get so anxious and flighty that their paranoia starts to affect the RIRs after a while, to the point that I'm highly considering getting rid of all the leghorns if they don't start warming up to me. Any suggestions on how to socialize the leghorns? And any tips on possibly attracting the missing two back to the yard?
     
  2. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2013
    I'm in the same boat (and have been). I got 3 chicks in mid-April and then after researching I decided to go back the next day and get 3 more. I got to hand pick the first 3 (2 barred rocks and 1 black sex link). They were so sweet. When I went back to the next 3 (1 black sex link and 2 red sex links) the employee was a butt and wouldn't let me choose which ones I wanted (I picked breed but he just reached in and grabbed chicks). Big mistake and something I will never ever allow again. The 3 new ones turned my first 3 into scared terrified chicks. Now at almost 17wks, one black sex link still wants nothing to do with me and finally(!!!) the 2 red sex links have came around (one even sat on my lap this morning [​IMG]) So in my experience, time is the only thing that helped. [​IMG]
     
  3. curiouslychris

    curiouslychris Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 1, 2013
    The backyard
    Well I gave them time today (stopped chasing them!) and came home this evening to find them sitting on my doorstep, about a 1/4 mile trek from where they disappeared! Still too skittish and ran off again. I'm thinking they'll likely be dinner for something pretty soon...
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    All you can do is work with them in a confined setting. My chickens are all hand tame and I don't do anything special with them other then take care of them every day and hand out treats. They will usually settle down as they get older and get used to the routine of things but some birds are just going to be more flighty then others.
     
  5. Chickens R Us

    Chickens R Us Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have scratch in a tin coffee can I shake the can while calling chick, chick, chick they all come running do this every night and throw some scratch on the ground by your feet.and stand still they will get used to you. Mine are to the point if they see me in the yard they come running to see if I have anything for them. My daughter calls scratch Chicken Crack.
     
  6. curiouslychris

    curiouslychris Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 1, 2013
    The backyard
    I finally got the two wayward chicks back! A guinea wandered into the yard out of the blue and sort of herded them back toward the house, where I attracted them with some feed (they seemed like they were starving). I grabbed them both when they were eating [​IMG] I'm shocked that they even let me get near them.

    I'm working to get the flock to associate me with treats and food, and so far most of the RIRs come up to me to see what I've got, but there's only one leghorn who will chance it. Guess I have to figure out what they really like...mealworms seemed to do the trick, but now they're bored with them and nothing else I've presented yet really gets them excited. Like ChirpyChicks said, I guess it's just going to take a lot of time.
     

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