dadgumn leghorns...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by warhorse, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. warhorse

    warhorse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2008
    Cibolo, TX
    So, I got some Ideal-white chicks to add to my flock this year. I've had mostly hybrid brown egglayers, EE and ameraucanas, and some marans. I thought the leghorn types might be flighty, but I was just going to set them up in the barn and use them for egg production to donate to the VFW breakfasts. I just had no idea they would be xxxx wild at one week old. [​IMG] Most of my other chickens, while not "pet tame" at least realize that "the hand" usually brings food and water and come to see what's going on. Not these guys... from the minute I open the bathroom door, they are flying all over the bathtub, hitting the sides, hitting the screened top, making all sorts of ruckus. The couple of EE chicks that are in with them seem to go along for the ride, but it is definately the ideal-whites that are the problem children. (sigh)

    Is there any way to curb this flighty behaviour? They don't seem to care less that I feed them every time I'm in there and give them water. How do you create a positive reward for an animal that doesn't even connect that much?

    I have one araucana chick who is about 3 months old who is fascinated by me every time I'm out there. He sits on a perch and just looks at me every time I feed. He will come right up and almost hop on my hand. I tried rewarding him with a piece of bread but that confused him.... lol, he looked at the bread and then tried to move closer to me not intersted whatsoever in the bread.

    **edited by staff**
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2009
  2. 98 gt

    98 gt a man of many... chickens

    Jan 14, 2009
    Marshville NC
    mine arent "bad"... but they have their moments. they willmore than likey calm down as they get older
  3. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2007
    Probably just a different breed temperament. Some are calmer, some are more flighty. I've noticed that even if I hold a chick 3 or 4 times (after catching it) it will learn "the human" hand is not to be feared. I think they imagine the human as a big scary monster and getting familiar with your treats and handling can make a big difference. Pick them up and hold them and give them treats. Over time, they should calm down. Be patient, even when it's hard.

    The only birds that never calmed down for me were my guineas, which are about the weirdest, wildest birds ever.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2009
  4. Indiana hens

    Indiana hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2008
    Pendleton, Indiana
    It gets worse! I had brown leghorns that would lose it when I entered the coop. Caused a Buff Orpington to fly through a window! That was the last straw/sold!
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
  6. patyrdz

    patyrdz The Madd Hatcher

    Feb 26, 2009
    Southern Pines, NC
    GREAT! I have 35 of those jokers in my brooder! (white leghorns) My great idea to have white eggs so my city siter won't freak out about "omg...A brown egg" [​IMG]
  7. Bluedog420

    Bluedog420 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2008
    Cartersville, Ky
    I have white leghorn's and I love em...Mine is calm [​IMG]
  8. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I have three that are two weeks old that are insane flighty. I've never seen anything like it.

    I took them out yesterday and held them and I thought they were going to have heart attacks they were trembling so much.

    I'm going to continue to hold them, hoping this will calm them down.
  9. kbarrett

    kbarrett Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2007
    I have white & brown Ideal leghorns that will be 1yo next month. I had the same experience as yours when they were young. It didn't help my then 5yo son loved to catch (chase [​IMG] ) them around the brooder. I noticed the older they got the calmer they became. They are not the "lap" chickens that I read about from some on this site but they are friendly. When I let them out to free range the white ones follow me around like dogs waiting for treats. Of course around the time they started laying the "squat" kicked in and this makes it easy for my son to catch & cuddle. Our 2 brown leghorns have very different personalities from each other. One is as flighty & stupid as she was as a chick, the other enjoys being right there with you and tolerates being held. I also have buff & black monorcas, the buff's live up to their flighty reputation but the 2 black ones are pretty sociable. I specifically ordered 3 of Ideal's Barred Hollands as the info I read on them said they were pretty docile. While they're on the bottom of the chicken totem pole and calm in the coop & run, they are the last to come over for treats or have interaction with us.
    Well that's my gang, I have to say I have been pleasantly surprised by the leghorns and of course their egg production is outstanding.
  10. Tweeza

    Tweeza Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2008
    New England
    Have you tried having a radio on in their room/brooder area? I know this helps with rabbits. They don't freak out as much when you come into the barn.

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