dadgumn leghorns...


11 Years
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.
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.

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12 Years
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.
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The Madd Hatcher
10 Years
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"


Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
May 14, 2008
North Phoenix
My Coop
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.


12 Years
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
) 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.


11 Years
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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