Do your hens like to be held?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TheSpiceGirls, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    I know many of you have large flocks and I'm sure you don't have time to pick up each hen.

    I only have 4 and raised them from day old chicks. I made a point of holding them each day and talking to them in the hopes that they would be as docile as possible. And they are docile. But only one likes to be picked up and stroked. The others want nothing to do with it. So for the most part, I just leave them alone. They will eat out of my hand and come right up to me. But if I put out both hands like I'm going to pick them up, they scatter.

    Yesterday, one was close and standing still so I quickly scooped her up. I've never seen such a stink eye. She just froze. I held out a handful of meal worms and she wouldn't eat them. Not a one. I suppose I spooked her but her heart slowed way down and she felt really calm.

    I finally put her down and then she at the worms.

    Any suggestions on how to make the hens more comfortable in my lap? Or should I just leave them alone and see if they come around with age?
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I have 30+ chickens. All are comfortable in my presence. A few like to be held. Two of my adult hens, Lilith and Chloe, take turns running to me in the evening for me to put them on a roost. This was a habit started by another hen of mine that was killed by a hawk. Never do both coming running to me at the same time, it's either one or the other. The rest of the chickens I don't force. They are comfortable and that's good enough for me.
     
  3. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks for the post. I guess I should be happy with the fact that they are all comfortable enough to come right up to me and eat out of my hand. And that I have one who LOVES to be held. If I don't pick up my Buff Orpington, she will hop up on me. She's just the sweetest thing I could imagine.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    I have a large flock (over 40 hens, over 15 roosters) and my hens are still quite sociable and friendly - Quite a few love to jump in my lap too. [​IMG] It's all about how you raise them and treat them.
     
  5. Ohhhdear

    Ohhhdear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wonder if how cuddly hens are depends on if they're laying or not. My girls were quite skittish until just before they began to lay. When they started that submissive squat thingy, they were rather eager to be held and cuddled.
    Still, even though they'll all eat from my hand and run to me for treats when I go in their yard, there are only a few who want to jump into my lap if I'm sitting on the steps.

    My girls have a 50' walk every morning from their coop to underneath my deck where their feed and water are. Sometimes it's so cold they just don't want to move down the ramp and into the snow, so I'll carry them to where there's straw on the ground and a warm mash for breakfast. They snuggle into my coat and tuck their heads underneath my arm and make happy clucky sounds

    [​IMG]
     
  6. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:[​IMG]

    Ohhhh, so sweet. I love the cuddly ones.

    [​IMG]

    I'm hoping that mine become even more docile when they begin to lay which is still a month or two away.
     
  7. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    I started with older pullets & laying hens that werent very friendly. Taking some time with them has had it's rewards. Where they used to all run in the other direction when they saw me coming, now they run TO me (treats work wonders)! None of them jump for me to hold them, but when I do pick them up, they are quite content with being held...even my roo. It's just a matter of time before they are jumping in my lap for their treats...if the goats dont beat them to it!
     
  8. cindy99

    cindy99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 8 buff orp. and 2 golden comets. All 8 of my buff girls LOVE to be held and will stand in line and wait for their turn. They will get right in my coat or try to pile on top of each other to sit with me. The 2 golden comets (a rooster and a hen) are polite - will eat out of my hand - I can pick them up if there is a need but they would rather have nothing to do with me. [​IMG] I try not to take it personally.
     
  9. cumulus10

    cumulus10 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 9 chickens and ( Just like you ) only my Buff Orpingtons like to be held. Coincidence??? [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    ( I have two Buff Orpingtons. )
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  10. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    Bay Area, CA
    Awww. Aren't Buff Orpington's just the sweetest things? I wish that Black Orpington's were easier to find. And did you see the photos someone posted about a week ago of the Chocolate Orpingtons? [​IMG] I would LOVE to add a few of those to my bratt pack.
     

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