Family Friendly Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lovin'mychicks, May 11, 2009.

  1. lovin'mychicks

    lovin'mychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2009
    Central Alabama
    So I have noticed this question on several other threads already and I thought this might be the most fitting place to get so input.

    I have noticed, since expanding our farm to several breeds, that some are more family friendly or make better pets. I strongly believe that the "friendless" is closely tied to the amount of time spent petting them and just hanging out with them. And sometimes it has to do more with the bird's personality rather than the breed's characteristics.

    Do you guys agree? Could you share your favorite breeds that make great pets? Any methods used to "tame" your flock??

    Thanks from ALL the Newbies!
     
  2. trilyn

    trilyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    East Syracuse
    Yeah, I agree with you. My first chicks were the golden comets and I spent so much time with them. They fly up and perch in my hand or on my shoulder-too cute! When I got my other chicks (16 more) it became harder to do more individualized attention. I just started out by putting their starter in my hand. They are slowly starting to come around (ameracaunas, polish, naked neck and rir)-it is just taking more time and effort on my behalf. I do think it's worth it, it should make for easier maintenance in the future and hell it's fun!! [​IMG]
     
  3. lovemychicks9

    lovemychicks9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2008
    South Carolina
    I had Buff Orps , RIR's, BR', and Comets for a year until I moved across country. I was not able to bring them all with me in the move. I made a decision to bring only my most docile and friendly with me . I chose the Buffs and BR's hands down. It was a very easy decision to make . The buff girls are soo very friendly and wonderful as are my BR's . I think or at least I want to believe that it is because I spent so much time with them for the first few weeks and lots of hands on and of course ... treats . In my opinion most breeds can be that way if you do a lot of hands on and spending time with them. I have 6 little EE chicks that I just hatched 3 days ago and I give them as much time as I can now for the first couple weeks and lots of hands on so hopefully they will turn out as sweet as my buffs . I also think that good breeding plays a part in the temperament too. JMHO and let's hear others takes on the question. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2009
  4. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    lovin'mychicks :

    So I have noticed this question on several other threads already and I thought this might be the most fitting place to get so input.

    I have noticed, since expanding our farm to several breeds, that some are more family friendly or make better pets. I strongly believe that the "friendless" is closely tied to the amount of time spent petting them and just hanging out with them. And sometimes it has to do more with the bird's personality rather than the breed's characteristics.

    Do you guys agree? Could you share your favorite breeds that make great pets? Any methods used to "tame" your flock??

    Yep, I agree. Sometimes it's how much time you spend and sometimes its the breed and sometimes its the individual bird. And sometimes it's none of that, and no matter how hard you try, one or another will simply shun you.

    By now, Im convinced that chickens dont really need us. It is really the other way round in our relationship.

    If it weren't for the feed bucket we tote, they wouldn'y pay us half of their already small mind. I'm one of those who just pretty much leaves them alone and allows them to be chickens. I don't ask them to cuddle or sit on my head or any of the other silly pet tricks people demand of them.
    I reckon any critter that will just as soon s**t on my head as sit on it, doesn't require too much coddling, you know?

    But I know that others will pet-o-fy any animal that can be captured or stands still long enough to be subjected to such things.
    In this, chickens can be counted... well, if you approach them calmly and cooly. Lunge or lurch at them, and you'll stand there empty handed, looking fairly foolish.

    Some of the birds I've found that seem to innately take to humans are Australorps, Orpingtons and Plymouth Rocks. These breeds needed little coaxing to at least accept my presence, while a few seemed actually inquisitive as to what I was up to.
    Some will say Silkies and their really big Asian cousins, the Cochins and Brahma's, also make good pet chickens.

    Most recommend some course of hand feeding from the earliest age and constant "bonding time" in the chicken yard as the way to "get tight" with your chickens.

    On the other end of the spectrum the flighty, nervy Mediterranean breeds, many of the feisty bantams and often the Games are mentioned as the ones to NOT have as pets.
    Of course there are exceptions to every rule and some of this will depend on your tolerance level for the birds themselves.
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    But just let me say that if you are intent on making pets of chickens, then you must take chicken "petness" to it's final heights:

    You must put them in diapers and allow them the run of your house.

    This is the pinnacle of pet chicken mania. There has to be some sublime pleasure in watching old CSI reruns with your diapered, pet chicken as it eats popcorn from your bowl.

    "Birds of a feather...", and all that jazz, I suppose [​IMG]


    Good question. Thanks for posting.​
     
  5. LilbitChicken

    LilbitChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2009
    I am really interesting in this post, we are new to the chicken family.. and I have two young children who adore animals, and always ask to go see the neighbors chickens.... [​IMG]

    So it makes sense we expand our loving family to include some feathered friends and (get eggs not from the store!!) [​IMG]

    My children LOVE to hold and pet anything that moves... I assume as much love and attention as they give, the chickens will learn to tolerate them, and not hide from them! [​IMG]
     
  6. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Quote:Oooooooh, now there is a common mistake. Don't assume too much with chickens. Chickens, oddly enough, seem to barely tolerate children and all that loving stuff seems lost on them in the main. I suppose it has something to do with them being birds and not mammals. [​IMG]

    Males (cocks) are the worst; they're known for lashing out and spurring children. They can scratch them pretty good and could, conceivably, put an eye out with their spurs. A large male, in all his glory is an awesome sight to behold. But from a childs perspective, when the cock is all over him or her in anger or protective battle mode, I'm sure awe turns to stark terror.

    Even hens can take a dislike to kids, and it's not uncomomn to hear about them bullying youngsters. Although, they mostly just scatter when children come around.

    If you are intent on having small children around your chickens, the whole "loving, happy family" thing, I recommend just a few things:

    - Avoid having cocks in your flock.
    The reasons are obvious. If you keep them, keep a wary eye on small children. And never turn your back on them, or the rooster.

    - Avoid strict confinement.
    This way they can both escape one another, should it come to that. Chickens in confinement especially need peace and quiet and a place to run to.

    - Avoid letting the children run amok around the chickens.
    Chickens prefer calm and peaceful surroundings, as mentioned. Things like barking dogs, lawnmowers and active children upset them.
    The way around this is to teach the children the proper way to handle the birds, ie. Slowly, Gently, Quietly and Easily.

    Besides, scampering children soon lose their joy of chickens - when they trip and fall face first into a big pile of fresh, syrupy chicken manure. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2009
  7. lovin'mychicks

    lovin'mychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2009
    Central Alabama
    Okay, although I agree with most of the safety precautions mentioned, it seems as though you feel chickens and children cannot peacefully and safely coexist. I disagree.

    Each of my kids have a favorite chicken that they have come to love (and vice versa.) Again, although they are young kids (4 and 3) they understand that the chickens need their space and respect. However, my son's favorite Barred Rock follows him and his puppy all over the yard! She rarely leaves his side when they are both in the yard. This could be due to the fact that if my son finds a worm or bug Stripes (the BR) gets it!

    Anyhow, I think kids and chickens CAN coexist! My kids know to respect the birds and never go into the coop unattended. The knowledge that my kids have gained from raising the chickens is unmeasurable! I think if the kids have a good healthy dose of respect for the chickens, it can work!
     
  8. firedove

    firedove Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2008
    Fitzwilliam NH
    My very favorite breed is the Wyandottes. All of my Wyandottes are friendly (except for the rooster and cockerel, they are terrified of me and I'd like it to stay that way). They will come right up to me, or anyone, in the coop. Some hatchery Wyandottes are not so friendly but if you get them from a breeder or from McMurray you will get some friendly chicks. Of course I did handle them a lot as babies and bribed them with treats from my hand, that always helps. But the breed is generally inclined to being friendly and tolerant.
     
  9. Sequin

    Sequin Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2008
    My very favorite pullet is an EE. She adores me and I her. She is my most cuddly and docile. But overall my BO's are all sweet girls that aren't overly flighty and I have a special adoration for the breed because of their sweetness. My SS are also wonderful as is my d'Uccle bantam.

    I would agree that the more you love on them the more tame and sweet they are. I have a few that I wasn't able to love on and hold as much as chicks and they are more flighty than others of the same breed. However, they all settle quite quickly and none of them are what I would consider mean or aggressive. At least not to people. Their own pecking order may be another matter. But even there, they are balanced and have worked things out.
     
  10. rhodiegal

    rhodiegal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 18, 2007
    North Georgia
    I think it is just the chicken and not the breed so much. Some of them are stand-offish and some seem to readily respond to humans and don't mind the interaction. I have treated all of mine the same and some just come right up and greet me and others stay away. I have purchased roosters before that were said to be more friendly than others and turned out mean. It seems that all roosters are friendly when they are young, but as they get older (I guess when the hormones kick in) they get protective of the hens - just natural.

    I have a Russian Orloff and Turken hen that are lap chickens.
     

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