Friendly to Flighty

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SchipAlong, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. SchipAlong

    SchipAlong In the Brooder

    Mar 21, 2014
    British Columbia
    We started with one eight week old Barnevelder and three one week old Belgian Bearded d'Anvers. The Barnevelder was adorable when we got her. She was so friendly, just wanted to be carried everywhere, and would purr/trill when held and petted. Whenever I would go to see her she would run circles around my feet trying to get me to pick her up. Our chickens are (or in the case of the chicks, will be) sharing a pen with our neighbours', who we rent from, singleton Barred Rock. We split the pen in half for introductions, but our Barnevelder is stupidly social and there were a few mishaps where she would push under the divider to be with the BR. Who would proceed to beat her up. Despite this she was desperate to be with the BR, to the point where she scraped up her comb a few times scrambling under the chicken wire divider. I've come to the conclusion I didn't get the smartest bird in the barn.

    I finally managed to find and secure all the places she was pushing through the divider, and after they were properly split she started pitching all-out fits when I would go to carry her from the coop to her side of the pen. After a few weeks the BR calmed down enough to take the divider down, but now my chicken has become much less social than she used to be. She won't even let me touch her, much less pick her up. When I need to pick her up she screams bloody murder and struggles to get back down.

    Is this normal chicken aging? Was her friendliness before just clingy chick behaviour? Or is this because she associates being handled with being separated from her frienemy? If the latter, is there anything I can do to retrain her to enjoy handling? I've tried bribing her with treats, but it doesn't work because the BR will run her off. I've reached a point where if I could I would just turn the BR into dog food and call it solved [​IMG].
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014
  2. mortie

    mortie Songster

    Feb 16, 2014
    The Frozen Tundra
    I am not entirely sure how old the bird is from Reading that, but one of my birds was like that too and when she became a teenager she got pretty skittish. My bird that is at pol is really settling down and I expect they all will to some degree. I do think they go through a teenage skittish phase. If she is older and more mature then I don't know. Mine that are just starting to settle back down are getting on toward 20 weeks.

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