getting chickens used to you

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ChuckenGirl, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. ChuckenGirl

    ChuckenGirl Songster

    Dec 22, 2007
    Maryland :)
    how would you get a chicken to be nice to you and used to you, so they arnt afraid of people?
    are they just born friendly?

    i'm talking about pullets/cockerals that are old english game
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2008
  2. Are you talking about chicks or already grown chickens. With chicks I find that lots of human contact and handling makes for really tame chickens. The thing is to keep handling them when they are full grown. The less human bonding the more they will tend to be leary of humans. If they are already grown chickens, they might not have had the constant human contact and need to be slowly introduced to it. That is what I find.
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I got 3 ready-to-lay pullets at the feed store last spring (ISA Browns). They were fairly skittish, dunno how much was from being moved all around to new places and how much was from not much handling. Because they came a month earlier than expected I was not at all ready, and they had to live in temporary quarters such that every day I had to hand-carry them to an outdoor area to run around, then hand-carry them back indoors every evening.

    Boy did that ever help! Not just being picked up and held 2x/day, but having it involve an obvious major reward (running around in sun on grass eating bugs, and then I put yummy treats down for them indoors before I brought them in). They quickly got much easier to catch and much more relaxed about it, and much more approachable and friendly.

    So, something like that might help.

    That said, obviously there is considerable variation among chickens, some are just born 'lap dogs' and some are just naturally wilder.

  4. warren

    warren Songster

    Sep 29, 2007
    I have started hand feeding mine with sunflower hearts. That has made them a lot more friendly. They only have to spot me coming out of the door and they are there waiting for their treat.
  5. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing

    I've found that just being around them really helps. I will sit in their run with them on a sunny day and just hang out. I'll hand feed them goodies, too. The more skiddish ones will see the friendly ones run up to me for a treat and eventually follow suit.
    Another thing is to pick stuff off the ground and offer it to them (like a roo does).
  6. Redfeathers

    Redfeathers Songster

    Oct 11, 2007
    Gervais OR
    I spend a lot of time in the run area with the chickens, I just lean against the barn and they come up to me and stand at or on my feet, I hand feed the good stuff, they just seem to learn to trust you after awhile. Now my Polish are so tame I can pick them up even when they can't see me and they don't jump anymore.
  7. FarmGirl01

    FarmGirl01 Songster

    Feb 5, 2008
    I started feeding my treats. The one that did the trick was soaked oats. They loved it. In two days they were running right up to me. Lots of interaction and talking softely should do the trick.[​IMG]
  8. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    Yep, all of the advice given is really good. Some of the older hens give a squak when held, but get over it shortly when they realize they are in good hands. Moving slowly around the flock also prevents them from freaking out from the fast movement, that seems normal to us, but skary to them.

  9. jaku

    jaku Songster

    Along with my meat birds, I want to get a couple for my 5 year old niece to "raise" and have as pets. Maybe this is a strange question, but does anyone know what breeds if any are better tempered/more people oriented/willing to be handled, etc?
  10. Scrambled Egg

    Scrambled Egg Flock Mistress

    Aug 29, 2007
    Fayetteville, NC
    It really made a world of difference when we added the walk in part to my coop and I was able to walk in and sit down to pet them. They were timid and shy with my reaching down into the pen to pet them before but talking in and sitting down changed that behavior sooooo much it surprised me. [​IMG]

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