Help! How do I tame our two babies?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by flopsy, May 26, 2008.

  1. flopsy

    flopsy In the Brooder

    Apr 29, 2008
    Well, they are not actually babies. They are grown hens, given to us by a friend. Our first chickens!!! How do we tame them enough to touch and pet them? I hate to just chase them down (if I can) and scare them half to pieces. Please help. Tell me how.
  2. chickmomma30

    chickmomma30 In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2008
    Odessa MO
    one you can sit out with them everyday a little longer everyday startin gwith 5-10 min and have food in your hands or grapes or strawberries. THey should start warming up to you.
  3. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing
    If you want to hold them, wait till night and then you can just pick them up. Maybe that could start getting them use to you. Always go out with really yummy treats and they will start to associate you with food and will start coming and following.
  4. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Food is the best incentive...
    I started with 2 3 day old chicks and they were hand tamed...
    My next two were a few months old and treated "like Chickens" treats, nothing extra. It took a while for the Leghorn to even act like I wasn't going to eat her. My Brahma was better, but she was easier to catch because she was soo darned BIG!

    Just sit and watch the birds and talk to them from outside their enclosure.

    After a few days, put the chair inside their coop. You don't have to sit in it, but you could always leave some sort of treat on the seat.

    A few more days, sit in the chair with treats. You may have to throw the treats to them, because they may not come close.

    Eventually they should realize that the strange featherless thing that comes and talks to them also gives treats.

    I also found working at a petshop that if I wear the same sweater and talk to them the same way that they learn to recognize you.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Are they in a coop, or are they running around loose? If running around loose, go out and either sit in a chair with a good book, or do some gardening, with a big pan (preferably red) nearby with some of their feed sprinkled all over it.

    If they're in the coop, take your chair in there and read a book for a while each day. Just ignore them completely, don't react when they come over or hop on your feet. When they seem pretty comfortable, try putting some food on the tops of your shoes for them to eat. (BTW, I wouldn't recommend leaving the chair in there between uses - it will get all pooed on [​IMG])

    After that, *in my opinion* (some will disagree, and there are certainly pros and cons to each argument), once they are generally comfortable with you and have started to ingrain the "people=food" equation in their brains, there is something to be said for going back to picking them up, even if it causes a certain amount of distress. Work on your catching technique so you don't have to chase them. Use one hand to steer and the other to do the initial catching; if they are laying age, coming down at them from above/behind will sometimes get them to squat, which is to your advantage. When you've got them, hold them securely and in a way such that they cannot flap at all. And then -- this is the biggie -- give them something they will REALLY REALLY LIKE. For me, with the grown pullets I got last spring, it was carrying them out to a 20' square area with grass and bugs (and very good tall fencing [​IMG]) Something extra yummy would work, too, like (microwaved to thaw) frozen peas or corn. Just something that they get at NO time EXCEPT after you've picked them up.

    They will eventually come around.

    Good luck,


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