Help! My chicks must HATE me!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MountNFarm, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. MountNFarm

    MountNFarm In the Brooder

    Jul 12, 2013
    Woodstock, New Hampshire
    Okay so I currently have 7 chicks(6 speckled Sussex and 1 Turken) and two ducklings all sharing a coop. And--- no matter how much time I spend quietly sitting in the run(I let them free-range in a fenced area), giving them treats, or pretending to ignore them, they run as far and as fast as they can to be anywhere except near me! Advice?
  2. MountNFarm

    MountNFarm In the Brooder

    Jul 12, 2013
    Woodstock, New Hampshire
    By the way, they're about 3-4 weeks old now.

    OVERxCAST In the Brooder

    Jul 9, 2013
    Maybe you should hold them
  4. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    May 11, 2010
    They are at the age when chicks start to forage on their own. And remember chickens are not really domesticated pets like a dog. Being petting and loved on is something not in their evolution. A human is a predator to chickens and at 3-4 weeks chicks are very aware of what is hovering over them.

    While we all have owned the hen that loved to sit in your lap and be petted, most chickens are not that friendly. However, there are a few things you can do. Get down on their level and sit quietly. Don't try to pick them up. Don't reach for them. Don't wear large floppy hats, and some chickens don't like sunglasses. Simply sit quietly with their favorite treat in you hands. Eventually one will approach and the others will follow.

    And don't feel bad if your chickens never warm up to you. Some breeds are naturally more flighty, and some individuals are more timid. Remember chickens did not survive by being brave. They ran and hid. That's why they are called chickens.
  5. MountNFarm

    MountNFarm In the Brooder

    Jul 12, 2013
    Woodstock, New Hampshire
    Thanks, eventually one bird approached the wire poultry fence that I was sitting next to, but there was this pesky fly around and---well, let's just say I couldn't sit still any longer. I even brought out a bowl full of warm oatmeal and set it inside the fence, which they refuse to even look at. It is just discouraging because I chose these particular breed of chickens because I had read so many reviews that they were extremely friendly and curious. Hmm, I guess you can't believe everything that you read.
  6. Speaking of natural instinct. I have 15 BR hatchery stock. 5 weeks old. The cockerels are just starting to get a bit rooish, so have been working on showing them who is the dominant roo...ME. One way, if they peck me, for handling the pullets, I "peck back" by gently tapping their beak, or walk towards them and make them back away from me. I won't have a human aggressive roo in my flock for ANY reason.

    Today, I had one of them that wouldn't back down, so I did my best "cocka doodle do" it was hilarious, everyone ran and hid behind their feeder and stood completely still until I said, ok guys, it's ok, then everyone was back to doing chicken stuff....even the cockerel that bit me, ran and it's good to know, they will answer the danger call, even at 5 weeks!!!

    Plus, the cockerel that bit me, and it was not just a little peck, but a good, do not touch my pullets, peck, stayed his distance, and when I approached him again, he moved away.

    I also hold them upside down, in the palm of my hand, till they stop their ruckus..seems to work, so far, I will know more when they are 6-12 months, if nay are going to be truly human aggressive, but thought, if I worked with them young, to show I am the dominant one, maybe I will have less chances of human aggression? Just a test for me, to see if it works down the road....oh and I believe I have 3 cockerels out of the 15.
  7. creepygothnursi

    creepygothnursi In the Brooder

    Jun 27, 2013
    Mine did that. It was *so* frustrating when they would act like I was a murderer after all the time and trouble I had put into them! The good news is, when they started to approach point of lay they did a complete 180, and now come running for treats and pats. I didn't do anything different, they just got older and calmer, and got to know that I am the source of food. (Those last two are not necessarily listed in order of importance, I think!)
  8. LeviS

    LeviS Songster

    May 22, 2012
    North Dakota
    It's a phase. Once they start to get older, laying age, some will get better and some wont. It all varies by their own personalities. Continue sitting with them and giving treats, they will get use to you sitting there and once they find out what Greek yogurt is, if you decide to treat them to some, watch out! because limbs are only collateral damage and all dignity your chickens had is lost. :) It will get better :)
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013

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