How can I help make my chicks friendly?

BlackIce

Songster
Mar 29, 2018
188
158
111
Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to make chicks grow into friendly hens and roos? I've had chickens for a few years now and some would be a friendly bunch and others more skittish. Did I do something to one batch I didn't do to another? If anyone has any suggestions to make my chicks be as friendly as ever that would be great! (If breed is a large enough factor than I have 6 barred rocks, 6 amberlinks, 3 golden sebright bantams, and a mystery bantam we are thinking to be a mille fleur d'uccle bantam).
 

Kessel23

Hi Bug
Feb 6, 2018
2,493
66,330
1,182
Wisconsin
For roosters, do not handle them a lot and pretty much just leave them alone. All my roosters and hens are extremely friendly, all I do is feed and water them daily and I do not chase or handle them. The only bad thing about really friendly chickens is they expect you to move around them, I have almost stepped on and accidentally kicked several hens who walked in front of me when I was carrying water :lol:
 

BlackIce

Songster
Mar 29, 2018
188
158
111
For roosters, do not handle them a lot and pretty much just leave them alone. All my roosters and hens are extremely friendly, all I do is feed and water them daily and I do not chase or handle them. The only bad thing about really friendly chickens is they expect you to move around them, I have almost stepped on and accidentally kicked several hens who walked in front of me when I was carrying water :lol:
Huh. I always thought that the more you handle them the friendlier they will be because they would get used to you. Awww thats cute. Poor gals :lol:
 

Kessel23

Hi Bug
Feb 6, 2018
2,493
66,330
1,182
Wisconsin
Yep, I thought that too at first, but I think it scares them when you try to catch them. I have had the best luck with just not handling them. Once they get nice enough and see you as the food source then they will usually let you pick them up, well mine do. I can pick my birds up now without them trying to run. One thing that really makes them unfriendly is chasing them, do not let your kids, if you have kids, chase them around the coop or while they are free ranging, it makes them lose trust in people and become more skittish and alert around them. Also, I find that it is best not to handle and be nice to the roosters, if you are to nice they will begin to see you as a chicken, you will be included in the pecking order and they will want to put you in your place. I think it is best if they see you as a food source.
 

BlackIce

Songster
Mar 29, 2018
188
158
111
Where are you brooding them?

https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...and-start-raising-your-chicks-outdoors.71995/

I ordered my chicks before my coop is done (oops!), so we are going to be using a brooder box that opens on the side.
I clicked on the link and actually the small bird cage i have them in is raised so that it is about at eye level and the door is on the side. They are in a part of the house that we walk past and spend most of our time around.
 

BlackIce

Songster
Mar 29, 2018
188
158
111
Yep, I thought that too at first, but I think it scares them when you try to catch them. I have had the best luck with just not handling them. Once they get nice enough and see you as the food source then they will usually let you pick them up, well mine do. I can pick my birds up now without them trying to run. One thing that really makes them unfriendly is chasing them, do not let your kids, if you have kids, chase them around the coop or while they are free ranging, it makes them lose trust in people and become more skittish and alert around them. Also, I find that it is best not to handle and be nice to the roosters, if you are to nice they will begin to see you as a chicken, you will be included in the pecking order and they will want to put you in your place. I think it is best if they see you as a food source.
Thats a good idea. ill have to try it! (says as there are 4 babies sleeping on chest at that exact moment) :lol:
 

llombardo

Crowing
Mar 11, 2018
3,017
4,806
356
Illinois
I handled mine all the time the first two weeks. Now they are bigger and I don't handle them much, but they now come to me on their own. I had to treat one the other day and it was so much easier to do because she was used to being handed. That's all I wanted from them. The ducks are more skittish, one duck is super friendly. I'm trying to teach him not to bite. He usually bites my arm so I move and he can come under.
 

chuckachucka

Crowing
Mar 22, 2016
1,292
1,825
287
I agree with Kessel23. The worst thing you can do is chase them to pick them up. Instead try to encourage them to come to you (with food, basically!) from as early an age as possible. It's positive reinforcement - coming toward you means a reward. Being chased and grabbed is instinctively scary for them as prey animals and even if you reward them after you catch them, they can't help feeling and then rememebering that fear.

Now you might have heard of people with super friendly chickens who follow them around and sit on their laps etc. Chickens like humans for food and a high safe place to relax on, and that's really as far as it goes, except if they attach to someone in place of a mother. As far as I've experienced, chicks who have been encouraged to see their owner as their mother (brooder raised chicks) may develop a closer bond with them. This can last into the chick's adulthood. Pretty much the extra two things a mother hen offers that human keeper doesn't is warmth and direct physical safety from predators. So if you let them snuggle with you and protect them from danger from an early age, they might come to see you as more than their keeper. This can lead to chickens who actively seek out your company later for more than just food or a knee to perch on.
 

4 ever Orpington

Mr.& Mrs Orpington
Nov 5, 2017
1,514
4,908
416
Suches,Georgia
Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to make chicks grow into friendly hens and roos? I've had chickens for a few years now and some would be a friendly bunch and others more skittish. Did I do something to one batch I didn't do to another? If anyone has any suggestions to make my chicks be as friendly as ever that would be great! (If breed is a large enough factor than I have 6 barred rocks, 6 amberlinks, 3 golden sebright bantams, and a mystery bantam we are thinking to be a mille fleur d'uccle bantam).
I suggest lots of you and chicken time . I have one Buff Orpington rooster and thirteen hens. All of them will love the socks off of you. :old
 

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