How can I make my chickens scared of us?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by floridamel, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. floridamel

    floridamel Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 5, 2010
    Tampa, FL
    This may seem like a strange question, but we are having a big problem. Our two RIR hens who are 1 year old have gotten progressively more brave and are no longer afraid of anything, human or animal. They follow us around pecking at us whenever we go in the yard, thinking we have food (or we are food). If you carry anything in the yard, they try to rip it out of your hand. One of them attacked the face of my 70 pound dog to steal a rawhide OUT OF HER MOUTH!! They also follow her around every time she goes outside hoping she will drop something interesting that they can eat. And, if my little dog gets too close when walking by, they try to peck her face. These are all fairly new developments as the chickens have gotten more and more daring recently. We want them to have some fear of us, like most chickens I have seen before, so that if you approach them, they walk away. We have tried chasing them, it doesn't work, they either just stand there, or attack our feet! We have tried spraying them with a hose, but as soon as you put the hose down, they come right back.

    Does anyone have any suggestions about what we can do to make them afraid of us and/or the dogs?
     
  2. bburn

    bburn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    keep them in their run.....they can seriously damage your dogs eyes....or give them the boot
     
  3. floridamel

    floridamel Out Of The Brooder

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    The whole reason we got them is to take care of ticks in the back yard, which they are doing wonderfully (it was a big problem before we got them). So, we want them to be able to free range in the whole yard.
     
  4. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Guineas are excellent for tick control, and they are not going to be friendly like a chicken. Maybe you should try guineas.
     
  5. ChickenWisperer

    ChickenWisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2008
    KY
    If they belonged to me, I would sell them. I have a serious grudge against RIR.

    If it comes to the point of you wanting to put "fear into your birds", then you need to get rid of them or keep them caged.

    My birds wander in between my feet, and can get pretty rough when eating from my hand in large groups trying to get something, but have never purposefully attacked or hurt me. They have no fear of anything, except rabid dogs/cats/hawks/etc. My pullets run up to dad when he as the chainsaw out tuning it. Your birds pecking at your dogs is a way to protect themselves. When my cats get too close during freeranging, my birds peck at them pretty harshly... my cats got the message and haven't tried it again.
     
  6. floridamel

    floridamel Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 5, 2010
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    I'm hoping to keep them because we are moving in about 5 months and then we will get rid of them. Their egg production is great and they are doing a good job on the ticks, and they don't try to leave our yard, so I'd rather not start from scratch. The dogs do leave them alone, the problem is they approach the dogs (and us).

    In the future when we have chickens again, I would like a breed that is quiet (ours are really loud) and more shy. I've heard that guineas can be really noisy. Thoughts?
     
  7. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

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    They arent trying to be mean, they just want to be around you. I dont see anything wrong with that.
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Buff Orps are pretty quiet and I would be amazed if they ever got pushy like that as they are known for being the victim of the bullies in the flock. I had 3 Buff Orp hens in my mixed flock and they were always the ones who got pushed around; the one I have left tends to keep her distance from the flock or hang around a roo for protection. I hate hatchery RIR as well. I have no idea whether breeder quality RIR would be better.

    Meanwhile, if I were you I'd pick up a few squirt guns from the toy section and carry one in my pocket.
     
  9. floridamel

    floridamel Out Of The Brooder

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    Tampa, FL
    ChickieBooBoo - I wouldn't mind that at all if they didn't peck at us constantly! They peck HARD and break the skin. Everyone in the house is afraid of them because of it. Plus our dogs can't sit in the yard without being harassed by them.
     
  10. floridamel

    floridamel Out Of The Brooder

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    Great idea, ddawn! I will definitely try squirt guns! How are the BOs in terms of noise?
     

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