How can I make my hens more friendly?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cejones119, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. cejones119

    cejones119 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2010
    I have 3 hens: an EE, EE x Some jungle fowl thing, and a black sex-link. They are all around a year old I think. They vary in personality as far friendliness goes, but none of them like to get close to me! I would love some chicken cuddling time, but they don't seem to be interested. I've tried giving them treats out of my hands, but they don't seem to want to get close enough. Any suggestions as to how to make these guys a little more friendly?
     
  2. swordgeek

    swordgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2010
    Westford, MA
    How long have you had the girls? Are they still in the getting-to-know-you phase, or were they with you from the beginning?

    I was pretty disappointed in my failure to bond with my younger girls, who came here at about 6-8 weeks (as opposed to the day-olds I already had, who were handled all the time). They weren't used to hand-feeding or petting like my older birds. The new ones have been with me for close to 3 months, and it's only recently that they started eating treats out of my hand. When all else failed, I made a point of sitting out with them in the run every day, just quietly sitting there, sometimes talking gently to them. I'd offer treats, which they wouldn't take from me, but if I scattered on the ground, they would shyly come up and take them. I would pet my older birds, just to (hopefully?) show them I meant no harm, and it felt good.

    Eventually, the started eating from my hand. I still can't pet them during the day, but every evening, when I go out to turn off the coop light and close up, I take a few extra minutes to pet each bird gently while they're perched, starting with the older birds (even the roo). At first, the new girls all skittered away from me on the perch and made a racket. Now, they take it in stride, and don't squirm away on me. It's been a long road, but we're making progress! Don't give up. [​IMG]
     
  3. Mtn Cur

    Mtn Cur Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 5, 2010
    Seymour, Tn
    The only sure way I know is to catch them up and handle them everyday. Or every chance you get.
     
  4. cejones119

    cejones119 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2010
    Most of this just really stems from my impatience. It's really only been a week since I got them... Just figured the sooner the better. They've definitely settled down since then, but like I said they're still really skiddish. Guess I'll just have to be patient on this one good luck to me!
     
  5. turtlebird

    turtlebird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 11, 2009
    Time and LOTS of treats. [​IMG]
     
  6. Lilacfeather

    Lilacfeather Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 4, 2010
    Richmond, VA
    I am having the same issue. I got mine 2 weeks ago at 9 weeks of age. I have found that the best time for attempting contact is at night, after they've settled down in the coop. Some of them still scatter, but a couple of them will sit there, and let me pet them. And I can even pick one of them up now.

    I have also been told that they become a lot more handleable when they get to laying age, and will even squat for you when you go to pet them. I have a couple of months to wait for that, though!
     
  7. gavinandallison

    gavinandallison Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2010
    Matthews, NC.
    We have 10 week old Barred Rocks that are so friendly. Go in each day to see them, sit on the ground at their level and offer treats to them - tomato works very well, as do grapes and beets. They will soon associate you entering their run/coop with food and rush to meet you. We petted our from the front so they could see our hands, if you come down from above it is like a bird of prey and they will run...
     

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