How do I make chicks friendly?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by needmorechickens!, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. needmorechickens!

    needmorechickens! Songster

    Jul 2, 2008
    West TN
    I've only had chickens for 3 months. I bought 10 chicks from the feed store and raised them. I have a few new 3 week old cochins now. I have heard people talk of "friendly" chickens that they can set on their shoulder, or ones that let their owners pick them up....
    Here is my question....
    How do I get friendly chickens? I would like to have one that is not afraid of me. All of mine run from me or freak out when i pick them up. Do they get better as they get older? How much should i hold them? How do I encourage them to come to me? I tried some treats and a couple of the hens will run to get it, but they grab it and run, sometimes biting my finger as well...ouch![​IMG]
    I want to work with my 3 week olds (cochins are supposed to be pretty friendly, right?) now to encourage them to be an affectionate pet....or do you just have to get lucky and happen on an exceptionally friendly chicken?

    Any encouragement would be appreciated![​IMG]
  2. rooster0209

    rooster0209 Songster

    Apr 7, 2008
    North Dakota
    same here. Mine all run from me too. I spent alot of time with them trying to tame them.

    Give me a wild cat and I can tame it in a few days! Chickens not so easy
  3. Bird Hearder

    Bird Hearder Songster

    Apr 10, 2008
    Salisbury, Md.
    Actually when they Named them Chickens they were right on. And the term "What are you Chicken?" is dead on!!

    About all you can do is handle them and hand feed treats. We go out and call "here Chickens" and they come running. But I don't think any of them like to be caught. They'll Squalk and fight a little until you have them, then all is well.
  4. Continious handling will HELP in this area.
    Some chickens will never get used to being picked up and even like it.

    IMHO..the way to a chickens heart is through it's stomach. Keep it up with the treats.

    Rome wasn't built in a day and trust me...neither will a "dog like" relationship with a chicken be.

    Also, the best way to achieve this is confinement. Once they hit the free range status, it only gets harder!

  5. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    Mine are all pretty tame...What I did was from the first day I got them (the ones I hatched out are friendlier then the ones I got from a hatchery) I picked them up...and it really does matter what breed they if you have a leghorn 99% chance it will NOT like you ever! lol My cochins seem to be more shy then my other girls and all my girls make squawking noises when I pick them up but once I sit with them and allow them lose then they lay on my leg. But they do all pitch a fit when you pick them up. They even put up with my little three yr old and one EE and one Barred rock allow HIM to pick them up with squawking of course. I spent about an hour a day NEVER missing a day with them and eventually they knew I was the "good guy". I never fed them treats from my hand but brought them to a desk and let them go and fed them there. Then they knew being picked up was a good thing, it always came with good food lol. I have been working harder on my baby orps and boy do they all come running at 3 weeks old to be picked up. They all love us. The D'uccle's are proving to be more of a challenge. Orps are just all so friendly and easy to tame.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008
  6. kinnip

    kinnip Songster

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    I've had the most luck by just sitting and talking to them. I don't chase them to pick them up, unless it's necessary for vet care, etc. If they get close enough to me I might reach out and grab 'em, but I won't do it twice in a row. I do pet them often, but allow them to keep their feet on the ground. It took my first batch until almost a month old to feel comfortable letting me hold them and even now they aren't always in the mood. All you can do is make yourself familiar and available should they become curious.
  7. needmorechickens!

    needmorechickens! Songster

    Jul 2, 2008
    West TN
    ok...I'm feeling better now...I thought I was a bad chicken mama! I will just keep trying to love on them![​IMG]
  8. coffeelady3

    coffeelady3 Froths Milk for Hard Cash

    Jun 26, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    Mine are the same way. What I've been doing is that when I go sit out with them, I usually have some kind of treat that I hand feed them. They've gone from extremely stand-offish to jumping in my lap every time I sit down. They still don't like me to pick them up, and they're not too keen on me petting them, but they're getting better. Just be patient and don't force your affection on them. They will come around.
  9. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    I have 4 chickens with 4 different preferences for how we handle them. With the exception of the banty, these girls were raised exactly the same way.

    Black Star - She'll run up to you and beg to be picked up any time you're near her.
    Barred Rock - Very food-oriented. Will be held for food. Jumps up into my lap often to check on me.
    RIR - Very skittish, not very food-oriented. However, she's the BR's shadow and goes anywhere the BR goes. Sometimes that means my lap, but she doesn't like it. Good luck catching or holding that one.
    Banty Cochin - little snuggle bug but ONLY on her terms, which are: roosting time, on your shoulder. That's it.
  10. needmorechickens!

    needmorechickens! Songster

    Jul 2, 2008
    West TN
    Hee hee hee [​IMG]
    It's fun to hear about everyone's chicken personalities!
    I hope mine become more friendly! [​IMG]


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