How do I raise "lap" chickens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lfisher56, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. lfisher56

    lfisher56 Hatching

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    Oct 14, 2019
    Hello!

    I just purchased my first three pullets about 1.5 months ago. They were between 6-10 weeks when I got them. They were very skittish at first. I managed to get them used to hand feeding. They will come on my lap to eat if they are hungry enough (and the snack is to their liking).

    But I can't seem to get them to enjoy, or even tolerate, handling. Whenever I gently touch their wings or back or chest, they object and move away. I need to get them used to handling, as we live in an area VERY prone to wildfires and I may need to scoop them up and evacuate them. Plus, it would be fun to be able to pet them! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. CascadiaRiver

    CascadiaRiver Songster

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    Treats! Yummy treats! Something so they can associate you with good things, hold them on your lap and give them treats. With some of our more skittish ones we had we would only give treats to them if they ate from our hand (being close to us instead of keeping distance) and just slowly migrating over a few weeks to touching while feeding treats and snacks.

    Some birds are just more skittish and may not want to be a friendly bird, in our flock it's about 1 in 5, but hopefully you can convince these ladies you're pretty cool with a handful of oatmeal, scratch or other treats!
     
  3. SueT

    SueT Crossing the Road

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    Welcome to BYC! Sunflower seeds are a sure-fire chicken getter in our flock. None of our hens like to be touched or petted, but will tolerate it if bribed.
     
  4. lfisher56

    lfisher56 Hatching

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    Oct 14, 2019
    Thanks for the advice. I have been told with three young birds, not to give them more than a handful of treats per day (e.g. scratch, oats, apples, etc.). What do you think of this? I would hate to make them unhealthy in my attempt to "tame" them!
     
  5. HenOnAJuneBug

    HenOnAJuneBug Crowing

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    Massage their wattles and throat. Mine get real still and quiet when I do that.
     
  6. CascadiaRiver

    CascadiaRiver Songster

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    Yes, not too many treats a day, this may be a slow process but don't give up ^^ It's taken one of my hens nearly 3 years to trust me enough to be my friend and finally jump on my lap ^^ Another one of my hens is only 4 months old and shes already warming up and totally fine on my lap
     
  7. BaaKaaawk

    BaaKaaawk Crowing

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    You've got good responses above, but keep in mind just like dogs and cats- not all chickens are suitable for lap chickens.
     

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