How do you get friendly with your hens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cyberchick, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. cyberchick

    cyberchick Out Of The Brooder

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    I have recently purchased 4 hens a few days ago. 2 at POL and 2 younger. This is my first time and I don't know how to get the birds to trust me. I would like them to be able to be fed from the hand and not get scarred if I go to pick them up. Any advice is appreciated.
     
  2. Ravishaw

    Ravishaw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine are still pretty young. There are wynadottes and americaunas that are the most skittish, the barred rocks are pretty good and the Rhode Island reds are the best. There's one RIR that's a runty little thing that lets me pick her up.

    From what others have said, the older they get the easier it is to pick up a chicken to handle it. Some are just going to be docile little puffballs though. Don't cry if you didn't get one though. They seem rare.

    Familiarity plays a big role.
     
  3. cyberchick

    cyberchick Out Of The Brooder

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    I researched the breeds before I got them. I have a light sussex, barnevelda, buff orpington and bluebell. All the breeds are meant to be docile and easy to tame. Don't know if I just need to be patient or just start to handle them if they like it or not!
     
  4. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I raised mine from a week old, gently picking them up daily, feeding them a little by hand etc. but since they've been out in the run, some just have personalities that are either more friendly or aloof. Give them treats. Then I guarantee they will at least be very interested in you.
     
  5. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, and move slowly around them [​IMG]
     
  6. australorpchick

    australorpchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good job doing your research first. Find the treats that they like best (trial and error). The fastest way to a chicken's heart is through its crop. I handled my grown birds right away, especially the roosters. They may not like it, but they tolerate it and realize it's not something I'm going to do intending on hurting them. The sooner your birds are used to being handled, the easier it will be to treat for bugs, injuries and snuggles.
     
  7. cyberchick

    cyberchick Out Of The Brooder

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    I was worried I might be frightening the hens by trying to pick them up. Obviously they just want to get away from me if it looks like I might pick them up. I have found out today that they love mealworms. It's the most friendly they have been. Unfortunately only two would take them out of my hands. The younger two wouldn't come near.
     
  8. cyberchick

    cyberchick Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:I really fancied getting Wynadottes but they are just not easy to get in the UK.
     
  9. NeeleysAVLChicks

    NeeleysAVLChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Treats, treats, treats...and time, but mostly treats! My first girls were POL hens and hadn't been handled at all, so when I got them they were utterly terrified of me. This is what worked for me...spend some time with them, find a chair and hang out in their run or out in the yard with them and always bring goodies, even if its just a couple grapes, a handful of sunflower seeds or the ultimate chicken love, meal worms.

    I tried to spend some time, even just 10-15 minutes a day, sitting with my girls, talking to them softly and feeding them a treat (just one at a time) every few minutes. My original girls have never become lap chickens, but now I can walk out on my porch and call for them and they'll come running no matter where they are. Some people may think its silly for actively trying to get your hens to like you, but there's very practical purposes for it, when you need to inspect for injury, medicate for any reason, etc, its SOOOO much easier to be able to reach down and just pick one up then trying to chase them all over Eden.

    Good luck!!
     
  10. crawfordmama

    crawfordmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sometimes it just takes a little time, depending on their individual personalities. Keep at it.[​IMG]
     

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