How friendly is too friendly? And..jealous chickens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sommrluv, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. sommrluv

    sommrluv Songster

    Jul 17, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    Should I discourage my hens from being so friendly? They follow me everywhere like little puppies, and it's really fun to go out to their run in the morning with treats, and they hear me and are at the door, or see me through the window of the coop, 7 little faces, and run to me.

    But they also aren't afraid of the dogs, and I'm a little tired of having my feet and hands pecked. I was hand feeding them treats for a while to get them accostumed to me, as I got most of them near grown. Now, if I'm empty handed, a chicken comes up behind me and nips at my fingers if I don't keep them in my pockets.

    Have you ever tried to walk with chickens sitting on your feet, difficult. Is this normal? I shouldn't worry? LOL

    The only other bizarre thing is there is one hen, my only RIR, that is jealous of anyone I touch. For a while when I integrated the group, the younger hatchery hens were getting chased off the food. So I started feeling their crops, and adjusting the feeders and seperating them until the hen pecking died down. But my RIR, she hates it when I touch another chicken. She runs over, if they aren't in my arms, she pecks at them and pulls their feathers. If I'm holding someone else, she flys to my shoulder and stands on top of her "competition". One day I'm leaning on their roosts, and I feel something. I look behind me...she's playing with my hair.

    Are your girls this friendly?

  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Today after I let my girls out to free range I fed them a few grapes and then my blue wheaten Ameraucana hen (Jennie) jumped up on my lap and laid her neck out over my belly. She looks up at me like, "Are you going to tickle my muffs and bear OR not."

    I did this all the time when she was a chick and she loves it. So I tickled her until she fell asleep ... eventually she tired of it and jumped down to play.
  3. sommrluv

    sommrluv Songster

    Jul 17, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    That's WILD! A chicken asleep in your lap. Well, my dogs do it.

    I grew up with a parrot, and finches, and I know where a bird likes to be touched, so I've been assuming they have the same "good spots" Under the wings, around the neck. I was surprised today to see one of the girls stand on one leg, like parrots do.

    I guess I need to remember they are birds, even if they are livestock that lives outside. My pet birds were always very chummy.
  4. MaggieRae

    MaggieRae Songster

    Apr 12, 2009
    North Texas
    We have rocking chairs on the porch and we often let our hens out to free range. We rock while watching them. Whenever the roo gets too friendly, the hens sprint over to us and jump in our laps cause there's only room for one chicken per lap. They get as much time as they want preening, getting petted and treats, in a no-roo zone! But they miss out on all the yummie's from free ranging. Sometimes the roo jumps on our laps too, but then he can't watch out for his girls so he doesn't stay long. [​IMG]
    I love friendly chickens, and my neighbors and friends seem to enjoy them as well.
  5. HippieChickens

    HippieChickens Songster

    Jun 12, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010

  6. Tricia's Triple Z

    Tricia's Triple Z In the Brooder

    Dec 7, 2007
    I have tripped over them, they are so friendly, try having 32 of them run at you!
    They LOVE red toenail polish!
    I do have a few protective girls. Every once and a while a Guinea hen will go in their cage, and when I go to get them out I usually have trouble, VERY loud racket and scratches, feathers everywhere, well, my 3 girl gang up on the Guinea pecking at her. It seems like they are trying to protect me, but they really aren't helping the situation!
    My girls are too friendly, if I don't close the door to my house they make their way in to see if they can score some food. Dry cat food is their favorite find! On picnic days they aren't allowed out, they are thieves, stole the pickle right out of my Dad's cheeseburger in his hand! But you gotta LOVE em
  7. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Tricia's Triple Z :

    stole the pickle right out of my Dad's cheeseburger in his hand!

    [​IMG] OMG the mental picture of that is hilarious!

    I don't have a problem with pecking, but I quit hand feeding when they were still small. I cannot let my 6 year old feed them scratch unless I'm the first one to toss some to the ground. My 2 pullets that are on the bottom of the pecking order have found that could fly up onto my arm for the treats. I can barely get in the gate before they're flying at me. One day I didn't want them on me, so I thought I wouldn't put my hand out. I'll never do that again. They flew at me anyway trying to get to the treats, and it was not a graceful event. (I felt like the lady in the movie The Birds) My EE is very gentle when she lands on me, but my RIR is like a C130 coming in for landing. And if she doesn't judge the distance right she tries to "hang on" with her beak while flapping her wings.​
    1 person likes this.
  8. Plain Old Dee

    Plain Old Dee Songster

    Oct 30, 2009
    Seminole, OK
    My girls are not all that friendly - they're not really pets. That being said, if I go for a walk on the property, it's pretty much an easter parade. I'm the leader, followed by the dogs, horses, goats and chickens. The girls love new areas to forage in - the dogs discourage predation while we are out and about. The neighbors get a kick out of our little parades.

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