How in the heck do u hand feed chickens..they would eat me..

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wannabchick, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. wannabchick

    wannabchick Songster

    Nov 27, 2010
    Northen Va
    Hey all,

    I have about 19 chickens..and hatched most myself.. They are all now around 3-6 months old. No way in heck would I or could I hold out treats for them to peck into..oh my geisha way...

    They follow me in the morning, I bring out treats, try to hold my hand with scratch in way.. Man their like woody wood pecker on the rate they plunge and velocity of force..they would take my hand off..they all did this to by the time they were 1 month old

    So how do you all do it?

  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    It's really not advisable to do so, particularly for the young male chickens~check out information on male livestock and imprinting.
  3. wannabchick

    wannabchick Songster

    Nov 27, 2010
    Northen Va
    Well, I don't let my roosters near I take that back..iam extremely distant to I fear them, infact iam going to add a post up soon about them

    But for me, I have really no need to do so..I was just so darn curious how others do it? Since I so can't..
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Hurts a little, doesn't it? [​IMG] [​IMG]
  5. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    Quote:I toss them food....I need my fingers. I do usually end up with a lap full of birds when I run out though. Most of them are little roos. My adult roo is usually on my head by then. [​IMG] I've never had an issue with handling my boys (except for one who thought I was a hen).
  6. CarolynF

    CarolynF Songster

    May 11, 2011
    Puget Sound
    My Coop
    I have only two so it's not a big thing. If there were more I probably wouldn't for all the reasons you gave. For mine I hold my hand flat with a sunflower seed in it. The peck feels like someone tapping my palm with a dull pencil. My granddaughter was here last weekend and wanted to participate. She's usually pretty flighty herself so before we let her try I held her hand and "pecked" it with my finger to show her. Then my DH held the hen and gave it a go. It worked out great!

    Sooooo (she said with a silly grin) get your DH to hold one of your young charges and you can do it too! [​IMG]
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I found it...will post the pertinent points:

    The famous German ethologist, Konrad Lorenz demonstrated the imprinting
    process in goslings and ducklings and showed that in the absence of their real mothers
    these precocial birds would imprint onto their human care taker.
    Imprinting has long lasting and important biological and psychological effects on adult
    sexual behaviour, which is often irreversible. Males that have been imprinted onto
    another species tend to court the surrogate species that raised them. For example, ram
    lambs that are raised on nanny goats will court and try to breed female goats when they
    reach sexual maturity and they show very little interest in ewes. The same pattern
    unfolds in birds. Some farm families have the embarrassing pet tom turkey who spends
    his entire life courting and pestering the family members that raised him. That is why in
    captive breeding programs for endangered species like the whooping crane or the
    California condor the hatchlings are raised and fed by bird puppets. The human
    caretakers must stay hidden from the young birds in order to ensure they are properly
    imprinted onto the correct species and not imprinted onto humans. Fortunately young
    females that imprint onto the wrong species are usually not affected and will remain
    attracted to the courtship displays from males of their own species. That is why ewe
    lambs that are raised on nanny goats will breed to rams even though their surrogate
    mother was a goat.
    The point to remember is that orphan males of most species will imprint onto their
    surrogate mothers and then later in life will direct their sexual behaviour towards the
    surrogate species. If humans become the surrogate species it creates a potentially
    dangerous situation. When the male reaches sexual maturity, in addition to his
    misdirected attraction, he will have bouts of male aggression that he will direct against
    his human “competition”. Male aggression is a normal part of sexual behaviour. In
    nearly all our livestock and wild species (horses, dogs and cats may be the exception)
    bottle raised intact males will show aggression towards humans when they reach sexual
  8. the4heathernsmom

    the4heathernsmom Songster

    Jul 1, 2008
    east texas
    I dont usually have a problem as long as the hand is held flat..... [​IMG]
  9. Try hand feeding an adult ostrich or emu... [​IMG]
    (yes.. I have been silly enough to do that on more than one occasion)...
  10. Pele

    Pele Songster

    Feb 25, 2011
    You know, I am not afraid of my birds, but when I first had chickens, it was hard to adjust to the pecking. There's something deep in the human psyche that says "eeek!" when a brd pecks at you.

    I forced myself to hold still and just let them peck me. None of my hens are aggressive, and they clearly didn't have an intent to harm me, they just wanted treats. Once I let myself get pecked a couple of times, I realized that it didn't hurt, I just had convinced myself it would.

    It's also really reassuring to know that you're dealing with an animal that is well..... chicken. You wave your hands and make a loud noise, and they scatter. If you don't like what they're doing, it's easy to make them stop.

    Try it a couple of times, let them peck the flat of your hand. It's surprisingly not as terrible as you think it would be.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by