How to get them to love you

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Cloud, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. Cloud

    Cloud New Egg

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    Greetings

    I have chickens that are approximately 5 weeks old and they are absolutely terrified of me, what can I do to get them to like you, want to come to you and actually get excited when you come home. It's probably too early for that but they are getting more and more scared of me as time goes on!!
     
  2. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member

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    The way to a chickens heart is through it's stomach, they love to eat! Here's a wonderful list of things that are good (and not good) for chickens:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chicken-treat-chart-the-best-treats-for-backyard-chickens

    Also, on the home page there is a link to an article on how to make your chickens more comfortable with you.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/913175/how-do-you-make-your-chickens-more-comfortable-with-you

    Hope these help you out. It helps to get started while the birds are young. If you need more ideas on how to interact with your birds, you can use the Search box for more ideas.
     
  3. Cindysid

    Cindysid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I handle my chicks every day and of course give them treats. Meal worms are their favorite. Mine are almost too friendly now and vie for my attention. This sounds silly I know, but I also talk to them all the time. My husband thinks I'm nuts but they definitely respond to my voice. When I let them out every morning they are so happy to see me! I carry on a conversation with them while I am changing out their feed and water and give tummy rubs to those who come to be picked up. They are rotten.
     
  4. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    Have you tried getting down to their level? I think they have instincts to be afraid of things from above. Mine were always freaky when I first tried to pick them up while standing above them. I searched forums and someone showed sitting with them really helped in taming, tried it and it worked for me.


    Try going into their area and sitting on a stool, bucket or just on the floor/dirt. Take a handful of mealy worms and let them see you holding it. Scatter some rather close to you. and some remote for the scared ones. When they start coming closer, offer treats in your hand only. They should start to come to you and eat out of your hand. Once they do this, only offer treat in your hand. Some will likely try sitting on your legs and may peck at your shoes, clothes, but don't react. Start trying to gently touch them from below - mine tolerated me touching their crop areas gently, touching their tails and toes. And with time, I was able to pick them up for a few seconds and release. Now if I need to examine them for injury, pests, I am able to pick them up without a squawk.

    Be sure to always be calm when you are with them, a lesson I am continuously learning. Talk to them in a quiet, soft voice. When you are outdoors in proximity to the coop - even if just passing by - talk to them.

    They react to anything new, even minor, with fear. They adjust to things slowly, so keep it simple at first and set a pattern they expect.

    Chickens are intelligent and can be trained to do amazing things. And all training involves food.

    Regarding love…I do think they have emotions, just wait til the hormones begin! Of my 6, 1 is my best friend when I come into their coop/run for chores….she always stays close, watches what I do, and "helps" me clean the coop….without expected treats!

    Good luck, hope this will work for you.

    .
     
  5. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member

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    x3 on the talking to them. My chickens and I carry on conversations all day long. They are so accustomed to my voice (and associate it with getting attention, treats and some petting), they will hear me when I'm all the way across the yard and they shout out at me. When they stare into your face while you talk and then chatter back...that's some good company there!
     
  6. thefeatherlady

    thefeatherlady Out Of The Brooder

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    I had a difficult time with mine at first also, so I started talking to them in my sweetest voice and I took my chair out onto the lawn and literally sat with them for hours. I would occasionally hold out my hand with some oats and let them eat from my hand. This not only told them I had food but also earned their trust. I never rush them, just let them come to me. I soon found out they were laying behind my chair. When I set up my coop and they felt safe inside, they quickly learned that I would take care of them. Then at dusk, they came up to me and laid next to me. I very slowly reached down and gently stroked their chest, then their back. After just one night they let me pick them up and hold them on my lap. Now it's a contest who gets to my lap first. Just be patient and move slow as not to startle them. They will see you can be trusted and the rest will come naturally. I would love to hear back from you on their progress. I wish you all the best. They are wonderful creatures.
     

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