Gentleness Affects Egg Yield Probably few things work so much against the well being of the fowls as excitement, due to rough handling or to fear from any cause. At no time should the fowls be unnecessarily excited. Often the entrance of a dog or a cat or visitors in the pens will disturb the fowls, so these should be kept out as much as possible. Fowls on free range are not so likely to be disturbed because they get around and see the world more. At all times the attendant should avoid making sudden motions, calling loudly, or otherwise startling the fowls. He should always control his temper and try to govern even the most annoying fowls without force. It is desirable to enter the pens as quietly as possible and even to presage entrance by making some noise such as low whistling, so the hens will know that he is approaching. When it is necessary to carry some unfamiliar object among the flock, this should be done gradually. Even the wearing of a different style of suit than usual, especially if this is of some gaudy color, will disturb the fowls until they are accustomed to it. Hens, especially laying hens, become attached to their quarters. They, therefore, should not be unnecessarily moved because this also affects the laying, whether from homesickness or what is purely speculative, but the fact is the egg yield often suffers. Where it is absolutely necessary to make a change, this should be done with the least possible disturbance, preferably by driving the fowls gently to the new quarters. When hens must be handled or carried, this should always be done at night and the fowls should be held gently with the hand beneath the breast; never by the feet. No more than two fowls should be carried at a time in this way -- one under each arm. If a considerable number must be moved at a time, they must be placed in coops and so carried. - - M.G. Kains, "Profitable Poultry Production." This was written (and offered here as information) in the context of good and/or increased egg production. Mr. Kains was doing well with chickens a long time ago (this from 1916) and knew what he was talking about. He didn't have any modern methods or conveniences to cloud his decisions and he didn't overthink things. SO I wonder, how many of you chickeners here treat your birds this way? How many stay away from them as much as possible, leaving them alone for the most part? Are you conscious of your movements, your speech and even your appearance among them? What about the children? How many refrain from picking them up except at night? I was a little surprised when I first read this and it was something of an eye opener - it's a viewpoint not too often seen.