1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

How to raise friendly chickens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AnimalFriend<3, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. AnimalFriend<3

    AnimalFriend<3 Out Of The Brooder

    73
    2
    41
    Jan 21, 2011
    I really want to raise happy, healthy, friendly chickens! Does anyone have suggestions? I really want them to truely enjoy my company, not just want my treats. [​IMG]
     
  2. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

    691
    5
    128
    Nov 13, 2010
    Alabama
    Don't try to pick them up from behind, they'll spook. Approach them from the front - coax them with treats and touch their heads and chests. Then slide a hand under the breastbone to pick up.

    They may be skittish when young, but can still get friendly when mature. (It seems to take them awhile to learn that you're going to feed them, not eat them on the spot!)

    Don't encourage the roosters. Roosters can be unpredictably aggressive, so keep them at a distance. Cuddle the hens instead! [​IMG]
     
  3. zippitydooda

    zippitydooda Chillin' With My Peeps

    398
    0
    121
    Apr 23, 2010
    Ottawa, Ohio
    I've picked up my girls since day 1 EVERY day. Some are skittish, some like to be held. But mostly, I'm still the food/treat lady. If I sit still while they are free-ranging, they will hang out with me. They follow me around the yard like I'm the pied-piper. But... food is still how I get them all in the coop at night. Sometimes they go on their own, but mostly I bribe them, hahaha. This winter I've not let them loose because I don't want them eating the salt I put on the walks, so I pick them up while I'm in the coop. I hold them, pet them, talk to them and even sing to them. Some like to sing along.

    I guess if you are friendly and "safe" they will learn that and trust you. Keep at it, it's totally worth it!

    [​IMG]
     
  4. gardeningsis

    gardeningsis Out Of The Brooder

    57
    0
    29
    May 8, 2008
    Illinois
    [​IMG]I have always done the same as zippitydooda. Every day from the time they were chicks I pick them up. My little Mille Fleur that just sucumbed to old age would run over the other ones to get up in our lap when we sat down. She would cuddle in and close her eyes. Some are a little more aloof but still follow me where ever I go. (had to edit for a misspelled word:)
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2011
  5. chicken burger

    chicken burger Chillin' With My Peeps

    120
    3
    101
    Dec 12, 2010
    I also handle my chicks from a young age. I currently have a new buff orpington who is so bad, she sits on my shoulder. If I put her down, she sits on my foot. I also have a set of pekins who can't wait to get out of the run so they can sit on my lap. I find that they seem to get more tame when they become older. All chicks really want to do is explore and gobble up everything in site and my picking them up interupts them. I also try to coax them from the front. I have a special call for them when I give them food and treats and the recognise it. once they come to me if I called them I talk in a soft voice and they always seem interested in what I'm saying.
    There are however some of my chickens that just don't trust me. One of my little roos will NEVER let me touch him and he keeps his favourite hen away from me too. but my other girls are pretty tame.

    Yesterday my 3 year old went and sat on the ground and my pekin roo went on over and ploffed himself down on her lap.

    I also have a rule of no chasing. I never chase a chicken unless absolutely necessary. My chickens free range all day and then by 6pm, they all go into the copp by themselves. Then I go and say goodnight and make a point of naming each one and close the run till tomorrow morning. When I open the run in the mornings, I don't step away from the gate, so if they want to come out, they have to pass by me first. now they vitually push me out of the way! ;-)

    what breed of chickens do you have?
     
  6. AdrieeC

    AdrieeC Pink Roses Farm

    194
    0
    109
    Mar 14, 2010
    Pearl River
    They do know us for food. They also know we give them fresh water and we have the power to let them run the yard. They follow us around regularly, and will come running from far across the yard if they see the old ice cream bucket that holds the treats. They don't particularly like to be handled, but we do it anyway, and compared to my first flock these are much more friendly by nature. If you are still they will come and eat out of your hand. I handle my rooster too, but I guess he may just be more docile than the average rooster because he comes running to David to be rescued if he feels threatened, and has been a very gentle roo. Right now he is getting much more attention than he probably ever had in his whole life since he was injured and I have to feed him by hand every few hours. He is Improving under my care. I can't imagine not giving him some of the lovin too.
     
  7. gardeningsis

    gardeningsis Out Of The Brooder

    57
    0
    29
    May 8, 2008
    Illinois
    :)My little Japanese red banty is a ladies man. He parades around the hens until something scary happens, then he runs to get under our legs and waits to be picked up. We have to laugh at him.
     
  8. AdrieeC

    AdrieeC Pink Roses Farm

    194
    0
    109
    Mar 14, 2010
    Pearl River
    Quote:If something scary happens he bends down and they jump into his arms like this. Sometimes he ends up like a chicken tree...

    [​IMG]
     
  9. gardeningsis

    gardeningsis Out Of The Brooder

    57
    0
    29
    May 8, 2008
    Illinois
    :)Love the photo
     
  10. AnimalFriend<3

    AnimalFriend<3 Out Of The Brooder

    73
    2
    41
    Jan 21, 2011
    Quote:None yet. I have a BO, EE and BSL on the way! I have pretty much read everything I can on chickens in the last month or so! [​IMG]
    Thanks for the help so far, keep it comin!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by