how to tame your birds......

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Kokamo, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. Kokamo

    Kokamo New Egg

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    Nov 27, 2011
    Hey guys, I recently purchased a flock of 10 birds....3 PR's, 4 RIR's, and 3 easter eggs. All of which were around 3 months old when I got them. I was not sure of their past, but if I were to guess, they had never had much human contact because they are very shy and throw a fit if I try to catch them.

    Well, it's been about 2 months since I have had them. I go in the pen every day for water/food/scratch/etc, and it seems every day they get better. Here in the past 2 weeks or so I realized that chickens love bread, so every evening me or the wife will go out and give them two slices of bread as a treat. It seems as if that is working. Now when i walk to the door of the run, they are all there to greet me. They seem to be very skittish if I make quick sudden moves, but I think they are finally getting used to me.

    So today I went out and gave them some bread and I caught one of the Plymouth Rocks. She didn't like it and the others ran back in the coop like I just murdered someone.....I took the girl out of the run and walked around with her for about 15-20 min, petting and talking to her. I then let her go very gently and grabbed another PR. Did the same with that one and finally the 3rd one. (I'm just working with all my PR's now) So I went back about an hour later and noticed all three PR's were not as skittish as they had been. They didn't run when I put out my hand and were not as afraid when I made fast movements or stood up.

    I suppose it's just getting them to know me. I work from 6am to 6pm and I haven't been home during the day since I have had them, so I just don't get to spend as much time as I like.

    Any other way of taming them at all?

    Thanks for reading,

    ~Joe
     
  2. abbylane35

    abbylane35 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 13, 2011
    Lodi, New York
    I have been very present with my current flock, since the day that they hatched. None of the chickens want me to touch them...not that I have the desire to touch them. My husband is able to pet the rooster! When the rooster sees me coming he tries to get away from me....

    On the other hand, when I was a kid, we had chickens that we could pet every once in a while...and some that would follow us around...

    I think chickens are like humans, some like that contact and some don't...I would suggest that if you want to be able to catch or hold your chickens that you just keep trying. Maybe they will get used to it?

    Good luck!
     
  3. eenie114

    eenie114 Completly Hopeless

    Chickens are like humans in that some will like you and some won't, but maybe try sitting in their pen with their food in your lap? After they have gotten used to eating out of your lap for a while, try gently stroking them while they eat.
     
  4. klmclain1

    klmclain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    treats, treats and more treats! Out of your hand works really well.
     
  5. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tallahassee, FL
    mealworms makes friends and pests fast.

    When I went out of town on vacation and got a friend to come over to watch my chickens. I had her come a day early so I could show her around and make sure she knew where everything was. Well as usual when I walked around back to show her the coop. All my girls, who were out free ranging, came running up to see me. She was amazed. I can't go outside near them without them mobbing me. My speckled sussex will even pick at my shoes because they think of me as the mealworm dispenser their very favorite treat.
     
  6. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Joe,

    It sounds like you are doing everything right....and you see results. Mealworms (as others have said) do work magically. Some chickens will always be wary----but it is so enjoyable to have a calm chicken that you can pick up, pet and she will give you that look of expectation saying "where is my treat"?

    good luck with the chicken taming.
     
  7. tinychicky

    tinychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hollis, New Hampshire
    treats and just sitting calmly near thier pen helps a lot. try patting before picking up so they associate your hands with something that feels nice rather than something that chases them.
     
  8. Kokamo

    Kokamo New Egg

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    Nov 27, 2011
    Thanks guys. I think y'all are right, just some treats and some pen time will do the trick. I was going to go to the store to get mealworms today but it slipped my mind. I'll go in the morning.

    Thanks again, I'll keep you all updated.

    ~Joe
     
  9. keenecowboy

    keenecowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 24, 2011
    Coshocton, OH
    Oatmeal really works great for my golden comets.
    When i had horses i would whistle for them when i went out to feed them and they would come running to the barn from the pasture. Saved a lot of time trying to catch them.
    When i go out to the coop or going to feed them or give them a treat, i would whistle and they just come running.
    What a time saver.

    I pick one up every once in while and stroke them, then when i want to check one out they will not run away.
     
  10. Barnmaradotte

    Barnmaradotte Chillin' With My Peeps

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    eugene
    The best way to a hens heart is with raisins. Just dont be wearing nice clothes when you give them the raisins. Mine herd and jump on me to get the raisins.
     

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