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I can't get near my hens, and I want to make them more like pets.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SigWaldo, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. SigWaldo

    SigWaldo In the Brooder

    Sep 25, 2015
    Idaho Falls Idaho
    Sigwaldo here again,
    The 3 hens I have were not handle as babies but raised with a bunch of other chickens.
    If I handle them do you think they will calm down and let me approach them and pet them?

    Thanks All!

  2. lpatelski

    lpatelski Songster

    Apr 12, 2015
    South Georgia
    Some chickens will never see you as anything more than a predator. Have heart. You need to find out what treat they love to eat. Bring our your lawn chair or bucket - the same one every time. Sit quietly, do not try to catch or reach for them. Just toss out treats. This will scare them to begin with. They will run until they find out its treats you are chucking at them. Let them come to you. Drop the treats at your feet. Pretty soon they will come to your feet for treats. Then make them beg. This might take some time. They do not trust people right off. They have to build up confidence that you are NOT going to reach for them. They will associate the bucket with treats, then you with treats. Pretty soon you will have chickens tripping you for treats.[​IMG]
    This is Bart begging for mealworms.
  3. SigWaldo

    SigWaldo In the Brooder

    Sep 25, 2015
    Idaho Falls Idaho
    Great advice. Thank you,
  4. It's hard to break their natural fear of you once they mature, but as said you can curb it if you associate yourself as a treat instead of a threat... It's much, much easier to make them friendly at a young age... Handling at a young age obviously is best, but I have also found from brooding chicks indoors that even the ones that were not handled much but had constant exposure to people when young are friendly...
  5. HTChick

    HTChick In the Brooder

    Oct 15, 2015
    West Texas
    Great advice and I love the picture!
  6. tdepointe

    tdepointe Chirping

    Aug 17, 2015
    Brooklyn, Connecticut
    I agree with what lpatelski said.
    In the past I had gotten chickens from people who had little to no interaction with them and they did not want to come near a human. By making a point to not reach for them and consistently offer treats while sitting. They quickly associate me with food and no longer ran from me but would approach looking for treats. I could never pick them up without issue but in time they would approach anyone who came over looking for food.

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