I dusted my chickens last night with my husbands help and now they run from me and wont come near me


In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 28, 2012
We dusted the chickens last night and now they will have NOTHING to do with me. They used to let me hold them..... even the rooster but now instead of running to me they all run from me. I am terminally ill and that is why I got chickens and geese so I would have something I COULD do. Something that was mine and to feel needed. Maybe I sound like a fool but I needed them and still do and I am wondering will they get over it? Do they hold grudges for long? Should I just keep up my regular routine and hope things will get back to normal? Please someone with experience tell me something. I feel foolish but also sad. I do not want them afraid of me. I have always spoiled them .
They'll get over it, just give them a day. Dusting wasn't in their daily schedule so you just freaked them out a little. They'll be fine, butter them up with some treats.
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Thanks guys..... I am still a fowl novice so I ask some silly questions. I have really bonded with them all so much. They let me pet them and hold them... even Elvis (my rooster). I am terminally ill so they give me something I CAN do to make me feel good.... and having them love me feels great. :D God bless and ty for your feed back!
Have you thought of giving them a dust bath box? Put it in your coop/run, then if they don't use it, manually bathe one until they figure out it isn't bad...then usually they will take over from there.

As for them being freaked out at the moment, ours were like that awhile back when we had to move them to rebuild the coop(a weasel got in & we couldnt figure out where/how so we took it down piece by piece and rebuilt). We just kept at it and gave them treats(often by hand) and soon enough it was back to business as usual...I think it took 2-3 days.

Good Luck and hope you are feeling better soon!! I am not terminal, but I have lupus(moderate-severe depending on which dr you ask-heck, one thinks it is MS instead, and I keep chickens and have a garden for much the same reason...see? I can still do it all, I am NOT my disease!! I understand the mentality and think it is great that you are keeping chickens to help keep your spirits up...Keep up the good work and good luck to you!!
Thanks Featherdmom.... I have MCTD which is a combination of Lupus, Scleroderma, polymytosis, and RA. In addition I have COPD, blood clot disorder, seizures and tremors that they cannot diagnose shy, heart problems, and am on oxygen 24/7/365 and am only 43 and I will tell you..... these hens, rooster, goose, and gander have really been a soul therapy for me. xoxo God bless you and thanks all for your input :D I sincerely appreciate all of your help.

I'm sorry to hear that your chickens have been unsettled by their dusting. Dusting at night or putting a powder like diatom is the easiest way to treat them as other forumers have suggested. They will come back to you but make sure that you dont visit them wearing anything which might smell of the dusting powder. Smells evoke powerful memories. Wearing different shoes may help too especially if their last memory was of being dangled upside down.

Im not sure how you dusted them but if I'm dusting broodies prior to sitting I usually sit mine in a tub of diatom and gently rub handfuls of powder around their necks, bottoms and under their wings. I find this dosent stress them but then they are very used to me.

I have just finished writing a blog on the 10 secrets to talking to chickens which would probably be helpful to you in winning them over and building their trust. I plan to post this on my site www.thechickenwhispere.co.uk as 10 instalments over about 30 weeks starting next week and the topic of building trust and confidence is covered in the first installments.

In the mean time however give them treats and get them used to you being around without making eye contact. You can speak to them softly but sit or squat if you are able and remain side ways on. Do not move towards them and back away from them if they afraid to take the treats.

Good luck with them and I'm sure that they will soon be back to their old confident little selves
Ah yes, I know MCTD well, I went through 5yrs of diagnostic heck following a bad case of mono as an adult to get MOST to agree its lupus, MCTD was in the running as was scleroderma, MS, and lupus. Honestly no one is still 100% sure its lupus, but its the "best guess," so I go with it, in some ways they can all fit...living with autoimmune is FUN! Honestly, I accepted the lack of a true diagnosis a few years back, I now go to pain management and have my blood levels monitored every 6mos. Most recently they found that ALL the disks in my neck have herniated due to spasms and the vertabre have started to shift(big no no, they can sever the spinal nerve causing paralysis), 2 of them are beyond repair and will be completely replaced with artificial later this month. I don't think that anyone realizes what all is involved in a complex autoimmune disorder, to the outsider, I probably look perfectly healthy and normal, no one knows it took a handful of meds and a lot of rest to get me there, nor how much daily pain is involved!

I am so sorry that you had to add so much more to it, that is awful!! I can't imagine adding more to all of this, it is enough by itself!! I too am a young autoimmuner, I am 34 with 3 kiddos(almost 12, 9, and an 11mos miracle baby, born after I had given up on more children due to 11 miscarriages attributed to lupus).

If you ever need any type of support, or just someone to listen who understands, I am here for you! I know how hard it can be on you and your family, I live it everyday and the worst is disappointing my kids. I also know that some days my husband(who truly is wonderful) gets frustrated with me as well and I don't blame him, I get frustrated with me too! I know all about the days when you want to do nothing more than cry because you attempted to do something you used to be able to do well only to find that you can't even start or you mess it all up and make it worse.

Animals are wonderful therapy, whether it be chickens, ducks, dogs, cats, whatever fits your lifestyle, they are wonderful companions and can make a bad day a bit brighter!! I love all of mine and can't imagine life without them! As hectic as they often make my life, I wouldn't have it any other way!!

((((HUGS)))) Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers!

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