Is it too late to be friendly chickens??


In the Brooder
10 Years
Jan 8, 2010
Louisville, KY
My girls are 19 weeks old and I so wanted to have lap chickens, but the only time they will get in my lap is if I have treats. I will sit in the chair, but they want nothing to do with me. I still try to hold them but they squirm and flap. One is little more friendly than the others. I go out everyday and visit with them--so they should be used to me. When I try to pick them up, it turns into a game of chase. Is it too late--will they mature in more friendly girls?


In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 26, 2011
You can still make them lap companions. Try this: have a treat in your hand and offer it to one hen. While she is feeding on the treat, gently pet her on the head. Now try to carry her on the other hand while still feeding the treat and continue petting her. Once she feels that you are not a threat and at the same time feeling good from your gentle brushes, she will warm up to you. And that goes for the rest of your girls.


9 Years
Oct 29, 2010
I raised my chicks from day olds, with fairly frequently handling. They were fairly tame, happy to jump up on me in I sat in the yard etc, they gradually got less "friendly" and by about 16-17 weeks would only come near if I had treats, ate and left. Then, as they matured, arounf the time they started squatting ,they became friendlier again. Now when I go into the yard, they are come over looking for treats, and even without treats, if I sit down they will come visit, sit on my lap for a little scratch etc. To the OP , maybe your will become friendlier shortly. Thats said, my chickens still don't particularly like to be picked up or held. i would try to avoid trying to pick them up (it will only make they more wary). Sit, let them come to you, but, don;t try to force the issue. Good Luck.


8 Years
Mar 28, 2011
I agree what the others say. I did raise my chicks from day 1 and they are very friendly. I've noticed the girls are much more friendlier once they start laying. My three layers hop up on my lap to be held tight and hugged. They love it. It does start with treats though. I give my girls homemade scratch. I make a kissy noise when giving them food. I'm trying to train them to come when free ranging. Keep it up with the treats to build that trust. Once the trust is built, I believe it's important to keep it up. Good luck.


In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 3, 2010
Valparaiso, IN
Some breeds are definitely more friendly than others. I have 9 hens. I have a BO named Arjean who follows me around - runs after me in fact - and becomes loud if I'm petting or holding another chicken. She'll spend time in my lap all day long (and yes, sometimes she even gets to come into the house for a minute!) Sweetest girl I've ever seen! The other 5 BO's are friendly, but not obsessed with being coddled like Arjean. I have two BCM's who could care less about me unless I have treats, or if it's cold and they can warm up on my lap. I've hand-raised every chick, and they all react to me differently. My 5 BO's and 2 BCM's were full-grown and laying when I decided to get a RIR and a Leghorn. Despite my coddling, the RIR was aggressive from the start and still is, even at 2 days old. With coaxing, treats, and a soft voice, I was able to tone down the flightiness of my delicate and petite little Leghorn, who now flies up onto my shoulder and competes with Arjean for lap time.

I think with treats, anything is possible. Building up trust takes a while. I agree that after they start to lay and squat, they are much friendlier! Good luck!


8 Years
Jun 21, 2011
I hand raised my 16 Silkies and 8 Cochins (all around 2 months now), held them and cuddled them every day, still spend hours a day with them in their runs. Only a couple of the Silkies come hop up in my lap. But out of the 8 Cochins all but 1 or 2 are all over me in their run. They jump up and snuggle and immediately close their eyes and start their purring noise. It's adorable. I think it's breed related. Then again I hatched the Cochins from eggs and there's a bond there that isn't there with the Silkies (who I got at 2 days old). If one acts scared that's the one that gets extra attention for a few days. What breed are yours?
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