Is this a bad thing?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by nitrodiesle, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. nitrodiesle

    nitrodiesle New Egg

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    Jun 14, 2013
    We are new to the chicken lifestyle and recently got our coop built and moved in our pullets that are about a month away from laying age. We have been trying to get them accustomed to us more so we have been handling them a lot and giving them attention. During the main part of the day they are pretty skiddish but are getting better about us wlking amongst them in the yard but aren't fans of being picked up much. In the evenings when they go to roost is when we have been getting most of our one on one time with them. We remove each one and give them 10-15 min of petting and affection and they don't put up any kind of a fight over it. What we have noticed though is that they just kind of lay there after we put them back in the coop to rotate to another bird until all 8 have gotten some attention. Some will go straight back to the roost but a couple tend to lay on the coop floor for some time after they are put in. My question is should we stop doing this? We like the fact that they are quickly becoming more social with us but not sure if it affects their sleep pattern or not and don't want to stress them out. Any thoughts or experience?
     
  2. KrazyKhick

    KrazyKhick Out Of The Brooder

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    You sure are nice chicken owners! [​IMG]

    Once it hits dusk all chickens (pretty much) go into a bit of a stupor. Comes in handy sometimes. If socializing is your goal then I would go buy some live meal worms. You will not only laugh a lot but quickly find out he who holds the meal worm holds their hearts! There is a wonderful chicken treat chart here to give you more options. Hanging with them while they free range is great too. It takes time for them to get used to you. However, some breeds are more skittish than others. Personally I would not disturb them once they get ready for bed. It's not like they want you holding them and that's why they don't move. It's just bed time! If it's late enough they will stay where ever you leave them.

    Treat chart: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chicken-treat-chart-the-best-treats-for-backyard-chickens

    Once they begin to squat for you, never miss that chance to pet them. That will help with bonding. Grab a chair and sit in the run with them and hand them treats from your hand.

    Congrats of your new obsession! (It's not an obsession you say? )

    LOL, wait, wait for it..it'll come, ha ha ha.
     
  3. nitrodiesle

    nitrodiesle New Egg

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    Jun 14, 2013
    Thanks for the tips! We have two little girls as well is why we are wanting them to be more social. They do free range in the back yard and we have chairs right there by the coop and swing set. They are getting better with them being around every day and the better half is a stay at home mom so they go out there with them for several hours throughout the day. I will swing by the bait shop and grab some mill worms and see if I can talk her into holding one for them lol. I will also be printing off the treat list going from there, so far we know they love carrot greens and will fight over them and run from one another with a mouthful :D
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
    I would not encourage a child to hold a meal worm out to a chicken. Chicken + meal worms = feeding frenzy... kind of like sharks and the smell of blood. A chicken trying to take a treat from the hand that feeds it is just as likely to grab a finger or two in the process. Now... you could give the child a container with a couple of meal worms that the chicken could reach into for the treat. That would encourage the bonding, and preserve those petite little fingers. Also, if the chickens get used to treats coming from a container, it will make it easier to herd them when needed.
     

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