Kids: Innocent Fun or Chicken Torturers?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by danielkbrantley, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. danielkbrantley

    danielkbrantley Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2011
    Cleveland, Tennessee
    So, my kids and the neighbors' kids like playing with our chickens. However, a couple of them enjoy tracking down a chicken, picking her up, and tossing her in the air. The chicken flaps her wings until she lands gently on the ground. And they're not throwing the chickens any higher than they jump on their own.

    But I'm this going to affect their egg-laying abilities? I don't want the kids to keep my hens from laying, so I'd rather tell them no more fun than to feed traumatized, unproductive chickens.

    Any help is appreciated.

  2. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2010
    It's possible for a chicken to hurt itself in a bad landing - I never toss them, just let them go to flutter down at their own rate.

    When I had a bunch of young chickens, last year, I was having to put them into the coop at night - got rather impatient, and would toss them in. One morning, found one puffed up and unmoving in obvious pain. Since there weren't any wounds, it's possible that it landed wrong when I tossed it. We put that one down, and I've been a lot more careful with them since...
  3. DirtCreature

    DirtCreature Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2011
    Olympia, Washington
    ive heard that if they are bugged to much they wont lay, but idk. I just tell my kids to stay away from them. have you noticed a diference in them laying since the kids have been playing with them?
  4. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    Today's backyard production flock usually consists of chickens that were bred for egg-laying...hence most cannot "fly" well. Sure, they can maybe flutter up while jumping to fence height, and game chickens can fly for short distances, but if you are talking about your average laying hen, then no, they should not be getting "tossed" by the kids. I would firmly tell the kids to no longer even pick the chickens up without your supervision...they shouldn't toss the birds as it can injure them. [​IMG]
  5. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 31, 2008
    not to spark a spat.....but......

    would you like for me to throw you up in the air ..only as high as you can jump.....over and over and over?
  6. ReikiStar

    ReikiStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:X's 2
  7. NoseyChickens

    NoseyChickens Feathers On The Ground

    Aug 3, 2009
    Southern California
    Quote:X's 2

    Xs 3 that could do some serious damage to their legs
  8. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    I don't like to see any animal treated as a toy, so I'd put a firm end to the behaviour.

    ETA, I'd use it as an opportunity to teach the kids about respecting animals.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011
  9. danielkbrantley

    danielkbrantley Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2011
    Cleveland, Tennessee
    Thanks for all the response. I will certainly put a no-chicken-tossing policy in place.

    I was just unsure if they were like dogs. Let kids mess with them and they are more docile. Glad I found this out now, before it went on for more than a few days!

    Until next time...

    EDIT: Today was the first time I saw it happen. Hopefully it's not been more than a few days, but it may have only been today, as I've seen the same kids pick up the chickens before, hold them for a minute or two, and gently set them on the ground. Viva la pollo!
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011
  10. AuntieE

    AuntieE Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2011
    Philipsburg, PA
    I caught my 7 year old son doing the 'chicken-toss' before. They were used to playing with them since they helped raise them from day old chicks, and he wasn't being malicious, just thought it was funny. Regardless, we have put a firm rule in place that tossing is not allowed. We want our kids to always treat and care for any animals gently and kindly. I don't let them carry them around any longer, either, because not all the chickens liked it and I didn't want one of the kids pecked or scratched. To allow the kids their "chicken fix", and to keep the chickens comfortable with them, we put a chair in the outside, open run, and one kid at a time is allowed to be on 'guard duty' with the chickens. It's a 'job' they love, and the hens aren't overwhelmed with kids all over them. We carry this through with all the neighborhood kids, too.

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