Making friends with my hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chickadee55, May 17, 2011.

  1. Chickadee55

    Chickadee55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 17, 2010
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    What does it take, or should I ask how long does it take to make friends with my chickens. I got them when they were just a few days old and now they are about 6 or 7 weeks old and they are still crazy if I pick them up. I sit with them in the evenings so they won't feel like I'm a threat. They are a lot of fun to watch but I want to hold them without being feather whipped. [​IMG]
     
  2. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2010
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    What breed are they? Some are more flighty than others.I have some that like to be pet...they are RSL's and BR's and one of my RIR hens.These guys are exceptionally friendly though.Most do at least go through a fearful stage.Sounds like you spend enough time with them so I imagine if you keep it up..they'll settle down [​IMG]
     
  3. snazzyboots

    snazzyboots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    mine follow me for treats but don'treally like to be held. i've heard that as hens get to laying age they become friendlier. we can only hope
     
  4. fifenashia

    fifenashia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2011
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    My first Golden Comet was extremely friendly, although none of mine have ever "liked" being held, I bribe them with worms. First you just hand them their favorite treat so they associate you with treats. Then you sit down and only hand them a treat when they let you stroke them, then when they sit on your knee... You get the point. It's called "shaping' where you reward behavior with closer approximations to the desired behavior.

    Good luck!
     
  5. kscottjoyce

    kscottjoyce Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2011
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    I have only incubated chicks around 7 times and every chick has just freaked out when I pick it up. If you can wait about four months they will probably start to squat when you are behind them. At that point I have found that you can pet them and pick them up without them freaking out.
     
  6. kscottjoyce

    kscottjoyce Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2011
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    I also have found that chicks, if they don't like to be held, will enjoy roosting on your finger if put there.
     
  7. fifenashia

    fifenashia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2011
    Eastern Kentucky
    Quote:Mine do that! Better than running away I guess, good to know it's normal since it always makes me feel bad like I am a predator! We just got new Golden Comets in tonight and I plan on handling them A LOT (that's a lot of hand washing I know!) to get them accustomed to us.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    My trick is to sit in chair or on ground either near roost or day roost while they are there. Best if you get there first. Keep your movements slow and deliberate. They will then jump on me and settle down for nap. They seem to enjoy warm perches. With such interactions, no food required. Even my red jungle fowl (essentially wild birds) will come to me.
     
  9. armedtodream

    armedtodream Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 14, 2011
    N. Idaho
    Hi, I think 2 things helped turn the corner with ours as we went through the same thing. One, we started leaving the t.v. on quiet in their brooder room during the day so they would see people movements & hear people sounds even when we couldn't be there. They were mesmerized & I think they got kind of desensitized to us "foreigners". I also know of people who leave like NPR in the outdoor pen believing the classical music & voices help them to be chilled out towards us:).
    But the biggest thing is when we figured out it wasn't being held they didn't like, it was being picked up that was so bad. We started just holding our hand down on ground level & would leave it there til they got curious & started pecking & then pretty soon one would hop up on our hand or our arm & then they would let us stroke them & we've even had a couple experiences now with them falling asleep while we held them. I think if they have become comfortable with the hand by it being in with them just sitting, not grabbing & then that it becomes their idea, that they will be really happy to sit with you. Out of 12 I have about half that still act nervous around us but everyone is pretty relaxed with their feet planted on our hands :)
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes armedtodream, I think they like to be in control. Come to think of it, when handling my pet chickens, they are always allowed to step up on me prior to being moved about.
     

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