Making friends with pullets

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by brukkala, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. brukkala

    brukkala Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 16, 2013
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    I am new with chickens and I started with three eight week olds. One is a splash Orpington, one is a buff Wyandotte and the other is a barred Plymouth Rock. They are all pretty skittish around me. The first couple of days the Orpington was pretty friendly, but for some reason she's the most frightened now. She won't even eat out of my hand anymore. The PR is skittish but pretty friendly now. I just got her to fall asleep on my lap this morning. She is the most curious out of them, and probably the smartest too. My Orpington has an eye that isn't quite right, so I thought maybe that was making her extra careful. The Wyandotte was the most frightened of me at first, but she seems to be the oldest out of them. I try to interact with them frequently and I hold them calmly a couple times a day. I offer them treats often as well. They all seem to be getting less scared of me. I'm hoping I'm doing things right to make friends with them. They're really nice to have around. The PR seems to tolerate my 2 year old too.
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    First, they are at an age where they spook easily. Don't come at them from above, that's how predators can grab them. Just about everything eats chicken, so they are naturally cautious. Continue with hand feeding them treats, this is the easiest way to win their affection. Lastly, you may not see immediate results, but they do settle down some when they get close to laying.
     
  3. brukkala

    brukkala Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 16, 2013
    Brisbane, Australia
    That's all good for me to know. Thanks!
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    You're going at it just fine. You just need to be patient. As I understand it, you didn't get these chickens until they were already two months old? If that's the case, you are strange to them and they need time to trust you.

    You can expedite things by getting down on their level when you offer them treats. I mean, actually sit on the ground and let them crawl into your lap to get the treats. Make them take the food from your fingers, don't simply toss it on the ground for them.

    As they become more trusting, touch them a lot while you give them food. That way they associate your hands with good things. Speak their language. As they settle in your arms or lap and relax, coo to them in a very low voice, "chook, chook, chook." This means, "I'm good, you're good, all's well with the world!" Try it. They'll answer you, "Chook, chook, CHOOK, chook, chook!" That means they agree with you.

    Chickens are always impressed when you speak their language.
     

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