My 8 week olds are terrified of me!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RAsChickens, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. RAsChickens

    RAsChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    My 9-8 week olds (7 pullets, 2 cocks) in the coop are terrified of me! When I open up the door of the coop to refill their food and water, they start screeching at the top of their lungs, flap their wings, run to the corner furthest away from me, and practically stack themselves up to avoid being touched by me! When I come into the run, they'll run under the coop and stay there until I leave. They put up such a fight when I pick them up, I don't do it anymore because I dont want to hurt them! How can I get them to trust me!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    Most young chicks act like that. They tend to suddenly become more friendly as they reach sexual maturity.

    I would stop try to catch them unless it's necessary. You are acting like a predator.

    Try sitting quietly, and perhaps tossing treats can bring them around a bit. Once you get seen as the one who brings treats they will follow you everywhere. Mine go nuts for scrambled eggs, and a bit of scratch at that age.
     
  3. alexa009

    alexa009 Overrun With Chickens

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    Did you raise them as chicks?
     
  4. alexa009

    alexa009 Overrun With Chickens

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    If you just bought them then they were probably never around people. My pullets i bought were with a hundred other chickens and were wild when i got them. They would run if you were even 3 feet near them. I started giving them their favorite treats and holding them a lot and now they love me. One of them even jumps on your shoulder when you enter the coop
     
  5. RAsChickens

    RAsChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    I got them when they were 2 days old from a privately owned feed store.
     
  6. alexa009

    alexa009 Overrun With Chickens

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    Did they always act like this?
     
  7. RAsChickens

    RAsChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    yes
     
  8. meetthebubus

    meetthebubus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    it sounds like they aren't used to you, it seems to be in the chickens nature of course to be scared their main way to protect themselves really.

    I spent a lot of time around them, just sitting there and I would put my hand down in the brooder with food or a treat and they would soon jump and play with me.

    it's not too late, if you sit and give them yummies and do it often enough they can get used to you and soon will run to you knowing that treat mamma is coming.

    I always walk slow and talk to them and let them get used to things and just move methodically so they know what to expect, they can still get intimidated and nervous but they love being with me now when at first they would run and hide in the corner of the brooder

    here is a video link of me sitting on the ground feeding my nearly 1 year olds a treat, and you can tell that my time with them paid off....
     
  9. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Since they're skittish right now, you might want to back off and let them approach you for the time being. Pull up a chair, let them get comfortable with your presence, speak softly to them, and hand out some treats so they associate you with good, tasty things. That will hopefully at least alleviate some of the panic they're going through every time they see you.

    And I agree with oldhenlikesdogs, they might calm down once they're older. Mine went through a skittish phase as teenagers but once they reached point of lay they calmed down a lot and became much more willing to accept handling. Today I let mine free range on some grass for a few minutes as I finished cleaning the coop, and when I was done I went and picked up each one and brought them back to their run. When there was one chicken left I called to her and she jogged halfway to meet me, then waited patiently at the edge of the lawn until I picked her up and carried her home - that same pullet was 7 weeks old when I got her and hadn't been handled and spent the first several weeks at our home fleeing in terror.
     
  10. RAsChickens

    RAsChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for the help guys! I'll get some scratch this week at the feed store.At this age, could I start feeding them table scraps or veggies? My cousin has laying hens and feeds them bread and corn sometimes
    [​IMG]
    The picture is of one of my Buffs, Joy! I have 6 Buffs and 3 Plymouth Rocks
     

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