My chickens are suddenly scared of me!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GrantandGoat, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. GrantandGoat

    GrantandGoat Hatching

    Apr 28, 2014
    I have two chickens that I've had for two years, almost their entire lives. They have just recently become afraid of me and will not allow me to pick them up or pet them. One of them is so afraid she will not take food from my hand. I don't know what could be making them so afraid of me, they have never acted like this before.

    Just a few things that could be contributing factors (I'm not sure):
    They are currenlty going through a soft molt.
    I live in Illinois, it has been cold recently, around freezing temps but not too harsh. They have definately lived through worse.
    Due to my work schedule they are already asleep when I get home, so I see them a little less than usual on weekdays.

    Any advice/suggestions or ideas as to why this behavior has developed would be greatly appreciated!
  2. chasiekitten12

    chasiekitten12 Chirping

    Aug 19, 2014
    There might have been a predator that scared them. In a week they will most likely be ok.

    Good luck!
  3. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams

    Hi there GrantandGoat

    Ah, the joys of chickenality, wouldn't we just love to know what is going through their little chicken brains! [​IMG]

    I agree with chasiekitten12 that there may have been a predator which gave them a bit of fright.

    A molt can definitely upset them and could be the reason they do not like being picked up at the moment; a bit tender.

    One thought I had was, any change in your appearance? I have inadvertently freaked my gals out a couple of times by a slight appearance change. Went out one day with a towel on my head, another time wrapped in a towel on the way to the pool, or hat on head etc; they even give me a bit of a sideways look if I forget to take off my reading glasses!

    You haven't taken to wearing new boots or something else they are not familiar with? Wearing a hat or not wearing a hat, which they are used to?
    2 people like this.
  4. lmpets

    lmpets Hatching

    Feb 1, 2016
    This happened in me today!!LOL[​IMG] It was cold and windy so I put on my new hat,scarf,jacket and boots to walk the dogs. Just an hour earlier my chickens had walked in and out of the house after being hand fed treats. WHEN I CAME BACK IN THE YARD they were in eye shot. YOU WOULD THINK aliens had landed or they WERE being attacked by BIG FOOT. Not understanding what was happening I kept following them and tried to entice them with treats. Terrified of me, eyes wide and balking as they ran away the girls only wanted me out of their eye sight!!! Puzzled I gave up and went online to find a solution. True. Drastic visual changes in appearance can make you unrecognizable to your chickens and scare them.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: