my chickens don't like to be pet :(

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by karen+3chickens, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. karen+3chickens

    karen+3chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2008
    I got my chicks in April and handeled them a lot. When they were little they used to practice roosting on my arm and would let me hold them for quite a while. Now that they are bigger and outside they hate being touched! I was really hoping that I would be able to cuddle them, or at least give them a few pats to show I care. They run away from me though. I think my chickens only like me for food [​IMG] Does anyone have an ideas to make my chickens tolerate affection more? Don't get me wrong, they are very friendly. They greet me at the gate when I go outside and hang around my feet when I am cleaning, etc.
     
  2. Curlita

    Curlita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Maybe that are Norwegian and have that Scandinavian reserve thing going? [​IMG] I got my chickens when they were a little older and they REALLY don't like being picked up or handled. Like yours, though, they follow me around to see what I'm doing -- at least they are starting too. You might have to settle for companionship over snuggling.
     
  3. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    Do you ever just set up a chair in the run and hang out? They're prey animals, so no matter how much handling they get, they will draw back when you reach for or chase them. I just let mine come to me. All it takes is one to decide you look harmless, next thing you're a human roost again.
     
  4. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

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    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    my goodness, but some of my chicks are like in a looney house!! They are the Hamburgs and they go nuts when I enter the brooder room, no matter how gentle I speak or touch. [​IMG] But my other chooks and grown chickens have calmed down a lot as they grow and see that I bring them food and treats. If I sit at the picnic table they jump up all around me and will now eat out of my hand. I have a couple who are pets now. Be patient.
     
  5. karen+3chickens

    karen+3chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2008
    I'm glad to hear that my chickens aren't the only slightly skittish ones. I just put a bench near their coop so when I let them into the yard I can sit near them and maybe entice them to sit with me. They tend to stay near me and the bench (an ocassionally peck my toes! ouch!). I think you might be right. Companionship over snuggling, bummer [​IMG] I'll keep bribing them with treats too. I have not officially given up!
     
  6. Lobzi

    Lobzi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Try just slowly reaching out and rubbing under their beak area. Chickie used to love to be held but since she growing up, she prefers my just rubbing her neck and beak area but not actually holding her.
     
  7. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    I had the same problem with mine. How I resolved it is that I took a chair into the chicken run, along with their favorite treat (at the time, it was BOSS). I threw some BOSS on the ground at my feet - just a few pieces. When it was gone, I slowly put my hand down with BOSS in my palm, and they began very slowly coming in to eat some. Now, when I put my hand down, some actually jump up on my arm & run down to my hand to get to the goodies before anyone else! That method also helped me to "train" them to come to the coop at night to be locked in securely. They just were not wanting to come to the coop, so I would open the access door, turn the light on, and stand there with BOSS in my hand. They quickly came running because they knew when they saw my outstretched arm, I would have goodies! good luck![​IMG]
     
  8. karen+3chickens

    karen+3chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2008
    What is BOSS? I have never heard of that. The girls are great about eating out of my hand. When I come out empty handed they give me a peck just to make sure I'm not hiding something. I will try scratching under their beaks. Maybe I will occupy them with a treat so they are somewhat distracted.
     
  9. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Michigan
    Oh, I'm sorry - BOSS is black oil sunflower seeds. They are very good for chickens (I believe it helps with digestion), and I use them as a treat. [​IMG]
     
  10. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Mine are the same way. We handled them from little chicks on up and still they don't want you to touch them except, for when they are in the nestboxes, then they like to be pet. Even the chicks I've hatched in the last month prefer not to be handled and we've worked with them too.
     

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