My chickens hate me!


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 27, 2011
I got new chickens 3 days ago. The first day I couldn't get them into the pen at night and ended up have to chase them with a broom. Not the start I was hoping for. Next day they were so frightened of me they would just run into the corner. Then they managed to get out of the coop and again, I had to chase them with a broom to get them back in. They are still running from me. I tried sitting in the run for a while and at first they ran away, but then started to go about their business, but they wouldn't come near me. When I got up, they ran away again.

I have tried to give them treats (cucumber, red pepper, grapes, lettuce, bread, strawberry hulls, and pineapple) but they won't even touch it. Everyone seems to say tempt them with treats, but they don't seem to recognize the treats and won't even try them.

How do I get them to recognize me as a giver of food, when they won't eat anything I bring. At this rate, I will never be able to train them to free range out of the cage and then come back when called.

Thanks for any ideas or thoughts!
sorry, I should mention these are americauna pullets about 4-5 weeks old.
Give it time. Sit out with them alot. Mine still won't let me touch them, but when I open the door they flock to the front of the pen in anticipation
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Congrats on your new babies! We had the same problem with 2 of our girls - they would run away from us and would never eat anything that we offered them (unless we left it for them and moved away). It was so disappointing since the other 4 girls LOVE us! It just took some time and I think they gained wisdom with age. try some of these treats for your babies...these are some of our girls' favorite treats: yogurt, blueberries, pancakes, BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds). Hopefully others will give you suggestions that will help!

Oh yes,
I have noticed mine go through stages. They like me when they are tiny. They hate me when they are in the ugly phase (4 or 5 weeks
). And then they love me again a couple of weeks later. There is a confused stage as well but that only applies too roosters.
Hi bearchix

Three days isn't very much time for them to get accustomed to all the newness.

They will definitely come to associate you with food.

Have you tried freeze-dried mealworms? They are expensive but a great chicken delicacy. Tractor supply sells packages.

Maybe something that they like like bread or cracker with you on the outside just holding it....and the 'bravest' will become curious---take a peck, run away, come back....and being unharmed will 'get used to you'. The others will follow. Be patient, don't try to push too hard. Too many different treats that they aren't used to may become confusing---but getting them to recognize one will get them running to be treated.

Also---chasing with a broom, versus waiting a little longer, putting a flashlight in the coop---letting it get dark. Think on a chicken clock not a human clock. Keep them in the run for 5-days or so before they free range.... You will be surprised how fast they settle down when you are non-agressive and don't push them too far too fast.

Good luck and tell us how it goes.
First you need to stop chasing them with a broom. If you need to get your chicks somewhere, you can walk calmly and slowly behind them and herd them in the direction you want them to go.

To get the chicks to go to roost at night on their own, have them spend a few days shut up in just the coop. Then they will know where home is and go there on their own when it gets dark. Leave a variety of treats in their coop for them and notice which ones they eat. Once you have taken them out of coop lockdown, start trying to lure them to you with the treats they like best. (Mine really like shredded cheese, chopped hard boiled eggs, and quartered grapes.)

Sit on the ground and put some treats in your hand. Just sit there quietly and eventually one chick will be brave enough to come up at take a treat. The others will follow. If they are still too frightened of you to eat out of your hand, put the treats a few feet away from you and sit quietly until the chicks some to eat them. Then the next day, move the treats closer until you can get them to eat from your hand.

Always bring treats with you when you go out to see the chicks. Get a chicken call like, chicky, chicky or something and say that as you come out to see them. It will take time, but eventually they will come running when you call.
Give it a little time. I thought my little ones would never get used to me, they would not take treats from me either. I would leave the treat on the ground and they would eat it after I left the run. Don't give up, they will come around. Now they come running when we come out, whether I have treats or not. My chicks are about 3 months old.
Grate some loaf bread and some boiled egg together. sprinkle This with your hand at their level coming up to them. Do not come in from above. Once they get a taste it does not take long for them to flock all over you when you call chick, chick. Now I have to watch where I walk. some will get on my shoes and peck until they are picked up and fed some out of my hand and get a pet. some of my young ones still are more distant and want it thrown to them but they are not really afraid just shy. Good luck with yours. Gloria Jean

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