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My chickens won't let me pet them

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Sisters Farms, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. Sisters Farms

    Sisters Farms Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2014
    Cordova, alabama
    i see so many people on here talking about petting their chickens. Mine run from me[​IMG]. I know I've only had them all for 4 weeks. I have 2 RIR hens, 2 Ausralarps hens and 3 7 week old blue cooper marrans and a Chocalate Orpington rooster. Why do they run from me?
     
  2. emma p

    emma p Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 24, 2013
    Kansas
    They just have to get used to you. Give them treats just sit with them. I got mine and they have been not been raised around people so I just spent a lot of time with them checking me out and giving them treats. They are pretty good now. Sometimes one will be better than others. It just is a time thing :) Good luck!
     
  3. Tamara119

    Tamara119 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 14, 2012
    Bariloche, Patagonia
    If you've only had them for 4 weeks, they are still a bit scared of you. They may never become lap chickens, but they will learn to trust you and come to you. The best thing to do is to walk slowly around them—the faster you move, the faster they'll move (to get away)! Also, be predictable. Doing routine things become familiar to them, and they'll learn to anticipate what you're doing. Try not to startle them, like dropping something close to them. Startling them can undo days or weeks of trust-building. As they become more comfortable with you, you can try sitting with them and giving them treats, like sunflower seeds. Try sunflower seeds without the husks, as these are irresistible. First put some on the ground near you and sit still while they come to eat. After a few days you can try getting them to eat out of your hand. After that, try holding some on your lap, and the bravest ones will jump onto your lap. Don't try to touch them at this point. Keep building the trust, and once they'll stay sitting on your lap after the sunflower seeds have been eaten, then you know you've made friends with them. Probably they'll jump off if you try to touch them, but you might get lucky and find one or two that like to be pet. A word of caution, once they are on your lap they will try to peck at the whites of your eyes or your teeth if you're smiling. It's not that they are attacking you or anything, I think the shiny white is appealing to them. So keep your face out of pecking range!
    I did exactly this with one of my skittish flocks, and now several will jump on my lap as soon as I sit down. Also, I always put the sunflower seeds in a purple drawstring pouch. As soon as they see that pouch they come running over and they fight for pole position on my lap!
    Good luck!
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Sisters Farms

    Sisters Farms Out Of The Brooder

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    4
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    Oct 18, 2014
    Cordova, alabama
    Thank you for the great advise. I can say I was doing a few things wrong now. Can't wait to see if this works. Now I'm so excited. [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Tamara119

    Tamara119 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 14, 2012
    Bariloche, Patagonia
    Also, every time you give them treats you can make a sound, whatever sound you choose. I always say tuk-tuk-tuk when I give them worms from the garden, or if I turn over some wood and there are bugs to eat. Now they know that sound, and every time I make it they come running for whatever treat there is. The sound is my approximation of a rooster's sound that he makes when he finds goodies for them. Two of my flocks are also trained with a whistling sound. I let them out of their run sometimes (their runs are huge, the size of yards, but I still let some of them out) and when I whistle a certain way they know it's time to go in and they head for the gate. Chickens are excellent at discerning a wide variety of sounds; using sound to train your chickens is surprisingly easy and effective!
     

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