My chicks don't like me :(

ct99

In the Brooder
May 8, 2015
9
0
20
hi! It's my first time owning chicks, but I'm really loving it! I have 8 babies from 4-6 weeks old. But only 1 of them is okay with me coming close and picking her up and holding her. All the other ones, as soon as I open the run door to play with them, they all run to the farthest corner and when I get close, they start flying and freaking out. What am I doing wrong? I want to be able to hold them and let them easily, but they're just so scared of me! When I do catch them, they start to peck my hand. What am I doing wrong? It seems like every body else has had an easy time getting along with their chickens :(
 

chiques chicks

Songster
7 Years
May 11, 2012
2,824
241
198
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
I've never been big on making my chickens friendly, but if you want them to come to you the answer is

Treats!

They can be trained like any other animal. Try putting scratch in a can and shake it, they will associate the sound with treats and come running. Offer treats out of your hand, just stay still and let them pick at it. They will become accustomed to you.
 

Chickaddict44

Chirping
5 Years
Aug 3, 2014
89
12
71
I have two flocks, one with rooster, one without, and various ages and breeds. Some are friendly and like to hop up on my lap for a snuggle while others scurry away when I approach. I have also found some of my older hens have become friendlier with age. I have two barred rock hens that are a year old now that are alway under my feet for treats, but as chicks were crazy afraid of me. Treats are definitely the key and just letting them come to you on their terms. You're not doing anything wrong so don't be so hard on yourself. I also notice that some go through a skittish stage but after they start to lay eggs calm down. Just sit with them quietly and give treats. They'll come around. :)
 

MickeysChicks

Songster
5 Years
Jul 23, 2014
206
37
116
South Carolina
My run is big enough for a plastic lawn chair to fit in it, I sit in the run and just watch them play. I'll talk to them so they get used to my voice. I throw treats down for them to peck at, at first just throwing the treats down would startle them, lol. But now they will run around my legs like they're playing hide and seek. They still get a little skittish when I try to pick them up, but they're getting better! They'll get used to you as long as you keep trying and have a lot of patience!
 

Sonya9

Crowing
7 Years
Feb 7, 2014
1,915
1,154
291
Georgia
It seems like every body else has had an easy time getting along with their chickens
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Maybe because most every body else doesn't expect their chickens to play with them. Getting along with your chickens means being relaxed and enjoying their presence, most do NOT like being held. :)

Use food, food they really like. Don't act like a predator (staring, chasing them etc...). Be grateful for the one that likes being held and realize that is a special bird. If you must get up close and personal with others in the flock I would suggest getting some chickens that are known to be comfortable with human handling.
 
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azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,078
32,852
1,102
Colorado Rockies
Yes, try to relax around your chicks. Get a blanket and sit down on the ground and let them get used to you down at their level. It will make all the difference in the world to see you down low where they are instead of looming over them, chasing them.

Just let them explore your feet and legs. They will love climbing on you and will soon get comfortable being on you. Have treats ready, and they will mob you.

Teach them to come to you so you don't have to chase them and catch them, which only stresses everyone. Use the same container for treats every time and use the same voice command to call them to you. Even if your chicks are not people friendly breeds, you will at least be able to get them to come to you without the need to chase them down.
 

ChickenMammX4

Songster
Mar 17, 2015
1,044
243
161
SW Ohio
This my first time raising chickens and they're only 9 weeks old, so not much experience, but this is what I did/do ;)

Mine come running whenever they hear me calling "henny pennies" because they know it means something yummy, even if it's only a handful of fresh grass. I never try to grab them, just pet them and let them eat from my hand. I softly talk to them.

I started when they were tiny and still inside the coop, I'd handfeed them some feed every morning and stroke their chest and talk to them. Some are friendlier than others, the Buff Orpingtons come running first but the Australorp likes to be petted most. The Black Sex Links are just interested in seeing what's in my hand!
 

beachbum14

In the Brooder
Mar 29, 2015
13
0
22
Treats. Always works. I have six black sexlinks who were petrified of me but now when I walk in the barn they all come to the coop door and actually squat down and wait. So give them some time and tlc and they'll come around.
 

drow13f

Chirping
6 Years
Jan 24, 2015
2
1
61
If it all possible, avoid them when they run away from you so they don't think that you're after them. When you have some time on your hands, go in and sit down and have a few treats with you. The most effective way I've found to train any kind of bird is to feed them only what they need daily until you get them trained to come to you. When you go into the coop first thing in the morning, before you refill their food, sit down so that you're not threatening and then hold out a handful of feed. Just wait them out maybe throw a few grains of food just out of reach and eventually their stomachs will overcome their fear. It's the same way that falconers train wild caught birds of prey and after studying that up I trained my parakeets and chickens. Once they associate you with food, they'll love you (just don't ever chase them or threaten them if possible). Once you have them trained then you can start feeding them free choice and still bring the occasional treat just so they remember why they love you lol.
 

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