My pullets and cockerals are affraid of me....


11 Years
Jun 4, 2008
How can I get them to be less spooked? They got more and more affraid after their transition from cardboared box to pen outside. It's probably due to the fact that it was harder to get arround to play with them when they weren't conveniantly in the house.
1. Get low. Predators come from above so chickens have the instinct to fear that.

2. Bribe with treats. Mine will practically do tricks for cheese. We can't sit down now without a chicken of some size flying up into our lap. Watermelon, bread, scratch... any food that gets them excited.

3. Be patient. Ours didn't always seek us out. In fact, the youngest ones just started to come when called and to follow us around. They're 6 weeks old.
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Great advice from JennsPeeps. Patience, patience and then tons of healthy treats. They can be bought so easily...
Our girls LOVE cottage cheese. Low Fat. They were a little leery at first, then we just added "toppings" (just about anything veggies or fruit)
and they figured out just how good it all really was... Best of luck
And, of course, there's always the excuse for sitting down in their space with a good mag. or book and reading (to them if you wish). Mine LOVE it when I toss wildbird food about.
I give my birds treats of scratch, (oats, un-hulled sunflower seeds, once in awhile bird seed, cracked corn etc.), in small quantities as these are treats. They do get kitchen scraps, veggies and such from the gardens, most everything that I can grow. I do grow a lot of corn and watermelon especially, also tomatoes, squash, root crops, the list can go on. I feed them everything except potatoes. I figure they will eat what they want. I do free range them. When they see me drive up the driveway in the morning coming home from work they run up to meet me to see if I have any treats for them.
I also make a point of handling mine often (whether they're happy about it or not), giving them a chance to see that i'm not a big meanie. I do this a little while after they've settled down to roost and i'm getting ready to secure them for the night.

I didn't handle them much when they were little because i was a newbie, and i was probably kind of scared of them. So they never got used to being handled. Now they're at 14 weeks, and we get along pretty well.

I don't know how old your pullets are.

But i have found one thing that i haven't read anyone mention here: if i need to pick my birds up to carry them somewhere for whatever reason, they like me much better if i let them sort of stand on my hand - as opposed to picking them up by covering their wings and holding them from above. I just put my right hand under their breast from the front, and kind of nudge/tickle them a little with my fingers to make them stand up (if they're not already), and then as i start to lift, they will flutter about, and step up onto my hand. And then they're totally calm and let me carry them wherever i want to. I think they're more comfortable when they're feet are on something. Also since i've started doing that, it has established trust better, and if i need to carry them a different way, they don't usually fuss like they used to.

I've never heard anyone say that, so i thought i would share my experience.

Soon, i'll have to try the cheese.
My babies love seedless grapes cut in half or quartered, I have Bantams. I always try to get out to see them in the morning and afternoon with grapes. When I sit out with them they are all over me looking for them plus it really amusing to watch them play keep away from each other when they get their grape. When you have something they really want, they forget to be afraid.
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Chickenbuddy: it's not just you

Of my 5 11wk old pullets - 1 will almost always let me pick her up and settles down on my lap,
1 will protest then settle,
2 act as if I'm killing them, then settle.
The last is still acting like the Hand of Death is coming for her...every time...

The only saving grace is that they put themselves to bed when it starts to get dark and then I can pick any of them off the roost for a cuddle.

The rest of y'all are making me feel inadequate

I do feed a treat of cooked oatmeal mixed with plain yogurt every morning and they seem to like that. But they will run - sometimes through the dish of yogurt
- if I try petting them when they're gobbling it down.
I also pick the heads off clover and some of the softer weeds from the yard and feed those too - they will take these from my hand, but heaven forbid I try to pick one up.

Hmmmmm... may have to try grapes...

When will they learn to like me?
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