My utter failure as a chicken mom

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by JenNY99, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. JenNY99

    JenNY99 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 31, 2011
    I feel like such a failure! I am new to chicken owning and researched for a year before jumping in. My main criteria for chicken breeds was cold hardy and friendly. In March, we got 6 Buff Orpingtons (straight run) and 3 weeks later got 6 Brahmas that were supposed to all be pullets. Week 5, one of the BO started crowing, followed the next week by the second BO. We then lost one of the Brahmas.

    For 8 weeks, without fail, we visited the chicks every night for a minimum of 30 minutes (they were housed in our basement). During that time we handled each of them, petted them, brought them treats, etc.

    When the BO's were 10 weeks and the Brahmas 7, we moved them out into the coop we built for them. They adjusted pretty quick. We let them free roam our multiple acreage during the day, but they stay pretty close to home and turn themselves in at night.

    Last week, my favorite BO hen started cock-a-doodle dooing. Oops. There is also another hen that looks like I'm afraid she is a he as well. And one of our Brahmas has got to be a rooster. He hasn't crowed yet, but he looks markedly different in the comb and waddles then the other 4. So here I am with 3-5 roosters - eating them is absolutely not an option for us, so I guess I have to sell them and they become someone else's dinner?

    But here is the worst thing. Despite our choice of breeds and repeated handling, none of them will let us near them. They run like hell whenever they see us. When they are cornered in the coop, the hens try desperately to get away from us, and when they are finally cornered and caught, they have to give in but clearly hate it. 2 of the definite roosters - well, if we touch them, they grab as hard as they can with their beaks whatever skin the can get to and actually shake their heads like they are attempting to tear our flesh out.

    I am so discouraged...
  2. ParadiseFoundFarm

    ParadiseFoundFarm Goddess of Good Things

    Jul 6, 2010
    Joliet, IL
    I read your title line ans said "Awww" to myslef. I'm sorry you're feeling down. [​IMG]
    Chickens are not clothing. You just can't expect them to fit all situations all the time. They are live animals and there will be variables outside of your control - ALWAYS. Don't beat yourself up. The birds wil be variables and it sounds like you've done everything right.

    I raise Wheaten Ameraucanas and like you, did my reaserch. They are know for being sweet and personable. I actually had Buttercup in the house last night just wandering around and she was jumping up on people's laps and when we served pizza for dinner, she was pecking at our shoes/feet to ask for morsels. How she knew our food was in the plates I don't know. She's typical of Wheaten Ameraucanas. They have small combs and not wattles which makes them cold hardy. When you are ready, there is a thread for ameraucanas here on BYC. There is also an Ameraucana Breeders Club you could look up on the internet.
    Paradise Found
  3. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

    May 22, 2009
    North Central Florida
    My buff orpingtons were not easily won over either.
    I got a lawn chair and put it in the run.
    I would grab a chicken and hold her tight. then I would talk to her, rub around her ears, get the spots they can't -that sort of thing. After she relaxed and started to enjoy the loving, I relaxed my hold. next day the same or a different hen, then repeat. after a bit as soon as I sat down seven birds would jump on my lap and start shoving each other off.
    All is not lost.
    they are getting used to being chickens and doing chicken stuff. They are teenagers. they will come around.
  4. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

    Oct 7, 2010
    Conroe, Texas
    It could be all those male hormones. The boys generally hate being cuddled, especially in front of other boys.
    Chickens go through an aloof phase when they hit chickie puberty too. I pet them at roost time when they are settling down for the evening. This helps tame them again along with treats.

    Just remember a way to a chickens heart is through it's stomach.

    You may decide to rehome some boys and replace with pullets. I also have blue wheaten ameraucanas which are sweet. Also my Wyandottes, bantam cochins, silkies, and barred rock hen.
  5. Chicky Monkey

    Chicky Monkey Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2011
    My chickens are very tame, but will run like the dickens just like yours if I'm standing or walking toward them! If I squat down or sit in the grass, they are all over me! If you haven't tried it, squat or sit, and have something very tasty...bread crumbs, sunflower seeds, greens, and let them eat out of your hand. Stroke their chests and talk to them. I'm sure they will come around! I'm new at this, too, and am not sure how many of mine are girls, yet. Good luck!!!!

    Kansas girl with sweet husband, 2 grown childeren, 3 grandsons, 2 buff orpingtons, 2 silver-laced Wyandottes, 3 barred rocks and a miniature aussie.
  6. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    My best advice to you is...............slow down.

    When you get near your birds.......relax - even if you have to stop and make yourself relax. Walk no faster than a chicken.

    Sit in your run and let the birds check you out.

    Just like people - some birds are people birds and some birds are bird birds [​IMG]

    Slow down and let the people birds show you who they are.

    Sit with treats also. Treats are good.

    [​IMG] You are not a failure.
  7. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 25, 2010
    Kansas City
    My BO's were terrified of me as chicks too. Once they started laying they got quite a bit friendlier. Once I got rid of my roo they got a whole lot friendlier. They are now under my feet as soon as I am in the yard. If allowed they spend all day at the back door waiting for me. They walk me to my car, come running up to greet me when I get home.
  8. aubreynoramarie

    aubreynoramarie designated lawn flamingo

    May 27, 2010
    Reno, Nevada
    Do not get discouraged yet! I felt the same way until one by one my girls began squatting for me. Once they start to lay they become wayyyy sweeter. Plus not having a roo helps them see you as their flock leader...
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  9. kemclaughlin

    kemclaughlin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    Garden City, ID
    I think they all go through a phase like this. Mine are standoffish right now too, but they run to the gate when I go outside, so I know they like me. I think that as they get older and more confident, they will be more tame.
  10. farmerinKC

    farmerinKC Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2011
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Don't be discouraged-I am new to chickens too. I have five Golden Comets, two Buff Orpingtons and two supposedly Ameraucanas. Only one of the Buffs and one of the Golden Comets like to be petted. I'm used to dogs and cats-these chickens are just being chickens, I guess. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011

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