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new chicken owner - nervous flock

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kingkav, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. kingkav

    kingkav Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 3, 2013
    Norwich, uk
    Hi all,

    We have only had chickens for a couple of months but they seem to quite nervous they do not want to come near you and they seem to want to huddle together in a corner, ive tried bringing corn for the to graze on by spreading it over the garden but they dont like to stray to far from there coop.

    Also is it normal for them to poo in their nesting box?

    Any help would be great.

    Ian
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    How old are they?
     
  3. kingkav

    kingkav Out Of The Brooder

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    32
    Dec 3, 2013
    Norwich, uk
    We have a jersey giant born ib feb, a silkie born in spring and a frizzle of an unknown age that my wife took as it was being picked on by a goose and was in an awful state.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,714
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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Chickens are not like dogs and cats that come to you want to be petted.
    If you're very calm and patient you can acclimate them to your presence by spending time in the coop in a non threatening way, sitting quietly and offering treats, and after awhile they will get used to you being there when they figure out you have the food they want and are not going to hurt them. If you startle them or try to grab them, you're back to the square one or farther.

    If they are pooping in the nests they are probably sleeping in them at night.
    Make sure the roost is comfortable, easily reachable and positioned higher than the nests.
    They like to roost an night in the highest place possible.
    You might have to go out after dark and move them from the nest to the roost until they get the habit down...
    .....or block off the nests at dusk so they can't get in them, then uncover them very early in the morning if you have layers.
     
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    OK was just checking to see if they were two months old or older.

    Here is what you can do to tame them a little: sit down in a chair in the run and offer treats at your feet. They will come up to get the treats and will associate you with good things (food!). Spend time with them sitting in the run and talking to them. They will eventually come to expect your company and will hopefully become tamer. Chickens are always "on guard" though, and just never let that guard down unless they are snoozing. They are a bit peppier than a cat.

    Some breeds and individual chickens within tamer breeds will always be "flighty" and will not seek human contact. Your frizzle and your silkie should be quite tameable. Your jersey giant should also be a nice gal from my experience.

    Silkies and bantam cochins (frizzled cochin bantams, which I assume is what you have) from my experience crave security and won't stray too far from the coop. This is for their own protection as they are not very gamey.

    Poo in the nesting box should not be tolerated. If your nest boxes are not lower than your roosts this can happen frequently to people. So make them low down and the roost a bit higher. Your silkie cannot fly and thus will have to jump up...keep roosts about a foot or so high or less (or if a bit higher, offer stepping ladders or something they can hop up on to get higher).

    I have gone to using sand in my covered kitty litter pan nest boxes, and I scoop them if needed with a kitty litter scoop to get any poo out. This saves me money in shavings. I use sand on the floor of the coop as well (wear mask).

    Silkies can take a very long time to begin laying (sometimes 8 or 9 months) and both your silkie and cochin will go broody quite a bit (they stop laying when they go broody).

    Pullets will tame down a LOT when they start laying. They will squat for you and you can pick them up.

    Enjoy your chickens!
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  6. kingkav

    kingkav Out Of The Brooder

    37
    0
    32
    Dec 3, 2013
    Norwich, uk
    Yeah thanks for the help I have blocked off the nesting boxes at night so they should get them in the habit of not sleeping in them. Also have really seennthem come out of there shells around me, they also are exploring a lot more.

    Ian

    Sent from my GT-P3110 using Tapatalk
     

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