New Mom with Many Questions!


9 Years
Sep 29, 2010
NorCal ~ Santa Cruz Mountains
We are bringing home our first two hens... tomorrow. We thought we were getting three, but one turned out to be a rooster, suddenly (?), and following complaints from her neighbors on Friday when he made Roo noises... (today is Sunday) the owner had to adopt him out immediately... She says that the two remaining girls (an Auracauna and a New Jersey Black) are 'easier to handle' now, and that she had noticed that the one was bullying the other two...

So... I'm guessing at this point since we don't actually have them yet.

~ How difficult will it be for my teens to handle these girls? We were hoping for friendly additions to the family.
~ Will they get used to us wanting to hug and handle them or is it too late?
~ Will the move stress them out too much that they will not want to lay eggs? Owner says they are five months old. They are not laying yet.
~ If they are in a temporary coop will changing their coop over the next week or so stress them again? We are getting the one they have been raised in, but it is rudimentary at best... and we will need to construct a more durable and varmint proof home.
~ If we want to add a few more chickens, should we do it right away so that they can adjust their pecking order all at once, or should we wait til these are settled and bring in another one or two?

I've enjoyed reading posts here on this forum for the past few days, and look forward to all the great advice and info I will find here as we begin our new adventure. I've wanted to have chickens for years... and am now at a place were it is possible! Yay!

Unless they are used to being handled, this will take time. Bribe them with treats and sit with them so they get used to your being around. Take a book and a cold beverage. Same for the teenagers.

All those things will stress them some; it's such an individual thing how much. It could delay eggs some, but if their bodies are ready (red combs, squatting) you probably won't have to wait long.

If you are going to add more it would be better to add them at the same time. They will be distracted by the new environment and less likely to cause injuries when they start working on their pecking order. Even if you decide to quarantine, if they can see and hear each other, it will help. (Strict quarantine would have them too far apart for this, but unless you have two coops and runs at a distance from each other....)

Do handle them often this will help. I got my girls who were a bit older than yours and they are great now. I hold them and handle them everyday. I turn them upside down so their belly is up and sometimes I even blow hot air into their neck feathers I love holding them and petting them they are great. I am sure in time you will also gain this joy from your girls. It does take time and biulding up of trust. Take treats so they like to come to you!!!!!!

Raisins. Grapes! Shredded mozzarella cheese. Black Oil Sunflower Seed (hull and all). Dry oatmeal (the old-fashioned kind, not "quick cooking"). Corn on the cob. Watermelon. ANY melon. Scrambled eggs. Chopped hard-boiled egg. Some chickens like canned tuna.

Chickens are omnivorous. Most any kitchen scrap or left-overs are treats for them. I just listed the specific things MY chickens particularly love as treats.

Chickens are also creatures of habit, and any move, change in location can put them off laying for a while, usually no more than 3 weeks. Ofttimes only a few days.


I'm originally from the Monterey Bay area - nice to see another Central Coaster here!
hi, meal worms is the best treat of all, my birds mob me when they hear the plastic box rattling, and they gobble them up !! try them, good luck with your birds, only had mine two months and i'm hooked.
Just a word about "hugging" a chicken.

Most birds don't instinctively like being petted. Chickens can get accustomed to being held and petted, but if they haven't been handled a lot when they are young it may take a long period of training to get them used to it and some may never really accept it.

We raised our nine bantams from chicks with daily handling and treats. Even so, some of our girls are still a bit standoffish and will squeal and struggle when we pick them up (Ozma, especially, although when there are treats she usually is the first one up on my arm). Others will leap into the lap of any family member who sits down in the backyard, and will make little happy clucking sounds as we pet them. It all depends on individual personality.

Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of chicken keeping!

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