New to chickens- need some help :)

SophiaRose

In the Brooder
7 Years
Nov 20, 2012
22
0
24
Hi:
I'm new to BYC and chickens in general, therefore I have a few questions to make sure I'm doing everything right :) I have a partridge silkie bantam hen (the cutest chicken in the world-love her so much), an easter egger, and a rhode island. They are a little over 19 weeks old, here are some pics:
Silkie:


Easter Egger:


and Rhode Island:


Here's another one where you can see her face better though:


There are a few things that I want to know:
-Do they look healthy (to an experienced chicken lover)
-When do you think they will begin to lay
-I love them very much and I spend a lot of time with them but they are always afraid of me, I have to chase them to pick them up and I really want them to love me and I don't know what to do

Thank you!
I just love my hens so much :')
 

TurtlePowerTrav

T.K.'s Farm
7 Years
Jul 29, 2012
3,382
186
208
Oregon City, OR
My Coop
My Coop
They look happy and healthy. To address the POL issue, The silkies take a while to mature. Your Red looks like a few more weeks, and the EE depends on what is in the genetics(usually 20-35 weeks). Now for the taming part. DO NOT chase them. Sit calmly on the ground or low chair. Have treats to throw on the ground around you(mine LOVE raisins and meal worms). As they see you are not a threat they will continue to get closer and closer to you, maybe even as much to jump up and eat out of your hand. It took me 3 weeks to get my cockerel to eat out of my hand(started off not coming within 10 feet of me). Do this every day until you reach the closeness you desire from them. I have 6 hens too, one refuses to eat out of my hand(all raised together from day olds) and I have 2 that will jump up into my lap. Each bird is different. Patience and calmness are key. Talk to them in a soft, gentle voice. I hope this helps.
 

SophiaRose

In the Brooder
7 Years
Nov 20, 2012
22
0
24
Thank you very much! It's strange, I'll sit down and they will hop onto my shoulders and peck at my shoelaces but as soon as I reach for them, they scurry away
 

TurtlePowerTrav

T.K.'s Farm
7 Years
Jul 29, 2012
3,382
186
208
Oregon City, OR
My Coop
My Coop
Some just don't like to be touched. Of my 6 hens, on 2(the ones that jump on my lap) let me pet them. The others I can grab and handle without too much fuss. My roo is the same, hands off but will let me grab him and look him over. My 3 10 week old pullets jump up onto my shoulders and lap, so I will have to see how they are when they start laying. They sometimes become easier to handle after they start laying, especially if you are their "rooster"
 

nelson castro

Hatching
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
8
0
7
City Road, Southbank
Your beloved chickens are very healthy. Now for the chasing part, each breed of chicken has different approach. The best way is to throw treats on the ground around you, make them feel that you are not a threat to them.
yippiechickie.gif
 

Spangled

Songster
8 Years
Jan 12, 2012
865
99
158
Serenity Valley
-I love them very much and I spend a lot of time with them but they are always afraid of me, I have to chase them to pick them up and I really want them to love me and I don't know what to do

Me, too!

After a couple of years, I just gave up. Well, maybe I should say I lowered my expectations. And you're ahead of me, btw, because my chickens do not sit on my shoulders ... ever.

I pet mine at night when I shut their door and check on them. I have one that actually seems to really enjoy a gentle back rub under her feathers, but I've been doing that with her for over three years ... but not every night. I have some others that I pet and talk to, also, that are calmer and one allows me to pet her for just a second during the day because I've been petting her at night. But most of them squawk and fret and get agitated when I try to pet them, so I just leave them alone. I don't want to stress them out; I want them to enjoy their lives and their roosting time at night.

Some of it is breed specific. The one that likes the back rub is a bantam Cochin, sometimes a more friendly breed. But some of it is just that particular chicken's personality. And if we really think about it, they can only survive in the wild if they are on their toes all the time. They need to be cowardly chickens just to survive a lot of the time; it's their instinct. So I try not to be too discouraged by their stand offish behavior. At least they're better than fish in an aquarium. Ha. (nothing against fish)
 

SophiaRose

In the Brooder
7 Years
Nov 20, 2012
22
0
24
If I want them to start laying soon do I need to put a heat lamp/light in their coop for warmth/extended daylight hours? East Coast
 

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