New to Chickens, new to this board...and....HELP!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Casey5, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. Casey5

    Casey5 New Egg

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    Jan 9, 2014
    West Texas
    Hello!

    I recently came across this site when looking for chicken coop designs. I love it! Thanks to all whole have put this site together! What an amazing community as well. Very informative.

    A little background here and why I need help.

    I grew up riding horses at a farm not too far from my house. They had tons of chickens, peacocks, and turkeys free ranging there. My summers were spent chasing chickens (mind you, at the time they thought it was a game and when you "found them" they would stop, cluck, and you got to pick them up where they would be for hours if we let them), finding all the hidden eggs in the hay bales, and helping to tame the little chicks. I loved being there.

    Fast forward to my adult years. Its been about 20 years since I have been around chickens. Thankfully, my hubby grew up with them so the care, feeding, housing, etc has been taken care of. We currently live on 5 acres, have 4 dogs, 2 barn kitties, and 4 horses. I have a huge plentiful garden, I can jams, jellies, and veggies with produce from my garden.

    The last item to my happy patch of Heaven was to add chickens. So why do I need help you ask?

    Its quite comical really. Since I left that happy barn growing up, I have this sense about me I guess that clues birds of every kind to hate me! I must have a target on my head that only birds can see. LOL! I have been pooped on the head too many times to count (even while in the city with a huge crowd of people), been goosed where the sun doesn't shine, chased off, pecked at, attacked by, and everything else you can imagine! It has kinda made me have a slight phobia of birds if you can imagine!!!

    I planned originally to start off with day old chicks that would love me before they learn to hate me haha! That has been the plan since I moved here 2 yrs ago. However, we have the opportunity to get 6 Barred Rock chickens from a friend of mine in the next week or two. My kids are currently in 4H with her kids. My friend ordered 36 day old chicks of this breed. She has been a faithful chicken friend to these chicks. Her two children have handled them every day. They are currently 9 weeks old. Just yesterday my child helped show the chickens at the livestock show in the next town over.

    I have decided that we can take these chickens. They have been handled by the children and loved on a lot. So. In a few weeks we will be able to bring 6 of these chickens home. I want them as pets. I want to be able to go back like my childhood and be able to call them and have them sit in my lap. But with all my experiences I am somewhat afraid. Its only me. The rest of my family loves them and do not have an issue with them. I figured on sitting for an hour every day in the closed run for a week or so. That way we could get used to each other. I am ok with that. I think. LOL! We planned on keeping them in the run until they are used to the coop...and me. Once we are all good they will free range. No worries on the dogs and cats. That is taken care of.

    So, how else can I get over this phobia? I hear the best way to a chicken is by the treats and food in pockets etc. I have also read not to reach out and don't go from the top. No worries there. I am just gonna be a sitting duck and take it. LOL. But what kind of treats can I feed these guys? Is it just their food?

    Please, I really do need some help. I want to make this smooth, and I want to get over this as fast as possible. Any help is GREATLY appreciated! Ok sorry for the novel.

    Thanks!
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Hi there, [​IMG] and welcome to BYC!

    You are thinking too hard about it. LOL Starting out with chicks is always a good idea to friendly them up toward you, however you say these 6 chickens have been cared for and loved by humans. These new chickens will come around for you too. They may not be lap sitting with you on the first day, but once they get used to their new digs, you spend time with them every day sitting with them, talking to them, dispensing the treats, ect...they will soon learn that you are not out to eat them. Before you know it, they will be all over you. Food is a good incentive to help friendly them up, but just moving slowly around them, spending time with them and caring for them is enough to get them to come around.

    Good luck with your new chicken adventures and enjoy BYC!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    For baby chicks, a little plain yogurt mixed with their feed or a scrambled egg is great, and also beneficial. Not all chickens will come to enjoy human contact, but your chances increase greatly if you start as soon as they arrive, and put a lot of time and patience into it. Try not to chase them or pick them up against their will. Lay your hand on their floor with a bit of treat and let tham have at it. Repeat often. Soon at least some should start sittingor even sleeping on your hand.

    Even when acquiring an oder flock, you can teach them to come to your call pretty easily, even if they never want you to touch them. Just make some sound you choose -- call "chickie, chickie" or shake the treat container -- at the same time you toss a bit of treat on the ground. They are food oriented and learn quickly. Usually even in this situation you can eventually get one or a few to let you pick them up and sit in your lap by using treats. The older ones love BOSS (black oil sunflower seed, in the shell) and mealworms, also scratch or cracked corn, but the first two are more nutritious. The only treat I keep is BOSS. I have 9 hens and only give a handful or two a day; a $10 or so bag lasts quite a while, several weeks.

    Their nails and spurs can be pretty rough, but for the most part, if they peck or even bite you, it is a minor incident not even requiring treatment -- especially when a little chick does it.
     
    Ol Grey Mare and 2mnypetz like this.
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!
     
  5. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! You've gotten some good advice above. The fasted way to a chickens heart is through its stomach. The BYC Learning Center has a chicken treat chart https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chicken-treat-chart-the-best-treats-for-backyard-chickens but pretty much chickens will eat about anything... BOSS, scratch/ cracked corn are easy to find at the feed store, bugs, hamburger/ meat, cooked eggs, and cheese also work really well as bribes for mine.
     
    2mnypetz likes this.
  6. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC!
     
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. Get all hens - they will be fine and so will you.
     
  8. petrel

    petrel Chats with Chickens

    Welcome to BYC.
     
  9. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Alright and [​IMG] great to have you onboard [​IMG]



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    I liked your post [​IMG]
     

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