Newbie w/ a couple questions =)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by HollyKMS, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. HollyKMS

    HollyKMS Songster

    Oct 7, 2009
    Felida WA
    Got 3 bantams Tues 4mos-old. Little human exposure, grew up in a yard with hundreds of chickens free-range. They're REALLY afraid of people. Trying to acclimate them. Today the Welsummer FINALLY pecked some crushed corn out of my hand YAY. Wyandotte still too scared & Australorp still on isolation in the crate (until Monday). [Austr pecked my daughter and made her cry today while I was cleaning out her crate. Dang fiesty pullet!!lol]

    Other than tempting them with food and just being around them a lot, any suggestions what else we can do? How long does it usually take to domesticate a ferrel chicken? Do any of you have chickens that'll actually jump up in your lap looking for food?!

    Mine also have lice, I'm pretty sure. I've dusted them a bit with the louse dust as well as their coop/house. Anything else I need to do? They seem to be scratching at themselves a lot, esp their face. Don't want to catch and investigate it further because it traumatizes them when I try to catch them, doesn't really help them learn to trust me.. ya know?

    Thanks for any advice or information! [​IMG]
  2. suzpyoung

    suzpyoung Songster

    Aug 12, 2008
    Temperance, MI
    I adopted two gold laced Polish pullets that were so wild the gal that had them couldn't even get close enough to take pictures. While one is just still slightly skittish, she still loves to be around me, and the other lets me pick her up whenever I want and seeks me out to have her breast scratched. It took a couple months or so, and I do spend a lot of time with my birds.

    If one of them is already eating out of your hand, I don't think it'll take much time at all if you hang out with them a little every day.
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well...they all have different personalities, so even if you HAD raised them, there's a chance that some might not be friendly. And some breeds are more prone to friendliness vs. flightiness. I agree with the previous poster that if one is already eating a bit from your hand, that one has a good chance of taming down. But the others could come around as well. My wyandotte baby is handled every day, and is still skittish around me (although she will eat treats from my hand). I don't ever see her becoming a cuddler. But patience is key...that and LOTS of tempting treats.

    As for the scratching??? If you've dusted them and don't see anything, I would probably just assume that they have itches just like we do. Mine do seem to scratch their head area more than anywhere else. But mine are feathering, so I just assumed that was the issue...or dust from the bedding...???
  4. Miss Kitty

    Miss Kitty In the Brooder

    Mar 21, 2009
    While I was talking with a worker at Walmart I found out he had chickens and told him my chickens were scratching themselves maybe fleas he suggested dusting them with Sevin Dust. I was skeptical since this was poison. He said he did this each month, and it works and doesn't hurt them.

    I took a hankerchief and covered my mouth and nose and wore gloves sat down and dusted each one all over they will squalk and flap their wings but you must dust them good all over the body (not the face), be sure to get it on their poopy area and stomach. It works they quit scratching. Dust the inside of their coop too with it. It works! Hope this helps. [​IMG]
  5. HollyKMS

    HollyKMS Songster

    Oct 7, 2009
    Felida WA
    Suz- a few months, OK- That's good to know! I don't want to expect it to be a week and then get impatient [​IMG] I have to sit FROZEN for 5 minutes with my hand lying still on the ground before the Welsummer will eventually work up the nerve to eat out of my hand and if I move even a TINY bit, she darts away- lol It's a slow process, I guess.

    As for visits, I go out at sunrise, three or four times during the day for 5-15 minutes (depending) and right at dusk as they're settling into their house. They aren't usually flying against the other side of the coop anymore when I approach, which is good I guess.

    Our Wyandotte is just a nervous wreck of a bird, so I'll be surprised if she'll ever let me hold or touch her. She jumps at every tiny sound and constantly clucks and ruffles her feathers nervously. If the Welsummer is out of her sight, she panics. The Welsummer sneezed today and I think the Wyandotte flew backwards two feet before she hit the coop fencing and lost a crew of feathers upon impact. LOL! (OK yes it was really funny) Poor bird- she's more miserable than Woody Allen.

    Teach- Treats-on it! I'm OK w/ chicken bribery [​IMG] Today I gave them periods of free range (with me out to supervise; we live in an area of hawks). I think the Welsummer's into it. Wyandotte was nervous leaving the coop but more nervous to be left behind. She was TORN. It almost cracked her in two trying to figure out which she feared more- alone or outside.

    Miss- I'll try the Sevin Dust. My dad used to use that on our beagles between flea dips (I grew up in S AL where fleas are a big deal). Sounds like an idea. The louse dust is poison, too, right? And it doesn't seem to harm them...

    Thanks guys!

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