NH Reds....Flighty

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 3rocksandme, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. 3rocksandme

    3rocksandme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2010
    Brookline, NH
    Good morning! I have found the advice on here to be excellent and I am still new to chicken raising so I have a lot of questions.

    I have a group of 3 week old chicks in the brooder, NH Reds and EEs. The NH Reds seem to have sort of a nasty temperament. They peck, a lot. I put my hands in the brooder to put in new food, etc and there are several that go after my hand. They also squawk and run around the brooder like I am going to attack them or something.

    Does anyone have any experience with this breed? Is this normal chick behavior? Will they settle down?

    Our older chickens are barred rocks and they were not like that at all as babies.
     
  2. incubatingisfun

    incubatingisfun Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2009
    Alaska
    They possess a deep, broad body, grow feathers very rapidly, are prone to go broody and make good mothers. Most pin feathers are a reddish buff in color and, therefore, do not detract from the carcass appearance very much. The color is a medium to light red and often fades in the sunshine. The comb is single and medium to large in size; in the females it often lops over a bit. These good, medium-sized meat chickens have fair egg-laying ability. Some strains lay eggs of a dark brown shell color. New Hampshires are competitive and aggressive. They were initially used in the Chicken of Tomorrow contests, which led the way for the modern broiler industry.
     
  3. 3rocksandme

    3rocksandme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2010
    Brookline, NH
    Thank you! I saw that but I guess since also saw:

    Breed Temperament:

    Friendly,Easily handled,Bears confinement well,Noisy,Docile

    in the same description that they would well, more docile.
     
  4. incubatingisfun

    incubatingisfun Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2009
    Alaska
    i had a similar expeirience with leghorns.
     
  5. turtlebird

    turtlebird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 11, 2009
    I had the same problem with a few delawares and an australorp chick. Whenever I went into the coop they were all over my boots, pecking away. They are now 15 weeks, and everyone is calm. One of those delawares is a roo - the one I plan on keeping because he is mellow and lets me pick him up. Everytime he went after my feet, I scooped him up, much to his protest, and carried him around for a while.
    Handle them, tuck your most agressive chicks under your arm while you do your work. Hopefully (hopefully [​IMG] ) they will settle down!
     
  6. 3rocksandme

    3rocksandme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2010
    Brookline, NH
    thank you! I wasn't sure since they seemed so jumpy, if handling them more would do more harm than good. I'll try it and see if it settles them down. They are feisty little devils.

    thanks again!
     
  7. JAPJRGIRL21

    JAPJRGIRL21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 1, 2010
    We have about 15 NH Reds and while they do not peck and such, they aren't crazy about being held. They make so much noise when they are picked up, both the hens and the roos! At first they were somewhat skittish when I entered the coop, but now (they are 15 weeks) they are fine with it and come up to me to see if I have anything to feed them.
     
  8. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I had two NH Red hens, and they were exactly as you described. Mean and unfriendly. I gave them away to a friend with a big farm because one of the hens was pecking feathers on EVERYBODY, even the rooster. She was the meanest thing! Glad they're gone.
     
  9. pontoosuc

    pontoosuc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2010
    Richmond, MA
    Geeze, that's not my experience with New Hampshires.

    Very docile, and friendly. They were the first birds to fly to the top of the
    brooder to greet us and always like to be held.

    We started off this year with 14 chicks in a very small sized brooder, then
    every couple of weeks made it a little bigger. I do think expanding the size
    of the brooder as birds grow makes a difference.

    Good luck with your birds. If you can pick them up a few times each day for
    quality people time it might help.
     
  10. 3rocksandme

    3rocksandme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2010
    Brookline, NH
    I just put them in a larger brooding box (they are 3 weeks old and this is their 2nd brooding box and it's big), and you would think by the noise they were making I was trying to eat them on the spot. My husband stuck his head in and asked what in the world I was doing to the babies. They don't seem to be mean with the other birds, they are in there with 2 EEs as well, just people. They don't especially enjoy being picked up. I thought maybe if I held them close to my heart it might help, but it hasn't. When I bring them out, they stay away from me. The EEs will come over and chat a bit but the Reds keep their distance. I am a bit nervous letting them out into the yard, since they seem to so flighty, that I might not be able to catch them to put them back into the brooder.

    I will keep trying to hold them, giving them treats, which is yogurt right now, and I guess if they stay nasty, I will get rid of them. Such a same because I think they are pretty, sort of quintessential hens....
     

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