No Love

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Arwenelfmaiden, Sep 2, 2015.

  1. mimi62

    mimi62 Out Of The Brooder

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    Depends on your perspective. My chickens are companion animals that happen to lay eggs. They sit in my lap, enjoy being pets, and are happy to come running to me. It all boils down to how you treat them. Treat them like the sentient, affectionate beings they are, and they will be life-long snuggly pets.
     
  2. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    MEALWORMS. Every chicken big or small, as long as it has a beak, will be your best bud for mealworms ;)
     
  3. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Funny that you mention hygiene. It's now becoming apparent thatvwecare not getting ENOUGH germs and ourvkids' immunity is suffering from it. More germs=more opportunity to build immunity. I can personally vouch for 5 very healthy generations of farmers coming from this little poo infested, cow lucking, chicken cuddling DNA ;)
     
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  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Ah, but you only have gangrene once in your lifetime to forever respect the power of the germ. <sigh>
     
  5. Ballerina Bird

    Ballerina Bird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Another perspective on the hygiene and affection issues: I'm pretty sure my birds think I am a befuddled but affectionately tolerated flock member with a hygiene problem, because anytime I sit right outside the sand part of their run, they stop what they are doing and bustle over to give me a dust bath. If they see I am sitting near the edge of their sand area, they will immediately leave off foraging and start a very big dust bath, with sand flying everywhere, right at the edge of the run so that they can feel confident that I got some sand on me (which I usually do). So maybe from their perspective, we're the ones who need to be cleaned up and cared for! [​IMG] Just kidding -- I have no idea why they actually do this, but to me it feels like I am a flock member who missed the memo on staying tidy and needs a little help.

    Which is to say that I don't have lap chickens either (mine are fine with being petted or picked up but don't exactly seek it out), but I think sometimes they develop other ways to show you that they have some kind of relationship with you.
     
  6. shodack

    shodack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm new to chickens this year. From the time I brought them outside they have not come anywhere near me (only two of the four had anything to do with me even in the brooder). They have just hit 21 weeks old, and the two who were more interested in me as chicks are now starting to lay. I immediately notice that they are more docile and likely to come a bit closer to me. I'm thinking the trend will continue.The other two have never wanted me touching them, so I doubt that will change, but it's nice to have a couple of them act like I'm not the worst thing around.
     
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  7. Tati

    Tati Out Of The Brooder

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    Hygiene is definitely important. Without it, epidemics and pandemics would be rampant, as they were in previous centuries. It is not for nothing that health care workers are teaching hygiene in Third World countries (with some success). Yet hygiene can be overdone. While it is probably a good idea to shield a newborn from germs as much as possible, it is certainly a bad idea to shield a toddler from every possible contact with germs. You said "our kids immunity is suffering from it". I am sure it is not all of our kids who are shielded so much from germs that the immune system can't be built properly. (I see it all around me that even basic hygiene is lacking.) There are also other factors that affect the building of the immune system. I am not an expert, but I assume that air pollution, unhealthy foods, and overeating also influence the immune system.

    "More germs = more opportunity to build immunity" is too simple an equation. It is true that those who survive without hygiene have better immune systems, but I don't think you would want natural selection back, as this means that the not-so-strong offspring of yours would be dying at an early age. My great-grandmother gave birth to 13 children. Only 7 of them lived past age 5. Did all born babies of your 5 generations of farmers live? If yes, then your family has been darn lucky.

    There is this old German saying: "Zu wenig und zu viel, das ist der Narren Spiel." ("Too little and too much, that is the game of the fools.")

    What is too little and what is too much of hygiene will depend on the individual. If you come from a lineage with lots of natural selection (for instance, if some of your ancestors were native Americans), you'll probably get away with less hygiene. If, on the other hand, you come from a lineage of city folks who--luckily!--have had good medical care and little natural selection for generations, you better apply more hygiene to avoid getting sick. It also depends on what kind of germs are in your surroundings at a given time. While a strong immune system will handle many germs, there are certain pathogens (certain viruses, bacteria, and parasites) that are so virulent that even the best immune system is unable to cope with them. And how would you even know how good your immune system is? Even if you survived lack of hygiene as a child and young person, there are numerous factors that can have compromised your immune system over the years. Advanced age alone will do it. Of course, there are always some special individuals who will survive just about any onslaught of germs. My advice to you: Don't rely on being one of them.

    I have been what you call "the runt of the litter" all my life (ever since all of our family came down with the flu while I was 1 year old and my flu developed into pneumonia--all without having chickens or any other animals). Nevertheless, I am not afraid of handling animals; I just apply a lot of hygiene. However, I avoid contact with humans (other than my husband) during the cold/flu-season (i.e., I don't go to events and don't go to stores). During times of flu/cold epidemics, not even my husband goes to stores. We, then, live off our food storage. It is the contact with contagious humans I am afraid of, not the contact with animals. The latter are much less dangerous for human health and safety.

    Regarding chickens, I don't see any reason why one should be afraid of having these lovely animals for pets. Before I shied away from chickens, I would shy away from dogs (they can transmit fatal rabies and potentially fatal tapeworm), and I would, certainly, stay away from humans who can transmit every possible, ugly, and potentially fatal illness one can think of, and not only during the cold/flu season.
     
  8. Tati

    Tati Out Of The Brooder

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    I bribed ours with hand-fed corncobs and (thoroughly [hot and cold] washed because of the pesticides) grapes. This did the trick. They love to come on my lap and shoulders but they still dislike being picked up.
     
  9. Alexandra33

    Alexandra33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You know, @souriasia , I'm not sure if I did anything differently than anybody else, but here's my method for raising chicks. Not only did I spend a LOT of time handling and petting them, but I also placed one chick at a time in my lap for about 10 minutes each. Another favorite activity was to put them on the floor (we don't have carpet, so any poop was easily cleaned up) and let them run around, all the while acclimating them to our movements and sounds. They always would climb onto us of their own free will for attention at some point or another, so that way we just let them come when they felt like it. The nice thing is, even as adults most are used to being picked up, hugged, kissed, and talked to. But even with all of our socialization sessions when they were chicks, there are a couple who aren't afraid of us, but they happen to be naturally standoffish and would rather not participate in the affection that the others are receiving. That's the down side; you can't change a chicken's disposition, so if they're going to be aloof, they're going to be aloof no matter what you do. Your birds still have hope, because it sounds like they are experiencing what I call "The Flighty Phase." Every one of our 29 chickens has gone through it, but now that everybody is laying or close to it, they have become much more docile and even friendly again. [​IMG]

    -Alex
     
  10. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Lol @Tati I think you might have hit the nail on the head... I am 100% German ha-ha... Selective breeding?.. lol I'm totally joking around ;) ... I am the runt too, born too early.... The one out of 2 babies in 5 generations, plus aunts and uncles, that would have been lost... I survived Scarlet fever; my cousin Holly did not. Boy us Germans are tough to knock out :p
     

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