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Ok I give

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ridgefire, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. ridgefire

    ridgefire Songster

    Jan 8, 2008
    Northern Michigan
    I keep reading on this site how people's birds coming running up to them, just wanting to be picked up.

    My chickens do not let me pick them up. I have had them since they were a day old. I handled them everyday they were in the brooder. Ever since moving them out to the coop at the end of May I havent been able to just bend over and pick one up.
    Dont get me wrong they do come running up to me....to see if I have food. If I dont they just go about their business. They are not afraid of me in the sense that they run when I approach, they will stay at my feet and follow me around, but as soon as I reach for one they run, I've tried going really slow, really fast, nothing.

    I am working on keeping my roo in line, but all the suggestions say to carry him around. He wont even come near me, which I guess is a good thing. He seems to respect me, I do chase him off if he tries to mate while I'm out in the yard.

    What am I doing wrong?
  2. beckyloveschicks

    beckyloveschicks In the Brooder

    Jul 9, 2008
    My chickens are the same way. They run to me to see if I have goodies, but they won't let me pick them up.

    My rooster and I, well, after the first time he tried to jump on me, I carry a big stick when I go in the yard. There is no way I could catch him and pick him up if I wanted to. When his time for the stew pot comes, DH is going to have to catch him.
  3. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member 10 Years

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Is your rooster a mean rooster naturally? If he's the more timid sort, you might actually be scaring him unnecessarily. He may think you're a big, bad rooster and his best plan is to run away from you. Get to know him by visiting him while he is perched on his roost in the evenings. Pick him up, pet his feathers, and rub his comb and wattles. Talk to him softly and lovingly. Keep his feet in one of your hands so that he feels secure. Pet his hens while he's around so he knows you can be trusted with them.

    As far as getting the whole flock to come to you, the best thing to do is just pull up a chair in the run and feed your chickens treats out of your hands... Wear gloves so their beaks don't hurt you, and don't make fast movements. Don't even try to grab them...let them come to you until they get comfortable enough to spend time by your feet. It may take a while for them to get comfortable with you enough to allow you to pick them up. The most important thing is not to rush the relationship.

    A last question... What breed(s) of chickens do you have? Some are naturally more friendly than others.
  4. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    Buy a bag of scratch........if you carry around a cup of it ........ they will be like....... "treat person" [​IMG]
  5. DTchickens

    DTchickens Crowing

    Mar 23, 2008
    Bailey, Mississippi.
    if you grab at them fast. They will be terrified. try not to pick them up from above either. maybe squat down to their level. and slowly move your hand under the chest of the ones you want to pick up. pick up when you get your hand under them and then do whatever you want. (dont drop them either when you set them down. just set them down nice and gently.. and back away)

    (this is the way i handle mine.. and all of mine like to jump in my lap when i come around. even the ones i didn't raise.. Besides one little rooster but he likes showing off so being held kinda annoys him. still tame though)

    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  6. IloveTravis

    IloveTravis Songster

    Jul 27, 2008
    Okay, I know this sounds weird, but I know the formula for the perfect chicken.

    Step one: hatch them yourself, so your baby is exposed to you from day one
    Step two: as soon as your baby of choice is dry and warm, lay on the floor and let it rest under your chin. Take it out separately so that it is not distracted by the other babies.

    Do this every day for a good amount of time. It has worked for me with the babies I've tried it with.

    You become mama, and they can't get enough of you. Everywhere I go I've got a chicken at my heels [​IMG]
  7. kinnip

    kinnip Songster

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    Although I consider my chickens to be quite tame, they have become less willing to be picked up since they were in the brooder. I still can pick them up, and some must want it (excepting the ones who use me as a roost, they are clearly terrified). They wouldn't be coming back and lolling around my hands if they didn't. It doesn't mean they don't make noises and squirm a bit when I do pick them up. There are some who get very sharp and can spin their talons around in circles like a weed whacker, those are the ones I consider un-cuddly. Anyone else is fair game. When I want to catch one, I squat, talk to it and grab it gently, firmly and swiftly. They're prey animals and are hard wired to run away from any big animal grabbing at them. The faster, gentler and more completely (think jujutsu master) you can grab them, the more positive the interaction will be. In my experience, these birds settle down quickly, close their eyes and get comfy.
  8. ridgefire

    ridgefire Songster

    Jan 8, 2008
    Northern Michigan
    Dont get me wrong they are not scared of me. They follow me everywhere in the yard, they scratch right at my feet. I tried kneeling down and waiting as soon as I stretch my hand out, doesnt matter how fast or how slow I go, they run. I sit out on the stump in the backyard and they will get up on the stump with me, sit right next to me but as soon as I even move an inch they jump off the stump and a way they go.

    They are buff orpingtons and California white leghorns (which yes I know leg horns are skiddish)

    And my roo is a leg horn. So far he is timid and he seems to respect me, which is what I want.

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