Petting your birds and loving them


8 Years
Aug 6, 2011
Pacific North West
After getting my birds my attitude has changed about them in general. I'm seeing and beginning to believe that if you pet and love your your birds they become tamer, more humanized, happier and more enjoyable to have as part of a family. I encourage my kids and grand-kids now including my wife who is not a touchy feely person at all to love them. I have named them hoping that they know the difference LOL and call them by name not that it is for real or they know. A name seems to create something real for me. How do we know they don't know the sound difference in their name? I know they are just chickens but how do you get attached to just dumb old chickens anyway, right?

Do you folks out there handle and love your birds too?
How much is to much or never enough?
Do your birds come to you for love and affection?
Do your birds come running to you when they hear or see you?
Do your birds make lots of sounds around you even more when they are outside alone?
Have you noticed any differences in the way they treat you since stroking them and loving them with soft talk?

ALMOST sounds like what everyone else likes, am I right? So why not our chickens?

When I got my first bantam hens it was just 2 and they were about 5 weeks old. Originally they lived indoors in a large indoor rabbit cage with me and I knew very little about them, I made chicken noises at them, talked to them, handled them loads, and loved the way that when I spoke to them instead of to someone else they'd tilt their heads and look at me as if they were truly listening.
When I got up in the morning or came in from work they'd battle at the bars to get to me and they'd hop onto my hands when I was cleaning them out.
When they eventually moved outside full time, they carried on this behaviour and always seemed pleased to see me even when I wasn't feeding them, if they escaped their run on occasion, they always came to me and were easy to pick up.
I think if you treat them like pets, they'll be pets, if you treat them like "just chickens" thats what they'll be. You gotta give love to get it.
I have one silky.. she is 4 months old we have had her now for 3 weeks, I got her with the intention of her being part of our family. She comes running to us when we go outside and will come when we make "hen noises"..
. still not to happy about being picked up, but once you have her in your arms and are petting her she will cuddle up and almost purr.
I will continue to work with her in hopes of her getting to a point that she will jump into are arms or at least not panic when we pick her up.
i've got a chicken sleeping at my feet right now... it's too hot for her to be outside!!!
out of all of them, she's just a tad bit spoiled... but then again she has a messed up beak and needs more attention... she's not really allowed in the house, but seeing as no one else is home, no one has to know.
Ladies, ladies, ladies.....

There was an old saying when someone disappeared off the face of the earth that "They must have passed out in the chicken coop".

You love your chicks because they are cute and cuddly. They love you for the food you provide. They don't come running because they are glad to see you. They don't hang around because you are great fun to be with.

Face it, these birds are bracketed right in the with the vulture in the bird kingdom. They will eat anything, including each other, in a heartbeat.

As one example of the fact that this many times isn't the case:
I had a pullet that when I'd hold out my arm for her, she'd fly up on it. A few times I offered her a treat there & she turned away from it, seeming to say, "No food--Just cuddle me."

Another logical example:
Chicks don't grow up just liking the hen who raised them because she leads them to food. They actually like to be with her, too.
If a person raises chicks, similarly, some of them like being with that person for a number of different reasons.
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I received some chickens(a year old) last September and then incubated some of their eggs in the spring(March). The chickens that I was given, don't come to me even though they know I'm the one who feeds/waters them. But the babies I incubated are now 5 months old, know my voice and come running to me when ever I say anything to them. When allowing them all to free range, we have no problems getting the older ones to get back in the pen, but the babies aren't afraid of us and just want to hang around our feet , so it takes more time to get them away from us and in the pen. I truly believe holding, loving and talking to the babies have made them so loving and non afraid of humans. They aren't crazy about being picked up at first, but then they calm down and just lay in our arms.
Steve, I've got 8 pullets, hatched June 13th. I've tried to handle each of them every day for at least the first 6 weeks and make it a positive experience. What I've concluded is that some of my birds tolerate being held and stroked and some of them do not. They all pretty much come running when the see me coming, but I don't doubt that much of this has to do with the fact that I rarely come out for a visit without bringing them something interesting to eat but my pullet that is the first to dash over to see what I've brought is also the one who completely freaks out if I pick her up...she's been that way since she was a tiny chick, peeping and struggling like mad when I try to hold her. Some of her flock mates are pretty calm about being held. I even have one who has had to have several baths in the kitchen sink and has been remarkably calm during the process.

I do enjoy letting them out to free-range for awhile in the evening and the fact that they will follow me over to wherever I lead them and tend to forage near me, often coming over to check out my foot wear or see whether the rivets on my jeans are as tasty as they look.

I think that different chickens have different tolerances for contact and have heard that different breeds have different amounts of friendliness or flightiness. I don't doubt that some folks have chickens that are lap chickens, but in spite of a great deal of care and attention and affection on my part, mine don't seem to be. Eat out of my bet. Follow me around...yup. Actually want to be picked up and petted...some seem to tolerate it pretty well but others don't. I'm OK with that.

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