picking up my hens - taming

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by aharriso, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. aharriso

    aharriso Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 13, 2010
    Raleigh, NC
    I have 4 hens (about 22 weeks) that are very social (follow me around, come when I call with treats) but don't want me to pick them up. I got them when they were about 6 weeks old and have tried to handle them as much as I can. Mainly, I would have to corral them to a corner to pick them up. Once I do, they seem to settle down but would prefer not to be held. They will eat out of my hand if I have treats but still seem skittish.

    Is there something I can do to further tame them?

    The breeds are Barred Rock, Patridge Rock, Buff Orpington, and Wyandotte.

  2. Kaeta44

    Kaeta44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've found that no matter how much I handle them, some chickens don't mind being picked up and others really do.

    You could try sitting on a low stool, showing them that you have a favourite treat and then putting it on your lap. That way, they have to come onto you to get it. Once they are used to that, give them a brief cuddle, gradually lengethening it until they don't mind.

    Or you could simply pick them up and give them a treat while you are holding them.

    It won't work with all of them, but it may do with some. They also need to feel secure when they are held, and placing your index, middle and ring fingers between their legs with the thumb and little finger outside their legs helps. Or you can hold them under one arm, or stand them on your lap. I always talk soothingly to them too.

    Hope this helps.

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