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Please share your tips-getting your chickens to eat from your hand??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by triplej, May 12, 2011.

  1. triplej

    triplej Out Of The Brooder

    May 12, 2011
    Forgive me if I have posted in the wrong forum but I was hoping some of you seasoned chicken owners might could share with me some tips on how to get my chickens to eat from my hand?

    I just got them yesterday, they were my MIL's, there are 9 females and the 1 rooster. I got real close late yesterday evening when I was feeding them. I had one brave little lady get real, real close but I guess I spooked her at the last minute or something.

    They are layer hens and I'm feeding them 16 percent pellet food. I have a strawberry patch that I haven't gotten around to picking in a few days so I'm sure I have some strawberries I can share with them. Maybe that will win them over? I read somewhere on this site that chickens go bonkers for strawberries? I will try bribing them and see how they do. If I weren't so afraid to pick some of these bazillion cicada's off of every leaf, blade and stick in my yard, I would try that too.[​IMG]
  2. crossgirl

    crossgirl Day Dream Believer

    Mar 15, 2011
    Lakeland, FL
    My chickens go crazy for Quaker Oats! If you sit on the ground, real still in their area and hold out a handful of oats, they may approach. Oats look similar enough to crumbled feed, I think, to make them more secure. A food they haven't seen before is usually treated with some distrust at first. If they won't come near, still sitting, lightly scatter some of the oats around you when they're paying attention. If they take the bait, slowly put your hand back out and the chances are good, now that they know what you have is yummy treats, someone will be brave enough to dart in first and grab a snackie then it's game on!

    Currently my chickens hate strawberries.....
  3. Spartan

    Spartan Out Of The Brooder

    May 4, 2011
    I used Mealworms.

    Whilst mine are still young chicks it only took one feed for them to learn my hand brings treats.

    The first time I placed my hand in with a handful of Mealworms (which they had not seen before that) it took them about five minutes to build up the confidence to take a peck. One peck and they were sold. The next time my hand entered full of worms it was like a feeding frenzy.

    Now as soon as I call out 'chook, chook, chook' they get excited and anticipate their treat. I have tried it with their crumble and it works well there too.

    Will be trying it with the next treat to see if it helps them take to it quickly.
  4. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Superworms from the pet store work really well too. They are a lot bigger than mealworms so they can see them from farther away.
  5. triplej

    triplej Out Of The Brooder

    May 12, 2011
    I was so excited to get home and try some of the tips you have shared!!!

    I found out that of my 10 chickens 6 of them are RIRs, two of them are Dominiques (Biscuit and Gravy) and then two are still ????'s. I think I know what they are but at this point I'm still doing detective work.

    I took them all fresh pellets and water. Then I picked some strawberries for them both the ones out of the garden and then wild ones growing everywhere. I had peeled some red potatoes to make potato salad for dinner so I threw that in my bowl of treats to take them. On the way to their pen I lucked up and saw two of the cicadas I mentioned earlier. I grabbed a big tree leaf and picked up the cicada's and put them in the treat bowl too.

    My ladies loved the strawberries but I couldn't get them to take them from my hand. Forget trying to get them to take the cicadas from my hand because I'm not holding a bug long enough for a chicken to take it if it's still living, sorry, just no!!! But they loved the cicadas. Lastly I threw out just enough of the potato peelings so that they knew what I had and then I put some in both hands and held my hands out and waited. I managed to get one to eat out of my hand!!!! It was Biscuit, my larger of the two Dominiques. She was such a piglet eating those peelings. It was so funny!!

    I'm finding out though that my RIR rooster is a little bit of a wuss and Biscuit is a bully. He would run away if any of his harem got anywhere near him when he was going for the fresh food and Biscuit would peck at any of the others that tried to get even close to the potato peelings that were in her area!!!
  6. goldtopper

    goldtopper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Near Bert Blyleven
    I started mine by swinging cooked spaghetti noodles and calling "chick chick chick". They freak over spaghetti!
  7. goldtopper

    goldtopper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Near Bert Blyleven
    BTW- aren't potato peels toxic to chickens?
  8. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    Quote:That's what I was gonna say, especially if they were raw. You should be OK as long as there wasn't too much, or a particular chicken ate more.
  9. KFox

    KFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2011
    I don't even know if they are supposed to have this, but string cheese worked for me.

    I wasn't necessarily trying. My daughter was out changing water over and cleaning up the coop. I opened the door to tell her it was time to come in. I happened to be munching a piece of string cheese. My chickens ran around chasing each other over that stupid piece of cheese. Once they realized I had more, they were trying to take it from me. I didn't give them any because I didn't know if they should have it but now every time I go out they come to me checking me over to see if I have more yummy treats.
  10. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia

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