Question about friendliness

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jmeeter88, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. jmeeter88

    jmeeter88 Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    New Hartford, NY
    OK, so I haven't done the best job at making my chickens friendly, i.e. I can't really hold them and pet them. When I order my new chicks in the spring, I will definitely spend A LOT more time with them - petting, playing, holding, etc. If they are friendlier with me (i.e. allow me to pick them up, etc) will this rub off on the other birds?
  2. Fudgie

    Fudgie Hatching Queen - Got Fudge?

    Oh Patience is a virtue!

    Go out with a bag of bread and toss them small pieces every day. It won't take long and those little biddies will be on your leg begging for more!
  3. jmeeter88

    jmeeter88 Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    New Hartford, NY
    Oh they run up to me and beg for treats... But I swear that they have sort of Spidey-Sense... As soon as I start to reach for them they BOLT!
  4. Keep it up, eventually they won't bolt, at least not all of them. Just take your time.
    I don't know if yours are laying yet but I have noticed with mine that the ones that were standoffish became much friendlier after they began laying.
    As far as it rubbing off on the others, depends.
    Chickens are so different depending on the breed.
    I mean if you have chickens coming up and climbing on you then the others might be a little curious and check you out but I think its just going to take some work.
    Some breeds are just not that friendly and are skittish while others are much more friendly .
  5. Fudgie

    Fudgie Hatching Queen - Got Fudge?

    And they are so darned nosy, they cannot stand it if you work with one chickey and get her all comfy to sit on your knee and feed it, then they get all curious. Also, don't feed them, make them come and get it from your hand and if they want it, they get petted otherwise the just do without. That works with our calves. You wanna eat, I scratch your head, how bad you wanna eat! (for all of you going ohhh how mean, I only do this for a little bit after they have eaten some first, they are not starving because they won't come up.) [​IMG] After about 4 or 5 times of this, they let you mess with them. Chickeys do the same thing, they can just hold out longer!
  6. two thoughts -

    First, mine prefer to be gently petted on their chest at first rather than reaching for their head. Try reaching under their sight level rather than over to pet them (come at them like a mouse, not a hawk :))

    Second, you can try petting them every night while they are on the roost & too sleepy to run away. I have done this with my second batch of chicks, who were much more wild. They had been at the feed store for a week, and did NOT like people. Anyway, I pet them every night and they have gotten a lot less freaked out about being touched. I get bawked at and scolded, but they stay put.

    Oh, and one more - some birds just don't like to be picked up, but do like just being nearby. There was one out of my 'friendly' batch that does not like to be petted at all but likes to be nearby, and a few others that love to be petted but resent being picked up. And some that don't want picked up, but will happily jump on your lap or shoulder to be petted. They all seem to have their preferences...
  7. Fudgie

    Fudgie Hatching Queen - Got Fudge?

    [​IMG] Very well said! I agree! Mine do HATE it when you come at them like a predator. [​IMG]
  8. ella

    ella Songster

    The best time spent with chickens is sitting on the ground with treats or just regular chicken feed. Hint: Bring a towel to sit on and don't wear nice jeans. [​IMG]

    Just sit and watch them, try to look them in the eye and make a connection. Sprinkle bits of food around you and let them come to you. Don't reach for them for the first few days, eventually they'll be climbing on you like you're a roaming jungle gym. Once they settle in to start napping on you you can start touching them. Works for me, chicken hugs are the best! [​IMG]
  9. Sequin

    Sequin Songster

    May 20, 2008
    I noticed different degrees of 'friendly' when I first got my chicks. The ones who loved to be held were held the shortest(but admittedly still the most), and those who were not wanting to be held so much were held longer(until they fell asleep in our laps) and cuddled on more. Now that they are outside cuddle time is much less, but at least I can pick up and hold them if I want to and no one seems to mind too much once they are in my arms. My personal(and household) philosophy is that the people in the family MUST be allowed to work with the animals and do whatever they want/need(in a respectful way of course) and the animals need to respect that. Now that your chicks are grown, you will just have to be patient and listen to the great advice others have given in how to become a friend and trusted person to your chickens. Not all chickens are super cuddly and overly affectionate; but you should be allowed to hold them should you need to provide care or something. Feed them yummies and enjoy spending time around your flock while they learn to trust you. Avoid hurried or jerky movements while sitting with them. You will get there!!! [​IMG] Best of success to you!!!![​IMG]
  10. n2h20

    n2h20 Songster 10 Years

    May 7, 2008
    Pasadena Ca
    mine arent to friendly either,,, but they know when i sit down for lunch on the porch,, to come over and pay every bit of attention to me,, they are my best friends then,,,,, ill toss them a few grapes and watch them run around,,, fighting for it,,, too funny,,,

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