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Question about taming chickens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by schmoo, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. schmoo

    schmoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2007
    West MI.
    HELP my chickens get the more "unfriendly" the older they become. They are now 4 weeks. They're not mean in anyway, they just don't want to be held anymore and scream bloody murder when I corner one to pick it up. I only do it so they stay used to it. Once I pick them up they seem okay but can't get away fast enough.

    Is it because they are sex links and not true breeds? Is it possible they will calm down and change? I spend alot of time around them and so does my son, but we just want to be able to hold them. We've tried at night too and they wake right up and freak out as usual.
     
  2. Freebie

    Freebie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2007
    Bloomingdale, MI
    I wish I knew. Mine will eat from my hand, but run like crazy when I try to grab them. I usually get them in the evening and hold them. Oddly enough, Buffy, my broody mom and her one little chick are the most friendly right now. I hold that little one and his mamma at the same time in different hands. She does not mind at all if I am holding him or whatever. But if another chicken is near him, she takes care of business.

    It was weird, as I was expecting a Jekyl and Hyde thing from my broody, but she has been great since she was sitting and even after the hatch. Baby is now 4 weeks old and sweet as pie.
     
  3. schmoo

    schmoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2007
    West MI.
    Mine will eat from our hands too as long as we aren't trying to pet or hold them. They are just so skiddish. If one freaks out they all follow suit. [​IMG]

    Freebie I notice you are from MI. to and YES its SO HOT and windy today. I keep thinking a tree is going to snap. We've had gust of atleast 50 MPH here. I'm just east of Muskegon.
     
  4. jkm

    jkm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2007
    Forest Grove
    what kind of chicks are they?

    my first batch was not soo friendly , spoke with the lady at Mcmurray and she said get buff orps, they are easy and friendly.
    so now I have buffs, and they do not like the pick up part, but settle down in my hands right away and eat seed and run up to me in the coop.
    glad i switched form RRs
     
  5. verthandi

    verthandi Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2007
    Maine
    I have found that all of mine go through stages. As newly hatched they are easy to pick up and will climb on my hand. Then at about 3 weeks they act terrified of me. They stay flighy until about 6-8 weeks then they calm down. But all have grown up to be birds that are easy to pick up and handle whenever I want to. The hand raised birds are so much different from the original trio that I bought....if I reach down for one of them, they still freak out.
     
  6. Freebie

    Freebie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2007
    Bloomingdale, MI
    Quote:I am just south of South Haven. In the little town of Bloomingdale. It is nice here.
     
  7. Jsto

    Jsto Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    My two sex links are sweet as pie and just love to roost on my shoulders and sometimes even my head! I don't know what causes the skittishness, but my 6 chicks are 4 weeks and immediately come to me when I stick my hand in. Of course, they don't like that actual act of being picked up. In order to keep their wings down, their feet inevitably end up hanging which I think freaks them out a bit since they are still a bit gawky and unbalanced. Once I've got them and they can gain their own purchase on my hand, they settle right down.

    The only chick I'm having difficulties with is the one I bought over the weekend (3 weeks old, barely any human contact except for when a giant hand reached in, grabbed one of her siblings, only for them never to return....dun dun dun!) and even she's coming around. I recommend yogurt! My girls go crazy for it. Rather than offering it in a dish, I gave it to her on my rubber coated baby bird feeding spoon so she's started associating me with the yummy stuff.

    Another thing to think about is that they are kind of in the teenage stage now where they're independent and want to do their own thing. Just be firm and don't let them go as soon as they start fussing. Make them feel secure. My experience is the more they can see and explore my hand on their terms, the more comfortable they get. So, often I can be seen, reading a book on the floor next to the brooder with just a hand resting on the shavings (carefully avoiding any poo of course!). The other day I had all 6 trying to squeeze onto me!

    This is juse my (limited) experience, though. I doubt there is any tried and true method [​IMG] Good luck!
     
  8. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2007
    Maine
    I agree that breed makes a difference, although my RIRs are fairly tame, but would rather be in the brooder box than be held. My BRs are tame and friendly, but not crazy about the holding. My NHRs are SUPER friendly, fly out to the box or hop into my lap. They've been super birds. And to think I almost didn't get them because My Pet Chicken said that docility "depends on the bird". LOL!

    My group are 3wks now, and still sometimes panic if we go to pick them up. I agree that I don't think they LIKE the idea of being selected, but most don't seem to mind being held. I also spend a lot of time hand feeding them, or just let my hand rest in the box. When they come over to check for treats, I pet their chests, which they all seem to like, even the ones who would rather just be left alone.

    Someone had said that her birds were ok for awhile, but at 5wks all the sudden they became SUPER friendly, and loved her. So I'm thinking Plenty of holding, treats, and patience are the key. Some birds may never enjoy your company, but I bet the others will make up for it! I had 2 in the house with me tonight because of a minor incident, but needed to keep an eye one of them. So, had the top open and My girl Sally flew onto the edge of the box to check things out. Then she hopped up into my lap and settled down. What a kitty!

    Meghan
     
  9. Zenbirder

    Zenbirder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 3, 2007
    New Mexico
    I wonder about breeds and friendliness... My RIR are super friendly and don't mind being picked up, also the Barred rock. I can't pick up the BO or Ameraucanas or Delawares for any reason without them screeming like I was wounding them!
     
  10. Jsto

    Jsto Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    Quote:See, and my Delaware is probably the friendliest and tamest out of my bunch! I think that, as with anything, it's based more on one animal vs. the next rather than a breed as a whole. Very individual creatures, aren't they?!
     

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