Rescued skittish barred Plymouth

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by silkiemumma, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. silkiemumma

    silkiemumma Out Of The Brooder

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    Yesterday I went and purchased a chicken from a couples small holding that was off to the pot if no one was going to take her off their hands. I fell in loooooove with her as soon as I saw her picture! She's 2 years old and currently not laying. The owner told me she's off season.
    I asked so many questions, he told me she was very docile just skittish at times.

    Once I met the bird I realised she is not just skittish but absolutely dreadfully terrified of human beings. :( She is a huuuuge bird, the whole way home she mouth breathed. Once home I put her in the pen my rabbits use with some food and water and scratch. Within an hour of me distancing myself from her, she was scratching the ground and eating.
    I decided to throw her in the deep end with my girls. (4 hybrid & 2 silkie at 11/12 weeks old)
    She seemed much much calmer with chickens as company, my girls were wary at first but they all are off one dish full of cous cous with no pushing pecking or shouting.
    Last night she decided to sleep on a roosting bar outside at the top of their pen, she started shouting at me the minute I went close to her. (Little madam!!)
    Today after I let my girls out I found everyone snuggled up under the coop hiding from the rain, as soon as my girls saw me they came running and jumping up on me for cuddles, she sloooowly approached me but didn't come close. I have shut her in the coop today with some treats, water and food to teach her the coop is home, I'll realise her later & she if she follows the others to bed.

    Anyone got any tips to helping calm her training her to be more people friendly, I know it's going to be a looooong journey. But I'm happy for any tips and support [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    in the mean time, :hugs
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
  2. silkiemumma

    silkiemumma Out Of The Brooder

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    Kent UK
    Bump. Help!!
     
  3. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Have no worries...It takes time with Chickens. She will never be a lap chicken. Once she trusts you she will calm down.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    She's sure a big girl, isn't she? But healthy looking and pretty.

    Honestly, this is how I'm sure my birds react when they get sold. I don't handle my birds so much. I do my chores around them and they don't freak out, but they're not friendly or willing to be caught.

    I think you're on track with the time thing. It's going to take a few weeks. I'd say don't pressure her at all. Basically, ignore her for a few days. Do your normal thing and let her get used to your presence. She'll learn you're The Bringer of The Food and appreciate that. She'll see the others don't freak out about her and realize you're not a monster. Keep your movements slow and easy, non threatening, and she will come around.
     
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  5. silkiemumma

    silkiemumma Out Of The Brooder

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    Kent UK
    Should I tempt her with treats or save that for good behaviour type things??
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Try what ever you feel she is happy with? She will settle down in time.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Not at first. I'd just scatter treats out for the flock and hang out while they scratch/eat for a few days. I know it's hard, but I think you'll do best if you basically ignore her for a good few days. Let her settle in with the other birds and her new surroundings. Then, you can gradually start getting closer to her. Think of it as a month-long project [​IMG]

    And even then, it's not likely she'll ever be a lap bird. She should tolerate you and not freak out when you're in the coop, but at this age she's not likely to come running and fly up on your shoulder or anything. She'll just hang out around your feet.
     
  8. silkiemumma

    silkiemumma Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2016
    Kent UK
    Bit of progress today, she's been shut in the coop all day to get her used to "home", opened it up this evening to let my girls in and she was all stretched out cosy. She popped out for some stretches and then happily ate off the floor whilst I was bent down stroking my other hens. Then the poor chunk tried to up ontop if the coop to get to her roosting pole and her body weight is just too much for her wings :lau
    She'll probably roost out side again tonight and I'll repeat the coop thing again tomorrow.
    Wondering wether she should of been called big Bertha rather than Princess Layer!!!
     
  9. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Donrae gives good , sound advice. Move slowly around her. The behavior of your other birds towards you will help to assure her that you are not a danger.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Behavioral aspects well covered by donrae.

    I think she looks so huge because your other birds are young(12 weeks) and smaller bodied birds(hybrids are slim and silkies are bantams) and she's a full grown large fowl breed. Big Bertha is a good name.
    Sounds like the abrupt integration went very well, maybe a lucky coincidence of age and size....
    ...but I've got to say, that coop looks a bit small for 6 birds to roost in, maybe the silkies could 'roost' in one of the nests boxes.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016

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