Rewinning flock trust?

Double Yolked

Songster
Nov 7, 2017
75
187
106
Pacific Northwest USA
How long does it typically take to rewin flock trust?
I'm more than curious as this last 2 days I had a marked change in my flock. Suddenly for no clear reason, all my hens have gone skittery on me. No squatting, everyone runs when they see me. It looks like I'm going to have to re-tame the entire flock. I've been pouring on the extra treats and spending all the time with them I can spare. Any other suggestions?
I'm baffled at why they suddenly lost trust. I thought the possible reason was the two Black Jersey Giant hens in my flock were starting to bully pretty bad. I'd been considering separation for them already since they were pretty aggressive and the rest of my flock has been very calm and placid. So removed them last night, the flock was quieter today. I thankfully have a good friend who really wanted the BJGs and they're going to do well with her.
 

BaaKaaawk

Crowing
8 Years
Apr 4, 2011
412
1,460
251
Huntersville, NC
Sounds like you need more room, or you need to separate them for awhile, but if you ever plan to reintroduce them you're going to have a pretty serious pecking order battle on your hands.

Guessing you don't have a Roo? He'd settle that battle pretty quickly for you.

Also, if bullying isn't the issue- they could be reacting to a perceived threat. Any dogs barking at them or cats prowling or anything like that? They'll go into fight or flight mode real quick if they think they are in danger (which to you looks like they're not being friendly). To them, they're trying to stay alive.

Likely it is the mean hens though.
 

Beccazon

Songster
Apr 23, 2019
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Michigan Thumb
Hopefully your meanies removed will continue to chill the flock. How big is the coop? How many chickens?

I actually have a folding chair in my run and got mine more tame just sitting in there once a day like clockwork with grass and allowing them to come to me at will for the hand out until they now run to me from any corner of the yard when they see me lol.
 

Double Yolked

Songster
Nov 7, 2017
75
187
106
Pacific Northwest USA
Sounds like you need more room, or you need to separate them for awhile, but if you ever plan to reintroduce them you're going to have a pretty serious pecking order battle on your hands. .....Likely it is the mean hens though.
Room shouldn't be a problem, 8 hens and they've a very large run. 24'x 12' most of the time and a large open area to forage in at 4 hours a day. I agree though, I am pretty sure it's the two Jerseys. So I won't be reintroducing them. Del was thrilled to get them, she's got a rooster and to both our amusement, as soon as he saw her with the cage taking them to quarantine he went quite nuts trying to attract them even from 6 feet away behind his fence. They'll be very happy there once they are finally introduced to "Big Daddy".
I'm just curious if there are tricks to speeding up the retrust training.
 
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Beccazon

Songster
Apr 23, 2019
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Room shouldn't be a problem, they've a very large run. 24'x 12' most of the time and a large open area to forage in at 4 hours a day. I agree though, I am pretty sure it's the two Jerseys. So I won't be reintroducing them. Del was thrilled to get them, she's got a rooster and to both our amusement, as soon as he saw her with the cage taking them to quarantine he went quite nuts trying to attract them even from 6 feet away behind his fence. They'll be very happy there once they are finally introduced to "Big Daddy".
I'm just curious if there are tricks to speeding up the retrust training.
AWESOME! Hahaha! You are lucky to have a good place to rehome! Yay!
 

BigBlueHen53

Fragile, Beautiful, Strong
Premium member
Mar 5, 2019
3,550
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SE Missouri, USA
Patience is the key, and you can't rush that. @Beccazon's suggestion is a good one because it forces you to be still and not chase the birds with treats, trying to catch them. Sit, call them quietly, scatter some dried meal worms around you and other treats they like, but not too much. Let them come for the treats. Talk softly to them while they peck and scratch around you, but do not reach for them. Then scatter a little more and repeat. When all the treats are gone, get up quietly and walk away. Do this every day and each day they will come more quickly, they will lose their flightiness and relax around you. Then you can get rid of the chair and walk among them again, calling and dropping treats among them as you used to. This may take a week or so but they will tell you when they are ready.
 

BaaKaaawk

Crowing
8 Years
Apr 4, 2011
412
1,460
251
Huntersville, NC
Room shouldn't be a problem, 8 hens and they've a very large run. 24'x 12' most of the time and a large open area to forage in at 4 hours a day. I agree though, I am pretty sure it's the two Jerseys. So I won't be reintroducing them. Del was thrilled to get them, she's got a rooster and to both our amusement, as soon as he saw her with the cage taking them to quarantine he went quite nuts trying to attract them even from 6 feet away behind his fence. They'll be very happy there once they are finally introduced to "Big Daddy".
I'm just curious if there are tricks to speeding up the retrust training.
Ha! Sounds like "Big Daddy" won the chicken lottery.
 

Beccazon

Songster
Apr 23, 2019
782
1,953
227
Michigan Thumb
Patience is the key, and you can't rush that. @Beccazon's suggestion is a good one because it forces you to be still and not chase the birds with treats, trying to catch them. Sit, call them quietly, scatter some dried meal worms around you and other treats they like, but not too much. Let them come for the treats. Talk softly to them while they peck and scratch around you, but do not reach for them. Then scatter a little more and repeat. When all the treats are gone, get up quietly and walk away. Do this every day and each day they will come more quickly, they will lose their flightiness and relax around you. Then you can get rid of the chair and walk among them again, calling and dropping treats among them as you used to. This may take a week or so but they will tell you when they are ready.
Yes! My hubby teases me but I do exactly this! Chat calmly but cheerfully, wait for them to come to me and yes! when treats are gone I just leave. They see me as harmless, worth having near them and approachable. They now eat from my hand and can be picked up when need be with very little upset. I love it!
 
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