Scared of us?

sebloc

Chirping
May 7, 2016
246
16
61
Connecticut
Hello
We have 6 10 week old chickens who seem to be afraid to come near us, and when we try to handle them the try to get away. We do not give them any type of treats (if treats help calm them, please list some). Our major concern is that when we do need to handle them they will be too afraid.
Thanks for any info/help you can provide.
 

Cacique500

Songster
6 Years
Jun 2, 2013
441
118
181
Atlanta, Georgia
I started out giving mine treats and handling them from a very young age. If you sit quietly with them you can provide all types of treats to lure them in and get them used to being around you. Grapes, raisins, mealworms, cherry tomatoes, watermelon...the list is endless. Key thing to remember though is treats should be fed sparingly, maybe 10% or less of their daily intake. In my flock of 5, two are lap dwellers, one can be picked up whenever I want, one is aloof but catchable, and the last one tends to give me a wide berth.

Just keep working with them and they should warm up to you. I think you also mentioned they were about 10 weeks. This can be an in-between time (think unruly teenager years)...when they get closer to laying they tend to settle down and become friendly again.
 

ChickNanny13

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Jun 23, 2013
8,981
12,751
967
The Big Island/Hawaii
2x = Handling early on & treats help & train them to respond. I use freeze dried mealworms, when they're young I squish it in my hand, hold my hand out and wait. Talking to them softly, wait/patience to see who the bravest/leader is but after about 5 minutes if no one comes, I just put it on the floor & sit, waiting & watching in their line of sight. Someone will come, keep doing that for a couple days, then try again with treats in hand. It takes time & patience.

I keep some FDM in a empty sour cream container (8oz), I shake it before giving them some. They learn really fast, come running when they see me with that container. When they're way out in the yard & I want them in their Run, I shake the container & they come a running. The worst part, they got good hearing! They can hear it even at the slightest shake, so refilling the container gets tricky :)
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
14,711
28,057
982
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
I keep some FDM in a empty sour cream container (8oz), I shake it before giving them some. They learn really fast, come running when they see me with that container. When they're way out in the yard & I want them in their Run, I shake the container & they come a running. The worst part, they got good hearing! They can hear it even at the slightest shake, so refilling the container gets tricky :)

I keep mine in a clear plastic container and boy have they learned what it looks like and sounds like. Without even shaking the container, as soon as I pick it up I get a bunch of birds clustered at my feet, looking up at me. If I lower the container they peck at it, that's their way of saying, "Hey come on, we're waiting!"

I think grit should always be offered, so the birds can choose whether or not they need it. If you have your flock on sandy/rocky soil you probably don't need to provide extra grit since they're already picking it up from the ground.
 

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