Taming a less tame chicken?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by missythechicken, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. missythechicken

    missythechicken Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 11, 2015
    My little Wyandotte, isn't incredibly fond of being handled, and doesn't really like coming anywhere near me. So, any ways I can help tame her.

    Oh she's just under a year old
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Maybe start by just being around her - sit and read a book or something - she may begin to relax a little more and not see you as a threat. Then start offering hand fed treats - she'll eventually come round to taking them from you. This may work, but from my experience, some chickens like people and being petted - others will run a mile (even from birds of the same hatch!).

    Good luck

  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    CTKen is right about spending time with them if you want them really tame. Treats go a long way in training also. My first flock I spent a lot of time with them as they would free range on the lawn while I worked the garden. Every worm found I'd toss to them and eventually just hold it out until one came to take from my hand. A whistle or call when presenting treats they'll quickly recognize and all come running every time.

    Pullets are far more skittish prior to laying. Once laying they mature quite a bit. Without a cock bird in the flock they would squat for me if I stepped near and held out a hand. Made for easy inspection and handling. Now that I breed and don't allow complete free range anymore no bird squats for me. Time with them is less but do stand or slowly walk through and around them after treating some cracked corn or sunflower seed. If I'm quick I can pick one up but they certainly don't submit or tug at my pant legs for food like my first flock of all female.
  4. missythechicken

    missythechicken Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 11, 2015
    I've started offering her small treats, and although a little skittish around me, she actually ate out my hand which was great!
    Thank you :)
  5. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    One thing people overlook when trying to change the mind of a stand-offish chicken is the influence other members of their flock have on them.

    If you will take the time to observe, when you are down on the ground sharing love with the friendliest chickens, those who are skeptical will be hanging around almost within easy reach, watching carefully what's going on.

    I've had hens who always hated to be handled come in for a cuddle after being allergic to it all their four and five years of life. Right now I have a couple of pullets who are right up close when I'm down giving group hugs, almost begging to be "caught" and hugged like the rest seem to be enjoying, yet when I reach for them, they are gone like a shot. Judging by how close they hang out when hugs are going around, they will be coming for theirs before too much longer.
  6. abenardini

    abenardini Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2015
    Agree with Az...I bought six day old Australorp chicks and my family handled them daily. They were all hand-tame (still are at 4 months old, just not quite as cuddly - but definitely not standoffish).

    I rescued a bunch of maybe four-month old chicks from a lady, and these birds were all terrified of people. After quarantining the new bunch, I added them to my around 4 month Australorps in their huge brooder. They got along fine, and eventually the new scaredy-cat birds allowed us to feed them treats.

    Now, Snowball, an English White Orpington is so disgustingly friendly she'll let you do anything to her. She originally was extremely scared and actually drew blood from my hand the first time I picked her up.

    My kids and I just gave them plenty of space, never rushed into picking them up, and eventually they all warmed-up to us, aside from Mocha (one of the prettiest ones - we think she's a Jubilee Orpington - she isn't afraid of getting near but won't allow us to hold her without flapping).

    Keep at it, they'll warm up to a certain degree.
  7. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    FOOD............they way to a chickens heart is through their stomach, especially scratch or mealworms. Hold her and feed her treats.

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