Taming chickens... is it possible?


In the Brooder
Sep 5, 2015
My girls were young pullets when I got them and I spent a lot of time in the coop petting and talking to them... they will eat out of my hand but will not let me get close enough to pick them up ( and if I try my roo attacks!) or pet them. If I reach out an empty hand they will examine it and peck my fingers checking for food but if I move toward them they run... they are about 8 mos old and are a RIR JG mix.

Pork Pie

Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Jan 30, 2015
Seems like you were doing the right thing initially so I'd just continue. An aggressive roo is not a great part of any flock. In this context I'd suggest checking out threads on dealing with aggressive Roos. You will find lots of opinions on the subject so I'll leave it at that.

Good luck



Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 27, 2012
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Most chickens really don't like to be touched without extensive time training them to tolerate it.
The cockerel attacking is not a good sign and needs to be dealt with......how you choose to do that is up to you.

samantha LW

In the Brooder
Nov 1, 2015
Most of our chickens are very tame. You can walk right up and pick up any of them including the rooster. But we got them at two days old and spent a LOT of time holding, touching, and hanging out with them. Then we got a few from a friends farm that were a bit older. She treats her chickens like chickens, not like pets. These are much harder to catch (we had to use a net when we picked them up) I have had them for about three months and they are just starting to walk up to me on their own. But if I reach for them they run. I am new to chickens so no expert advise here but I treat them as I would a feral dog or cat, slowly, persistently, and frequently sitting with them and loving on the other chickens. They are coming around. I think it helps though that the other chickens run to me and will even jump on my shoulder to say hi. Also, at least twice a day I handle the rooster as for a bit he was threatening my kids so I scoop him up and touch and talk to him (I also kiss his face) this has calmed him down considerably. I think the baby talk may be undermining his masculinity.


In the Brooder
Dec 18, 2015
IMHO.. what we called 'tame' is actually their trust. If they trust you, they become tame. Although the degree of 'tame' varied.

I bought a pair of adult bantam chicken. And they were not tame (at least to me) back then. And what makes it worse, When we just brought them home and my dad wanted to put the Roo in the coop, the roo escaped :( And we must chased him around to catch him. This makes him traumatic, I guess. It's quite difficult to approach him after that.

I fed them very little food, but very often. I fed them probably 6x /day because I want the food container to be empty when I visit their coop, and I want them to know that my visit = more food. And after I add more food, I sit in there for a while ( I have a small bench in the coop). I want them to see that I'm not a threat. I also do the cleaning or anything in the coop without even look at him. I ignored him completely. I put a radio nearby so they can hear human voice.

After 1 week, I started bringing treats. I gave them meal worm.. but they didn't want to eat from my hands so I throw the meal worm a little bit farther. I gave them cucumber too. After they tasted the treats for several days, I changed the way I give treat. If they want the treat, now they must come and eat from my hand. The Hen came and started eating from my hand although the roo didn't.

Another 2 weeks passed, and now whenever the hen is eating from my hand, I use the back of my hand to rub her chest area. I didn't grab her. Only a gentle rub. And now I have a tame hen although she didn't let me grab her. The Roo obviously observed all of this. He saw that the hen was OK. I'm not a threat at all. So, now he let me get close to him and use the back of my hand to touch him a little bit. He still refused to eat from my hand though.

After I had them for 2.5 months.. the roo started to trust me a little bit more. Now, he is willing to eat from my hand. But only for treat.. not the regular food. But this is a progress.. of course. Another 2 weeks.. and the Roo is tamed now :) I can just walk to him and pick him up.

Basically, let them set how fast they can start trusting you. Don't rush things. I know it is frustrating if you want to pet your chicken and they flight. But if you take it slowly and patient.. they will come around eventually.
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