taming chickens


In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 15, 2014
Hi all

Very new to keeping hens and apologies if this is in the wrong forum.

I have just got 3 hens that are 14-18 weeks old. I got them primarily as pets. I want to tame them as much as possible so I have been Gradually getting them used to me and associating me with treats. I have started to hand feed them their treats and two of the hens are great but the third one will go a bit psycho every so often and give a nasty peck rather than taking the treats. This is not the dominant hen, rather the middle one in the pecking order. She is a Sussex.

Any tips on getting her to be a bit more gentle?

Many thanks
You're already doing the best thing you can to get them to like and trust you. Just make sure when you deliver treats or try to interact with your chickens, you get down on their level, and make sure your movements are slow.

Different breeds have different capabilities to be tame and friendly. Sussex are in the mid range of friendliness. But even the most skittish chicken can be tamed with patience.

You need to take it slow and don't expect results overnight. Start off with offering treats from your hand that she has to linger while nibbling on. Over a few days, pull your hand with the treat in closer to your body so she has to get progressively closer.

When you sense she is beginning to trust you more, gently touch her while she's nibbling the treat. Work up to petting and stroking. Soon you will be able to rest your hand on her back. It's just a short way to pulling her onto your lap and cuddling her then, which she may or may not take to. But most chickens like to be snuggled close with their head tucked into the fold of your arm.
If she pecks hard on your hand put some treats in a little bowl right beside you. Try to touch her. What really helps is just sitting down with the chickens and talking to them.
One of my cousins has trained her chickens to beg for treats when their name is called. Mine barely take anything from my hand and only one somewhat knows her name. I have a Red Sex Link hen, named Dove, who walks between my legs and pecks at the buckles on my boots. Another RSL , Phoebe or Penelope (I can't tell them apart), pecks at them and then looks up at me as if to say "Hey! Hey! I'm down here! Got any food for me?" I'm working on holding them and petting them to make them more comfortable with me. They hate my brother

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