taming "feral" chickens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by showbarnmom, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. showbarnmom

    showbarnmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most f my flock came from the free rangers at my work. Which are very feral chickens. I bought 3 "purebred" chicks today who are so much easier to handle, less flighty, and more approachable. Do "feral" tendencies carry in genetics in chickens like they do in most mammals? Tips on getting my mutt chickens more friendly? I've had them since they were two days old, and have tried to handle them daily, at least every other day. They scatter when I approach, freak out when I toss any feed to them, and scream.murder when I do catch and hold them. Ideas?
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Not enough information is provided to determine if the level of flightiness your are observing is due genetics. A great deal of flightiness versus tamesness can be a function of birds cumulative experiences. My games are extremely plastic in this regard. When I put a stag and pullet out on a tough walk where they seldom see me and are occasionally put to flight by foxes or hawks then they will launch and fly some distance everytime I try to get close. Same birds with a minimal amount of confinement while handled quickly tame down to point where they will come when offered food and allow me to pick them up. Some are more plastic than others.
     
  3. showbarnmom

    showbarnmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This group of chicks has been both handled and confined, with no introduction of predators since day 2 after hatching. The hens they are from are never handled, nor are they able to be, and have no confinement. The chicks have not been exposed to the hens since I have had them. The chicks are 8 and 5 weeks old. Genetics or just age? I originally thought age till I picked up my new chicks.
     
  4. LukensFarms

    LukensFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Make sure they have a place to hide where they feel safe. Don't under feed them. But feed them just enough that they are eager to see you when you bring new feed and water everyday. Works like a charm.
     

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