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Taming Hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by albodean, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. albodean

    albodean Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 27, 2016
    Hi All,

    I have read that hens can't be tamed/handled unless they're handled when they're chicks. At what age do they stop being chicks?

    I have 3 Light Sussex pullets that are between 20-22 weeks old. They will eat out of my hand but back off when I try to stroke them or pick them up.

    Any tips on how I can get them used to being handled or are they too old now?

    Thanks,

    Alex
     
  2. Trish1974

    Trish1974 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2016
    NorthCentral IN
    I got my 5 girls at 18 weeks of age, and like yours, they would eat from my hand but did not want to be touched. I spent A LOT of time in their run with them, just sitting on the ground, walking around, just being present. They eventually got used to me and would let me stroke their breasts or their tail. The big turning point was when they started going through puberty. When they squatted I'd rough up their back a little bit with my hand and they got used to me touching them. Now I can walk right up to them and pick them up, or they'll jump on my back or lap. The key is just being present as much as possible.
     
  3. albodean

    albodean Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 27, 2016
    Hi Trish, thanks for the advice.

    I am spending a couple of hours a day with them and have been since I got them 3 weeks ago so I'll just keep at it!

    What sort of age do they go through puberty? Is this when they start to lay eggs?

    Hopefully mine will be as trusting as yours with more time and patience!

    Thanks again,

    Alex
     
  4. Trish1974

    Trish1974 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2016
    NorthCentral IN
    Yours should be close to laying at that age. One of mine started at 20 weeks, 3 at 22 weeks, but I have a 24 week old that hasn't started yet. You'll notice the comb and wattles getting bigger and redder, and they will squat down when you approach them. I also noticed mine would make nests in the coop bedding and nest boxes a few days before they started laying.

    Just keep at it and they will come around! Good luck and keep us posted!
     

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