Taming the Shrew

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Umbral_Necropolitan, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. Umbral_Necropolitan

    Umbral_Necropolitan Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Bakersfield, California
    Around my house there are two feral hens which I would like to tame if possible, they are skittish but willing to eat food I place out for them if I keep my distance. Any recommendations on how to go about catching/taming them? I want to get chickens for the purpose of having them as pets. I want to catch them before the local predators kill them as the local owls/hawks/whatnot have killed the other 5 chickens that lived in the area.

    If it is possible to tame them, I have plenty of land to build a coup (I've already drawn up plans for making them a little "house") and run for them and in the area I live I can legally own up to 12 ground fowl.
     
  2. Teach97

    Teach97 Bantam Addict

    Nov 12, 2008
    Hooker, OK
    Oh...I thought you were giving advice on wives...[​IMG]

    I will go to bed now [​IMG]
     
  3. Gazinga

    Gazinga Chook Norris

    me too! no wife advice? shoot, got my hopes up agian.....
     
  4. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    They may not ever be real tame. Some chickens never like to be handled even if they are handled their whole lives and raised indoors. If you want them build a pen, throw in some food, and wait or if you get impatient carefully herd them toward the pen. If you build a coop and stick them in it for a few days with food they should return to it after that even if you let them free range. Once chickens decide where a safe home is and plenty of food they will return every night to roost and rarely travel far.
     
  5. Umbral_Necropolitan

    Umbral_Necropolitan Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Bakersfield, California
    Would having a rooster in the coup make it more appealing for them? The hens were braver back when there were roosters with them.
     
  6. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    [​IMG] Welcome to BYC!!! [​IMG]

    I think that Akane gave you good advice. You should try to get them into a coop and then lock them up there (and feed them) for a few days or up to a week. Make sure that you have some roosts inside for them to roost on at night. Soon they will think of the coop as "home".

    If the hens are in a coop and run (closed off all the time), you don't really need a rooster to protect them. If you are going to let them "free-range" during the day, a rooster could be helpful. However, you generally want a ratio of 6-10 hens per rooster. So, with just two hens, I would say -- keep them enclosed day and night if you are worried about predators and wait to get a roo until you have more hens!!

    In any case, if you get ANY new chickens (hens or roos), you need to keep them away from your current flock for at 30 days to make sure that you are not introducing any diseases!!

    Good Luck!!
     
  7. FrenchHen

    FrenchHen Chicken Ambassador

    Jan 26, 2009
    Bagshot Row
    Wife advice:
    Repeat after me.
    "yes dear."
    "good idea sweetie"
    "Where would you like to go for dinner"
    "Would you rather I vacuumed or scrubbed the toilet?"

    Chicken ideas:
    feed them yummy treats (scratch grains, kitchen scraps) from the same spot every day. They should let you get closer after time.
     
  8. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Quote:ooh you guys are bad! [​IMG]
     
  9. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Since there aren't many in their current flock they might be attracted to more chickens. Hens aren't particularly attracted to roos though even if they do follow them sometimes. Roos are annoying to everyone. [​IMG] Not to say they don't have their purpose even beyond fertilizing eggs but you'd probably be just as likely to attract them by getting another hen or 2 as a roo. However if you don't confine them and they go off to roost in trees or elsewhere your new chickens are just as likely to follow them as they are to follow the new ones. You may just add to the wild chickens around your yard instead.
     
  10. Umbral_Necropolitan

    Umbral_Necropolitan Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Bakersfield, California
    Thanks for all the responses, just a year ago I didn't have the time of day for the lil critters but now I'm attached to them and want them to prosper.

    I'm feeding them cracked corn and before that I was giving them multigrain bread... would they consider those a tasty treats?
     

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