Teaching grown chickens to be less skittish of us?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ookedama, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. ookedama

    ookedama New Egg

    Aug 28, 2008
    BCS, Mex
    We have a mature banty roo and hen. We were given them as adults about a year ago. They are great pets and we would sure like to be able to pet them or pat their little feathered heads as we do our furred critters. Is this possible if the peeps were not raised being touched? I can get them to eat out of a bowl in my hand but just cannot get them to allow me to pet them.
  2. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    Slow moments and lots of treats will help get them to trust you.

    They may never like to be petted, especially since they're older birds now.
  3. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    That may be as far as you get.

    I have ducks I got as adults and they were not handled much as chicks. It has taken me over a month to get them to not run away when I go in the back yard. Just today, one of the ducks "supervised" me while I filled their pool and even drank while I was standing near her. That is a big leap in the trust factor for her.

    Just be patient. They may warm up more with time.

    Bribes help [​IMG]
  4. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    sit in their run with them, and talk to them,, and no matter what, dont try to touch them,, after a while they'll touch you by a peck or will brush up against ya,, but still dont touch,, after about a month of this and they might let ya touch em [​IMG]
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Don't hold your breath for them to like, or even tolerate, you bending down and petting their heads from above. Normally when this happens to a chicken, there are teeth and a subsequent reading of a will and last testament involved, and they instinctually know it [​IMG]

    You may have better luck if you crouch down at chicken level and let them come over first. Also of course once they have put themselves to roost at night, you can handle them quite a lot if need be.

    IMO the best way to get animals, this includes chickens, more comfortable in your presence is to bring out a chair and a book and just sit there and read for an hour or so. With chickens, you can put food on the top of your shoes if they're initially reluctant to approach.

    But you know, really, being patted on the head is not something that comes naturally to Nature's Original White Meat, and although some chickens do (by nature or nurture) get accustomed, I don't think it's sensible to expect MOST of them necessarily will, or to expect that it's necessarily a special kindness to them in any way.

    Good luck, have fun,

  6. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    Quote:This is so true [​IMG]
    Two weeks with my first chickens and they were jumping up on my knee for treats.
  7. WildfireJane

    WildfireJane Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 21, 2008
    Mt. Morris, MI
    Yes, spending time with your flock can turn them into pets, BUT
    some of my chickens had learned if they pecked at my foot or leg I'd pick them up.(I thought it was cute) They started to like that and now I have chickens who peck HARD if I don't give them attention. I think I liked it better when we were on a business relationship level. They gave me eggs and I gave them food and water. Just my opinion Jane> hen pecked [​IMG]
  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I would sit with mine and have plenty of some of their favorite treats. Treats will get you everywhere. Atfer awhile they would jump in my lap for treats.
  9. Kim_NC

    Kim_NC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2009
    Mt Airy, NC
    I sit with them and feed treats while talking to them. In no time at all they'll be coming right over, eating from your hand, then hopping on your arm or lap, and finally letting you pet them. It's true though, some may never enjoy being petted.
  10. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    dont try to do this with a roo tho,,, it will only turn into something bad later,, let the roo do his thing, in fact, i wouldnt allow him to jump up on me,,, he WILL start seeing you as another chicken,, which in roo terms , aint good [​IMG] ,,, he has a job,, he's suppose to stand there and watch out for preds while the girls are eating, he is suppose to be watching you, and making sure you dont do anything wrong with the flock.

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