The Chickens Meet Children

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by RedDrgn, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    We raised our small flock since they were day-old chicks and put a lot of time and effort into spending time with them and handling them. Why? Because this was our first true experience with chickens, and we wanted to make sure that (should anything ever go wrong with any of them) that we could always get our hands on them with minimal fuss. Since we knew there would be times that they would be tended by friends and neighbors, we also had to make sure there would be any attitude problems. On that front, we've done well. They're all good; easy to wrangle, don't mind being handled (which sure makes inspections for parasites easy), and aren't skittish with strangers. However, they had zero experience with children...until yesterday.

    We're on excellent (as in we all have keys for each others' houses) terms with two of our neighbors. We all house-sit and pet-sit for each other whenever someone is away, and it all works out great for everyone. Yesterday, we were out in the yard working on a new waterer in the run while the flock free ranged through the yard. The next thing we knew, they were drawing a crowd at the property line. [​IMG]

    Our one neighbors had both of their children (grown adults with families of their own) visiting the for Christmas. That equated to four grandchildren ages 3-8, all watching the chickens with wide eyes and big grins. We wandered over to say hi and found out that none of the kids had ever really seen a chicken, let alone been within the 20 feet of them that they were when we got to that side of the yard.[​IMG] Well, that tore it for me and I went over and scooped up Cornelia, our dominique and resident lap chicken, and took her over to the admirers.

    She was super chill about it - didn't mind at all, and she knocked the socks off of the kids. She even let them gently pet her, and even the parents were surprised at how soft she was. Meanwhile, I was surprised she was doing so well with the little ones! When I put her down, she just stood there, and then went for the 8 year old's shoelaces (which cracked them all up), before sauntering back over to the rest of the flock. So then my DH and I stood there for awhile talking to them about chickens and eggs for a bit before the 5 year old asked if he could pet another chicken. I didn't see why not, so I got Artemis (big fluffy australorp). She was awesome about it, too, and while she was being fawned over, the rest of the flock came over and started mingling with everyone. [​IMG] The kids were super gentle and careful and got to pet several of them on their own. The chickens just wandered among everyone checking out shoelaces, buttons, zippers, and fingers alike, not bothered one bit by all of the new faces and statures.

    Once the parents rounded all the kids up to herd them back inside, Artemis and Persephone (welsumer) following them (how dare they! [​IMG]). So those two had to be herded back home, but overall it was a good experience. I was proud of the featherbutts; really wasn't sure what they'd do or how they'd take it and you'd have thought they'd be raised with kids in crowds. I also think they may be seeing more of these kids when they visit their grandparents in the future. [​IMG]
  2. jen5680

    jen5680 Southside Silkie Shack

    Jun 18, 2009
    SW Ohio
  3. egglicious

    egglicious Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2011

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