They're scared but keep following me(Cockerels)

KikiDeAnime

Spooky
Dec 29, 2017
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Battle Ground, WA
I've begun to notice that our 3 cockerels will follow me around the yard but every time I face them, they run away to hide. I do pick them up and will carry them around because I love them.
They're 12 week old Bantam Polish, in case anyone was wondering.

What is this behavior?
Why are they doing this?
Should I be concerned?
 

BigBlueHen53

❤️ Love one another ❤️
Premium Feather Member
Mar 5, 2019
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This is my thinking and others may completely disagree with it. I don't believe it is in a chicken's nature to be comfortable being picked up and carried around. In nature, the only things that pick up a chicken and carriy it somewhere are predators. So I think chickens have a natural fear or maybe even a terror of this happening to them. Thty do not know or understand our motives in doing this. It's just contrary to their nature. So the more we do it, it seems the more skittish our chickens become. They learn to avoid being caught.

But you csn still have your "pet" chickens if you go about it differently. Take a chair out with you. Sit quietly in the chair and scatter scratch or a few high-value snacks like dried meal worms. Let THEM come to YOU. They'll relax and won't be running from you. They may even sit on your lap and eat from your hand. And won't that be fun!
 
Apr 30, 2018
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Tooele, UT
I raised my flock from day-old...picked them up...checked them for pasty butt...coohed them...kissed them...took them to daylight (had them in my basement until it was NOT 35 degrees outside) and now they are past being pullets and are just beginning to lay. I have two in my flock that will ALWAYS follow me around regardless of what I am doing...cleaning the run...bringing in fresh water...checking the perimeter of the coop/run....those two are always the first to be in my face. But as much as they want to be the owners of me, they will scurry away from me now if I try to pet them. But yet, they are always the ones who greet me first. Don't fret too much on your cockerels turning and running from you...they realize YOU are the rooster and they are being submissive to you in the pecking order. You WANT to be in that position! All is good and you are doing good to them...just keep singing to them and treat them well. Remember, you are their caretaker and are the top of the pecking order.
 

KikiDeAnime

Spooky
Dec 29, 2017
3,228
5,955
437
Battle Ground, WA
I raised my flock from day-old...picked them up...checked them for pasty butt...coohed them...kissed them...took them to daylight (had them in my basement until it was NOT 35 degrees outside) and now they are past being pullets and are just beginning to lay. I have two in my flock that will ALWAYS follow me around regardless of what I am doing...cleaning the run...bringing in fresh water...checking the perimeter of the coop/run....those two are always the first to be in my face. But as much as they want to be the owners of me, they will scurry away from me now if I try to pet them. But yet, they are always the ones who greet me first. Don't fret too much on your cockerels turning and running from you...they realize YOU are the rooster and they are being submissive to you in the pecking order. You WANT to be in that position! All is good and you are doing good to them...just keep singing to them and treat them well. Remember, you are their caretaker and are the top of the pecking order.
Okay, I just assumed it was wrong for them to act this way.

Weird question: If they see me as the top rooster, would that be a reason why they haven't crowed? One of them had only crowed a few times at 2 weeks old but stopped and never tried again.
 

ChickenCanoe

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Are you keeping all 3 cockerels? How many hens/pullets do you have?
12 weeks is still pretty young to crow.
Without seeing the behavior myself, I'd guess that they follow you because you are the person that brings treats.
They say, "Hey look, there's the person who brings treats, maybe they have treats. Let's go see."
 

KikiDeAnime

Spooky
Dec 29, 2017
3,228
5,955
437
Battle Ground, WA
Are you keeping all 3 cockerels? How many hens/pullets do you have?
12 weeks is still pretty young to crow.
Without seeing the behavior myself, I'd guess that they follow you because you are the person that brings treats.
They say, "Hey look, there's the person who brings treats, maybe they have treats. Let's go see."
We're only keeping 2 of them but if I'm unable to find a home for the 3rd one, he will be kept indoors as a house chicken. I love them all dearly. We currently have 10 hens & pullets, and 3 baby chicks. I'm getting more hens/pullets to add soon.
 
Apr 30, 2018
395
1,063
257
Tooele, UT
We're only keeping 2 of them but if I'm unable to find a home for the 3rd one, he will be kept indoors as a house chicken. I love them all dearly. We currently have 10 hens & pullets, and 3 baby chicks. I'm getting more hens/pullets to add soon.
Three cockerels are too many for 10 hens, pullets and 3 baby chicks. Have you separated the cockerels from the girls? Usually, to know if you have true roos, they will let you know at about 16+ weeks of age and you mentioned your flock is about 12 weeks old. As @ChickenCanoe mentioned, you could be the person "that brings the treats" therefore, their behavior to greeting you but then running away is getting the treats as quickly as possible them run away behavior...again, the highest on the pecking order would be you. BUT, 3 cockerels in a flock of 10+hens/chicks is a disaster waiting to happen. Those girls wouldn't have a chance to the competition those boys will bring. One cockerel to 10 girls would be best if possible.
 

KikiDeAnime

Spooky
Dec 29, 2017
3,228
5,955
437
Battle Ground, WA
Three cockerels are too many for 10 hens, pullets and 3 baby chicks. Have you separated the cockerels from the girls? Usually, to know if you have true roos, they will let you know at about 16+ weeks of age and you mentioned your flock is about 12 weeks old. As @ChickenCanoe mentioned, you could be the person "that brings the treats" therefore, their behavior to greeting you but then running away is getting the treats as quickly as possible them run away behavior...again, the highest on the pecking order would be you. BUT, 3 cockerels in a flock of 10+hens/chicks is a disaster waiting to happen. Those girls wouldn't have a chance to the competition those boys will bring. One cockerel to 10 girls would be best if possible.
Not changing my mind. Nothing will change it.
All 3 cockerels have combs already and have had combs since 7 weeks old.
 

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