Tips for getting closer to my hens? Help!

LeiaLayers5

Songster
May 12, 2015
327
44
126
Suffolk VA
My Coop
My Coop
We got our hens at an older age and they came from a factory that closed down. They are 3 GC hens and I am having issues connecting with them. I have managed to get them to eat out of my hand for the most part and they have gotten slightly easier to pick up and catch when necessary but they do not seem to really want to be held or given any attention. One of them avoids being picked up and held more so than the others. Can anyone give me any tips to getting a better relationship with our girls? I try to be nearby and interact with them as often as I can when I am home and pet them as much as I can. Please help!
 

nchls school

Crowing
5 Years
Apr 22, 2015
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Taming older birds is a challenge...and not always possible. Move slower with no quick motions, speak in a calm voice-the tone is what matters; not what you say, be patient and understand that not all birds will become trusting and tame no more than all people would. Offer treats. Feed from your hand. Young birds just socialize better and faster. I've tamed birds of all kinds ranging from small gouldian finches to doves/pigeons to parrots. Most became tame, but each to a different degree. From the picture your hens already looked tame, but they might never want to be held.
 

sideWing

Songster
5 Years
Apr 9, 2015
2,070
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Utah
I was looking at a poultry showing website once and they described how to get your bird show ready and calm.

They put the bird in it's own smaller cage with water for a day. The next day you approach the cage with a treat like corn to feed three times a day until the bird walks up to you when you open the door. Then you can start feeding it healthy food from your hand in the cage.

It sounds like a lot of work, but it just might do the trick.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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I was looking at a poultry showing website once and they described how to get your bird show ready and calm.

They put the bird in it's own smaller cage with water for a day. The next day you approach the cage with a treat like corn to feed three times a day until the bird walks up to you when you open the door. Then you can start feeding it healthy food from your hand in the cage.

It sounds like a lot of work, but it just might do the trick.
Isolating a bird can screw up their pecking order position in the flock tho...they wouldn't be welcomed back.

Chickens are not generally cuddly, get a dog or cat :D
I have a couple that will let me pick them up at will and seem to enjoy being held,
but most need to be cornered to be grabbed up and will settle down (really they are just submitting to my dominance) but really don't want to be held.
 

nchls school

Crowing
5 Years
Apr 22, 2015
6,878
3,584
376
Tennessee
Isolating a bird can screw up their pecking order position in the flock tho...they wouldn't be welcomed back.

Chickens are not generally cuddly, get a dog or cat :D
I have a couple that will let me pick them up at will and seem to enjoy being held,
but most need to be cornered to be grabbed up and will settle down (really they are just submitting to my dominance) but really don't want to be held.

True. Chickens are not generally cuddly and exceptions seem to be few. I have a couple that willingly sit on my lap (the ones in my avatar), but I would not call them cuddly. The brown hen likes attention-head scratches and treats. But she is the exception. Being held a lot as she grew up and having seizures to boot has made her a rather unusual pet.
 

LeiaLayers5

Songster
May 12, 2015
327
44
126
Suffolk VA
My Coop
My Coop
It may be too late to change our GCs much, but we are getting EEs from a breeder who handled them and treated them more like pets than most do and whom liked being held and interacted with. I do agree it makes a difference depending on breed and if you raised them a certain way. Guess I will have to be resigned to the GCs being a little standoffish as long as my EEs are more friendly. Thanks for advice everyone!
 

sideWing

Songster
5 Years
Apr 9, 2015
2,070
408
231
Utah
Isolating a bird can screw up their pecking order position in the flock tho...they wouldn't be welcomed back.

Chickens are not generally cuddly, get a dog or cat :D
I have a couple that will let me pick them up at will and seem to enjoy being held,
but most need to be cornered to be grabbed up and will settle down (really they are just submitting to my dominance) but really don't want to be held.
That's a good point, but I read it on the APA website so I figured it must not cause too much trouble. It was in the show training section of their website. I give mine treats from my hand, but the ones I want to come in get crowded out by a few bold chickens.
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