Turning Chickens into Lap Pets?

SueT

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
May 27, 2015
8,740
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SW MO
What breed is your pullet and mother in the photo of her flying. I had a little too but had no idea what he was. Friendly too.
The mama is a Sebright, and her daughter is a Sebright-Spitzhauben cross, so the daughter is half bantam. Your little cockerel is very interesting looking! I love the crest!
 

Sonya9

Crowing
6 Years
Feb 7, 2014
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you should’ve kept the three roosters, as long as you do not have hens they would have been fine (except for small fights)
Exactly. Getting 3 mo old EEs and expecting them to become as tame as those Cochins will just lead to major disappointment. If people want cuddly pet chickens going with the pet breeds is far far better. Roosters can usually live together just fine if they have their own pen with no hens to fight over.

Other option is to contact the people that bought them and offer to take them back if they no longer need them (people often swap out roosters for the flock frequently and it often doesn't end well for the rooster that gets the boot)
 

Duck mommy 2019

Songster
Apr 1, 2019
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Exactly. Getting 3 mo old EEs and expecting them to become as tame as those Cochins will just lead to major disappointment. If people want cuddly pet chickens going with the pet breeds is far far better. Roosters can usually live together just fine if they have their own pen with no hens to fight over.

Other option is to contact the people that bought them and offer to take them back if they no longer need them (people often swap out roosters for the flock frequently and it often doesn't end well for the rooster that gets the boot)
i think you could eventually make them friendly, but an animal that has been a pet it’s whole life will be friendlier than one that had hardly any human interaction for three months. i also don’t know if they’ll easily become lap pets. personally, i don’t like eggs too much so next year i am hoping to adopt a flock of older roosters (i know they won’t be lap pets, but that’s okay)
 

Sonya9

Crowing
6 Years
Feb 7, 2014
1,875
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i think you could eventually make them friendly, but an animal that has been a pet it’s whole life will be friendlier than one that had hardly any human interaction for three months. i also don’t know if they’ll easily become lap pets. personally, i don’t like eggs too much so next year i am hoping to adopt a flock of older roosters (i know they won’t be lap pets, but that’s okay)
It also depends on the breed. Cochins and many other bantams have had centuries of selective breeding for friendly tame personalities. With attention at a young age they can be expected to be super tame pets. Plus there is a big difference between an animal that learns to tolerate handling vs really wants a lot of contact with their human.
 

Duck mommy 2019

Songster
Apr 1, 2019
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It also depends on the breed. Cochins and many other bantams have had centuries of selective breeding for friendly tame personalities. With attention at a young age they can be expected to be super tame pets. Plus there is a big difference between an animal that learns to tolerate handling vs really wants a lot of contact with their human.
i don’t have to much experience with chickens, just ducks so i don’t know too much about difference in friendliness in each breed. but i have heard the bantams are usually friendlier
 

Alyssa-Bee

Songster
Mar 27, 2020
325
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New Mexico
I have four EE, two blue laced red wyandottes, two Welsummers (I think), one speckled sussex, and two golden laced wyandottes.
Two Easter eggers love jumping on my back. (It can get REALLY ANNOYING!) One of these two HATES being touched, the other tolerates it. Another EE comes over for scratches, and the last will jump in your lap. One BLRW will cuddle for hours if you place her in your lap, the other doesn't like handling. Both 'Welsummers' hate being touched. The SS is sweet, but doesn't like cuddles. The GLW hate being touched or pet... which is understandable because a couple weeks ago they were strays wandering the streets.
Even though not everyone likes cuddles, if you talk to them they will be following you around forever! It makes me feel like a mother hen with all my little chicks.
 

K0k0shka

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 24, 2019
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My Coop
I have to object to the no grabbing recommendation. Of course, with new or obviously agitated birds, don't grab them, and by grab I mean gently hold them, no actual grabbing. However, if you never make the first move, it's very likely that they won't either, and there will be no cuddling happening ever. They need to see that cuddling doesn't hurt. Get accustomed to it and learn to tolerate it, if not enjoy it. Like anything else new or scary - once they've had enough exposure to it, they'll get used to it.

I've handled my chickens extensively since they hatched. They vary in the degree to which they tolerate or enjoy handling or being in my lap. The DSL Barnevelders are friendly and will come up to me and hang out near me, one even jumps up on my shoulder, but they definitely don't like being touched, especially the females. All the work that I've done to tame them is very temporary unless I keep picking them up regularly, forever. If several days go by that I don't, they start to noticeably regress and even run away from me.

I also have Orpingtons (not Buff, a few other colors - Silver Laced, Lemon Cuckoo and Red Partridge). Compared to the Barnevelders, the Orps are like puppies! They seek my attention and want to be next to me or on me. With much less training and taming, too! They are just naturally WAY more people-oriented than the Barnevelders. I can pick any of them up anytime and cuddle them and they're totally fine with it. My young kids pick them up and carry them around. If they don't get handled for a few days, I can see them start to regress a bit, too, but nowhere near as much as the Barnevelders. You can get back on track quickly, but you have to take the first step and grab one. They may give a half-hearted protest squawk, more for appearances than anything else, but then when I put them down in my lap and let go, they stay, and even sit down and get comfy. If I don't "grab" them, they may not jump up at all, but when I do, they end up glad I did, and stay for quite a while, preening or taking a nap.

I have this one chicken in particular, a cockerel Orp, who LOVES it when I pet him and snuggle him, but he never ever jumps up in my lap on his own. He'll come stand next to me and put his head in my lap like a dog and wait to be petted, but that's it. I have to pick him up and put him in my lap. He then stays there for quite a while, as I pet him and talk to him. Here he is:

I'd say that the majority of the lap cuddles I get have been initiated by me grabbing a chicken. Both of us end up happy in the end. But if I just wait around and never grab them, lap cuddles will probably not happen.
 

Chicalina

Songster
Aug 1, 2020
1,019
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it does not work for ducks in my experience. You can tame them to come and take treats from your hand. Defrosted peas or sweetcorn works a treat (like duck crack!) But they will never jump in your lap or particularly enjoy being there if you pick them up. Ducks are just that bit more independent than chickens. I've only kept runner ducks and mallards, so perhaps other ducks are different. I've heard that muscovies are quite human friendly.

If you lay them on their back and stroke their bellies, ducks go into a little trance though, but will soon enough wake up and try to get away!
 

paloozaparty

Chirping
Apr 28, 2020
69
86
50
So my son and I incubated 3 cochins earlier this year. We spent a lot of time taming them once hatched and they were the sweetest....all three ended up being roosters! They would jump onto my shoulder, run to me when they heard me.... we had them for 3 months before we found them all good homes.

My son and I really want that bond again.... but if we risk getting baby chicks we risk a bad roo ratio and being heart broken again....

There are some 9 week old Easter Eggers available near us, and some from a few days old up to a few weeks old, we could get a few and he said if they are roos we can bring the roos back... they are all unsocialized and wild right now. He said we can wait a month and come back when he knows which ones are pullets...

Will we be able to tame 3 month olds that have been running wild?

Another woman near us has some mixed hens a few months old, an EE and an Amaracuana I'd be interested in, but they are completely untamed/trained as well....

Just looking for some opinions.....thoughts? Would it be possible to tame them over time? I know not all personalities want to be held or petted .... but would it be more likely to get that bond again with chicks?

Thanks
My personal experience is that to best tame and parent the MOST friendly chicks--that one must start FROM THE EGG--something real about "imprinting". And, fyi, you may not have the experience--that the roos almost always turn into little a**holes at about 4 months--we hatched 9 chicks from our own flock, of which 3 are roos, and now at 3 months old, and as early as 2 weeks ago, they started being VERY mean, and now we're having to separate from the girls. I mean, they got mean, the very weekend that they first roo'd such that with their roostering, also came their hormones--none are nice now. We CAN pick them up and force physical love onto them EVERY day--to keep them tame, and I've looked up some more rooster dominance skills for humans (has worked so well). I had to rehome their father right before they hatched (we only have 3 hens and he was also aggressive enough because he didn't have enough to do, I'm sure with only the 3)... anyway, the VERY experienced family which we rehomed him to, said that he's the MOST tame and friendly rooster they've ever seen or owned in decades. LOL I insisted that it was from all of our hands-on--we even bathed him. They weren't planning socializing with their rooster or hens--but, said his friendliness has changed their minds about that :) Our most recent hatch is WAY more friendly than the chicks we purchased from the store (4+ days old)... I noticed that every chick to hatch imprinted on me immediately as I was there for every one of them--total difference this go'around for having friendly, loving, come when called, tame, interactive chickens!!!
 

cupcakethechicken

In the Brooder
Jun 20, 2020
11
23
26
This is awesome! does anyone have any experience with cockerels being lap pets/house pets? Trying to find some feedback for what to do with my newly-discovered accidental cockerel who is the favorite chicken of the children! He is an Ameraucana (vs. possible Easter Egger) about 9 weeks old and newly crowing. I’ve had a hard time figuring out exactly where on the neck do I put the no crow collar, and then also how long can I safely leave it on? once I put it on and find that it helps reduce the crowing, is it something I can leave on for days or does it need to come off every night? I would like to be able to let him outside during the day for his fun time, but I can't have him crowing. I have held and pet him since getting him at 1 week old. Who else has a house cockerel/lap cockerel? Any advice? I know there are lots of people trying to give roosters away and many would love a free dinner. I am sad and don't want to explain to my young nephew that I have to get rid of the cockerel just because he is a boy. do I expect the cockerel to turn into a big mean rooster or do any of you guys have luck having a tame rooster as a family pet in an urban area? Many thanks!
 

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