Very Shy Chicken

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Dalolly, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. Dalolly

    Dalolly New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Nov 5, 2015
    Scotland
    Hello! I am a total newbie to chickens, and I just got 2 new chickens - a hyline (Hazel <3) and a gold laced Orpington (Goldie <3). I originally had 2 chickens (light sussex and a bluebell) and of course there was a few scenes where the new ones would get pecked as the pecking order was disturbed. My orpington (goldie) is very very shy and whenever I even get a little close she starts stressing out and running back into a corner, which is making it easy for my other chickens to pick on her.
    How should I make it out to be so she's more confident in herself? Should I give her treats? I dont want to pet her or hold her incase she freaks out. Sorry again for being a total newbie in looking after chickens. [​IMG]
     
  2. IceAngel

    IceAngel Chillin' With My Peeps

    408
    32
    108
    May 2, 2013
    Never apologize for being new at something. Everyone has to start somewhere. I don't know much about the temperament of different breeds but I know a lot about pecking order. It's really important to give chickens lots of room to run from the bully. I actually prop up little pieces of plywood along my perimeter to give my shy girls some place to hide....it helps with shade in the summer as well. I think it's natural for a new chick to be wary after being relocated. It will take some time to get adjusted to the new place. I think treats are a great idea. She will start looking forward to your visits.

    Welcome to BYC
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. rccola7

    rccola7 Out Of The Brooder

    24
    1
    31
    May 20, 2014
    With my first group of 4 hens, they all had completely different personalities. Three were very friendly, but my Rhode Island Red was so shy and skittish. I had them all for 2 1/2 years, and the whole time, no matter what I tried, Red would never come to me. The other three would eat out of my hand and let me hold them, but I could have been covered with worms and cracked corn and she wouldn't care. In my experience, the way she liked me best was if I was near, I just stayed calm and didn't reach out at her. She finally got to the point where at least she wouldn't run from me because she realized I wouldn't try to catch her, so she would hang nearby, and I would leave her a little pile of treats that she would eat when I moved away. I don't know that you can help a chicken's confidence in herself, but at least she can be confident that when you are around her you won't push her past what she's comfortable with. My chickens are my pets but I had an old farmer friend tell me "Human beings have a sense of fairness and justice...chickens just don't have that. And that's okay, because that's how God made 'em." But they're still all my babies and I still interfere somewhat in their squabbles! And that's okay too.
     
  4. PoppyLove

    PoppyLove Out Of The Brooder

    13
    1
    24
    May 21, 2014
    Victoria, Australia
    Hi, I totally agree with Iceangel. Great advice.
    It may take a little time before you earn your chickens trust too so don't worry.
    I learned another way of taming flighty chickens just by chance. I had a really tame rooster. I mean really tame. He was a rooster I incubated for the first time and he got loads of attention being the first to hatch and all. He sat on my shoulder basically. I'll get to the point, sorry for babbling. He was put in with the flighty hens and whenever I gave him a treat (out of my hand) he would call all the hens to it. The hens would be a little confused at first thinking that they weren't supposed to come near humans but the rooster told them everything was good. Eventually the hens calmed right down and took food from my hand. I guess this isn't much help if you don't have a rooster like that.
    Cheers
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. IceAngel

    IceAngel Chillin' With My Peeps

    408
    32
    108
    May 2, 2013
    That is really interesting @PoppyLove .
    On a similar (but different) note.....my first pair of Turkeys were amazingly friendly to me. I had them free range most of the day and when I was outside doing chores they always wanted to be near me. Both the Tom and the Hen ate out of my hand and always checked to see if I had treats in my pockets. They gave me thirty little baby turkeys in the course of one year. As the Tom got huge I knew his time had come. Apparently they get so big that they have difficulty breeding. So just before Thanksgiving we said goodbye to Heathcliffe.
    Now, I am not totally sure that's what set Gertrude against me because a couple of other factors changed at about the same time. For one, I penned her daughters up with her, also she started to molt......but after Heathcliffe became Thanksgiving dinner, Gertrude no longer comes to me, nor will she eat out of my hand anymore. Btw I sold him and someone else killed him and ate him....but I was the one who took him out of their pen away from her and maybe she remembers that......or maybe she is just stressed out because of all the other females around her now.....or maybe they act funny during molt. Regardless, I am trying to win back her trust but she won't let me come close. I have to leave her treats on the ground and move away before she will eat them.
    Here is a picture of Heathcliffe......I still miss him too.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Dalolly

    Dalolly New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Nov 5, 2015
    Scotland
    Thank you everyone for all the tips :) Goldie has many hiding spaces for her to chase to, and I think she's getting a bit more used to her new home! I'll take your advice and give her treats and things so she knows i'm not someone she should be scared of.

    Thanks Again! xx
     
  7. DonHess

    DonHess Out Of The Brooder

    I have 15 girls, all still about 4 weeks away from laying. I raised them from day-olds and have handled them almost every day. Here's my puzzle:

    My lone barred Plymouth Rock, right now the largest hen, is the most skittish by far. When I come into the hen run with treats the others all gather 'round, but Gertrude stays away. If I throw treats in her direction she runs as if i were throwing darts. I often pick many of them up to hug and pat, but that'll vever happen with Gert.

    How did i get one super-shy girl among 14 extroverts?

    Don
     
  8. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps


    Over time, you will experience a multitude of different personalities....its normal. As long as there are no injuries and the birds is getting food and water...all is well.

    If you want the birds to come to your hand when you visit them in the yard, hand feed them. They will all coming running when they see you and push and shove to get close to you.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Amelia Egghart

    Amelia Egghart Chillin' With My Peeps

    608
    147
    146
    Jul 8, 2015
    Fallbrook, CA
    Hi there!

    First of all, best of luck with your shy girl. I have an EE who would hide as a chick and now that she's a year and a half she cowers if you look at her funny but she really wants to be close. I found with her, if I "ignore" her and quietly read a book with a safe looking space next to me, eventually that space will quietly be filled with my shy Easter Egger ;) just don't look at her! Everyone is different and I love her all the more for it.

    Now my question:
    I brought home a couple pullets from a breeder who are now quarantined in my laundry room. Obviously they could be really stressed. One seems fine, the other is a nervous nelly. She darts and hides and panics but she also....trembles slightly. She's been picked on and is growing feathers back. They both take treats from my hand but the slight tremble had me concerned. Could she just be super shy and nervous?

    Thanks!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by