Very skittish hens.. Should I hand raise a few chicks instead? Thanks.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dcsandgren, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. dcsandgren

    dcsandgren Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 2, 2010
    Medford, OR
    I am sort of new to the world of chickens. Last week we bought 4 Rhode Island Red hens, two Buff Orpington hens, and one Rhode Island red rooster. We
    probably won't be keeping a few of the Red hens. When moving locations I realize they have to get used to everything new, but these chickens have never
    been handled by people. I can't really even get close to them without at least one running away from me, then the rest get freaked and huddle in a corner.
    I am not sure exactly on the age, the guy we bought them from just got the eggs and never really had contact with them, but the hens are laying and I don't
    think they are over a year. Anyways, I want to be able to at least touch one of them, or even pet one. Do you ever think that would ever happen? I go visit
    them every day more then three times a day, I've fed them bread, crackers, fresh green grass, huge moths, scraps, and I've been throwing the chicken food out to them.
    Only one of the Buff Orpingtons will rarely come close and very cautiously grab a piece of bread or a cracker out of my fingers, then books it. They have
    been laying eggs but none will set on them. I am thinking about buying a few different breeds of chicks next week and raising them by hand, but do you think that is
    worth doing? Because when the chicks come of age and I put them with the flock, will they just follow the others in running away? Or do you think they might
    encourage the others to gain a little trust and come up to me? I'm just thinking of the age they are at, and already have they're minds set on people. [​IMG]





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  2. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    I'm sure they'll come around eventually, but that can take months and months or maybe longer depending on how skittish they really are. If you want tame and friendly chickens soon then I guess it would be best to get some more chicks and hand-raise them. When they are big enough you can intergrate them with the flock, and just like you thought, they might teach the others humans aren't so bad. I have 3 RIRs and 2 EEs whom I hand raised from day olds and they are pretty tame now, at 18 weeks old. They like to climb all over me and sleep in my lap while I massage their heads. I held them once or twice a day as chicks but was around them quite a bit.
     
  3. dcsandgren

    dcsandgren Out Of The Brooder

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    22
    Jul 2, 2010
    Medford, OR
    Quote:Yeah that's really what I wanted in the first place. That's so cute I wish I could do that with these guys.. Lol. Thank you for the feedback, it's really appreciated.
     

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