what to do with skeered chickens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Centralflafred, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. Centralflafred

    Centralflafred Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 12, 2009
    Plant City, Fla.
    I have a small flock of New Hampshire Reds, mostly with 3 bantams thrown in for good measure and they all tend to shy away from me when I go in the coop to feed them. They'll get just close enough to see what's in the feed bucket when I bend down with it but when I put out my hand to touch one that's all I get is a fleeting touch. I kind of cornered my little bantam roo the other day to see if I could cozy up to him and he got very frightened so I back off not wanting him to get hurt so I could satisfy my own selfish desires.

    I talked with a guy I know that used to have chickens and he was telling me about a roo he had that always wanted to be petted any time someone went into the coop. I asked him how he got a roo to be that way and he said it just came from letting the kids handle him and mess with him from the time he was a day old chick.

    I'm wondering if it's too late to "retrain" this flock to be friendly?
  2. ColoradoMike

    ColoradoMike Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 12, 2009
    Northern Colorado
    Are they laying yet? Mine were pretty skitish in their 'teens', then they all got more 'friendly' once egg production commenced.
  3. BeckySue

    BeckySue Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have the opposite experience: my "teenager" will let me pat her (she's a black Jersey Giant) while the others (who are now laying) will not. However, they are getting more friendly with me and now will eat out of my hand.

    One thing I've noticed is, as they bed down for the night, you can give them a gentle pet. Probably like most animals, take it very slow and let them know you're going to be gentle with them. There's something wonderful about being able to touch your animals.
  4. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    Big predators us, and little chicks them. Think about it. I never come from above to pet a chick. I pick a time they are on the roost and come gently into the coop. Wait a second or two for them to settle then pet from below on the necks then wattles and ears then the back. Then I pick them up slowly. when they start laying they are more receptive to an above approach. they will squat and then I pick them up. Later as they trust you more they will come up to you for petting. Always bring snacks and move very slowly around them. Quiet humming or singing helps too. Gloria Jean
  5. Centralflafred

    Centralflafred Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 12, 2009
    Plant City, Fla.
    Yes they are laying pretty regular now. They started about two months ago for the most part. The NHR's are laying well. I have one Bantam out of the two that is laying about once a week and Jasper the Roo has just started to crow and be more active in the last two weeks.

    I was thinking of going out tot he pen and just sitting down to read and see if they won't get more used to me that way.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by