When will they be comfortable?


Nov 26, 2018
I just got 3 new chickens (my first ones) a week ago. They are 2 Australorp pullets and 1 silkie x frizzle pullet.
I have been picking them up once a day and feeding them a few mealworms by hand, otherwise they eat and drink from feed dishes.
They will come up to me and eat out of my hand but will always stay a distance away from me if I don't have food.
When will they become comfortable to approach me and when will they not panic when I pick them up?


Heartless Ice Queen
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Apr 9, 2013
My Coop
My Coop
Hi KaiAlive, welcome to BYC!

It takes a bit of time and if they're pullets rather than baby chicks it might be a bit more work. You're doing great though!

One thing that worked for me with our girls was sitting on the ground with them for treats. I was on their level and soon they were readily eating from my hands, having wattles scratched, and perching on my shoulder. Now I can't walk outside without 8 little faces begging for something lol. It won't take long, just be consistent.

I don't pick up and cuddle my chickens so I'm unable to help in that regard, I'm sorry. Lots of people do so I'm sure you'll get some words of wisdom on that soon.

Good luck and congratulations on your first little flock! I hope you enjoy keeping them.


Nov 26, 2018
Oh yeah, even after the first day I loved them, each one has their own personality. The Frizzle bantam was a bit older and bigger so she was the boss the first week but now the Australorps are the same size as her and the bigger one has now become boss. I have found that she is more comfortable around me and is willing to hop on my leg or out stretched arm if I offer treats.
And from day one I was doing what you said - sitting on the ground in their presence.


In the Brooder
Oct 10, 2017
my bird not eat from my hand, they steal from my hand, i just bring kitchen scrap to their run and they surround me to steal it before i give it to them.

even with all that they still panic if picked up, maybe its just because they not used.


Crossing the Road
Nov 12, 2017
Western Ohio
Birds are prey animals and so are wary of potential predators (you, for example). They are also keyed into movement as prey animals so they can hopefully notice a predator, or that tasty juicy bug. They are in a new environment, and you are moving towards them, and likely from above. A previous poster suggested sting on the ground, which is a good idea. Giving them a few treats and coming around every day are also good ideas.

Our brooder raised chicks that were handled often and saw us all the time were wary but eventually got friendlier as they got closer to laying. Now laying, they are still somewhat wary, and will run away from us but we have a few friendlier ones that let us pick them up for a brief time.

We have 11 week old mother-hen-raised chicks (bought 5 day old chicks from a hatchery and gave them to her), and they are very wary. We had minimal contact with them and momma hen did a great job raising them, but as such they don’t see us as much other than large predators.

Good luck! They will get used to you!


Scarborough Fair
6 Years
Jul 3, 2016
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Sounds like you're doing pretty well if they're willing to approach you after a week.

I don't sit on the ground but I keep folding stools that I can use to sit in the run. Just spending time with them will help them get more used to you. You don't even have to do anything with them directly, have a cup of coffee, read a book, etc, just be around them.

Many chickens don't like being picked up, so you might find that some of them won't like it even after time has passed. I do think it's a good idea to make sure that they all can be handled to some degree, in case it's needed for medical care - it's no fun chasing around a chicken that needs to have a bandage change!

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