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When will they like me?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Lilacfeather, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. Lilacfeather

    Lilacfeather In the Brooder

    Sep 4, 2010
    Richmond, VA
    Ok, I know this is totally ridiculous.

    I got 6 pullets 5 days ago, and they're about 10 weeks old now. Every time I approach, they do the "Run away!! Run away!!" thing. And run away. They will approach me for grapes, but they just grab them and, well, run away. They do NOT like to be held. I sit in the run with them, and they huddle in a corner, until we all get bored, and they fall asleep. I'm starting to take it personally!

    I keep reading stories, and seeing pics of these super friendly chickens that sit on people's laps, etc.

    Do you need to raise them from chicks for them to be this tame? Or do I just need to chill, and give them time, and quit being so impatient?

    Again, I know this is goofy, but I can't help myself! [​IMG]


  2. SmittenChicken

    SmittenChicken Songster

    Apr 23, 2010
    I'm on my first batch of chickens and raised them from chicks, so I can't speak for buying them as pullets nor am I an expert... but based on my experience, yours will probably get a LOT friendlier around the time they start laying.

    With the exception of a few that were fairly calm as chicks, mine all acted like I was out to kill them and it was impossible to catch them. Even the ones that could be caught weren't too happy about it, and the calm ones all went through unfriendly phases where they were super skittish.

    Now most of mine are laying, and all of them are squatting for me and anyone else who will pet them. When I walk into the run after being away all day, I'll usually have 4 or 5 chickens squat in a row right at my feet. Even my 2 most skittish EEs will squat as soon as I reach for them, and will happily sit on my lap until I stop petting them. They don't particularly seem to love it (my Red Stars, on the other hand...) but I guess they figure it's better than what they'd get with a rooster [​IMG]

    So, my guess is that in another 8-10 weeks your chickens will be a lot friendlier, especially if you keep up with the treats! But just to warn you, they'll go through a loud velociraptor growling phase before then (if they aren't already).
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
  3. Patoot

    Patoot Songster

    Aug 20, 2010
    I got four 3.5 month old pullets 2 weeks ago. When I first got them, I couldn't even look at them and they would run away. Now 2 are eating our of my hands and all 4 follow me all around the back yard. I can't pat or hold them yet, but I think I will be able to eventually. Treats help a lot. I pull bugs off the garden plants and they all line up to eat them. They LOVE tomatoes and they also really like yogurt. I'm sure yours will come around...especially since they are so young.

  4. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
    Just give them time and take it slow. Try sitting on the ground in the run and offering treats closer and closer to your legs. Eventually at least one of them will stand on your lap to get their treat. Don't try to pet them or pick them up until they sit on your lap for at least a minute. They will eventually want to be with you, you'll see...
  5. Mrsfoote

    Mrsfoote Songster

    Jul 19, 2010
    Laurel Montana
    OH my gosh I have 1 pullet out of my original 6 ended up with 5 roo's she is a pain in my butt my roosters are oh so sweet and cuddly this one you have to chase around the yard to get her others just come when you yell chick...so I sold my roo's and bought 2 new replacement hens 1 laying 1 pullet...Lacie our layer is the sweetest thing EVER....i open the coop and she squats for me then bows her head so i'll scratch her head...now shadow our new pullet PAIN IN THE ..... she fluffs her hackles up and jumps and squabbles...we bought a new layer from the same man and she is ticked at the world right now but she lets you hold her but pullets they suck before they lay....
  6. rebbetzin

    rebbetzin Songster

    Apr 4, 2008
    Tucson AZ
    I am far from any kind of expert. My first batch of chicks I got when they were about a day or so old. They were never afraid of me. I held them all the time and they would hop all over me when I went in their pen.

    This new batch I just got a week ago today. They were about a month old. The only experience they have had with humans is to be chased down with a big net.

    I spent the last few days in the pen, giving them treats, not attempting to pick them up. At some point, I plan to start picking them up so they will figure out I am not trying to kill them. I know it will take time. At least they let me walk by the pen without running for cover now.

    I liked it better when I had tiny chicks that were not so afraid of me.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010
  7. chkn

    chkn Songster

    Jun 27, 2010
    Every great once in awhile, one will get docile towards me. Mostly, to them, I'm just like an axe murderer, they are scared. When I'm feeding them something good, they do seem willing to get up close.

  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Just keep offering treats every day and act relaxed and casual around them. Try not to do long hard stares and don't try to force contact with them. Just give them yummy food and talk nicely to them in a soft voice.

    They will warm up to you as soon as you look like you are safe to be around and not a threat. Birds usually hate to be handled or stared at by humans or animals that they don't know and trust. Being stared at or grabbed is the behavior of a predator.
  9. Ohhhdear

    Ohhhdear Songster

    Aug 15, 2010
    West Michigan
    I raised my 12 girls from week-old chicks, and they were really skittish, even though I held them, talked to them, was mostly their only care-giver. When we got them outdoors into a fenced area coop they were not quite as fearful, but I still hauled clumps of yummy weeds and treats for them, pretending they were my best friends.
    Now they're laying and they do the squat and want petting and their underwings scratched and coo at me when they're in my lap and come running when I go into the backyard. I haven't done anything differently, it's them growing up and deciding I'm their protector and provider of all yummies. It's just like with kids, parakeets, puppies and horses. You have to be consistent, even tempered and benificient. Give it time.
  10. tuesdays chicks

    tuesdays chicks Songster

    Apr 26, 2010
    stuart florida
    I think it depends on individual birds I got 5 day old chicks and had 2 really friendly ones,they turned out to be the roos, mine are laying now but don't squat they aren't quite as skittish, they look at my hand to see if I have something but won't let me pet them 24 weeks now. I don't spend enough time hand feeding them though.

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