Why are they afraid of me

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by litlbit59, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. litlbit59

    litlbit59 New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Oct 22, 2013
    This is our first go at raising chickens so everything is new to me. Our eggs hatched on
    the 17th of Oct. and I’m fighting to stay ahead of the answers before the questions come
    up. I was watching a video on YouTube on sex determination. The woman was holding
    the chick, gently flipping it around and here is what freaked me out. She sat the chick down next
    to her on the table and he just stayed there. If I did that anyone of my 11 would tear off in
    ant direction clucking their little becks off.
    What's the deal with that. I’m always calm around them, I don’t make sudden moves, I
    speak in a soothing voice, I sing to them quietly. Heck I bring them fresh food and water.
    Why don’t they trust me. I would never hurt them and it makes me feel bad that they
    think I might. And it’s not just my feelings at stake, when I fluff up or clean the brooder,
    I’m afraid their going to have a heart attack. Now I may be being a little dramatic in
    saying that but at the very least, that can’t be good for them. Any comments. How do your
    guys chicks react to you.
     
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Just keep working with them. Offer some feed or little treats from the palm of your hand and let them approach you. Some breeds are just more skittish then others. Chickens in general are bottom of the food chain animals so it comes natural to them to be afraid and run away. Especially from any movement above their heads. It just takes time. Some of them will settle down and even enjoy being held etc., some never get that tame but will be comfortable with you around.
     
  3. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

    4,768
    579
    291
    Aug 29, 2012
    Australia
    Maybe the poor little thing was still in shock from being vent sexed and that's why it sat still lol.

    Ours were the same, they really started to settle down though when they were out of the brooder and we started offering them treats sitting outside. They would come and jump up on your knee for their chick weed. I never could get them very friendly in the brooder though.
     
  4. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,202
    226
    198
    May 23, 2013
    Earth
    Win them over with treats! Make sure not to give too many (should be 10% of their daily diet at maximum) but mealworms will surely make you some friends. :) Make sure to spend time with them and hold them, make them feel secure. Give their feet something to stand on while you hold them. Also you can just put your hand/arm in the cage so they can get used to seeing your body parts in a non-grabbing manner.
     
  5. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    3,971
    320
    233
    Jan 17, 2013
    California
    My chicks are equally as afraid of me. when I pick them up they shake until I've calmed them down. What I do had worked wonderfully for me in the past so I'm doing it again. Every single day at LEAST twice a day I hold The chicks. I set one at a time in my lap and stroke its back and tail.i even touch the head. I've had these chicks for a week now and no matter how much they run or squak they get their training time. After a week now one sits in my lap And after some calming down and petting she goes to sleep. She's learning to enjoy human contact.my youngest still gets Afraid and shakes but after a bit she calms down too. she hasn't trusted me enough to fall asleep like the older chick yet but I'm still working on her. This is done every single day.i also give mealworms as treats and in the morning give oatmeal or scrambled eggs. they love that so much they purr when they eat it!!! It just takes persistence. Don't give uo because if you do you will have birds you can't catch. Think of it this way. If you were that little you also would be afraid of a big person. But trust me on this if you spend the time every day they WILL bond with you and likely want you to hold them on their own. My most scared bird when she was a baby turned out to be my MOST loving hen. Do remember they all have different personalitys and some will like human contact more than others but if you do the training time every bird should end up a bird you can check and hold without it running from you. Don't get upset because they are frightened just continue with the training until they don't mind the contact . hope this helps and best wishes
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Kyzmette

    Kyzmette Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,618
    326
    208
    Aug 28, 2013
    I've found that holding them under my chin and crooning to them helps. Remember they sit under mama hen and she croons to them, so it's instinctual for them to look for that kind of interaction.
     
  7. bhaugh

    bhaugh Chillin' With My Peeps

    368
    25
    116
    Aug 6, 2013
    Las Vegas, NV
    I just had 3 chicks hatch Oct 30th. One had a hard time getting out of the shell and I was the first thing she saw when finally able to get out of the egg. I thought that would somehow make her bond to me. WRONG. The chicks used to flip out when I would put my hand in the brooder. So I started giving them mealworms. One each per day. I also warm my hand and just set it in the brooder and they come and peck, scratch, or just lay down on it. Its warm and comforting.

    Funny how after all these years I thought chicks were just little love bugs. Boy was I wrong.

    Barb
     
  8. creepygothnursi

    creepygothnursi Out Of The Brooder

    68
    4
    38
    Jun 27, 2013
    It may just take time. Mine screeched and screamed and kicked and flailed and ran no matter how patient I was with them and no matter how much I tried to handle them. The good news is, when they hit point-of-lay they quit carrying on like I was Colonel Sanders and became much more friendly and calm. They still aren't cuddly like a lot of people talk about their chickens being, but their behavior isn't atrocious like it was. I gave up and just did what I needed to do in the brooder and let them scream, but things you can try in the meantime: Food. Can't go wrong with food. When you reach for them, try to come at them from the side and not from above, as they associate a hand reaching from above with a predator. (To do this, put the brooder at about your waist level if possible.) One thing that I did that did seem to help some was that when I picked them up I did not put them down until they stopped struggling, so they learned that struggling wasn't going to get them what they wanted.

    Most important thing to remember- it's not you. Some breeds, and some specific chickens, just aren't ever going to be cuddly and friendly, it's not necessarily anything you did wrong or anything you didn't do. It certainly doesn't hurt them to work with them and try to get them to be tame, but it's not a failure or screw-up on your part if it doesn't work out. I got SO frustrated that I was putting all this time and money into these animals and they carried on like I was about to murder them no matter what I did, but the kind folks here taught me that that's just the way some chickens roll. Best of luck!
     
  9. lularat

    lularat Chillin' With My Peeps

    964
    63
    139
    Mar 10, 2013
    NC
    I'm also fairly new to chickens. Got my girls back in April. With time, and definitely treats, your chicks will start warming up to you. I have 3 girls that will sit in my lap and love to be rubbed and loved on. The other 3 are only interested in me only if I have treats. I can pick them up and hold them, but they are eager to get down. When the girls were chicks and in the brooder, they were more timid. After they were introduced to the run and coop, I would sit with them in the run and they started trusting me. Now they all come running to the door any time I come near the run door. Give them time and some, maybe not all will come around.
     
  10. bhaugh

    bhaugh Chillin' With My Peeps

    368
    25
    116
    Aug 6, 2013
    Las Vegas, NV
    I just wanted to update on my chicks I hatched since they too were afraid of my hand. Since offering them mealworms one every day, they now jump on my hand thinking I have treats or roost on my arm. So don't give up. Mine really hate being held however but I do it so they will get used to being confined should they need to be for illnesses.

    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by