Will my girls ever be snugglers?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cherylcohen, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. cherylcohen

    cherylcohen The Omelet Ranch

    Sep 18, 2009
    SF East Bay CA
    We got all our chickens at 14 weeks or older (2 we got at 23 weeks). A few are friendly and don't struggle when I'm holding them, but most of them go crazy when I'm trying to pick them, fly around squawk like I'm killing them. Once I have them I pet them in what I think is there favorite spot and they seem to enjoy it. I usually will hold them for about 10 minutes each. What can I do to make them love being held and friendly.

    Is it possible to get older chickens to be snugglers and WANT to be held. I hold each of them at least every other day.

    What can I do?

    ps: If you raise from chicks is it different? I can't get any more because of where we live, but just curious
  2. flakey chick

    flakey chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    My most snuggly one became that way after a near tragedy. She got her foot caught and was hanging upside-down half passed out. I rescued her and she came out of it being snuggled in my lap. The others were still kind of scared of me.

    Most chickens aren't really snugglers, but respond to TREATS TREATS TREATS. Put the treats in your lap and let them come to you. Spend a bit of time around them without going after them (trying to pick them up). They'l get comfortable around you and curious. They will approach you. I think it's best to let them adjust to you on their own terms.
  3. cimarron

    cimarron Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 25, 2008
    Central Tejas
    but most of them go crazy when I'm trying to pick them, fly around squawk like I'm killing them.

    well, in a way they chickens are right, that's generally what happens when somebody picks up a chicken...[​IMG]
    unless they're layers/lovemuffins like yours, and ours!

    did you get them from someone who handled them regularly before selling to you? we raised ours from day-olds and held them every day. i think is does get them used to your presence and your good vibes, to slowly get used to it from the start. though each of our six has its own personality and desire for affection. our SLW doesn't really want to be hassled. the ameraucanas are a bit shy too but one of em likes affection if you catch her pretty quick and don't get her riled up. the BRs are curious and pretty amenable if you want to hang out with them. we have one buff orpington chicken, edna, who is like a big pile of cosmic golden love. she is very calm and into being held and petted. edna will lure you in to hold her with her chicken charisma. we held them all every day when we got them and then just let them tell us what they wanted as they got older. good luck and if yours ain't snugglin like you like, maybe you could start a few day olds, and have them be your snuggle bunnies.
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Get a brahma. Mine seeks me out for pets and doesn't struggle in the least when I pick her up.
  5. JimWWhite

    JimWWhite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Get some Gold Comets. I've got nineteen of 'em and they love people and dogs. Anytime I'm in the run working on the coop or something they want to be where I am. I usually have to shoo them away or I'll accidently whack one of 'em with my scraper or brush or whatever tool I have in my hand. Many of them will fly up on the arm of the lawn chair I'm sitting in and want to be petted. They let the dog walk around within them without giving him a second thought. Usually they try to steal his milkbone while we're out watching 'Chicken TV' in the evening at dusk. I've even seen them jump up on his back while he's laying down eating his milkbone.

    And on top of that they are the best layers. I six that are about 40 weeks old, another six that are about 30 weeks old, and another seven that are now 24 weeks old. In the past two weeks the 'Youngsters' as we call them have started laying. We've been getting 16 to nineteen eggs every day. Today we got 19!!! Great hens these Gold Comets!!!
  6. cherylcohen

    cherylcohen The Omelet Ranch

    Sep 18, 2009
    SF East Bay CA
    I can't really get any more girls right now, but my speckled sussex and cuckoo maran are loveables when I have them in my lap for more than 15 minutes. I also have an older Wellsummer which I understand are supposed to be nice.

    I'll keep holding them and try giving them treats on my lap. They don't free range but when we're out sitting there they sometimes come out to check us out.
  7. Carol.in.WV

    Carol.in.WV Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2009
    Pendleton County, WV
    This may sound weird but try it: Next time you pick up your non-snuggler slip your right index finger between the legs then grasp both legs in your right hand (if you are right-handed) and hold her out away from your body upside down. For about 30 seconds she will squawk like she is being killed and flop around her wings beating etc........don't chicken out, just keep holding her and she will stop fighting it then be quiet usually with the wings outstretched. At this point swing her gently to and fro for a minute or two, then slip your left hand under her neck and lift her up and lay her in the crook of your left elbow just like a human baby on her back. Talk sweetly to her and stroke her neck and breast bone, after a few minutes you can gently turn her toward you sort in of the position where you would burp a baby. Every chicken I have tried this with gets cuddly-er every time until they are coming to you to be picked up.

    I have noticed that the roosters like to snuggle more than hens. In fact I brought one little silkie cockerel in last night because he had lost a fight and was all bloody and missing feathers. After I doctored him as much as I could he was content to sleep snuggled with me all night. I spread an old towel on my chest and laid back in the recliner and he just tucked his head under my chin all night until my DH caught us at 4 am and turned on the light causing him to crow and eventually get evicted, after I hid him under the covers for a few more hours, but when the other roosters started crowing he joined in and it was all over.
  8. cherylcohen

    cherylcohen The Omelet Ranch

    Sep 18, 2009
    SF East Bay CA
    wow that sounds amazing....hw often didi you do this? EVERY time you picked them up?

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