Will they ever like me?

new_to_chickens

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 1, 2009
42
0
32
I know this question has been asked over and over again, but will they ever really like me? There are 10 barred rock chicks (5 weeks old, 4 roos and 6 hens) and are all doing well...they spend most of the day outside in the chicken tractor. They come in at night to the brooder with the heat lamp on low. I clean out the brooder twice per week and give them lots of attention and treats. But go to pick them up and they run screaming!! I have one hen that pecks me everytime. I don't feed them out of my hand very often...every once-in-a-while, but not often enough that the hen thinks I am giving treats. Nope, she knows that I want to pick her up and take her outside!

What gives? Will they eventually get used to me? Oh, by the way, when I go outside during the day to see them they come running! But pick them up...they go running in the opposite direction and screaming.

Please help!
 

17roses

Songster
11 Years
Jan 20, 2009
554
0
139
Greene County, TN
I was frustrated at first but then learned a few things that worked for me. I feed live bugs I catch as treats, this way I have to go back multiple times and the "tamest" chickens get them. I do the feeding call "here chickie, chickie" and it teaches them to come close. When feeding I do the call but I never call any other time. Now when I come to them whether I call or not they come running and dont seem to be afraid. I dont know that they "like" me but they sure do come as close as they can get and I am able to pick them up.
 

RendonRoo

Songster
10 Years
Feb 7, 2009
1,147
8
161
ft. worth
They fear predators from above so when you start to pick them up they naturally scatter. It seems to help if you get down on their level. Most of mine love to be held once i've picked them up. It just takes time and some are like ppl. they just don't to be messed with. LOL. Good Luck
 

LegHorn-BusHorn

Songster
10 Years
May 25, 2009
439
0
119
Near STL mo
Mine wont really let me pick them up willing eighter. I can get a hold of them but they dont appear to like it and are happy to be set down. I hope you get some answers that I could possibly use too. Good Luck!
 

new_to_chickens

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 1, 2009
42
0
32
Yeah, I guess "like" isn't the right word...I just don't want them to be afraid. I call to them "here chicks" or some variation of that. I "cluck" to them (you might call it that!). They love getting treats...they come running. I sit in the chicken tractor with them. Some are really "friendly" and don't make too much of a fuss, but there are a few that just do not like to be touched.

Maybe they are like people and those few just don't want to be picked up. Actually one of the ones that fusses so much is my "Mr. big time" roo because he is so much bigger and "tougher" than the rest...maybe it is an image thing where it is soooo uncool to be coddled by "mom" in public
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ranchhand

Rest in Peace 1956-2011
11 Years
Aug 25, 2008
13,295
78
291
SC
Ya'll are going to be mad at me, but anyway..... chickens aren't like cats and dogs, they don't bond the same way. It's just not their nature. They are hugely motivated by food, and they will eventually learn not to be as afraid of you.

Their brains are not wired to be cuddly. I have some who will sit on my lap or shoulder, but they either have to be lured with food or "captured".
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And given the chance, they will peck my eye out!

Apparently some can be hand-raised and made somewhat tame, but it's still a case of not being that type of pet. I try to let them know that they can trust me to always care for them and leave it at that. They always come running, in case I have some food.

If you can tame one as a really affectionate pet, I commend you! No offense intended, and hopefully none taken.
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cochinbantam-lover

Songster
10 Years
May 1, 2009
1,207
2
169
Wisconsin
My chicks are about 3 weeks old now and I am having the most wonderful experience with them! When I come to take care of them or just to say hi
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I will slowly place my hand down in the brooder, it is one of the Walmart fruit and veggie bins, anyway, there are 2 that are so sweet they will come to my hand and I can softly rub their tummies. Now more seem to be feeling more at ease and there are like 4 now coming to me now and others becoming more curious. I just love it!!!!! I have never had any treats in my hand at all, I also softly talk to them!
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I lost two babies from my younger batch so these little ones are helping me to cope with that loss. Aren't chickens the greatest gift!
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