Bonding with your Chickens

Discussion in 'Behavior & Flock Management' started by Keith, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. Keith

    Keith New Member

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    Any tips you have found over the years on ways to bond with your chickens when young so when older they are receptive to you?
     
  2. cogburn

    cogburn New Member

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    It's best to bond one on one with chicks, I feel the more chicks the harder it is to settle them down, I take one and walk away from the rest, even go in the house and settle down, hold it close and tight, not too tight. It will settle down quickly as long as it is quiet and the others can't be seen or heard. I talk softly, move slowly, and switch hands moving up and down with the chick often, that way they get a 3D look at you and just not look up at your chin or nose, and then they figure out you are not there to harm them. Also start early as possible, when they get their wings they start to be more flighty and try to get away more, but at a couple days they are ready to set on your chest and take a nap, when theyre 4 weeks plus, they will be settled already with you. Just pick 1 and try it, when they get older the 1 will lead the way teaching others that you are friendly and they will soon all settle down and follow the leader. Its worked for me in the past more often than not. Good luck
     

  3. Shalva

    Shalva New Member

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    this is my first set of chickens but I can tell you what has worked for me... for what thats worth... but I had the chicks in a rubbermaid tub to start, in the house... every day I would take some chicks put them on the bed with me and pet and stroke the chicken put her back and get another... I didnt do this with every chick but over time I think they all got attention and one on one time... Now I have their pen set up and I go in and out of it... I sit in a chair or on the ground with them and pick up chickens as they come close. I move slowly and often have a treat with me... mealworms or berry or crickets or something... I pick them up gently pet and talk to them... when they want to go I let them go but I move slowly and let them come to me... I never ever chase them... my chickens are about 7 weeks old now and they come to me readily, they will jump into my lap and settle there... they will follow me around when I am walking around their foraging area... and when I do need to pick them up they are not generally panicked...

    We finally got them into their coop tonight for the first time and they were huddled in the corner ... so I opened the door and sat with them for a while and they all came over slowly... I showed them their food and water... put a couple on their roosts and spent about 20 minutes talking to them and petting them and when I shut the door they were scratching and investigating the coop... their stress level had visibly decreased....
     
  4. 7chicks

    7chicks New Member

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    I did the exact same thing as Shalva & cogburn with my girls. Even with my last 2 that were a bit older when I got them. They all tamed up beautifully and continue to love some individual time even if its only for a couple minutes of holding now. They're just like having a pet cat or dog. Love attention.
     
  5. ChubbyChicken

    ChubbyChicken New Member

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    My friendliest chickens were hand raised by a five and a three year old. Handled constantly. It 's why I am raising only 3 bantams right now, so they are my buddies.

    I have noticed that some chickens like to be held, and some are not interested at all. It seems like silkies are friendly and like you, no matter how they were raised.
     
  6. Apyl

    Apyl New Member

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    Handle the chicks as alot as babies and continue to touch, pick up, and talk to them as they grow.
     
  7. Sundancers

    Sundancers New Member

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    I'm going to sound rather ... cold. :eek:

    We have a homestead where we raise our own food, for reason I will not get into.

    Once you "bond" with a critter it is a little hard to eat it, come the time. (Just ask my kids ... :eek:)

    We had a rule early on ... you never play with you food. The chicken are the "girls" ... The hefer calves get a name and the steers do not and so on.

    If I did want to bond with the chickens, I think Apyls way will work.
     
  8. Roslyn

    Roslyn A Round American Woman

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    Treats. They hear my voice, even if I'm not calling them, and they come running because the Treat Lady is there!!!!
     
  9. 7chicks

    7chicks New Member

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    My girls are purely for pets. Eggs are the bonus. I'll have them until the day they die and then I'll tearfully bury them with love and care. Already did my Sweetpea last year and I still miss her dearly. These girls are just like having a pet dog. We don't even eat chicken anymore. Did it once when they were 6 months old and we felt so guilty with those 6 sets of beady eyes watching us from outside. That was the last time for us. Never knew how intelligent chickens really were until we got ours 2 years ago. Like any animal, how well they bond with you and become a pet, depends on the amount of time you devote to them.
     
  10. rob

    rob New Member

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    i just sit with them and handle daily, normaly they dont like it but today when they got stuck in a tree they jumped into my hand and happily sat on my shoulder.
    seems to me you just have to be patient and give them attention.
     
  11. Apyl

    Apyl New Member

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    We have our chickens to provide us food as well, I just tell the kids ahead of time that when the boys get fat we eat them and when the girls stop laying we eat them. Our first rooster we butchered was named Dinner lol Even the kids called him Dinner .
     
  12. Sundancers

    Sundancers New Member

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    LOL ...

    The kids named one of the hogs, bacon & and the other ham ... but they knew come fall ... ;)

    It is/was a way of life ...
     
  13. Homegirl

    Homegirl New Member

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    Another option, especially if you did not raise them from chicks, is to sit on the floor in the coop or in am enclosed run, where they cannot get away and you can keep their attention. stretch out your legs and put food on them. Kale, greens, mealworms, and let them get used to jumping on your legs and picking off food. Work up to holding the food in your hand, putting it on the back of your hand first. We give off less energy from the back of our hands than our palms. Kinda like tying a pork chop around your neck so the dogs will play with you!
    As everyone probably knows, they are far more quiet as night falls. Picking up a flighty chicken as you are putting them up helps, getting them used to being touched. Some will be very accepting and some will never like it. They all have their own personalities....I have a Polish and a Faverolles chicks who are the wildest little girls I have ever seen. And can they run and double back....
    Ellen
     
  14. cl_dewey

    cl_dewey Junior Member

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    Don't forget that chickens are like people, whether its because of their breed or their personality...some just aren't social. All my assorted girls were raised exactly the same way. But some are more social and some skitter away. I can usually bribe them with peaches and tomatoes. Best way for me to socialize them is to wait until they are roosting. Then coop themselves up, so I go in and count heads and tuck them all in, petting them and telling them how pretty they are.
     
  15. SamandTracy

    SamandTracy Lavender Orpington Breeder and Farmer

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    Ruffling Feathers

    Is it possible that one could cause hens to not lay eggs because of over frequenting the coop?

    I am a new member to this forum and only a few days into chicken farming and I don't want to cause the hens to not lay, if that's possible.

    Thank you.
     
  16. cl_dewey

    cl_dewey Junior Member

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    Could they be laying somewhere else? 2 of my girls have started laying, and they have gotten mad at me for taking their eggs and have been hiding.them! Little turds!
     
  17. SamandTracy

    SamandTracy Lavender Orpington Breeder and Farmer

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    Thanks

    I have not thought that that may be the case. I will scour the coop and see if I have turds too.

    Thank you.
     
  18. sorrowsmiles

    sorrowsmiles New Member

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    You indicated that you just got them so it could just be the stress of a new environment and once they get used to their new home they should start laying again.
     
  19. hollyosborn

    hollyosborn HollyOsborn

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    we carry a boat paddle and dont let the roosters walk behind us.. is that bonding?? HAHAHA..