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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I recently acquired a mystery bantam hen from a “flea market” type deal, was told she was a year old…

she is doing pretty good but she is very skittish, I almost wonder if she was poorly treated prior? She does fine with the other chickens and has accepted the coop as home and will even come within 5 feet of me but when I check on her (and all the other chickens) at night when I’m closing the coop or any other time I approach her she bites me as if she’s terrified. Now she doesn’t come after me it’s only when I approach her.

I just am wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to build a small better bond with her or what might be wrong in the first place?
 

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Certain breeds are skittish around us humans so it may be the way she's wired. I had two Hamburg bantams. One was the sweetest thing but her sister wouldn't get near me if her life depended on it. That went on for ten years with them.

If you do treats they might give her incentive to come closer.
 

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I would start out by sitting on the ground near or with the flock, keep letting her see you are not a threat, and bribe her increasingly close with treats. This may be about as close as you can get, some of them just don’t like being handled really. More of a pretty living yard ornament…
 

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So I recently acquired a mystery bantam hen from a “flea market” type deal, was told she was a year old…

she is doing pretty good but she is very skittish, I almost wonder if she was poorly treated prior? She does fine with the other chickens and has accepted the coop as home and will even come within 5 feet of me but when I check on her (and all the other chickens) at night when I’m closing the coop or any other time I approach her she bites me as if she’s terrified. Now she doesn’t come after me it’s only when I approach her.

I just am wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to build a small better bond with her or what might be wrong in the first place?
Welcome to the forum! She may indeed have been poorly treated. Folks here will give you good advice. I usually make lots of progress at the sanctuary with treats.
 
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When I have a bird I wish to tame or calm down, I take it and a bird that's already tame to a place that is new to the bird being tamed. With new surroundings the "new" will be hesitant to fly/jump away especially when there is another bird that is calm and happy sitting there with you. The first step is simply hold her in your hands until she knows she's not being hurt then set her in your lap with the other tame bird. Many birds are easily tamed this way. For yours, you may need a bit of patience and some time.

I usually do this in the morning while I'm having coffee.

Bird Phasianidae Beak Feather Galliformes


I have found this works with any age chicken.

Bird Neck Beak Gesture Finger


Bird Eye Phasianidae Neck Comb
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
"Flea Market type deal, was told it was a year old." Makes me wonder if it's a rooster.
I was wary but I do not think it is a rooster, does not show any behavior of one nor any characteristics, no big tail feather or big comb and wattle doesn’t crow and doesn’t go after the girls at all ( and for what it’s worth we were told it was a hen)
 

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She certainly sounds like a she. A concern is that some shady people will sell young cockerels as older hens; young cockerels will look like older hens to those that don't know what to look for. This is hard to explain. The comb and wattles develop much quicker than hackle, saddle, and roo tail feathers so for a short time these cockerels look like hens if the person doesn't know the age of the bird. We are often asked to sex a bird-rooster or hen-and age is always asked for, for the reason above.
 

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She certainly sounds like a she. A concern is that some shady people will sell young cockerels as older hens; young cockerels will look like older hens to those that don't know what to look for. This is hard to explain. The comb and wattles develop much quicker than hackle, saddle, and roo tail feathers so for a short time these cockerels look like hens if the person doesn't know the age of the bird. We are often asked to sex a bird-rooster or hen-and age is always asked for, for the reason above.
that is how I told the gender of my birds, too. I always look at the development of the comb, feathers, and feet.
 
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