Chicken Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this is embarrassing to admit, but I am pretty freaked out by birds and most animals in general. We have a terrible tick problem on my land, and we eat so many eggs, and I'm thinking about starting a flock of chickens and maybe some guineas. I just keep hitting this emotional roadblock and I'd like to know what ideas others have. How can I learn how to safely handle a chicken and learn how to read their body language? How can I avoid getting hurt? I have a 3 year old child and he is also fearful of animals, and will freak out if an animal comes too close. Is it easy to train chickens to not come too close, or if I stomp my foot (or he does) would they naturally move away from us? My child is fine with animals if they don't come too close, he just needs his space, so on the one hand I want chickens that are very docile, but I don't want them following us around like puppies, either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
336 Posts
U should get them when they r chicks and then they will definitely grow on u....but if they still "scare" u then don't handle them too much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
231 Posts
I agree with Olivia. Maybe you should bathe them more. Not only does it keep them clean, but you bond with them. Read about it before you actually bathe them first, to make sure that they don't drown!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
231 Posts
Also, if both of you are afraid of them maybe chickens aren't the pet for you. You might not enjoy them if you can't interact with them, because after all they are farm animals!
 

·
Junior Member
Joined
·
29 Posts
KermitII63 said:
So this is embarrassing to admit, but I am pretty freaked out by birds and most animals in general. We have a terrible tick problem on my land, and we eat so many eggs, and I'm thinking about starting a flock of chickens and maybe some guineas. I just keep hitting this emotional roadblock and I'd like to know what ideas others have. How can I learn how to safely handle a chicken and learn how to read their body language? How can I avoid getting hurt?
In my opinion and based only on my experience.

1. Hens only so you don't have the possibility of an aggressive rooster. Add a rooster later but only if you want fertile eggs to hatch.

2. Get a smaller breed, one that is not flighty and as social as possible. While not as small as bantam breeds I have been very pleased with the temperament of my Dominiques.

3. I'm part of the flock, I talk to them and we have a daily schedule that we follow religiously. The only difference between me and the other flock members is that I'm the one with the feed bucket. I can't stress schedule enough, they get fed and put in their coop T about the same time every day. Come that time they are already in their pen and looking toward the house waiting for me to feed them and close the doors.

4. Talk to them. Even though many say that you don't name something you might eat, mine have names. I talk to them calmly, scold them when needed but I've learned that trying to fight them if they are bad doesn't work out and may turn them ore aggressive towards you as they try to establish a pecking order.

5. While I am part of the flock I am not another chicken. I'm the human that feeds and cares for them. I learned the hard way, chickens may want to try and pick a fight if they think that they can establish dominance over you. My voice and demeanor stays the same, don't get mad or think you have to establish dominance over them. It's hard to do, but is the most effective......Ignore them.
 

·
I luv Polish & Houdans
Joined
·
137 Posts
I don't recommended you get chickens. If you know you are afraid of birds and you have a child afraid of animals then do yourself and the birds a favour and don't buy any. I'm saying this not to be mean, but I know someone who is pretty much is the same as you described. They got chickens and all they do is complain about how dumb the birds are. They got rid of them, then turned around got another breed. Still they complain about having chickens.

Chickens are socialable having a flock mentality. By their nature, they will be curious of you and your child. Chickens will recognize you as a food source and will come up to you looking for food. Mine are friendly. They jump on me. They look to be picked up. They will even run up to me if they are out in the yard.

If you still want to try it, this is what I suggest. If you know someone who already has chickens, explain to them what you said here. Then ask if they wouldn't mind you visiting their flock and maybe handling one. See how it feels to hold one. You could even ask this person that if you get a couple of birds and you find they aren't for you maybe they can take them. This way, you get to try it out and if it doesn't work out the birds can be placed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't recommended you get chickens. If you know you are afraid of birds and you have a child afraid of animals then do yourself and the birds a favour and don't buy any. I'm saying this not to be mean, but I know someone who is pretty much is the same as you described. They got chickens and all they do is complain about how dumb the birds are. They got rid of them, then turned around got another breed. Still they complain about having chickens.

Chickens are socialable having a flock mentality. By their nature, they will be curious of you and your child. Chickens will recognize you as a food source and will come up to you looking for food. Mine are friendly. They jump on me. They look to be picked up. They will even run up to me if they are out in the yard.

If you still want to try it, this is what I suggest. If you know someone who already has chickens, explain to them what you said here. Then ask if they wouldn't mind you visiting their flock and maybe handling one. See how it feels to hold one. You could even ask this person that if you get a couple of birds and you find they aren't for you maybe they can take them. This way, you get to try it out and if it doesn't work out the birds can be placed.
I think you might be right...just imagining chickens jumping up on me made me freeze up, and there is no way my child would be okay with that...he wouldn't want to go outside anymore if there was a chance of that happening (and it took a lot for him to get comfortable going outside as it is with neighbors dogs and such...) I'm going to research guinea fowl to see if they are more skittish and not likely to come up to us...I really want to do something about these ticks...
 

·
I luv Polish & Houdans
Joined
·
137 Posts
I know people with guinea fowl. They are excellent for bug control. The only thing I recommend is they are very noisey. Another reason people like them is because you will always know what is going on your property. Guineas will sound off at anything that catches their attention. So if noise might be an issue, you might want to only get a pair of guinea and warn your neighbours.
 

·
chicken bum
Joined
·
136 Posts
KermitII63 said:
I think you might be right...just imagining chickens jumping up on me made me freeze up, and there is no way my child would be okay with that...he wouldn't want to go outside anymore if there was a chance of that happening (and it took a lot for him to get comfortable going outside as it is with neighbors dogs and such...) I'm going to research guinea fowl to see if they are more skittish and not likely to come up to us...I really want to do something about these ticks...
Agree....go visit someone with chickens and ease into it...chicken people are cool they'd love to let you visit there flock
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
Gosh, how is you or your son ever going to get over the fear of animals if you don't have any? Ease into it. Research and get a docile breed. Faverolle are the most gentle and sweetest chickens. Start with a couple of chicks and let your son get use to them. He might interact with them as chicks. And, as they grow, he'll get use to them. How can someone live without animals?? lol You have to show him there is nothing to be scared of. He sees you afraid and thinks animals are something to fear. You have to be brave for him. You have to get over your fear of animals first!! Good Luck
 

·
Junior Member
Joined
·
29 Posts
chickflick said:
Gosh, how is you or your son ever going to get over the fear of animals if you don't have any? Ease into it. Research and get a docile breed. Faverolle are the most gentle and sweetest chickens. Start with a couple of chicks and let your son get use to them. He might interact with them as chicks. And, as they grow, he'll get use to them. How can someone live without animals?? lol You have to show him there is nothing to be scared of. He sees you afraid and thinks animals are something to fear. You have to be brave for him. You have to get over your fear of animals first!! Good Luck
While the previous posts about not getting chickens have their valid points, I suggest that you consider the above. While it does make some perfect sense to make the choice of not having chickens and not dealing with your fear consider this; if it becomes necessary for you to become more self sufficient, you may need to be able to keep chickens to help feed your family. Now is the time to serif you and your son can overcome your fear. Now is always the best time, not later when it's possibly critical to survival.

I agree a couple of chicks from a very docile breed growing up with you and your son could ease you through the apprehension. It might not work, but a reasonable expenditure on a few chicks maybe a smart investment for you and your sons future. There are a couple of suppliers that will sell five chick minimums starting in April or May.

Just my $0.02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I would like, very much to get over my fear, but for me I think it runs really deep...I have had recurring nightmares my whole life of being attacked by animals, and I grew up with dogs that I liked very much, and a cat. I can learn to relax around animals when I am around them enough, but for my son to be relaxed, at this point in his life, he needs space from them. He LOVES my sister's dog because the dog is very well behaved and my sister asks him to go in his crate if he is getting too frenzied so he won't jump up on my son. For my son to feel comfortable, we can't have an animal that will want to get very close--at least not at this point in his life, unless I am able to control the animals and keep them at a distance. With chickens, I'm just not sure if it's possible. At for my son, I think when he is bigger it's not going to be as much of an issue--he is just 3 years old and everything that comes up to him seems so big to him...he is okay with my landlord's dog because the dog basically leaves us alone. I think chickens could work for us if it was a breed that kept to itself mostly, but I'm concerned that if the chickens associated us with food, they would come up to us whenever we went outside. I know my child, and I know that he simply would refuse to go outside. He is stubborn like his mama ;o)
 

·
I luv Polish & Houdans
Joined
·
137 Posts
Okay. Let me throw out a different approach. I hope I do not offend you with anything I may say. I am not a 'kid' person so if I say something that makes you go "Woah!" then please remember that I am just throwing it out there. I don't know you well enough so I am not meaning to offend with anything I say.

There seems to be parts here. You are afraid of animals BUT you can relax IF you are sure the animal is well behaved.
Your son being only 3, doesn't have that 'sense' yet because he is young and needs to learn.
The goal would be to have chickens to control the bugs, give you eggs, that both you & your son can enjoy without them crawling all over you and freaking you out.

As others have said, you need to ease into chickens. I think I may have a solution.

Pet chicken.
Forget for the moments of getting a flock of anything. Get one, single bird that you can keep in your house. There are many bantam breeds that can make very good pets, and that can easily live in your home in a large rabbit or ferret cage.

The best breeds for this: Silkie or bantam Cochin.
Silkies are more than any other breed the most gentle, docile chickens you can have. They are soft, cute. They are not great flyers. To the best of my knowledge, they will run up to you, but becaus of their poor flight abilities, they really can't get up on you unless you pick them up. Silkies are also a breed that is easy to get as chicks as many, many people raise them. Just be sure to get yourself a female, rather than a male. With a cochin just make sure it is a Bantam as that is the little version of the breed.

You can easily keep a single bird in a large rabbit or ferret cage in your home. The smell is no worse than a dog. You use wood chips in the cage and once a day just scoop up any mess. The bird can easily eat & drink out of large cups you can get that slip on the bars of the cage. Why I say have the bird in your home is this. If the bird is around you, you will become more at ease with it. So will your young son. You can buy birdie diapers that the bird can wear when outside its cage so it will not mess on things. You and your son can make a time together to take the bird out of the coop and practice handling it and having it around. You can even sit and watch tv together with the bird on your lap or sofa [with its diaper] to feel comfortable with.
The only thing that will likely flip you out is the bird, any bird, is going to flap you in the face at least once or twice. It comes with learning how to hold them. But once you have the knack down, and the bird becomes used to be handled, it will get easier.

If you still want a flock, the only thing I can suggest is you create an area to keep your son in when he goes out. This way he will be protected from the chickens. When he gets older, you can judge if he is ready to meet them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
336 Posts
toybarons said:
Okay. Let me throw out a different approach. I hope I do not offend you with anything I may say. I am not a 'kid' person so if I say something that makes you go "Woah!" then please remember that I am just throwing it out there. I don't know you well enough so I am not meaning to offend with anything I say.

There seems to be parts here. You are afraid of animals BUT you can relax IF you are sure the animal is well behaved.
Your son being only 3, doesn't have that 'sense' yet because he is young and needs to learn.
The goal would be to have chickens to control the bugs, give you eggs, that both you & your son can enjoy without them crawling all over you and freaking you out.

As others have said, you need to ease into chickens. I think I may have a solution.

Pet chicken.
Forget for the moments of getting a flock of anything. Get one, single bird that you can keep in your house. There are many bantam breeds that can make very good pets, and that can easily live in your home in a large rabbit or ferret cage.

The best breeds for this: Silkie or bantam Cochin.
Silkies are more than any other breed the most gentle, docile chickens you can have. They are soft, cute. They are not great flyers. To the best of my knowledge, they will run up to you, but becaus of their poor flight abilities, they really can't get up on you unless you pick them up. Silkies are also a breed that is easy to get as chicks as many, many people raise them. Just be sure to get yourself a female, rather than a male. With a cochin just make sure it is a Bantam as that is the little version of the breed.

You can easily keep a single bird in a large rabbit or ferret cage in your home. The smell is no worse than a dog. You use wood chips in the cage and once a day just scoop up any mess. The bird can easily eat & drink out of large cups you can get that slip on the bars of the cage. Why I say have the bird in your home is this. If the bird is around you, you will become more at ease with it. So will your young son. You can buy birdie diapers that the bird can wear when outside its cage so it will not mess on things. You and your son can make a time together to take the bird out of the coop and practice handling it and having it around. You can even sit and watch tv together with the bird on your lap or sofa [with its diaper] to feel comfortable with.
The only thing that will likely flip you out is the bird, any bird, is going to flap you in the face at least once or twice. It comes with learning how to hold them. But once you have the knack down, and the bird becomes used to be handled, it will get easier.

If you still want a flock, the only thing I can suggest is you create an area to keep your son in when he goes out. This way he will be protected from the chickens. When he gets older, you can judge if he is ready to meet them.
I agree with toy barons,... U should get a silkie or a Cochin
If u want a flock Easter eggers would be good because when they r laying age they lay green/blue eggs which would be fun for ur little child because what kid would not like blue eggs!!
 

·
I luv Polish & Houdans
Joined
·
137 Posts
I agree with toy barons,... U should get a silkie or a Cochin
If u want a flock Easter eggers would be good because when they r laying age they lay green/blue eggs which would be fun for ur little child because what kid would not like blue eggs!!
I agree. Easter Eggers are wonderful and the green/blue eggs are so much fun. My husband loves to take boiled ones into work and it blows his co-workers minds.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,193 Posts
I think seramas or seabrights might also be a good choice due to their size and beauty. Seabrights are just amazing to look at and some of the seramas are very colorful. All silkies are bantams, but seramas and seabrights are even smaller. Don't get a parrot or cocatiel or budgie. They hurt when they bite. And they bite way more often than chickens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
I think that the main reason your son is so afraid of animals is that he senses YOUR fear. Most kids his age want to chase down chickens! Maybe if you conquered your fear first and can show him that a little flapping and following is nothing to be afraid of things would go a bit smoother.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top