Raising chickens is something that can be very rewarding overall. Many people are choosing to keep chickens on their properties because they find them to be nice to have around.
Of course, some people raise chickens because they want to have a source of eggs as well. If you want to be able to have a good time interacting with your chickens, it might take a bit of work on your part.
Chickens are actually more than a bit afraid of people in most instances. You might find that your chickens will be a bit skittish around you at first when you get them on your property.
This might make you feel a bit weird about raising them since you’d like it if your chickens felt more comfortable. Is there a way that you can bond with the chickens so that they can feel more at ease with your presence?
Read on to learn how to bond with chickens reliably. This is going to show you what you can do to make your chickens like you more over time.
Spending Time with the Chickens Is Important
As you might expect, the chickens are going to be more nervous around you when they don’t know you yet. If your chickens have only been around for a few days or even a couple of weeks, then they’re likely not used to your presence.
The best way to go about changing things is to make an effort to spend time with the chickens. This means taking time out of your day to actually be around the chickens and to try to interact with them.
You don’t necessarily need to try to do anything to the chickens either. Some people make the mistake of trying to hold or grab the chickens when they don’t want that.
It’ll actually be easier to bond with the chickens if you just spend time in their pen with them. You could grab a chair of some sort and just sit down in the pen calmly with them every so often.
Spend a half an hour each day in the chicken’s area like this. You can just calmly interact with the chickens a bit and it’d be fine to just do your own thing as well.
Some people will get a book to read and just sit there reading so that the chickens can get used to having them around. This isn’t a bad idea at all, and the bonding process is going to be about showing the chickens that they can be comfortable around you.
If you’re able to act calm and normal without bothering the chickens, then they aren’t going to feel as skittish around you. They’ll just see you as someone normal that they don’t need to worry about.
Interact with the Chickens at the Right Times
There are going to be times when you shouldn’t go try to interact with the chickens. For instance, it’s not going to be a good idea to try to visit the chickens early in the morning.
The early morning hours can be a bit chaotic in a chicken pen. Chickens wake up and they feel the need to run around looking at the area to see what has changed.
Your chickens will be searching for bugs and doing all sorts of stuff during the morning hours. You’ll want to pick a much calmer time to visit with them and try to bond.
One of the best times to bond with the chickens will be during the evening hours. Consider spending time with your chickens in the later portions of the evening to get good results.
It’s also going to be wise to ensure that there isn’t anything around that could scare the chickens. Put your phone on silent and try to keep things as peaceful as can be so that your bonding time will go well.
Slow Movements Are Best
When you’re hanging out with your chickens, it’s going to be wise to do what you can to avoid scaring them. You already know that noises and other things like that can make the chickens feel uneasy, but your movements can have a negative impact as well.
If you choose to move fast or do certain physical actions in the presence of chickens, then it’s likely going to make them nervous. For example, if you run around in the chicken pen, then the chickens aren’t going to like that very much.
Quick movements and motions are going to make the birds feel jumpy around you. They’ll feel like they don’t know what you’re going to do and they’ll be wary of getting near you.
This is why you need to try to adopt slow movements when you’re spending time with the chickens. Do things slowly and deliberately instead of making fast motions.
Avoid doing things such as running and jumping while in the presence of the chickens. As long as you keep this in mind, things are going to go much better for you.
Make Sure Your Chickens Associate You with Getting Fed
Another good way to get your chickens to like you is to ensure that they associate you with getting fed. Many chicken owners will choose to come up with some sort of call that they will yell out when it’s time to feed the chickens.
This is going to make sure that the birds get excited about having you come around. When you announce that “dinner is served,” they’re going to come running each and every time.
Try to get used to announcing that you’re coming with food for the chickens. They will get used to hearing your call and it’ll help you to bond with the chickens.
It also might be a good idea to give your chickens special treats from time to time when you’re around them. Many chickens will like to eat treats such as cracked corn, but it might take some time to figure out what treats your chickens will truly love.
If you regularly give your chickens treats and bond with them in this way, then they’re going to start feeling comfortable around you fast. Of course, you shouldn’t give your chickens treats more often than is necessary because you don’t want to throw things off with their dietary needs.
Advice for Giving Treats to Your Chickens
Giving treats to your chickens will be a great idea, but you might need to approach the act of giving the chickens the treats gingerly at first. The chickens won’t trust you yet during the early stages of your relationship.
A good idea is to try to place the treat on the ground first. Let the chicken go up to the treat and start pecking at it.
You might give your chickens treats this way for a while at first. When the chickens start to seem more comfortable around you, it’s going to be possible to try to give them treats out of your hands.
Hold the treat out and allow the chicken to eat it out of your hand. Once a chicken has become comfortable enough to take treats out of your hand, it’s not going to be necessary to worry so much.
It’s a definite sign that your relationship with the chickens is improving. Be wise and don’t try to give treats to the chickens by hand if they feel frightened of you at first.
They’ll open up eventually and you’ll have your chance to interact with the chickens closely. This can make a huge difference in helping you to bond with the chickens.
Some Breeds Are More Loving Than Others
You should know that there are many different chicken breeds out there that you can consider raising. Some chicken breeds might be easier to develop a strong bond with than others.
For example, many people who have raised Barred Rocks have found them to be very loving birds. These chickens might bond with you so well that they will become comfortable being held.
Some types of chickens will enjoy sitting in your lap and hanging out with you. Others will never get that comfortable with humans and will only tolerate having you around.
If you really want to have a good relationship with your chickens, then it might be necessary to choose a specific breed of chickens. You might benefit a lot from doing some research on chicken types so that you can get the type of chicken that will work out the best for you.
Generally, it makes sense to want to know more about chicken breeds before committing to raising chickens. This allows you to make an informed decision so that you won’t regret purchasing certain types of chickens.
Buying a breed that doesn’t seem to tolerate humans well will be a bit disheartening. When your goal is to have a good bond with your chickens, you want to raise chickens that will be easier to domesticate.
Don’t Allow Aggressive Roosters to Breed
If you’re thinking about breeding chickens, then you’re going to want to be selective. You might have an aggressive rooster in your flock that just doesn’t seem to be able to get used to being domesticated.
Allowing a rooster with a poor temperament to breed would be a bad idea. Traits such as aggression will be passed down to the chickens and roosters that are born from this aggressive bird.
Instead, you should choose the tamest and easiest roosters to deal with. It’ll give you a much better experience when your goal is to have a strong bond with the chickens that you’re caring for.
Some people will do their best to breed a milder flock so that they can have a better time with them. You could also choose to get rid of roosters that are overly aggressive.
It might sound cruel, but it isn’t unusual for people to cull aggressive roosters that won’t get used to domesticated life. That is an option, but hopefully, it isn’t going to be necessary for your situation.
Be Careful When Holding Chickens
Some chickens will eventually like to be held by humans, but you still need to be careful. You can make a chicken feel threatened or nervous if you try to hold it too tightly.
If you get to the point where a chicken is comfortable being held by you, then you should try to approach things carefully. Avoid keeping a tight grip on the chicken while holding it or else the chicken might feel panicked.
You don’t want to make your chicken feel like it’s threatened or somehow in danger. As long as you’re mindful of this, it’ll be less likely that you’ll have issues when holding a chicken.
It’s also always important to take caution when you have a chicken near your face. A rooster might choose to try to attack your eyes if you hold it too close to your face.
Since an injury like this could be catastrophic, it’s likely going to be best to avoid having chickens get close to your face. Some roosters are going to be more likely to try to fight humans than others, though.
Just try to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and to keep the chickens comfortable. Knowing what to expect should make things a lot simpler.
There’s definitely a lot to consider when you’re raising chickens and trying to bond with them. It might not always seem easy to bond with the chickens since they will likely start out very afraid of you.
You can easily bond with chickens over time when you approach things the right way, though. Try your best to spend time with the chickens and interact with them the right way to gain their trust.
Using treats to get them to like you is a very good idea, but you shouldn’t go overboard. Eventually, your chickens might feel so comfortable with you that they won’t mind being held.
Hopefully, you feel much more informed about what it takes to bond with chickens now. Use the advice above to your advantage and you shouldn’t have a hard time at all.
I have a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house. Growing up, I had pet dogs, cats, deer, sugar gliders, chinchillas, a bird, chickens, fish, and a goat.