How to Raise Chickens To Be Tame
Do you ever wonder how you can raise tame chickens? Chickens, like any animal, take time and patience. Let’s discuss ways you can raise tame chickens, including your roosters!
When selecting chicken breeds, I would first consider the overall docility of the breed alone. Breeds such as Orpingtons, Rocks, Silkies, Wyandottes, and Cochins are naturally well natured and top picks for docility.
When bringing home young chicks the environment plays a key role in the overall health and happiness of your chickens. It is crucial to provide your chickens with a clean habitat that includes fresh food and water as well as making sure the temperatures are set where they need to be. As they continue to grow I recommend handling the chicks. They are fragile when they are young but the more the chicks are around you the quicker they will adapt to you.
As they continue to grow you can add to their diet. There is an old saying a way through a man’s heart is through his stomach, the same applies to chickens. Chickens love treats. I highly recommend keeping mealworms on hand at all times. Seasonal treats are also great. Meyer Hatchery offers several blogs and YouTube videos for recipes on summer and winter treats.
Bust That Boredom
Boredom busters are also items you may want to consider having in your chicken coop. Great boredom busters include swings, chick-n-veggie ball, and homemade boredom busters.
Ratios Are Important
Other considerations when raising tame chickens would be the overall demeanor and growth of the chickens and genders as well as how you and your family approach and act around the flock. When bringing home baby chicks especially if you ordered a straight run there is a great chance you may have a 50:50 ratio of hens and roosters. The roosters are going to mature quicker than the hens and will start establishing dominance. The recommended ratio for roosters to hens is a 1:10 ratio. If you have too many roosters in a small flock, you may notice your hens losing several of their back feathers and the overall condition of your hens may be poor. When selecting a small backyard flock I highly recommend purchasing sexed chickens.
Socialization, Socialization, Socialization
As you continue to mingle with your flock, remember animals can sense emotions and fear. I personally have a 3-year-old son who loves to go to the chicken coop to collect eggs however I have to constantly remind him we do not chase the chickens around and that they have to come to him. Chickens are very curious and when comfortable they will approach you. Be cognitive of your voice and movement around your flock. Loud noises and rapid movement is going to stir up your chickens and make them flighty. The more confident and easy-going you are, your chickens will be the same.
Each chicken will have its own personality just like humans and other animals. In my past experience of raising chickens, I have had several who greet me every morning at the coop door and then I have ones that no matter what you do are going to avoid you like the plague. I have had chickens that would let me hold them and even roll on their back like a baby. One of my chickens likes to ride the four-wheeler with me.
Chickens As Therapy
Keeping chickens is a great experience for anyone of any age. I am a firm believer that it is beneficial to involve children in chicken keeping at a young age. This teaches them respect for animals, responsibility and gives them an opportunity that all children do not get to experience. Chickens have also been known to be therapy pets. There is no better time like the present to get involved in raising chickens today. Your friends at Meyer Hatchery will be glad to answer any additional questions you may have. Happy Chickening!
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I’ve heard there is a risk of contracting salmonella when handling baby chicks. Is this true?
Thank you for reading our blog, Daniel. There is a very small risk of exposure to salmonella from handling many different types of animals, not just from poultry. We always recommend that you wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling any poultry. Also, do not eat or drink around poultry to further help to reduce the risk of possible illness from contamination.
Is there any advice on how to keep your chickens tame during the harsh part of the winter when we won’t be able to spend as much time with them?
Trish, thank you for taking the time to read our blog post! The tips above are all great ones to generally socialize and tame a chicken. You will likely find that once a chicken has been properly raised and socialized, it will typically remain that way even through the winter when you spend less time with them.