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How to tame very flighty and nervous young hens?
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SirVixofVixHall · 18/09/2015 17:22

I've just bought two young bantams, as one of my hens died this Summer, leaving just one hen and a cock. They are the breed I always have, flighty and clever, but they are terribly nervous. I normally let the hens out every day, but i dare not let them out of the run as they panic when they see me, and run around like mad. They are scared of the adult hen as she is asserting her superiority over them, but she isn't being truly vile, just pecking at them when they run around, esp if she has food. How can I get them to relax a bit with me? When I offer food they get even more scared as then the older hen comes charging over and is more likely to peck them. They are not quite full size yet, about 4 months old.

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SirVixofVixHall · 18/09/2015 17:26

Here they are, poor things!

How to tame very flighty and nervous young hens?
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SirVixofVixHall · 20/09/2015 14:58

They are still freaking out at the mere sight of me...

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lunar1 · 20/09/2015 20:12

When I first got mine I got them out of the coop in the evening when they were sleepy one at a time. Just to get them used to being stroked and handled. They are pretty tame now and will come to be stroked.

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SirVixofVixHall · 21/09/2015 11:09

Oh I hadn't thought of doing that. They don't panic then? The only time I've had a hen this frightened of me, was when I'd been painting and had a red scarf round my head. Clever chicken looked "oh its you, do you have anything nice to eat?" Less clever chicken was more "AAAAAARRRRGGHHHH a GIANT CHICKEN. It is going to EAT ME....RUN SHRIEK RUN". I went in and took the scarf off, then LCC was perfectly calm!

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lunar1 · 21/09/2015 11:10

No it didn't panic mine, they just started nodding off again while I held them!

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SirVixofVixHall · 21/09/2015 11:56

The only time I've taken mine out after bed time, was on a bitterly cold night, when I thought they would be better off brought into the conservatory for the night. It didn't go well....The hens started clucking in fright and my cockerel got into such a state at some giant predator grabbing his wives that he played dead, ( for a moment I thought he was dying of fright) and then didn't stop screaming pitifully for half an hour, even though they were all in a crate together.

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lunar1 · 21/09/2015 12:37

I only have girls, I wonder if that is the difference?

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SirVixofVixHall · 22/09/2015 08:49

Yes maybe it is. The cockerel is very protective, when we had to catch the new chickies the other day he tried to attack DH, and he is normally really gentle and friendly, he isn't a stroppy boy at all.

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