Chickens are delightful and social creatures, but they can be a bit cautious around new human companions. Earning their trust and forming a bond with them takes time and patience. Here are some practical tips on how to get chickens to like you and follow you, allowing you to build a lasting and meaningful relationship with your feathered friends.
Enriching Their Environment
Chickens, like all creatures, thrive in an environment that caters to their natural instincts and needs. By enriching their surroundings, you can create a happy and content flock that will be more inclined to follow you around.
Provide Ample Space:
A cramped and overcrowded living space can cause stress and aggression among chickens. Make sure their coop and outdoor run offer sufficient room for them to move around freely. A good rule of thumb is to provide at least 2-3 square feet of space per chicken inside the coop and 8-10 square feet per chicken in the outdoor run. When chickens have ample space, they feel less confined and are more likely to develop trust in their caregivers.
Add Chicken-Friendly Entertainment:
Chickens are curious creatures and enjoy exploring and pecking at things. Enhance their environment with chicken-friendly entertainment like hanging toys, mirrors, and objects they can investigate. Hanging a few cabbages or lettuce heads can also provide both mental and physical stimulation for your feathered friends. Not only will they enjoy these activities, but they’ll also associate their enjoyment with your presence.
Establishing a Feeding Routine
Food is a powerful motivator for chickens, and a consistent feeding routine can help you win their hearts and be their favorite person to follow around.
Regular Meal Times:
Chickens love routines, and regular meal times will make them anticipate your visits. Create a feeding schedule and stick to it. They will quickly learn when it’s time for treats or fresh food, and their excitement will bring them closer to you.
Hand-feeding treats is one of the most effective ways to form a bond with chickens. As mentioned earlier, offer their favorite treats gently from your hand, allowing them to approach you without fear. Gradually, they’ll come to recognize you as the provider of delicious treats and associate your presence with positive experiences.
Kitchen Scraps and Garden Harvests:
Chickens relish kitchen scraps and garden goodies. Sharing some vegetable peels or fruit leftovers not only helps to reduce waste but also strengthens the connection between you and your flock. As they see you as a benefactor of tasty morsels, they’ll follow you around in the hope of getting more treats.
Other Things You Can do To Make Them Like You
Offer Treats with a Gentle Approach:
Treats can be an excellent way to win over chickens. Offer them their favorite treats, such as mealworms, corn, or fresh greens, but do so with a gentle hand. Slowly extend your hand towards them, allowing them to approach at their own pace. Avoid sudden movements that might startle them.
Speak Softly and Calmly:
Chickens respond well to a soothing voice. Talk to them in a soft and calm manner while spending time around them. They will begin to associate your voice with safety and comfort, making it easier for them to warm up to you.
Spend Quality Time:
Like any friendship, spending time together is crucial. Allocate some daily time to interact with your chickens. Sit near them, read a book, or engage in quiet activities. The more time you spend around them, the more they will become comfortable with your presence.
Offer Safe Shelter and Food:
Chickens feel secure when they have a safe shelter and an abundant supply of food and water. Ensure their coop is clean, spacious, and well-protected from predators. Offering them fresh food and clean water regularly will also contribute to their well-being and trust in you as their caregiver.
To make caring for your chickens even more convenient, you can invest in the Run-Chicken automatic coop door. These doors come equipped with a one-year battery life, allowing you to ensure the safety of your flock without worrying about constant battery replacements. With an easy-to-use app, you can program the doors to open and close at specific times, offering your chickens the freedom to roam during the day while protecting them from nocturnal predators.
Moreover, the Run-Chicken automatic coop doors are waterproof, keeping your feathered friends safe and dry even during rainy days. By providing an additional layer of protection for your chickens, you can further enhance their sense of security, making it easier for them to trust you as their guardian.
Incorporating modern technology like Run-Chicken automatic coop doors into your chicken care routine can complement the efforts you put into building a bond with your chickens, giving you peace of mind and allowing your feathered friends to flourish in a safe and happy environment.
Be Consistent and Patient:
Building trust is a gradual process. Chickens may not warm up to you immediately, but consistency is key. Keep up with your daily interactions and treats, and over time, they will begin to trust you. Be patient and let them set the pace for the relationship.
Observe Body Language:
Chickens communicate through body language. Watch for signs of comfort or discomfort, such as relaxed postures, vocalizations, or alert stances. Understanding their signals will help you adjust your approach accordingly.
Socialize with a Flock:
Chickens are social animals and live in flocks. If you have more than one chicken, interacting with the entire flock will help them feel at ease. Once they see other chickens trusting you, they may follow suit.
Offer Protection and Safety:
As chickens begin to trust you, they might seek protection when they feel threatened. Be a reassuring presence for them during times of stress, such as bad weather or the presence of predators.
Remember, each chicken is unique with its own personality, so it’s essential to be observant and responsive to its individual needs and preferences. By employing the techniques discussed in this guide and by dedicating time and effort, you can form a bond that goes beyond being just their caretaker, becoming a trusted friend and companion to your feathered flock.
Soon, you’ll see your chicken following you and not wanting to leave your side.