Have you ever stood in your yard and called your chickens? Have they ever come running like a herd of wildebeest across the plain? Have you ever possessed the sense you may be the most powerful human being on planet Earth, that this may be the peak of your life?
Well, if so, you have experienced tame chickens. When someone sees my flock of almost 30 chickens flying and running behind me, they may see someone crazy, but I feel like some sort of Snow White/ Queen of the Beasts.
Regardless of breed, any chicken can become tame. While most breeds are prone to be more flighty than others, taming a chicken starts when they are chicks. My daughter and I even had 2 white leghorns that chased us around and ate out of our hands.
“Tame” in the chicken world doesn’t mean “tame” like a Golden Retriever. A tame chicken follows you around, comes when you call, and will sometimes allow you to pick it up for a little pet.
There are three ways you can easily tame your chickens, therefore getting more enjoyment out of your flock.
Chickens are the most impressionable when they are baby chicks. Although chicks do not imprint on humans in the same way a duckling or gosling would, they can still learn to trust you. Baby chicks naturally fear us, as you may have noticed when trying to catch a baby chick. They all scream and run away from our big scary hands!
Holding a baby chick briefly (do not keep them away from the heat lamp for long) eventually teaches them we are not going to harm them.
It is noted that proper hygiene should always be taken into consideration. Try not to hold your chicks too often. Never touch your face after holding a chick and wash your hands immediately.
While demanding you NEVER hold a baby chick is unrealistic, it is very important to follow proper safety precautions to avoid getting sick.
Sit and watch your baby chicks. Get them used to seeing you and you’ll be one step closer to having tame chickens.
Try to be calm and not cause them to fear you by scaring them or letting a small child chase them!
2.The next way to tame your chickens is easy: FOOD.
Even of your chickens were already grown when you got them, you can still win them over with this secret weapon: food!
By food, I actually mean TREATS. Give your chickens treats a few times and they will quickly learn who the giver of gifts is: you!
Give your chickens treats like meal worms, whole corn, or sunflower seeds. I like to give mine healthy kitchen scraps. They will love you for it and come running each time they lay eyes on you. When they come hauling their fluffy butts towards you, it would be an excellent time to employ tip number 3!
3.Your special call!
Summon the chickens in a loud battle cry that is unique to you!
My personal call is yelled in a beefy, fake British accent, “Come onnn chickens, come onnnn! Here chick chick!”
It works like a charm! The chickens will very quickly pick up on your call and you’ll be able to bring them near using just your voice!
The last tip on taming your chickens is-
4.Simply spend time with them.
Pull up a chair and sit with your flock as they free range around the yard. Chances are, you’ll have a couple friendly birds who will prefer to be near you and may even decide to hop up on your arm rest. One of my favorite things to do in the world is plop down in a chair on a sunny afternoon and watch my chickens. I give my daughter some chicken treats and we sit and just enjoy the chickens’ company. Each chicken has a different personality and by simply spending time with them, you can see these develop. I also love marveling at all the different colored chickens we have and just existing.
You will feel content and at peace, and I’m pretty sure your chickens will feel it too!