Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Chicken Success Story

When we first got the old chickens, 
they were very timid and wouldn't come anywhere near us. 
For months I talked to them quietly, moved slowly and tried to bribe them by leaving treats in the coop. Nothing worked. 
They went into a full panic any time I came near. 
A couple months ago, I started bringing a plate of tempting treats out to the barn. I would sit nearby and wait for them to come eat. They were reluctant at first, sure I was going to grab them if they came to the food. But I just sat there and watched. After a few days, they seemed more comfortable around me, so I moved the plate progressively closer to where I sat. 
As they ate, I would talk to them so they would get used to my voice. 
After a while I would start holding my hand out with treats. They would look hungrily, but they would not come eat. Finally after several days of trying, Sally came up and grabbed the treat out of my hand!!! 

I was so excited!!!! 
The next day, it took a little while, but Sally came again. 
One thing I learned: all it takes is one...
Once 1 chicken does something, the others are more likely to follow suit.
Within the week 4 of the 5 hens would eat out of my hands- 
only Yahtzee wouldn't come close.

I was actually making progress with the old hens! They wouldn't freak out when I came out to the barn anymore, and they actually started expecting daily treats.
After a couple weeks of daily hand feeding the 4 hens, 
they became very comfortable with me and would even run up to greet me when they would see me coming their way. 
I was even able to pick some of them up and hold them occasionally. 

Everyday I would continue to hand feed the treats and I would always watch Yahtzee in the back eying me distrustfully. 
Then today I was feeding and talking to the chickens and Yahtzee crept forward 
and ate out of my hand for the very first time!!!
YES!!!!! FINALLY!!!!!

My patience and persistence has paid off!! 
The old chickens that came to me completely un-tame, are starting to trust me.
Never underestimate the power of food.

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