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  1. #1
    JennieAtkinson's Avatar
    JennieAtkinson is offline Early Fruiter
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    Default GYO Needs your Top Tips on ..............

    .................... taming/handling chickens for the May magazine.

    As usual good advice and tips will be published in the magazine. So how do YOU tame and handle those little darlings!
    ~
    Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know that so it goes on flying anyway.
    ~ Mary Kay Ash

  2. #2
    shirlthegirl43's Avatar
    shirlthegirl43 is offline Gardening Guru
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    Always be calm and confident when handling them. If you are a bit timid they will be more flighty. Hold them firmly with their wings held to their body and keep them close to your body and talk gently to them. They love having their comb and wattles massaged
    Happy Gardening,
    Shirley

  3. #3
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    leave them in the house for the first two days so they get used to it being there home and the place they go back to, have some marmite on bread ready when they arrive to help destress them (its the b vitamins in the marmite that helps)
    try and handle them every day and they will soon get used to being picked up which makes it easier to give them health checks in the long run.
    Yo an' Bob
    Walk lightly on the earth
    take only what you need
    give all you can
    and your produce will be bountifull

  4. #4
    Farmer_Gyles is offline Cropper
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    remove from packaging, make sure thoroughly defrosted, rub butter all over the skin, bung it in the oven for an hour and a half at gas mark 6
    yummy

  5. #5
    Birdie Wife's Avatar
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    Get them into a routine - morning feed, afternoon treats at about the same time each day, and call them when you are coming with food - "Chook chook chook!" works well, because it sounds like their own way of telling each other there is food about. If you can spare the time, sit with them while they eat, that way they will associate your presence with food and reward. At afternoon treat time, if you have some corn for them, show them some corn in your hand - don't worry if they don't take it at first, persevere and make no sudden movements, and they'll work it out!

    If they are very skittish and you need to check for lice etc, do it at night when they are roosting and the bird will be much calmer. Try to avoid a chase around the garden to catch them as this will really stress them out!

    When you pick them up, you need to keep the wings under control and keep a firm hold of the legs too. Firm and confident, but not rough, handling is what's needed. If they think they can escape, they will struggle. Support the bird with one hand under the belly and holding the legs between your fingers (with one finger in between so the legs aren't squeezed together) with the other hand on top to hold the wings. I find it easier to hold the bird with the head pointing behind me.

    Getting them use to handling is really important, like yoanbob says. Don't just pick them up when you need to check them or they with associate being handled with being poked and pulled about in uncomfortable ways. Massaging their crop (the bit of the gullet halfway down where corn and other things are ground up before passing into the stomach) and their chest is also quite calming. Many hens don't like being stroked in the back because they can't see your hand, but as the hen starts to trust you more this shouldn't be a continued problem.

    Dwell simply ~ love richly

  6. #6
    Birdie Wife's Avatar
    Birdie Wife is offline Cropper
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmer_Gyles View Post
    remove from packaging, make sure thoroughly defrosted, rub butter all over the skin, bung it in the oven for an hour and a half at gas mark 6
    yummy
    *snigger* good one Farmer G, your post crossed over mine while I was typing!

    Dwell simply ~ love richly

  7. #7
    Farmer_Gyles is offline Cropper
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    i just wanted to get there before that heywayne chap .....

    i'd love some real chickens in the garden - but i've got foxes, a bouncy labrador and snooty neighbours ...... i need to move ...!

  8. #8
    kirsty b's Avatar
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    I have a bench in my run, and got the hens used to me by sitting in there with them daily: I talk to them, give them little treats, stroke them gently, they seem to like it and I certainly do! It took a week or so, but they are so tame now, they will hop on to my lap.
    Kirsty b xx

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