How Can I Make My Chickens like Me?

If you’re reading this, congratulations on becoming a new chicken keeper! Chickens are intelligent, personable creatures that, with a little effort, can form meaningful bonds with their human caretakers. But you may be wondering, “how can I make my chickens like me?” Well, you’re in the right place!

This comprehensive guide is designed for the beginners among us who want to win over the hearts of their feathered friends. Don’t worry; we’ll make sure you’re not going in “beak-first” without knowing the tricks of the trade.

Understanding Chickens: They’re Smart!

The first thing to understand about chickens is that they are smart! Yes, your feathered ladies and gents can recognize more than 100 different faces, understand cause and effect, and even display empathy. Respect their intelligence and uniqueness, and they’re likely to reciprocate the favor.

  • Communication is Key

Like any relationship, communication is key when it comes to bonding with your chickens. Chickens communicate through a wide range of vocalizations and body language. Pay close attention to their behavior, sounds, and movements. Once you understand their language, it’s easier to make them comfortable around you.

  • Spend Quality Time with Them

Chickens are social creatures. Spend time with your chickens each day. This could be while you’re feeding them, cleaning their coop, or just hanging out in the yard. The more time you spend with them, the more they will recognize you as a consistent, safe part of their lives.

  • Treat Them Well

Everybody loves treats, and chickens are no exception! A simple way to a chicken’s heart is through their stomach. Offering healthy treats like fruits, vegetables, or mealworms is an effective way to build trust. Remember to feed treats from your hand to encourage interaction.

  • Safe Handling

Chickens generally don’t like to be picked up. It’s a prey response. But with time and gentle handling, most chickens will become comfortable being held. Always pick up your chickens with both hands, supporting their weight. Hold them close to your body, which helps them feel secure.

  • Keep Their Environment Clean and Comfortable

Chickens, like us, appreciate a clean and comfortable environment. Keep their coop clean, provide plenty of fresh water and nutritious food, ensure they have ample space to roam around, and maintain a calm, quiet environment. This shows your chickens you care for their welfare and helps them feel safe and secure.

  • Patience is a Virtue

Remember, bonding with your chickens takes time. Don’t rush the process. Let them move at their own pace. In time, with consistent care and interaction, your chickens will grow to trust and possibly even love you!

ALSO SEE: Do Chickens Have Feelings?

How Can I Make My Chickens like Me


  1. Q: Do chickens recognize their owners? A: Yes, chickens can recognize their owners! They have an impressive ability to remember faces and can recognize individuals who regularly care for them.
  2. Q: Can chickens show affection to humans? A: Chickens may not show affection in the same way a dog or cat might, but they can display trust and comfort with humans they are bonded with. This can include coming when called, enjoying petting, and even perching on their favorite human.
  3. Q: What should I not feed my chickens? A: Avoid feeding chickens avocados, chocolate, coffee, citrus fruits, onions, garlic, and any moldy or spoiled foods.
  4. Q: How long does it take for chickens to get used to their owners? A: This can vary based on the chicken and the owner. Some chickens may become comfortable with their owners within a few weeks, while others might take months.
  5. Q: Can chickens learn their names? A: Chickens are quite intelligent and can learn to respond to their names, especially if called consistently when offering food or treats.
  6. Q: Do chickens like to be petted? A: Some chickens do enjoy being petted. Always approach gently and pay attention to their reactions.
  7. Q: How can I tell if my chickens are happy? A: Happy chickens are active, vocal, eat and drink regularly, and display natural behaviors like dust-bathing and foraging.
  8. Q: Do chickens need toys? A: While not essential, toys can help prevent boredom and stimulate natural chicken behaviors. Simple toys might include a mirror, a head of lettuce to peck at, or a perch.
  9. Q: What do chickens do at night? A: Chickens will naturally seek out a safe place to roost for the night, often a perch or nesting box in their coop. They sleep throughout the night like most birds.
  10. Q: Why is one of my chickens pecking the others? A: Chickens establish a “pecking order.” Occasional pecking is normal, but if it becomes aggressive, it may be due to stress, illness, or overcrowding.
  11. Q: How do chickens communicate? A: Chickens communicate through a wide range of vocalizations and body language. They have specific calls for danger, food discovery, and more.
  12. Q: Can chickens feel pain? A: Yes, chickens can feel pain. It’s important to monitor your chickens for signs of injury or illness.
  13. Q: What should I do if my chicken is sick? A: If you suspect your chicken is sick, isolate it from the rest of the flock to prevent potential disease spread and consult with a vet who specializes in birds or poultry.
  14. Q: How often should I clean the chicken coop? A: Ideally, coops should be cleaned weekly to maintain hygiene and prevent diseases.
  15. Q: How do I know if my chicken coop is safe from predators? A: A safe coop is sturdy, enclosed, with a lockable door. Use hardware cloth instead of chicken wire, which is not predator-proof.
  16. Q: Can chickens swim? A: While they can survive short durations in water, chickens are not designed to swim and generally avoid it.
  17. Q: Why do chickens dust bathe? A: Dust bathing helps chickens keep their feathers clean and free from parasites.
  18. Q: How much space does a chicken need? A: In the coop, each chicken needs at least 2-3 square feet. In the run, they need 8-10 square feet per chicken.
  19. Q: How often do chickens need to eat? A: Chickens should have access to food throughout the day. They naturally peck and forage for food periodically.
  20. Q: Do chickens need vaccinations? A: It depends on your location and flock size. For small backyard flocks, vaccinations may not be necessary. However, for larger flocks or in areas with prevalent diseases, vaccinations may be recommended. Consult with a poultry veterinarian for advice.

Remember, every chicken has a unique personality, and what works for one might not work for another. So, try different approaches and see what works best for your flock. Happy chicken keeping!

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