There are many chickens that love to get affection and one of the best ways you can give it to a chicken is by petting them in a proper manner. However, the chickens allow only this kind of contact once they get in touch with you and when you interact with them gently and calmly.
So, if you seem to be interested in petting a chicken, you have to move your body extremely slowly and avert aggressive movements. As soon as you get aggressive, chickens will run away from you as they get scared with fast movements. Hence with some care and calm attitude, it is indeed easy to pet any chicken that you meet.
The Art of Approaching a Chicken
Stay calm and quiet
When you approach a chicken with the thought of keeping it as a pet, you have to avoid making loud noises. Any kind of loud noise made by you could surprise the chicken and scare it away from you. No, that doesn’t mean that you have to be so sneaky that the chicken is unable to hear you. In fact, you have to make sure that it is aware that you’re approaching towards it. However, the noise made should be minimized. In case you are assisting a child to pet a chicken, teach them first how to remain quiet.
Approach from the rear end of the chicken
When you approach them from behind, there are many chickens that will either squat down or flee fast. This happens because this is their instinctive reaction when a rooster approaches them from behind for mating. Although this doesn’t happen in all circumstances, yet when it happens, it makes petting a chicken rather easier.
Move calmly and slowly
If you mistakenly make a sudden movement towards the chicken, it may run away fast from you. You have to remember that fast movements will typically scare away the chicken as it will think that you’re a predator.
Let the chicken know that you’re coming
Make a little bit of noise while approaching so that the chicken is at least aware that you’re approaching. This makes the chicken less fearful when you touch it. In case the chicken doesn’t see you approaching, you would scare it and this might lead to it flying away or running away from you. The steps that you take towards the chicken will make too much noise to let the chicken know that you’re coming behind them.
Reach out towards the chicken to touch it
Move your hand slowly towards the chicken and move close enough. Try to pet the back of the chicken as this is one of the easiest ways of approaching and accessing a chicken. As you make physical contact with the chicken, first, it will try to run away from you.
Tempting a Chicken towards you
Crouch down towards the area of the chicken
When you wish to pet the chicken, you have to stay close to the eye level of the chicken so that you can avoid scaring it. It will be willing to come to you if you don’t tower yourself over the chicken. In case the chicken is not yours, ask the owner before you enter the personal space of the chicken before you choose to pet it.
Keep some chicken food near you
Put some chicken food on the ground to motivate the chicken to come towards you. Wait till the chicken looks towards your direction so that it can clearly see the food that is lying in front of it. It is helpful when the chicken food you use is not the normal feed of the animal’s. Try to make the treats interesting like table scraps or mealworms. However, the mealworms that you give to your chicken should be within a fixed limit as they have to be healthy for the chicken.
Feed the chicken from your hand
Once the chicken knows that it can eat food that is near you and without you being aggressive towards the chicken, it will be comfortable eating from your hand. Put some treat in your hand and when you give it to the chicken, your hand should be totally open. Extend your hand as far from your body so that the chicken doesn’t require getting too close to you.
Pet the back of the chicken
As the chicken is within an arm’s length, reach out your hand with a non-threatening and smooth movement. Make sure you pet the back portion of the area with a soft touch. You can try feeding it with one hand and petting it with another. You have to ensure that the chicken sees your hand first and is not caught by surprise.
Try to build a bond with the chicken
In case you’re trying to pet a chicken that is skittish, you may require few sessions to tempt it towards you. Try to get close and comfortable with the chicken before you start petting.
Grab the body of the chicken with both hands
Take a swift move and grab the chicken from both sides of the body so that the fingers are under the belly of the chicken and your hands are holding tight the wings of the chicken. This way you can hold onto the bird even though it tries to run or fly away from you. However, make sure you don’t hold the bird too tight. The hold should be good enough so that the chicken doesn’t get away from you but it shouldn’t hurt the bird at all. In case a kid wishes to pet a chicken, this is easier when an adult hold the chicken while the child pets it. A kid won’t be able to grab and hold the chicken in a proper manner so that it doesn’t run away.
So, if you’re wondering about whether or not it is possible to pet a chicken, you can take all the above mentioned tips and tricks into account. Learn the art of being quiet and calm before you pet a chicken.