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Do Chickens Like to be Pet, Held, or Cuddled? How To Tell

Each animal has their preference when it comes to receiving the tender touch of their humans. Our pets enjoy being close to us if we treat them well.

Many chickens love being petted, held, and cuddled. If you raise your chicken from the time they are baby chicks, they will likely learn to trust you. There is a particular way to hold and pet your chicken so that they feel safe, protected, and loved.

The best way to develop a good relationship with your chicken is by earning their trust. If you want to know more about whether chickens like to be pet, held, or cuddled, check out this article.

How Do Chickens Feel About Affection?

Chickens are like any pet in that some of them like to be cuddled with and fussed over. It depends on their personality and how they are socialized. If they are appropriately socialized from the time they are chicks, they may learn to like being handled.

When it comes to young animals, the more they are handled from an early age, the more they will enjoy it. Many chickens enjoy:

  • Being held
  • Cuddles
  • Kisses
  • Pets

Building a relationship with your chickens is essential because if you do not have a good relationship with your chicken, they may not feel comfortable being picked up by you and cuddled.

You will need first to build trust. You build trust by gradually increasing exposure and affection until they recognize you as their family and trust you to pet them and cuddle with them.

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Be Careful with Your Chickens

Take care not to bear down on them or approach them from behind, as it may scare them. When you hold them, talk to them in a sweet voice and tell them they are safe.

It would be best if you also did this when approaching them so that they know when they are about to be picked up. You should be very careful when handling chicks, as they are incredibly fragile and delicate.

They are also soft, fuzzy, and adorable. Baby chicks are like miniature versions of their parents minus the feathers, and they require special care and nurturing.

When baby chicks feel good, they make soft, cheeping noises. Sometimes you may go to places like petting farms and be able to pet the chickens, and they are used to it, so they will not make a fuss.

Here’s a helpful video showing how to make chickens more cuddly, with more info below:

Where Does Your Chicken Like to Be Petted?

Many chickens like to be petted in certain areas. It depends on the chicken’s temperament and your relationship with them. Each chicken is different in that they enjoy being petted.

Chickens may like to be petted:

  • Backs
  • Breast area
  • Heads
  • Necks

Chickens are like any other pet; they need affection to feel safe and loved. The main determining factor in whether the chicken wants to receive affection is the strength of their relationship with you.

Petting your chickens is great for bonding, as it releases dopamine in the brain and oxytocin. These feel-good chemicals in the brain make us feel connected and happy.

These chemicals help both you and your chickens. You may find that they respond to your touch, and your dog or cat responds to affection.

Petting and handling them will help them feel closer to you, and over time they will react the way you want, especially if they have been raised with your affection all along.

There are a couple of tactics you can take to pet your chicken. You can start from the head and pet down towards the tail or scratch their chest or breast area. Whatever you do, make sure it is gentle. Chickens prefer a soft touch. They are not dogs that like their belly scratched or cats that like their ears scratched.   

How Do You Gain a Chicken’s Trust?

You want to have a good relationship with your chickens. Whether you are raising chicks from the time they hatch, or you may have adopted an older chicken, you can earn their trust and have a great relationship with your barnyard pet. The following include how to get your chicken to trust you: 

Little Young Ones

The primary way you gain a chicken’s trust is by socializing them and giving them a chance to come out of their shell, so to speak! You should provide them with consistent attention from the day they hatch. Raising chicks is a wonderful experience and allows you to be their pet parent from early on.

It is important to give them attention every day, especially when they are babies. It gives them a chance to get acclimated to the human touch.

At first, you may want to try to pick them up and hold them for a short period. If you do this consistently, your chicken will learn that you are there to love and care for them.

Adult Chickens

You want your chicken to respond to you early on. But what about adult chickens? You could rescue an adult chicken and have them only from then on. If this is the case, you can use food to coerce them. You can go into the chicken coop and try to feed them from your hand.

It would be best to do this every day until you work up the nerve to pet them and stroke them gently, but make sure they seem comfortable with it first. All chickens are different, and their response will be subject to how long it takes to get them to trust you.

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How Can I Hold My Chicken?

There is a certain way that chickens prefer to be held. When you pick up a chicken, you need to ensure you are not grabbing them too tightly and take care not to scare them. If you hold them too hard, it can harm them. Grab the chicken with your palms against the wings and wrap your fingers around their belly.

Once they are in your grasp, keep one hand on the wing and belly and cradle the other side against your chest. Then, the two of you can cuddle and enjoy being close.


When an animal allows you to pet them, they trust you. Build trust with your chicken slowly and spend time with them often.

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