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How can I make my 8 week old chicks more docile and easier to catch?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi, I have recently bought three 8 week old chicks to add to my two 9 week old polish. I want them to be docile and friendly when they're older and I would like them to enjoy being held. Here is a picture of my three new chicks I can hold them but they don't like to be caught. My Jap Bantam is the best when she is being held but she doesn't like to be caught just like the others. The other two are a Langshan and a Wyandotte. All help will be greatly appreciated.

 

post #2 of 5

The trick to getting a chicken to like being caught is to let them catch you.  They are a prey animal and when we try to catch them and pick them up (before they are accustomed to it) they see us as a predator - natural outcome, they try to get away and panic when you do catch them.

Instead of worrying about being able to catch them and hold them, become familiar to them.  Go out, sit down and read a book - outloud - this makes you part of the scenery, keeps you from being focused on them with an unintentional deathstare and makes your voice familiar.  Scatter some treats near you and relax.  They will become curious, they will come close, they may even jump onto you -- if your goal is to tame them and you are okay with them being bold like that in approaching you, DO NOT MOVE and definitely DO NOT reach for, grab, etc.  Let them hop on, hop off - let them move closer or farther away.  Before long you are no longer a predator.

Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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post #3 of 5

Exactly as Gey Mare says. Just sit down on the ground, or pull up a cushion made from a feed sack stuffed with straw if you don't enjoy a poopy @$$. I place my unmoving hand in my lap, palms up, and when the chicks step onto them, I raise and lower my arms like an elevator.

 

Chicks are completely unafraid of hands that don't snatch at them, and they love creeping up to your shoulders where bliss is had by both human and baby when they fall asleep against your neck.

post #4 of 5

@azygous The Chick Magnet!  ;)

post #5 of 5
I too agree with @Ol Grey Mare and @azygous letting them come to you really works. I get sat out in the shed when I have chicks just watching them and talking quietly to them. Full blown conversations ensue between us and they are great listeners!! They soon realise your not a threat and are hopping about on you. By doing this I have got some fantastic pirate parrot polish chickens. All I need know is the eye patch!
Soon they will be fighting for lap room. My son loves sitting out with them ~

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