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How do y'all prefer to hold your hens?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

We got our hens last fall when they were about 6 months old, and they weren't used to being held.  This is our first flock, so simple things like holding a hen is new to me!!  I have a couple who are very stubborn and don't like to submit and be held.  On the other hand, I have others who practically jump into my arms.  Anyways, based on your experience, what's the best way to catch, hold, and get your hens comfortable with submitting and being held?

post #2 of 5

Thats an interesting question.  Being right handed I usually hold my chickens with my left arm wrapped around them, my right hand supporting under the keel and the little legs dangling.  They seem to be fine with it.  If I have to do something like clip toenails or wings or whatever, I lay them in my lap belly up, head dangling over my knees a bit and wait until they zone out.  Turkeys I carry with my left arm wrapped over their back so they can't flap, and again support the keel with my right hand.  The ducks I often carry with head end under my arm between elbow and side and tail end facing forward because the slippery little devil don't seem to get away as often from that position.

post #3 of 5
I hold my chickens against my body with one arm underneath the chest and my fingers of that hand spread between their legs. The other arm is over their back with that hand keeping the free wing from flapping.

Hope that helps. I feed them when I hold them. I can cut nails myself by having them stand on my lap. One arm is over their back and holds one toe. My other hand is free to clip. I never let a chicken, cat or dog free if they struggle. They have to be calm to be released. They all quickly learn struggling gets them nowhere and I can cut nails easily.
post #4 of 5
Yep, the football hold, under the arm with my hand under her body, straddling her breast bone.

To pick them up, I almost do a "sandwich" type thing; I calmly pick them up with both hands holding the wings down and hands under the body, and pick them up like a big hoagie, then transfer beneath (usually) my left arm, so I can still open gates and things with my right.


That goes without saying, picking up 3 hens at a time is my limit lol, they know they're in trouble if I have to gather them by the armful and start flapping like mad ha-ha big_smile.png
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/990759/chickens-in-permaculture

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1008185/lets-talk-relocation

3rd generation of Colorado ranchers, raising organic alfalfa, corn, Red Angus cattle, Suffolk sheep and of course, chickens! Comitted to a lifetime of health without chemicals, I am entirely dependent on what God has given me to nurture soil, plant, and animal. Sharing...
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http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/990759/chickens-in-permaculture

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1008185/lets-talk-relocation

3rd generation of Colorado ranchers, raising organic alfalfa, corn, Red Angus cattle, Suffolk sheep and of course, chickens! Comitted to a lifetime of health without chemicals, I am entirely dependent on what God has given me to nurture soil, plant, and animal. Sharing...
Reply
post #5 of 5

Pick up with both hands holding down wings, then their right wing against my body and my left hand holding down wing with fingers underneath their body.

A few will just sit on my hand cradling their belly/breast..but not usually.

I sit with them on their backs across my lap, one arm holding them down, to inspect them.

Usually do any inspection/medicating/banding at night with a head light, they're much easier to 'catch' off the roost when 'sleeping'.

Most won't let me pick them up during the day......and I don't chase chickens unless absolutely necessary.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
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