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Taming Baby Chicks: Suggestions on how to make them as friendly as possible?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hey All,

I just got my Salmon Faverolle chicks today and I am so excited because this is my second time raising chicks from day 1 and I really want to get this right. What are some ways to get my chicks to like being pet, held or just touched in general? So far, I have just let them be for the most part in their brooder, with very minimal touching. I have let them see my hand, and they don't seem very afraid of it, as they have walked right over me many times. I just want to make sure that they will like being pet, held and touched in the future. 

Thanks for your input!

Owner of Three Easter Eggers, a Black Australorp, a Barred Rock, Two Salmon Faverolles and A Silver Laced Wynadotte

 

Raising out of South Jersey.

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Owner of Three Easter Eggers, a Black Australorp, a Barred Rock, Two Salmon Faverolles and A Silver Laced Wynadotte

 

Raising out of South Jersey.

Reply
post #2 of 9

Our first batch of babies were handled multiple times every day by our children and became very tame and easy to handle.  One thing that kind of freaks them out is coming at them from above.  I think it is instinct that they think they are being attacked so they scatter and freak out.  To pick them up,come at them from their level or from underneath (which is hard with babies) and they do better.

 

Hope that helps some.  Have fun and good luck.

post #3 of 9
If the only thing you do is to make a side-access brooder, instead of a top access brooder, it will practically guarantee tame, friendly chicks.
post #4 of 9

In order to tame my chicks, I let them become accustomed to my hand in their brooder by letting my hand rest in their cage. After this occurred (It took about ten minutes the first time), I would slide my hand under them and gently pick them up. This made it so that they were not fearful of my hand, only curious. I would also mash up some hard-boiled egg and feed it to them, but only as a treat directly from your hand. Once the weather got nice and the chicks around three weeks old, I would take them outside and let them run around in a place where I could easily monitor and catch them if they ran astray. I would also feed them treats outside and do the same call to them every time I offered them food. This made them associate the call with food. Once my chickens grew up, they would follow me around the yard and come when I called them. They were almost like dogs, haha.

Beauty is all around us, and shows itself in many forms. The flower growing in sidewalk cracks. The birds livening up our mornings. A small smile, a helping hand. Look about you and you'll come to a realization. Beauty is everywhere.

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Beauty is all around us, and shows itself in many forms. The flower growing in sidewalk cracks. The birds livening up our mornings. A small smile, a helping hand. Look about you and you'll come to a realization. Beauty is everywhere.

Reply
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

I just made some great progress using that method. One of my SFs even let me stroke her as she fell asleep! What treats are you using? I have Hentastic Mealworm and Oregono stick treats. Are the small "stick like" treats too big?

Owner of Three Easter Eggers, a Black Australorp, a Barred Rock, Two Salmon Faverolles and A Silver Laced Wynadotte

 

Raising out of South Jersey.

Reply

Owner of Three Easter Eggers, a Black Australorp, a Barred Rock, Two Salmon Faverolles and A Silver Laced Wynadotte

 

Raising out of South Jersey.

Reply
post #6 of 9
We started letting them roost on the side of our hands this week and when we clean the brooder my son likes to play with them on the floor we are switching to a front entry brooder tomorrow as well, they are 2wks old and seem to be getting a little more tame when I change out water or food they jump on my hands now.
Edited by swanny297 - 3/16/16 at 6:30pm
post #7 of 9
Mine are 8 days old today. We spend a large amount of time with them. Sitting by the brooder talking to them. Picking them up. Resting our hands in the brooder. Now when i put my arm over the brooder approx 4-5 inches from the floor they all immediately hop and perch on me. I take them out this way now. One will climb to my shoulder quite often to be up higher. They fall asleep in my palm. They are all very tame so far. I agree that they do no like to be picked up from above.
post #8 of 9
What I've found out in the past few years of raising chickens is that it very much depends on that individuals personality.some birds love being held and cuddled while others don't care for it. I always try to spend as much time with my chicks as possible. holding each one. but even though equal time is spent with each one, some just don't care to be held .But they ALL will tolerate being handled and picked up. it's just some really enjoy it more than others. you absolutely MUST be able to get the ones who don't care for it to tolerate being handled so your able to check them over groom them if necessary or clip a wing (if you choose to clip) so don't get discouraged if some don't care to be handled. just continue to handle those like you do the ones who love contact. as they grow at least you will be able to handle them.
Edited by realsis - 3/17/16 at 4:24am
post #9 of 9
My 3 n 4 weeks old are still kind of skiddish an their brooder is open from their level and they run like rabbits when I approach them... Now my 6 or 7 weeks old are a bit more acceptable buy that is due to they are in the coop with my 17 wks old an I keep them safe from being pecked. I've had to show them how to escape to their area, they dont like coming out to mingle. Now my 17 wks they look for me to come out with scraps for snacks. I just rebuilt their coop to accommodate all 14 of them an today I have started on making their run. So today was their first day in direct sunlight an I had to give them a treat just to get them to come outside... Hopefully I will finish with a permanent outside area by the end of this month. It's been in the high 70s if not above 80 and they needed more sunlight... I want some eggs soon an they are very greedy... 50lb bag of feed might last 2 weeks with 6 Jr's...
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