Hi all, I currently have 3 black australorp chicks, who are only the second set of chicks I've raised. The first group weren't terribly friendly, but seemed to be unfazed by much of anything. They are 7 months old now and they are about the same. They aren't friendly per se, but always want to know if I have food and they are content to just do their thing and pretty much otherwise ignore me and the dogs.
When I got my new batch of chicks (from a feed store), I hoped by handling them more, they could be more friendly. However, since day 1 they are a bunch of scaredy chickens! They are about 3 weeks old now and just today I finally got them to take treats from my hand - little bits of blackberry. They won't touch dried mealworms. Even with the blackberry one would grab a bit and the others would go crazy chasing that one to steal the berry, but wanted nothing to do with the next bit I put in my hand. They cower in the corner and climb under each other trying to hide.
I've been talking to them and have gently picked them up a few times, but for the most part they seem to think I'm trying to kill them. Any suggestions on how to deal with this? Should I just be patient and trust that eventually they will get more interested in treats and understand I'm their friend? Once they are in with my other two hens, will they follow their lead and realize they don't need to worry? Or will they always just be skittish this way?
Should I try to handle them more even though they don't like it, or should I leave them be and just keep trying to feed them?
Any advice appreciated. Maybe next time I will be lucky and get the kind of chicks that like to cuddle!