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Skittish chicks

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
How do I get our chicks to not be so skittish every time I try and pick them up or even give them fresh water ? They go nuts when I go anywhere near them .
post #2 of 5

Chickens are fearful of anything approaching from above - as a prey species this is instinctive.  Brooder boxes with an opening side so that they can be approached from the side generally calms these fears.  Ducklings can be even more fearful when approached from above.  The larger the brooder the less they panic.

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
Reply
post #3 of 5

 

I agree on the benefit of a side opening on the brooder.  Last year we used a large stock tank as a brooder.  It worked ok but this year we added a side door and it works better.  I started by just holding my hand still and offering oatmeal that I pulsed in the food processor first to make it more fine.  I read somewhere that oats are ok as an occasional treat, and the chicks really like them. Just a handful a day will still let them eat mostly the complete starter.  When the chicks were one week old they would eat from my hand and some would stand on my palm while eating.  Now that they are two weeks old, the chicks hop out of the brooder to come to us when my son or I sit in front of the brooder.  It is easy for them to hop back in so they feel safe.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the information smile.png I am trying a dog crate starting tomorrow in hopes of getting them less scared of me by not teaching in and freaking them out . I try and hand feed them once a day and it's mostly just threw of them that avoid me like the plague.
post #5 of 5
A lot of it also depends on breed and disposition of the chick's itself. The shyness usually disappears at point of lay but some may never like lap sitting or cuddling. My chick's are almost a month old now and I have 7 Barred rocks, 1 penciled rock,1 laced Wyandotte, And one buff Orpington. At 6 days old ALL but one barred Rock and my penciled rock were jumping in my lap, climbing on my arms and sleeping in my lap.(they still do, all but the two) one even went through the motions of dustbathing in my lap! But if I touch the other two, oh my goodness, they scream like I'm eating them! Even though they watch all 8 of the other chick's play with me several times a day they are just terrified of me. I came to believe after raising chickens for a few years now that some just don't come around until after laying. Continue to handle them and after they lay you will be able to pick them up and carry them without too much fuss but it's still usually not their favorite activity. Some have cuddly personality some don't. However the Barred rock breed in general is the most friendly breed I've ever had! They almost all love to cuddle and play. Beautiful loving and smart. All chick's are individually different. Some cuddle some don't but it gets a lot easier once they lay.
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