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How to hold chickens?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I'm scared of holding chickens and I'm even more scared to hold them upside down. Does holding a chicken upside down help? How do you regularly hold a chicken? Thanks for the help!

post #2 of 16

I do not hold my chickens upside down.  I put a hand on each side of the body, over their wing and pick them up.  Then I can move them into my arm like a football if I want.   Some of my birds will step up onto my hand - when I place my hand in front of them and ask them to step up - makes it easy to carry them.


Chicks I cup in one hand if they are calm and in two if they are a bit wild.

Fowl adventures happening daily       

"Poultry- they may be your pets, they may be your hobby, they may be your livestock. But remember, if you fall down in the pen, unconscious? They WILL eat you." ~ Sally/Ranchie - we miss you.
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Fowl adventures happening daily       

"Poultry- they may be your pets, they may be your hobby, they may be your livestock. But remember, if you fall down in the pen, unconscious? They WILL eat you." ~ Sally/Ranchie - we miss you.
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post #3 of 16

I do the under the arm football hold too.  I haven't ever held them by their legs and I don't think I would want to.  Of course, they prefer it when I hold them on my lap with one hand stroking their back and the other hand holding a treat.

Happily owned by 7 fluffy butt girls: 1 BO, 3 BA, and 3 Cochins.  Also have 11 hermit crabs, 2 giant african millipedes, a ball python, and a wonderful irish wheaten terrier!  2 awesome boys who love them all!

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Happily owned by 7 fluffy butt girls: 1 BO, 3 BA, and 3 Cochins.  Also have 11 hermit crabs, 2 giant african millipedes, a ball python, and a wonderful irish wheaten terrier!  2 awesome boys who love them all!

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post #4 of 16

When I first started handling chickens, I too thought I might break them if I picked them up etc..... I have found out they are quite sturdy little affairs tho.  I pick all mine up by holding both hands on either side of their bodies at the wings to keep them from flapping. Then do the football hold.  If they struggle against you just hang on to em and as soon as they quiet down relax your hold and praise them.  I will only grab a leg/tail if they get away from you, doing the above, just long enough to get them back in the crook of your arm.  Most all chickens I have like to be held on their backs and have their chin/tummy/feet massaged.  My roo goes to sleep and will just stay that way....

California State Rep for the American Serama Association / President of the Pacific Coast Serama Club.  Want info on seramas go to>> www.americanseramaassociation.org

 

Slave&defender for: 1 horse, the love of my life AGF/OEGB roo Pharow, a crazy menagerie of seramas,1 banty NN hen and lots of special needs birdies!  I LOVE my feathered kids.  AND, silly DERPERELLA, she is the BOMB!

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California State Rep for the American Serama Association / President of the Pacific Coast Serama Club.  Want info on seramas go to>> www.americanseramaassociation.org

 

Slave&defender for: 1 horse, the love of my life AGF/OEGB roo Pharow, a crazy menagerie of seramas,1 banty NN hen and lots of special needs birdies!  I LOVE my feathered kids.  AND, silly DERPERELLA, she is the BOMB!

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post #5 of 16

"how to pick up a chicken" by Terry Golson also known as the Hencam lady

http://www.youtube.com/user/thehencam#p/u/2/ZJdkmgiUqs8

post #6 of 16

I used to pick up chickens and hold them football style until my wife learned me different now.  So now I pick them up both roosters and hens by placing my hand underneath their body so my thumb and pinky fingers are both around one leg.  This does allow them to flap about if they are not used to being picked up but in this manner you can pick up two at a time, or just one while you inspect it all over: on the legs, pulling out one wing at a time, their vent etc, without having to jostle the chicken about too much.  This also keeps you free from their spurs. As long as you keep a firm grip around their legs, they're not going anywhere.

EDIT
I do like the hen cam idea  that would be easier for starters.


Edited by KazAnder Farms - 2/20/11 at 10:23am

Chicken breeds: Dark Brahma Bantams, Silver Penciled Cochin Bantams (in the mail! 3/19), Salmon Faverolle Standards. And some other random folks.
Chickens of note: Snap the Black Cochin Bantam, the non-bearded white silky Pooferton, Lil' Poof, black bearded silky Rupert Roger. Charlie the packing peanut (RIP), Waldo the Orloff
Member: APA, WFF

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Chicken breeds: Dark Brahma Bantams, Silver Penciled Cochin Bantams (in the mail! 3/19), Salmon Faverolle Standards. And some other random folks.
Chickens of note: Snap the Black Cochin Bantam, the non-bearded white silky Pooferton, Lil' Poof, black bearded silky Rupert Roger. Charlie the packing peanut (RIP), Waldo the Orloff
Member: APA, WFF

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post #7 of 16

According to "The Chicken Health Handbook" holding them upside down by the feet has a calming effect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by werttyy 

I'm scared of holding chickens and I'm even more scared to hold them upside down. Does holding a chicken upside down help? How do you regularly hold a chicken? Thanks for the help!


Edited by chickened - 2/20/11 at 10:26am
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickened 

According to "The Chicken Health Handbook" holding them upside down by the feet has a calming effect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by werttyy 

I'm scared of holding chickens and I'm even more scared to hold them upside down. Does holding a chicken upside down help? How do you regularly hold a chicken? Thanks for the help!



Mostly because they're strangling, or close to it. It can cause the crop to press against the airway, and it can also cause the crop to empty, in which case they aspirate their own vomit, so to speak.


Edited by ranchhand - 2/20/11 at 10:35am

Don't get all your exercise leaping to conclusions!

Poultry- they may be your pets, they may be your hobby, they may be your livestock. But remember, if you fall down in the pen, unconscious? They WILL eat you.
Chicken Tender of 20 years

 

Memorial Thread

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Don't get all your exercise leaping to conclusions!

Poultry- they may be your pets, they may be your hobby, they may be your livestock. But remember, if you fall down in the pen, unconscious? They WILL eat you.
Chicken Tender of 20 years

 

Memorial Thread

Reply
post #9 of 16

Mine breathe when I have picked them up that way and have never vomited unless they just ate which means not all the food is in the crop yet. If your chickens are healthy and have the right nutrition they should not have airway obstruction issues. I believe the calming effect is one of submission not strangulation the crop should not move under its own weight a chicken spends alot of time with its head near the ground. I don't routinely carry mine that way but do sometimes out of necessity. A chicken being held is unnatural and is an aquired, tolerated trait that is usually encouraged by treats. Signs of strangulation or blocked airway is usually flapping and convulsing not the calm appearance of a chicken upside down...at least with my birds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranchhand 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickened 

According to "The Chicken Health Handbook" holding them upside down by the feet has a calming effect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by werttyy 

I'm scared of holding chickens and I'm even more scared to hold them upside down. Does holding a chicken upside down help? How do you regularly hold a chicken? Thanks for the help!



Mostly because they're strangling, or close to it. It can cause the crop to press against the airway, and it can also cause the crop to empty, in which case they aspirate their own vomit, so to speak.

post #10 of 16

I've also read that holding them upside down compresses their lungs.  It's been discussed in threads about taming a difficult roo.

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

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Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Reply
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