Most people think of chickens as backyard roamers, or maybe the next item on the dinner plate. But there is another way to own chickens, and that way is raising them to be your companion. Many people find this hard to believe, but chickens can be just as loyal as cogs. Some will sit in your lap, come when they hear their name, and even cuddle with you for hours straight.
The story of my first chickens began in September 2011. I never expected to have loved them as much as I do to this day, but things turned out to be what I never knew possible. Okay, so you're wondering why I haven't started explaining how to do it, right? That's because I wanted to tell you how mine turned out, and then, you'll have a look at how you can raise your chickens to be some of the cuddliest in the world.
It started out when I first named my chick while it was in my closet. All I wanted to do was spend time with it, so, I did. I picked it up and put it in my lap daily, then I tried to offer it a few pieces of Chick Starter. It was very easy to keep it staying still, and from the first day on it loved to sit there.
Now here are the step-by-step instructions on how to make your chick become your lap companion:
1. Let's say your chick is a few days old. Of course it is very small and hasn't been handled much, so the first thing to do is to gently pick it up by hand. Make sure not to startle it. Place it on your lap, right below your shirt, and cover it with your hand. Rub its head and let it fall asleep in your shirt. Be sure not to do this when your chick is newly hatched because it will need heat to dry up its down feathers in order to fluff up after being wet from the egg. Continue to do this cycle on the first few days of caring for your chick.
2. After a week or two, your chick should develop some feathers. It should be lively and active enough for some playtime. You can pat your knees and call it by its name for it to come to you. My chick always ran happily to me and tried to jump into my lap.
3. At the age 4-5 weeks old, you can introduce your chick to the outdoors. Make sure to provide a safe environment for your bird. Don't let it free until you trust it to know good from bad, and make sure there are no cats or dogs nearby that could harm it. Pick it up from the ground and sit somewhere safe where you and your bird can cuddle while it still gets the fresh air from being outside.
4. At the age 6-7 weeks old, your bird can stay outside if it is used to it. You should visit it daily with treats and Yogurt for good behavior. Sit it on your lap for a morning cuddle. Remember that at this stage of life, your chick should be able to jump up to you perfectly well. Practice tricks to build the ultimate relationship with your bird.
5. At weeks 8+, your chick should be used to its every day life. By this time, you can expect your chick to love you more than anything else in the world. Morning cuddles, coming to its name, tricks and treats. There is so much more to list. You'll be pleasantly surprised with your results. I actually put chickens on the top of my 'Favorite Animals' list because I experienced something that, like I said, I never knew was possible.
Then by the time your chicken is 21+ weeks old, depending on maturity, it may get into mating. Expect your eggs around 25 weeks old. But that's a totally different story. Broody hens, crowing roosters- That won't matter that much when you live the life you are given with hand-raised, loving chicks.
That's the way to raising your chicks to become wonderful, loving, lap pets that you will always have by your side.
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