How to Socialize Chicks

By Chicky Crazy · Mar 26, 2013 · Updated Mar 26, 2013 · ·
  1. Chicky Crazy
    Chicks depend on their mother for protection and become frightened when separated. Chick defense instincts don’t kick in until they become older. And this is why when chicks are for sale at stores, they need to be comforted. When driving home hold your chicks in your hand, set them on your lap, and gently speak to them. If you are driving set the box on a seat and stretch the seatbelt around the box, securing it. Once you get home lay bedding down in your cage. Set the chicks in it before providing food and water. All chickens become very stressed if in small areas, even coops if there off the ground! You can also remove the feed, and find some healthy leftovers from the kitchen. Bread crusts are a favorite! Patiently wait for a chick to peck it from your hand! If a chick moves closer to your hand, don’t move your hand. Chickens can become very socialized from being held. Speak to them gently. Let them know your there, and they will remember your voice. If you practice doing this while their young, when their older and playing around the yard; When you call ‘CHICKYs’ they’ll come running!!! If you want to hold your chickens when their range-free call them to you. Let their curiosity lead them to you. Kneel down and wait for one to come. When their close enough quickly grab them! This is better than chasing them and developing a fear of you. Remember not all chickens are alike. Some will be easy, others will stubborn! All require patience when training! Enjoy your chickens!!!

    P.S. If anyone has thoughts, or comments please leave a comment! Also if you have any suggestions on something I can write about, and share with B.Y.C. I would really appreciate it!!! Thanks everybody for reading! And happy trainng!

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  1. Chicky Crazy
    Dear jeanlbean,
    Sorry I didn’t replay sooner! Ok, do you know how people train their animals by rewarding them with food? I don’t think a lot of people will do this with chickens, but because your chickens are afraid of being held you can bribe them with food. What food you use to bribe your hens with is very important. Chickens can eat many kinds of food but with some greasy and cooked food can be bad for chickens. Some types of food that would be good for this is bread, or something like that, cracker crumbs etc. (There is a great article on BYC about what kind of scraps you can safely give your chicks) So whatever you decide to give them cut or rip it up and hid it in a pocket and easy to open. Pick up your pullet like I said and feed her as you hold her. Hold one arm under her tail and put your hand on her chest. And set your thumb over her wing. Take your other hand (I like to use gloves when feeding my flock but they are full grown) and feed her. Speak or/and sing gently to her. Pet her a little after she finishes her food. It’s going to take a lot of time and work. But just enjoy every moment with your chickens while you still have them. If you continue to do this daily, when your chickens are older they will come to you as soon as they see or hear you. Do you have a rooster? If you don’t have a rooster and you let your girls run free range, you really should get a rooster. I let my chicks run range free with my rooster. I had seven chickens all together and a few weeks ago my flock got attacked by a dog. My rooster and one hen died yet I know if I didn’t have him I wouldn’t have my flock today! He died protecting his girls. Thank you and if you have ANY questions, or problems I would love to answer them. And continue to comment on my article and I will help you step by step to socialize your hens. Thanks again! ~ Chicky Crazy
  2. Chickenfan4life
    I am about to get some chicks, and I needed to know how to do this so bad! Thank you SO much! :D
  3. jeanlbean
    I have 3 pullets that are 17 weeks old. They are slowly becoming more friendly. 2 will now eat out of my hands. The funny thing they all do is hop up on the back of the chair I am sitting on. They want to be close but in control! I will periodically grab one like you suggested and hold it and soothingly talk to it but all of them still act scared to death while in my lap. How long will it take until they are relaxed in my lap? They come running if I call them but I still want them friendlier. Thanks!

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