How to Tame Your ChicksSome people say that chicks hatched in an incubator, by you, have a much better chance of being personable and sweet. While that may be true in some cases, there are many others where it isn’t. It all depends on how they are raised. I have written this article to explain to you how to tame your chicks to the best advantage of both you and your feathery little charges.
The younger the chicks the better, but any chick can be tamed. Whether you acquired your chicks through hatching artificially or ordering them, these techniques should be useful. I recommend the brooder to be raised; I will explain why in a moment. Throughout the whole process, you need to act in a way that a little bitty chick would not be scared of giant you: Gentle, slow movements is the key.
I think it is much better for the process if the brooder is at a height, that way when you go to pet them or scoop them up, they don’t see your entire body. Instead, they only see half of it. Less scary, right?
~I am currently raising these four silkies in a rabbit hutch. They are the sweetest chicks I have ever had, thanks to my new way of handling them. (They were actually my inspiration for this article.) Chicks love shiny things, BTW.~
Okay, to begin the taming process, let them get settled in their new home, whether they came from your incubator or a hatchery. Once they have settled in nicely, let them get used to your voice and presence. Talk or sing to them constantly, and you can sit/stand by their brooder so they can see you. Whenever you feed them, talk to them and let them see what you’re doing. That way, they’ll associate you with food.
You can put some food in your hand in the brooder to let them get used to it, but try not to terrify them to the point they flee to the corners. Make sure you move your hand slowly. Sudden movements will frighten them. However, some may get curious and hop on your hand.
In a few days, when they are used to your hand, you can pick them up. Put your hand in the cage and slowly advance it towards them. Then, slip your hand under one of them so that your pinky and thumb are on either side of the chick’s legs holding their wings down, and your other three fingers are situated comfortably around its keel (chest).
This position prevents them from squirming too much.
It is also less terrifying to them than a giant claw-like thing reaching in and picking them up from above, like the Pterodactyl did to Claire in Jurassic World.
Once they’re comfy, you can pet them gently on their back and belly. You can even baby talk them if you want. I won’t judge.
The other chicks, seeing how nicely the one your holding is being treated, may even get jealous and beg to be picked up.
At one and a half months, these silkie chicks (hatched under a broody) are like little puppies. They come running whenever they hear my voice, and cluster around me. Catching them for bedtime takes less than a minute. They are so much sweeter than a few that I hatched artificially! The main differences in their care being: 1. These were raised in a hutch, and 2. These were picked up since a young age by me putting my hand under them not above them.
If you hold your chicks (as shown above) every day, they will soon learn to look forward to it (especially if after being held they are given some watermelon rind, or grapes.) They will associate you with treats and petting. If you let them out during the days, then they will also associate you with putting them in "bed".
Thank you for reading this. I hope you found it informative and helpful, and I hope it helps you tame your chicks!