Am I doing a dumb thing, feeding chicks by hand?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Solsken Farm, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. So we have had our chicks 5 weeks. The kids love to feed them by hand which has helped socialize them without the kids chasing them and grabbing them. However, this week some of the pecks seemed a bit harder. My mind went down the road to a flock of huge beaks pecking constantly at us and our guests, because we have trained them to "bite" us.

    To feed by hand? Or not to feed? That is the question. Thanks! [​IMG]
  2. Bird Hearder

    Bird Hearder Songster

    Apr 10, 2008
    Salisbury, Md.
    Hand feed for sure since you have kids. It keeps them more friendly and used to people, Plus if they ever get out where they don't belong it's much easier to catch them.
    Plus they may come running to you like ours do when called (for the most part).
  3. But they don't peck and hurt as adults? That is my worry.
  4. hcammack

    hcammack Crowing

    Oct 5, 2007
    OH they will peck and bite but you should just develope tuff hands [​IMG]
  5. Quote:Ha! I already have tough hands, I'm a horsegirl. [​IMG] It is my kids and guests I worry about. I want the most polite chickens possible. [​IMG]
  6. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    I don't feed mine by hand only because I don't want them coming to attack my little 3 yr old for food lol. I do sit with them and pick them up and give them a treat after I pick them up. I would hand feed if I didn't have a little guy I think. Now I know what they are like NOT handfeeding them and next time I will try hand feeding to see the difference. My birds all fly up on my lap now to get a pet when I sit in their coop with them on a chair. I don't try to grab them unless they try to jump on my head (they do that sometime). They are all 5 weeks old. Good Luck with yours! [​IMG]
  7. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Feed them by hand - its not gonna hurt anything.
    Heck, they may even come to like you, in time.

    But here it comes: Dont just stick small children and chickens together, especially grown males. Chickens seem not to like kiddies all that much, and their displeasure often manifests by attacking the youngsters.

    You have to be careful and watch, teaching the kids how to behave around the livestock.
    Chickens is chickens and do what they do - sorry, but there it is.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2008
  8. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Feed them by hand, and teach your children to do the same. Have them wear gloves (I suggest gardening gloves) if necessary. Your chickens will be friendlier (or at least more used to you and easier to grab) because of it.

    Chickens are pets, but also farm animals. You need to teach your kids how to act around the birds and how to respond to them if the birds do something they don't like. Responding with fear will only escalate any potential problems between the children and the birds. Until you know your kids can take care of themselves when they are with the chickens (but can also treat the chickens with kindness and respect) you may want to supervise any interactions. It will make you feel more comfortable, too.
  9. Thanks for the thoughts. Okay, so I will continue our handling as we are doing it. Sadly, I have to protect my chicks from my kids so far.[​IMG] My son fell on two and chrushed them and my daughter went in and took one one day when I was not home (and DH was) and "hugged" it to death.

    We spend quite a bit of time teaching the kids and the chickies to get along.

    Elderoo, you edited again. Are you grumpy again this morning?[​IMG]
  10. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Quote:Im grumpy every morning. I work nights and so by morning time and checking my BYC, yes, Im grumpy. I need to monitor myself with editing so as not to offend TOO much...
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2008

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