An experiment in chick taming

OlivesMama

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 28, 2013
153
6
83
Oregon
I got my first set of chicks back in mid March- 3 Barred Rocks, a Sultan, and a 4 month old Silkie. I was determined to make them friendly and tame. I put them all in a laundry basket several times a day and held them all in my lap to pet them. They loved to be wrapped in "chicken blankets", which was a old flannel sheet cut up and thrown over my lap to contain the poop! I babied them and did this until they were too big to contain in my lap. I continued to handle them every time I went out to check on them.

Now at around 5 weeks, the Barred Rocks climb all over me when I take the screens off the brooders and I can hold them as much as I want. Success! The Silkie and Sultan are much more shy and take some extra coaxing, but will fall asleep in my lap if I hold them and pet them. Olive, the Silkie was very skittish when I got her. I know she hadn't been handled as much as I was asking her to be handled before I got her. She was just in a pen with other Silkies her age. She's taken awhile to warm up to me, but will fall asleep easily in my lap and makes the sweetest noises when I pet her.

Fast forward to my next set of chicks- 2 Golden Laced Wyandottes, which I brought home about 3 weeks after the BRs, and an Americauna. I didn't baby them, as I didn't have as much time. They are still just as tame as the earlier brood! I gather them all up and let them play outside a few times a week, and they climb all over me like the older chicks. I can put my hand in the brooder and none of them run away. When I come into the garage to visit them, they peep and run around when they hear my voice. They are as tame as can be! Maybe it's just the breed? It's been very interesting to see how I've had the same end result with completely different handling of each brood.

I started bringing my youngest chicks- a Buff Orpington and a California Gray in the house like I did the first brood. We'll see how tame they become! Please share your experiences in chicken taming. I'd love to see what others have done/not done to make their chickens enjoyable backyard pets.
 

Angiebubs

Songster
8 Years
Aug 19, 2011
2,335
82
226
Amery, WI WI/MN border
My personal experience has been handling them from the youngest age possible makes them as firendly as all get out. However, I have noticed a big difference between breeds. My friendliest have been my bantams and easter eggers. I have handled all of them-including the ones raised by a broody hen. Some just seem to like to behandled more, some like to be touched but not picked up, and others CRAVE attention.
I even think it may be bird by bird-as I had a silver laced and a gold laced raised together and handled the same as 5 others. Of that group-the silver laced seems shy, gold laced hates to be touched but craves attention and I trip over her all the time. WIthin this same group-Lt Brahma that acts like she doesnt want to be picked up but then snuggles right in, a salmon faverolle who follows me verywhere-lil busybody but she makes this hilarious scream if I touch her and shes not in the mood-Im talking beak wide open shreik! easter egger in the same group expects some petting every night when I lock them up, and a cochin banty that doesnt mind being held but doesnt seem to beg for attn either......so who knows! I do know that my first batch were held non stop and to this day-they love to be picked up and held. I will be interested to hear others opinions on this as well.
 

Keltara

Songster
8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
1,670
79
173
Small Town U.S.A., Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Myself and my children handled our chicks each and every day since they were day old. They each know their individual names, come when we call them and love to be held. They follow us around the yard like little puppies. They swim with my kids and go sledding in the winter. They free range from dawn till dusk and live very pampered lives. Here's a few pictures of our very spoiled hens!
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Yep! They are definitely extremely tame, pampered, and very, very loved Henny Pennys!


Kelly
✿​
Our Country Chronicles
✿​
 
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SarahInAlaska

Songster
6 Years
Apr 2, 2013
260
10
103
Aw! I'm so jealous! I started out with chicks just about a month ago. All of my chicks were up and runners and still freak out if you even get to close to the pen. I was hoping handling them would help but they didn't seem to care for it at all. They chirped their brains out and would struggle to get away until I put them down. Now there's a frenzy every time I reach in to change out water and add food. Perhaps we just had more than we could easily spend enough time with. We have 19 chicks ranging from two weeks to almost 5 weeks. :(
 

Keltara

Songster
8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
1,670
79
173
Small Town U.S.A., Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Those are AWESOME pictures!! What wonderful memories you've captured! And i can't believe the chickens like water/ How did you ever try this our or introduce them?
We were having extremely hot weather, and I needed to do something to cool our poor girls down. They were panting and so uncomfortable. So I decided to put them in the water with the kids. They took to it like ducks! They objected the first few times, but soon came to realize that it felt good. You can see a bunch more of our swimming chickens here.

Kelly
✿​
Our Country Chronicles
✿​
 

OlivesMama

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 28, 2013
153
6
83
Oregon
Angiebubs- I thought the faverolles were very friendly. That's so interesting to hear your experience with them. I do think it depends on the breed of the chickens. I can already tell my California Gray doesn't like to be handled as much as the others. I brought her in with the Buff Orpington yesterday. She just kept peeping and peeping. She let me hold her and fell asleep, but as soon as I moved she would complain and shy away from my touch. Buffy was just fine with hanging out. I'm anxious to see how they are as they get older.

Keltara- I LOVE your pictures! Thank you so much for sharing. You can really see how much your girls enjoy them, and I think that's pretty neat! I'm sure they will grow up to be chicken keepers themselves one day.

Sarah- What kind of chickens do you have?
 

SarahInAlaska

Songster
6 Years
Apr 2, 2013
260
10
103
Sarah- What kind of chickens do you have?


My chicks, except for 4 of them are all mutts. I have four Ameracaunas and the rest came from a flock that had mixes that all intermingled. I know for sure there is RIR and Americauna in the mix but I don't know what else. They all lay brown or blue or green eggs. I'm not surprised I guess about the Anericaunas though. My adult hens are mostly good about being around me but one of my problem girls is my Ameracauna. She starts complaining every time I step in the coop and goes into a tizzy whenever I try to pick her up. If she's in the nesting box when I come to check for eggs I just wait and come back because if I reach into any of the boxes she comes out and starts flapping every where until I move. But she lays lovely little green eggs!
 
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Keltara

Songster
8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
1,670
79
173
Small Town U.S.A., Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Keltara- I LOVE your pictures! Thank you so much for sharing. You can really see how much your girls enjoy them, and I think that's pretty neat! I'm sure they will grow up to be chicken keepers themselves one day.
Photography is a hobby of mine, and I really loving sharing it! My girls and I really have a great time being chicken owners. My husband however?....not so much. I am certain too that they will grow up to be chicken owners. It is really so rewarding. Who would have thought that chickens could be such loving pets!! Goodness it's fun!!

p.s. Keltar- I subscribed to your blog!

I'm so happy to have a new follower. Thank you for joining us! I look forward to sharing our adventures with you too Shana.
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MANNA-PRO

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