Another thread on socializing chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by theawesomechick, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. theawesomechick

    theawesomechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, I know, there's a million of these threads out there. I promise you I've read every single one, but my chicks still hate me. I'm currently raising my second batch of chicks right in our smallest bedroom (the mess is unbelievable!), so we can all interact with the chicks without going somewhere cold and dark. There isn't a lot of traffic, but with a two-year-old in the house, there is no such thing as no traffic. The chicks were one week old when I got them. I did what is recommended in socializing chicks, including putting food on my hand and handling them occasionally, but the Cuckoo Marans is really flighty, and I think she's prompting the others to believe I mean murder every single time I stick my hand in. I have a little door in the side of the brooder so I don't have to grab the chicks from above, but I do have to reach in from above to get the feeder and waterer. The chicks scatter when I put my hand in, but calm down and become interested after a while. They all take to the food I put in my hand, but I still can't handle them without them freaking out. I really don't want to end up with a flighty batch of hens again, what do I do now?
     
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Just keep doing what your doing. They will settle down as they get older and get used to you and their daily routine. Some breeds are more flighty then others and may never be cuddly with you but I have yet to have an adult hen that was wild. All them will come up to take treats, some don't mind being held or petted, some hate it. But they are all friendly, tame birds.
     
  3. theawesomechick

    theawesomechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    That makes me feel better. [​IMG] But week two and they still believe I'm going to slaughter them [​IMG].
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Pick them up and hold them for a little bit, for about 5-10 minutes, a couple times every day...they won't like it at first, but just be calm and keep at it.
     
  5. theawesomechick

    theawesomechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Alright. Project socialize the chicks starts now! Geez, I'm scared! Do I hold them one-by-one? Do I give them a treat afterwards?
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Noooo, No treats, they're not puppies ;-) Yes, one at a time.

    Just pick them up and hold them, keep their feet on something and they'll feel more secure.
    One hand under feet, one hand on back, turn them over on their backs and rub their tummies should settle down.
    Hold firmly one hand wrapped around body and gently pull wing out with other hand, just get them used to being inspected.

    I used to handle them when I took them out of brooder and into another container to clean brooder, checking them all out as I moved them. then spent more time holding as I moved them back. Staying calm helps, they can feel your nervousness.
     
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  7. theawesomechick

    theawesomechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had a holding session with two of my calmer chicks, and they didn't really like it, but they stopped hating it after the first fifteen seconds. I could tell they wanted to get back into the brooder, though. I'm a bit nervous about handling my cuckoo marans - she's already four weeks old and she's a big chick, and strong. She really doesn't like being around me.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Be the Alpha Chicken....you are the boss, you just need to gain confidence.

    The older they are the harder they are to hold onto for sure, wrap both hands around them holding the wings down, put them on your lap (a towel is a good idea) and just calmly hold them until they settle down. I said no treats before but it can't hurt especially if they're older.
     
  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I know exactly how you feel! My original plan was to socialize slowly, and let the only touch from me be a calm, easy one - no drama, no trauma. But we've had an epidemic of "pasty butt" here and now when they see me coming they run as far and as fast as they can! I posted on another thread that I swear one of them pointed to another one with his wing cheeping, "Pick her, pick her!" <sigh> Found out how to get ahead of the "pasty butt" with ACV and yogurt, but now I'm in an uphill battle to win their trust back.
     
  10. theawesomechick

    theawesomechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    All right then... time for bribes! LOL I don't really have all that much time to do all this, really, but I'm sure I can pull a few minutes a day. Would I hold and bribe them one by one? There's one little chick that doesn't hate me as much, she's actually quite friendly, but she still won't tolerate being held. She doesn't scatter like the rest of the chicks when I put my hand in, though.
     

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