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any tips on making chicks super tame?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Silkiefan, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. Silkiefan

    Silkiefan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 1, 2009
    I chose Silkies for their tameability and "indoor size"... and mine, only less than a month old are suddenly acting scared of "THE HAND" coming in to pick them up. When we first got them, they ran towards "THE HAND" but now... [​IMG]
    I feed them delicious lettuce, oats, worms and of course chick starter out of my hands and they've never been dropped or squeezed, so what am I doing wrong?
    I'm not taking it too personally, as most of the puppies I had went through what people call a "fear period" where they crouch and pee like they'd been beaten when a stranger wants to pet them during socialization walks- (how embarassing when people assume the worst)
    ... so does this sound like normal chicken behavior to anyone?
    [​IMG] < beware of THE HAND!
     
  2. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Normal Silkiefan. Lots of handling and hand feeding will bring them around.....Pop
     
  3. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing
    Ya, big hand looks pretty scary to them, they probably think it is going to eat them! [​IMG]
    Keep on getting them out, and holding and playing and feeding treats. They'll soon learn the hand is not going to eat them!
     
  4. rosegal

    rosegal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 6, 2008
    Tustin, CA
    I handled the babies every day. But, they went through a 'I'm scared of you faze.' When I put them out for free ranging, they wouldn't come up to me at all. Before they started laying, they were all really freaked by me trying to hold them. Once they started laying, they will all do the sit for me and come up to be hand fed again. I think they go through a bit of adolescent rebellion.[​IMG]
     
  5. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    my personal experience is that my chicks are all different - they are 7 weeks old now. I tried to handle mine when they were babies (which definitely works for some people and I actually wish I had forced the issue more now), and they all acted like I was torturing them with my red-hot burning claws of death (i.e. my hands). I figured I was making things worse, so I stopped doing that. But, over time, some of them started to like me more. When I moved them out to the coop at two weeks old (with heat lamps, of course), I would go in and sit on the floor with them and soon many of them would jump on and off my lap and arms, etc. Some of them let me pet them a bit and some ran away in terror. This is still the case. I have 15 chicks and one is my best girl - she makes sweet peepy noises when she sees me or hears my voice and she always jumps right up on my lap and loves to snuggle and I can pet her to my heart's content... she hangs out on my shoulder or head and tickles my ears and plays with my hair and is just a cuddly baby now. A few others I can pet a bit and they all love to follow me around and will all take treats from me, but none of the others are so cuddly - it's just her nature. Some are shy and keep their distance except when I have treats. Others hang out with me and peck at my clothes and sit on my feet, but only the one likes to snuggle. The lady who split my order of chicks with me handled hers everyday, despite the struggle, and her Buff Orpingtons eventually came around and now they like to be held (mine don't and they're from the same order), but her others (EEs and Marans) don't like to be held much. My best girl is an EE and I can pet a couple of my Marans.... anyway, point is - I agree with trying to hold them. Also, try to sit with them and let them jump on you and definitely give them treats from your hands. You should end up with at least some snuggly chickens, and they should all be at least tame and friendly, even if they shy away from direct touching.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    I agree with the other posts. Be patient and don't give up. They are still young. I would sit with mine for what seemed like hours every day. I had treats. Eventually they would try to climb in my lap for a treat. They like repitition and routine. They are creatures of habit.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  7. aberfitch

    aberfitch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2008
    Texas Fort Worth
    carry one around with you when you are doing your light chicken chores or on a SUNDAY. Bonding time. just a different one every time. I do this to my birds and they are a lot lets scared of me now.
     

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