Bonding with Baby Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sarastamand, Feb 19, 2019.

  1. sarastamand

    sarastamand Chirping

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    Jan 25, 2019
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    Hello! I have 1 week old baby chicks and I was just looking for some “bonding” advice. They are still quite skittish when I try to reach into their brooder and interact with them or even feed them. I have 9 baby chicks. I know I shouldn’t “reach into” the brooder per se, but it’s the only way I can access the chicks and change their feed/water supply. We are using plastic tote bins. We attached two of the totes together for when they get bigger. At this point they are only using one of the totes.


    So anyway, what are some suggestions to get them to bond more easily? I know we are still new to each other, so I don’t anticipate them running to me yet. But I want them to at least feel “safe” when I reach in to change their food/water supply. I’m hoping one day when they are acclimated to the coop that they will follow me around the yard! Not only are they going to feed me breakfast, but I want them to be my best friends too J
     
  2. ChickenDoctor145

    ChickenDoctor145 Chirping

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    Idk how much time or patience you have for this, but one thing we always do is just stick your hand in there and hold still. They usually start jumping on it and pecking it and getting more used to it. Putting food in your hand will encourage it even more. And even tho they may not like it at first sometimes just carefully catching them and holding them for a little bit at a time will let them slowly start to trust you. That's just what I like to do :jumpy
     
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  3. sarastamand

    sarastamand Chirping

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    Jan 25, 2019
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    Oh I have all the patience in the world for them :love I am literally addicted to them… can’t get them off my mind! Haha. I did forget to mention that I do reach in and just leave my hand in there with a pile of food. Only one of the chicks seems to come over though while some of the others are interested in simply watching and the rest scared out of their minds. At night time, I also bring everybody out and we all cuddle together with a heated blanket. Of course, if someone is chirping too much or I can see is stressed from this, we do put them all back in the brooder (I don’t want to put just one guy back and have her be lonesome, so we put everybody back to limit the stress)
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
  4. FlappyFeathers

    FlappyFeathers Free Ranging

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    Northwest Oregon
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    Chicks are naturally terrified of anything coming from above, like aerial attacks. This article has some very interesting reading on how she changed her brooder to help calm and tame her chicks. If something like that is not possible, just try to spend as much time with them on the open floor as you can, maybe on a blanket, so they can see all of you (not just your scary hand or head looming from above) and talk to them a lot so they get familiar with your voice.

    If you have a heating pad, you can keep that out with you to let them "warm up" quickly while they're out and about. There is even a Mama Heating Pad that you can build yourself and actually use it in the brooder all the time, instead of a heat lamp. That's how I brooded my chicks and it was wonderful! You can also just let them hang out on your lap when you're watching TV or reading or on the computer... just keep a towel over your lap because they poop a lot! My chicks used to snuggle up in my neck so I always had to remember to change into an old "chick" shirt.

    A loud chick usually just means it's cold. Try holding her firmly inside your cupped hands or tucking her inside your jacket where it's extra warm. A broody hen will spread her wings over the top of her chicks and "hug" them close. Once they learn that you're trying to help them, they'll start coming to you for cuddles.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
  5. sarastamand

    sarastamand Chirping

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    Jan 25, 2019
    Grantham, NH
    I may have spoken too soon! :ya When I got home last night from work, as I always do, I went in to change their feed and water supply. Nobody moved at all, they just stared at me questionably! I left my hand in there for a moment and grabbed some feed and one brave little chicky came over and started eating out of my hand. Eventually a second one came over.

    Later that night, when we were having our evening cuddles :jumpy, one of my chickies came right up to me and just wanted to nuzzle in my neck/hair! I love them so much.

    They are growing up too fast already! I caught one of them roosting this morning! On the top roost none the less! I actually have suspicions that "she" may be a "he". "She" is already started to charge towards the other chicks and is definitely more dominant and will be at the top of the pecking order. Does anybody think these are early signs of a roo? Or is it normal? She's the only one doing it so far, but she seems to be the quickest learner. She was the first one to come up to me last night and feed out of my hand.
     
  6. FlappyFeathers

    FlappyFeathers Free Ranging

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    Feb 5, 2018
    Northwest Oregon
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    See! It just takes a bit of time :love


    I would be hard to say if you have a cockerel just yet. If you ordered sexed pullets, they're likely all girls. It's just once chicks start getting their wing feathers, a whole new world is opened and they just get so excited. If a perch is available, they're gonna use it!
     
    sarastamand likes this.

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