bonding with new chicks

Fluffy&Cutie

Songster
May 17, 2018
379
879
226
Los Angeles Basin
so I finally got my silkies after waiting toooo long. we got them because they are the friendliest breed. however, ours are frightened by us. we have only had them 2 weeks and handle them every day, but it seems to be getting worse. they actually cry out when we pick them up. i paid big bucks to get females at 4 weeks so that we could bond with them.
i ve read on how to train them and we just have to be patient. our leghorns didnt like to be handled when they were little, but now they are awesome. i am hoping the same will happen. I am just sad and needed some words of hope or any special ideas. Thanks in advance!
 

azygous

Enabler
12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
27,459
44,225
1,232
Colorado Rockies
If you are reaching for your chicks from above in order to handle them, stop. It simulates being attacked by a predator which is a natural defense they have. Approach from the side instead, go slowly, inch your hand across the floor of the brooder until you touch their feet, and let them walk up onto your hand.

If you can, move them outside into their coop where there's more room. This way they can see all of your body and will be able to discern the difference between you and a predator. It will work. It always does.
 

Lizzy733

Crowing
Nov 13, 2018
1,212
2,255
291
New Zealand
If you are reaching for your chicks from above in order to handle them, stop. It simulates being attacked by a predator which is a natural defense they have. Approach from the side instead, go slowly, inch your hand across the floor of the brooder until you touch their feet, and let them walk up onto your hand.

If you can, move them outside into their coop where there's more room. This way they can see all of your body and will be able to discern the difference between you and a predator. It will work. It always does.

Yeah, I second this. My silkie chick, acquired at 2 weeks old, has always screamed when being picked up whereas my shavers are fine with it. I've found my silkie is really terrified of her(?) feet not touching the ground and acts as though her eyes aren't the best. So, I am now allowing for this by approaching her with my hand slowly, below her eye level and making sure she sees me coming. I shepherd her back onto my other hand and secure her wings with the first looped around her neck. Then just move horizontal a bit before lifting so she is aware her 'perch' is moving. She may strain a bit, but no full blown panic anymore. She's also now more relaxed and curious when in my lap right away instead of trying to burrow into my elbow. :)
 

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