Chick Handling

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sebloc, May 8, 2016.

  1. sebloc

    sebloc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I stroke the top of my Barred Rock's head and she seems to be a little more trustworthy of me. My Buff Orpington's seem kind of shy and so do my Rhode Island Reds. I'll keep attempting to build trust. With my Buffs though it seems hard to stroke their fluff as they run away as fast as they can.
     
  2. RonC

    RonC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It can take a while. The more contact even letting your hand hang and talking to them can help. Patience and persistence is the key.
     
  3. sebloc

    sebloc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just tried putting my hand in and they all ran away. You're probably right, I'll give them time to relax and get use to my hand.
     
  4. sebloc

    sebloc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello
    I have tried a few of the methods listed above. I did not cut a side in the brooder.
    I stick my hand in and leave it for about 10 minutes. Some of the chicks seem interested, but are too afraid to see what it is. The rest just run away. Some of them just ignore it, and walk around and eat food/drink water, but the rest seem scared. I don't know what to do. They're almost 2 weeks old (We got them at a week old). I still have the fear that if they don't warm up to me, then I won't be able to hold them when they're older if needed.
    Thanks for any help you can provide :(
     
  5. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    I really do believe that chicks need to see us humans in context in order to accept us as non-threatening. I have had a succession of side access brooders after the totally un-successful box-on-on-the-floor-reach-down-from-above brooder. The most successful of my indoor brooders was a plant grow-window where the chicks could observe life going on all around them. Those chicks I thought at the time were the most fearless I've ever raised.

    That is until I began brooding outdoors in my run. My chicks are the size of large bugs, and are completely fearless even when I and my huge feet am stomping around in their pen. They are running around, curious, and if i sit down, they are on me in a heartbeat.

    For my complete analysis of why this works so well to produce fearless chicks, read my article on outdoor brooding linked below my post.
     
  6. Honora

    Honora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    X2, give them food out of your hand. The braver ones might start to eat out of your hand & then the nervous ones might come around.

    BTW, even if they don't warm up to you as chicks, that doesn't mean they won't be friendly when they grow up. My hens always got friendlier after they started to lay. After they start to lay, they will probably squat and let you pick them up with no problem. GL!
     
  7. Adalida

    Adalida Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you taken them out of the brooder and let them hang out with you? Just sit on the floor and set them down beside you and see what they do? If they're in a new situation, you'll be the familiar thing to them and they'll want to stay close to you. I agree with the previous poster that even if they don't get super friendly as chicks, they can still be friendly as adults. My two white Orpingtons were not at all friendly as chicks. I almost got rid of them when they were six months old because the other chickens were so friendly and the white orps were so aloof. They warmed up though and now they're sociable too, it just took them longer. They're not fond of being picked up but will tolerate it and are friendlier just hanging around with me on their own terms.
    Don't feel discouraged!! They'll come around. Do you talk to them a lot? I talked to mine constantly so they'd know my voice when I was coming.
     
  8. sebloc

    sebloc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's hard to because they run away, I worry that if I do try they'll just become even more afraid.
     
  9. RonC

    RonC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Silver laced Wyandotte has taken a liking to sitting on my hand. I put my hand in the brooder and she will climb on my hand and the others watch. Soon my Gold laced Wyandotte comes over and gets on my hand too. Shortly the Buff Orpington and Americana come closer to watch but won't get on my hand yet, maybe not enough room.
    I took them out for a "field trip" to the old run today and the Wyandottes were the only ones that would cooperate so I left the others in the brooder for a bit. After about 10 minutes the others were fussing loudly and then allowed my to pick them up more easily. The Americana is the most skittish but after placing my hand on her back without grabbing a couple of times she settled down and then I picked her up without as much fuss as usual. I think I might be on to something touching her back for a few seconds first before wrapping my fingers around her.
    I am retired so I get to spend a lot of time talking to them and putting my hand in the brooder. They are learning the big hand ain't so bad.
    Move slowly and don't chase them, don't send the into a panic
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  10. RonC

    RonC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Move slowly and don't chase them far
     

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