Chicken Pets for our family

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by VanIsleChicks, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. VanIsleChicks

    VanIsleChicks In the Brooder

    Feb 18, 2014
    Vancouver Island
    Hi everyone! I've been reading for a few months and am so happy that we will be picking up our chickens this weekend. I have to admit, we're nervous though!! We really want the chickens to get along with our children, the kids are so excited to get them.

    My concern is that we have chosen 4 hens (of different breeds from a reputable chicken lady on Vancouver island) that are approx 18 months old. These are heritage breeds and are breed to be friendly and produce for many many years. But my worry is will they be able to bond with the children at this age or would it be better to choose 6 month old hens?

    All the hens are from the same flock, so their shouldn't be any fighting between them.

    Do you think the chickens will grow to like our children or should we start with 6 month chicks?

    Thankyou so much! Happy to be joining you all!
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG] Unless birds you contemplate buying were raised around children, I think it would be best to get younger chicks - a few days old to maybe a couple of weeks. Chickens don't immediately bond with humans like dogs do. The longer they have gone without being handled, the longer it will take to tame them.

    Are your children old enough to be gentle with chicks, not squeeze them or accidentally drop them? It's best for youngsters to learn to sit on the floor and let chicks explore them. Chickens are drawn to shiny objects which can be eye balls, so it's best NOT to hold them close to your face . Also make sure the kids wash their hands after playing with chicks.

    PS the way to a chickens heart is through their stomach.
    1 person likes this.
  3. VanIsleChicks

    VanIsleChicks In the Brooder

    Feb 18, 2014
    Vancouver Island
    Thank you for your reply. We wouldn't be able to keep a rooster hence why I said 6 months. We live in a subdivision and 4 is the max.

    Our children are turning 8, 8, 5 1/2, 3 1/2.

    The chickens are from an acreage in the valley where they are free run and loved by a chicken lady. ;) she had several separated flocks and they seemed friendly.

    I will remember about the food! Thank you :)
  4. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

    Aug 26, 2011
    Hi and :welcome

    I also think younger chickens are better in your case, especially with children. In my experience, though, the difference isn't that big.

    When we moved here, our neighbours (with kids aged 10, 7, 4) had chickens already, and we found out they bought all their hens at the 6 month to 1 year stage. The chickens are pretty much impartial to people - they come running during feeding time, but they also flee if you tried to pick them up and usually didn't go near anyone.

    We bought week-old chicks when we decided to get chickens. They were very friendly and climbed onto our legs/arms/shoulders when they were small (it's pretty cute) but after they started laying they didn't like us anymore either :p That's still the case, even though we raised all our chickens from when they were very young.

    If you want them, you could look around and see if there's any place selling baby chicks. You don't need to keep a rooster to have chicks, you can buy them. We get ours from a local feed store which always has a bunch of them in a little run. :p

    Big chickens are usually okay with kids. Hens get to be pretty large and sturdy birds. They won't like people though if they're squeezed or dropped too much though - they learn to run away pretty fast!

    Good luck, I hope you and your family enjoy your chickens!
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  5. Alright [​IMG] great to have you in the flock [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop

    As mentioned above, it is always better to start with chicks you can work with. But many people have luck with older birds, it just takes some time let them get settled in. Sit with them in the run with a bag of treats and slowly win over their trust. Move slowly around them. Don't pick them up much at first. And most important, give them time to relax into their new digs. This entire process can take several weeks to a couple months depending on your conditions.

    Enjoy your new flock and it is great to have you aboard!
    1 person likes this.
  7. ClovisMan

    ClovisMan Songster

    Jan 29, 2014
    New Braunfels, TX
    Get your 4 laying hens and then get 4 chicks. Problem solved by Chicken Math!

    Welcome to BYC!
    1 person likes this.
  8. [​IMG]

    Hello [​IMG]And Welcome To Backyard Chickens [​IMG]Glad You Joined Us!
    1 person likes this.
  9. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
    1 person likes this.
  10. Mr MKK FARMS

    Mr MKK FARMS Crowing Premium Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    Welcome to BYC. [​IMG] Glad you joined us!
    1 person likes this.

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