Children handling chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Anastasia76, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. Anastasia76

    Anastasia76 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 28, 2012
    Colac, Australia
    G'day! My names Lauren and I'm new to chickens (& this lovely forum).

    I have 7 chickens, we got them just before Christmas day. They have all settled in well, but haven't resumed laying yet. My 2 children adore them, they love them to bits and love cuddling them and having them sleep on their laps and patting/stroking them.
    Which is adorable but I feel that maybe theres a bit too much handling and not enough down time for the chickens to establish a routine? This morning I have enforced a "No entering the coop until after 12pm" rule, as I have read that most chickens lay in the mornings? Help![​IMG]
  2. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm Premium Member

    Apr 13, 2008
    Bowdon, GA
    Hi it can take hens up to 6 weeks to lay after being relocated. If you want to help them in the laying, add a light to simulate daylight and have it come on in the morning. Also are you feeding the same as prior owner. If the chickens are enjoying being handled and were handled in their other setting, it probably is not upsetting the laying (unless the children are not releasing them when the hens prefer to move about or unless the children are chasing them, which could upset them)...

    Hope this helped and have a great time with your flock!
  3. Anastasia76

    Anastasia76 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 28, 2012
    Colac, Australia
    Hi bargain, thanks so much for your answer (its good to know that it may take 6 weeks or so). At the moment here in my part of Australia it gets light very early. And no I'm not feeding the same as the previous owners, I have put them on a higher quality feed.
    They are so funny, one of the younger ones has been handled alot becuase she is happy to be picked up-when she sees us outside she either runs over to the fence or if shes on the box she jumps into my lap and tucks in for a sleep!
  4. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    How cute! Great avatar pic! If they are willing to be held and do not appear stressed I would not worry about it. Problems arise when they are being chased or handled roughly and that stress can affect egg laying and health. But, gentle handling of tame birds doesn't seem like a problem.

    Anything new stresses a chicken and a change in location does usually effect their laying.
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    My rules are chicks are not separated from broodmates and always kept near heat source / brooder. Also I try to minimize actually confining birds with hands. Preference is to have birds voluntarily approach and perch on you. Only then are they petted and then very lightly.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    When you say they haven't resumed laying old are they? I can't see well from your avatar pic but it doesn't look like a mauture hen, no comb to speak of.
  7. Anastasia76

    Anastasia76 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 28, 2012
    Colac, Australia
    We have our 1st egg!
    8am this morning our girl "Pearl" layed.
    The one in the avatar pic is a chick, we have 5 other mature hens, one of which layed the egg. This is our girl Pearl.
  8. chickers

    chickers Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 18, 2012
    Gold Country California
    Congratulations on the egg!

    Looking at your pic though, I see chicken wire in the background. I don't know predators are in your area, but chicken wire is only good for keeping chickens in, not for keeping predators out. Hardware cloth is a better option for keeping predators out.
  9. Anastasia76

    Anastasia76 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 28, 2012
    Colac, Australia
    No its ok, i am in a country town/city. The chicken wire is actually quite perfect for here. I have enclosed the top as well- to keep out cats, they are probably the most dangerous animals here.
    I also work from home in family day care, we probably spend 75 percent of our time outside here as well (the benefits of living in a good climate).
  10. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I think it's wonderful that your children love the chickens so much. People who have never had chickens are pleasantly surprised when they find out how affectionate chickens can be. Depending on the breed and individual temperament, some chickens enjoy cuddling while some would rather not be touched. As long as the children respect the chickens' inclinations for affection, you shouldn't worry about them over-loving the chickens who do wish to be held and cuddled. If anything, it should improve egg-laying.

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