choosing between chicks? signs of sweetness?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by dftkarin, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. dftkarin

    dftkarin Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    I have 7 chicks that are just over 2 weeks old and I need to decide which 3 to keep and which 4 to give away (to a good home, where they will be part of a bigger flock) and having friendly birds is my main priority. I spend hours watching the chicks interact with each other and I've handled them a lot but its still hard to tell.

    The ones that come right up to me when I open the brooder are the more agressive ones (especially a slw who is clearly the top of the pecking order in the bunch) - that will also peck at my hands while I try to pick them up or put water or food in the cage. Two of the most docile and gentle (a glw and an australorp) are also the most scared of being picked up and they never come right up to greet me. What should I look for in these chicks to see who will turn into the best pet chickens for a lonely 10 year old who already gets enough rejection from human kids. I want to have chickens that will express happiness when he comes around them and come right up to him, but not scare him by pecking him or chasing him around. How can I tell?
  2. northernchick

    northernchick Hatching

    Jul 26, 2008
    I am new to chicks with seven week old's myself. I don't have to choose to give any away to homes but I might have a few suggestions to help a bit.
    Could the child pick out the chicks? If they are companions for him maybe he would like to choose? At the advice of some friends who have had chickens for years I have been spending a great deal of time socializing my birds. I sit on the floor with them and let them eat chick starter and/or greens from my hand. I hold each one of them a few times a week, and at this point there are girls that will come up to me and hop up on my lap for rubs. We do have a roo in the group who is the least social. He will come over to get food, but at this point will not be held without struggling. I have gotten a pretty good sense of their personalities by just hanging out with them I think. I know which chick would just as well eat my finger as what I am offering, and which chick just wants love instead of food... Good luck!
  3. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Is there a child that would like to play with the chickens handy? If so have the child or you, interact with each of the chickens. I am really shocked that the SLW is aggressive....mine is just a doll baby.

    I would chose the birds that are healthy, friendly, come to you readily and will allowing bneing picked up without too much fuss.
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I personally find it VERY hard to predict friendliness as chicks. They seem to go under massive personality changes at the 2-3 month teen stage, and then again at the egg laying stage. Some of my nicest chicks turned into little hellions that bounce off walls and would scream bloody murder if you touched them, while some of the more skittish ones ended up calmer.

    Best of luck, picking just a few is always a challenge. But when you are down to the last three, you can spend even more time holding them. My tamest ones probably had at least 2 hours a day of being held for the first 4 months of t heir lives. That was when I was just a kid though, and had that kind of time.
  5. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    Shouldn't you wait until you can tell which ones are roosters? Ending up with a roo or especially 3 could be traumatic for the kid. I would think 2week is a little early to really tell even besides watching for roos. Mine are just developping personalities and starting to get friendly at 2weeks.
  6. greenthumb89

    greenthumb89 Songster

    May 30, 2008
    pulaski wisconsin
    i think that you might want to wait a little bit more time to let the chicks come into there own. but my austrolorp was the lowest of the pecking order and now she loves to sit on my hand and be pet all the time so it just takes more time for them to get to know you. you could also try cochins, if you have one they are all around friendly and my faverolle follows me when i let her out of the coop so mainly it takes time. but just so you know the ones i have were all from the lower end of the pecking order adn when i get them away from the head chick they started to look to me as the head chick and always want to be by me. thats my thought on picking them.
  7. dftkarin

    dftkarin Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    Oh its so hard!! Thank you for everyone's advice! I have all 7 in a guinia pig cage and it is seemuing too small for them - they try to fly and they puff out their chests at each other - I just want them to have enough space. I really only want to keep 3 but I'm leaning towards keeping 4 and then if they all turn out okay I can still probably re-home one of them. I'm leaning towards keeping:

    1 australorp (she's shy and skittish but robust and healthy and I have high hopes that she'll be a good pet because the breed is just supposed to be gentle)

    1 glw because I LOVE LOVE LOVE the way they look and although she's shy and avoids me, she also doesn't peck at me and she's big and healthy-seeming)

    2 of the 4 barred rocks - and I'll keep the runt one because she's half the size of the others but seems gentle and sweet and may not ultimately make it but maybe she'll have a better shot in a smaller flock, and 1 other barred rock - and everyone says that barred rocks as a breed are friendly and social).

    I'm going to bring the feisty lovely slw and the other 2 barred rocks to the neighbors. Wish me luck!!!

    Actually, I'm sure I'll be reporting back over the next weeks and months as I psycho-analyze, assess and fall in love with these chickens.
  8. Rhett&SarahsMom

    Rhett&SarahsMom Songster

    May 8, 2008
    My Buff Orp Audrey was the friendliest from the moment they arrived. She has always run right over and wanted to be patted and held. Same with the Black Australorp( Natalee) we have.
    My Cochin, Rock and other 2 Orps you can tell just really prefer to not be held

    At this point it has become sort of a competition between Audrey and Natalee to see who gets up and onto an arm first when I open the brooder. BTW they are 6.5 weeks. Coop isnt done yet. So all 6 girls are still in the living room.
  9. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    Silkie is right...they go through BIG changes when they get a little older. My friendliest one as a chick is now my shy one. I was hoping it would stay friendly.

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