Correct way to pick up a chicken

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SC-Chick-A-Dee, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. Whitehouse Quail

    Whitehouse Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2009
    For poultry showmanship/proper ways, you pick it up, scooping underneath the wings, then you wiggle your right hand, with your middle finger between their legs, then squeeze your fingers together like you're going to slap someone. With your pinky and thumb, you latch on to their wings so they can't flap away. Then, you can use your left hand to do whatever needs to be done. (If it's more comfortable, reverse the hands)

    I'll post pics once it's not dark out.

    Edit. They don't care if their held this way, they actually seem to enjoy it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2009
  2. When I have them picked up I quickly tuck their heads between my left arm and my body. Then I take my left hand and hold their legs together. So it looks like i have a chicken butt in front of me.

    I have carried a few hens around like this for many minutes. They are very calm and relaxed.
  3. FaereChicken

    FaereChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2009
    N. Central Maryland
    I generally pick up whatever part is closest, and quickly transfer the bird under my arm to control the wings, stroking their head and neck to calm them. It mostly works. Occasionally one must be pulled out of the nest box by her feet, but it's quick.
  4. lngrid

    lngrid Chillin' With My Peeps

    When I got my first cat as a girl, I was taught to pick them up by coming up with one hand behind the front legs to cradle the chest and putting the other hand under their hind legs to lift. I've been wondering what the proper way to pick up a chicken is. Whiteconfections, would you please post pics of what you were talking about? I had trouble visualizing it.

    Dianer29, I did a search here for "upside" and got 89 pages of threads! [​IMG] Do you happen to remember anything else unusual what was mentioned that I could add to the search to narrow it down a bit?

    Chickerdoodle, if it's not too much trouble, would you post the name of your book and what it says? I mean, I believe you, but I remember stuff and understand it better if I know where it comes from. If that's too much trouble could you just post the name of the book and the chapter the info comes from?

    This is all stuff I think is important to know.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
  5. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    Quote:The book is by Hobby Farms Chickens Tending a Small-Scale Flock for Pleasure and Profit by Sue Weaver on page 30 under Henhouse Hints

    "Another thing beginners may not know: don't carry chickens by their legs! It can hurt them, its undignified, and it scares them silly. People think chickens don't mind this position because they don't flop. Well can you say "shock?" This was a quote by Marci Roberts, Springfield Mo.
  6. lngrid

    lngrid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks very much for that.

    As I read it, it occurred to me that chickens might not have the right kind of muscles to be able to breathe properly or have the right kind of valves in their blood vessels for blood to circulate properly when they're upside down.

    I'm just guessing, here...
  7. cobrien

    cobrien Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    I'm no expert but have had great luck with treating chickens for various ailments (lice, nail/beak clipping, injections, or just looking through feathers) by placing them on their side (one wing on ground or table). With one hand, hold the top wing down and your other hand can be mostly free. It doesn't work for all of them but for many, they relax and I can do the treatment on my own. It gives good access to the parts that are hard to reach when they are standing.
    Good luck,
  8. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    Try holding onto their dirty, dinosaur feet. It worked for me in this pic, which was the first time I tried it.

  9. lngrid

    lngrid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:That's good information, Coleen. Thanks so much! It nudged my memory. I think someone here said they read about someone doing crop surgery while the bird was laying on its side and its head was covered by a towel. Would doing that calm some of the more flighty birds?
  10. bibliophile birds

    bibliophile birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:i think that's the same as what i was describing, but maybe reversed. my birds like to be able to see me, but i would assume they should be facing out, towards judges, for showing?

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