Do you persist with handling the young chicks that don't like it? **SUCCESS** :)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Nonny, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. Nonny

    Nonny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm noticing the different personalities of the new chicks becoming more obvious each day. (They are 4 weeks old now)

    Freckles, the Ancona, is great at being picked up. She'll approach me, sit or stand quietly in my hand when I pick her up, will stand in front of me and let me reach out and scratch/pat her etc. She's such a lovely docile chick, but is also the most curious and will approach anything new long before the others do. She also likes to pick at the spots on my skin and will dive into my cleavage given half a chance. LOL

    Lacey, the Light Sussex, is really skittish and noisy and gets very distressed still when separated from her coop mates. She hates being caught, but will sit fairly quiet until I let her go again.

    Nutmeg (my favourite!) is a Barnevelder and she is feisty! She is hard to pick up, and will actually peck at my hand quite hard as I reach for her, to warn me to back off. When I pick her up I can only hold her if I completely immobilise her by having one hand over her wings, and one under her breast. She will however let me examine her if I need to.

    Cinnamon the Welsummer is the problem one. She absolutely will not let me catch her, and when caught she will flap and struggle until she is free. It makes it difficult to put her to bed at night as they still haven't figured out the ramp so I lift them up and down each day.

    If I persist with handling her daily and try to make it as positive an experience as possible, what are the chances she'll stop fighting it? Or should I just accept she's not into being handled and leave her alone? I hate that it stresses her every time I put her in the coop at night.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  2. chicklover16

    chicklover16 queen of flirts

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    If you are persistant and hold her lots every day than she will eventually except the fact that people pick her up and it is nothing to get worried about. However if you leave her alone than she will just keep getting more and more skittish until she is impossible to get near. I suggest that you at least try to tame her, I had a chicken just like her and I just had to keep holding her over and over again until she gave up trying to run away. Hope this was helpful!

    idy
     
  3. hold her and talk to her and softly pet her.never stop handling them a difficult chick will be an even more difficult adult.
     
  4. tinydancer87

    tinydancer87 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Early on some chicks will be more tame than others. I will still pick the wilder ones up, but not as often, cuz the tame ones are so much more fun!

    I find that as adults, you will have some that just "tolerate" being held vs the ones who run to you, jump in your lap, etc. It's just their different personalities.

    I don't tend to handle my LF roosters alot, but the bantam boys are fair game [​IMG]
     
  5. Nonny

    Nonny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmmm... that's what I was afraid of. I already have one adult hen that I have to handle when she's asleep because even food won't get her close enough to grab LOL. Looks like I'll be spending a bit of time sitting in the run with a cuppa and a good book.
     
  6. chicklover16

    chicklover16 queen of flirts

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    [​IMG]
     
  7. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know that a difficult chick will be a difficult adult...in my experience, their personalities mellow a LOT when they reach POL...my easter egger whom I could never catch for the life of me before, has become super sweet and even cuddly in the past few days...in the same time frame that she began to do the egg squat.

    She would NEVER take treats from my hand before, or really even come up close to me when I was administering treats, now she is one of the first ones to run up to me to see if I brought her a tasty tidbit. She actually lets me pick her up and carry her arround, and actually seem to enjoy it now. Same thing goes for my larger BLRW, and my Salmon Faverolle. Ichabod (SF) is not as close to laying as Clover (EE), but her comb is getting some color to it, and she has become more curious, underfoot, and handleable as of late. Jasmine my BLRW has also become far more handleable and friendly. She was rather aloof before, and now climbs in my lap. I always wait till point of lay or after to see what their personalities will be like...the only exception I made was the three EE pullets I just rehomed to my neighbors. They were charging and chasing my small dog.

    The only POL that has not come around as much is Candi (BLRW). She is laying now, but she is still a touch standofish and unsure. I can handle her if need be though.

    I have however, found that for me, mealworms are the best way to win over the babies, and once you win them over, they stay super friendly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
  8. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't persist but maybe because its not that important to me to have cuddly chooks. I have some that give me a wide berth despite being raised by me since they were day-olds, and I have a couple that can't wait to jump up onto my lap the second I sit down. I still have 3 pullets from the first batch I incubated and while two of them are "so-so" to me - come close but not over-friendly, the third seems to consider me to be her mama, and always tries to get as close to me as she can. If I'm standing on the deck looking out at the yard, she'll jump up onto the deck railing right next to me and talk up a storm. If I sit down, she'd in my lap within seconds. Yesterday I was sitting on the deck stairs and she just stepped up onto my back and walked up to my shoulder like that was perfectly normal behavior.

    The only advantage I can see to having chooks that like to be handled is that if they are ill, it is easier to catch them for treatments. Otherwise, I could care less if they like to be handled or not. And, in the event they do need care, I can always pick them up off the roost after they go to bed at night.
     
  9. RaZ

    RaZ Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I've handled my flock since they were peeps and they are used to being touched by human hands. I think that this gives me an advantage when having to check on them in case of any illness. My birds are conditioned to being touched and checked and they know that contact is not a traumatic event.

    My chickens are not lap chickens but I think it is a good thing that I can call them and handle them on the off chance that they might need attention for an injury or illness. For example, a recent pecking order dispute left one of my hens with a bloody, torn comb. I was able to treat the injury and the hen was not distressed while I took care of the wound.
     
  10. Nonny

    Nonny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is why I want to be able to handle them. I'm not into having "lap chickens" but I think it's important that I can handle them to check out potential illness or injury without having to go out after dark when I won't be able to see (no power down that end of teh yard and I'm old enough that I need good bright light to see properly). Cinnamon is only small yet, but if she keeps up the flapping and struggling I can see me getting a lot of injuries trying to check her for mites or lice when she's older.
     

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