Friendly Chickens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Newbie Farm Girl, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. Newbie Farm Girl

    Newbie Farm Girl New Egg

    Sep 25, 2011
    What do you guys suggest when it comes to handling baby chicks...

    Do you think that, handling them more while they are brooding will make them into more friendly birds as adolescents and adults?
    I really want to have nice, friendly chickens that will come right up to me and let me pick them up and pet them! [​IMG]
  2. rcentner

    rcentner Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 6, 2009
    Le Roy, NY
    Quote:handle them as much as possible, feed them out of your hand and you will have some real nice chickens. The ones I was able to handle as chicks are still handleable today. Does help if they have a good demeanor too. The chicks I have raised that I didn't get to handle I still can't handle easily.
  3. Achickenwrangler#1

    Achickenwrangler#1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 7, 2011
    west virginia
    I agree, handle often and lots, hand feeding them now will remember forever..I have 2 now (itty and bitty) that were given to me (orphaned by a coon) and they a flightly breed, but since I became their ' mom' at a week old, and there are only 2 of them and I have the time I stick them inside my shirt, I think they are comforted by the feel of brreathing and heartbeat...warning, wear an old shirt and shake out the little presents....hahaha:lol:
  4. zathura12

    zathura12 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 30, 2011
    My sister would do that to our chickens any day. She 'taught' my cousin how to do that and when they did that, they were so chubby. [​IMG]
  5. Cha Cha Chicken

    Cha Cha Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 5, 2010
    I'd handle them at least twice a day for at least ten minutes. Also, last week, I fed them A FEW well cooked noodles out of my hand, and ever since they've hopped into my hand every time I'm there at the brooder! be careful to only give them a few, as too many noodles can clog up their crops.
  6. Alethea

    Alethea Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2011
    Handle them every day and hand-feed them sometimes. When they are old enough for snacks, hand-feed them their snacks. Not only does it make for fun, friendly pets, but getting used to being handled also makes it easier if there is an emergency and you have to pick them up.
  7. lvchicken

    lvchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2011
    I tried this a few months ago with my Mediterranean breeds, but I don't think I held them enough because they don't like me now [​IMG]
  8. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2011
    Waldo County, Maine
    Quote:Handling from a young age can help in conditioning all but the most incorrigible chicken as it grows older. Brooder size, especially, it's important to keep your height relative to them as close as possible. With a raised brooder, it's not that big a deal. If you're using a box on the floor, you should try to kneel or sit as much as possible when handling at that stage. The less they have to crane back to look you in the eye, the better.

    I'm not a fan of feeding treats directly from the hand. It can lead to some nasty pecks later from a grown bird who is otherwise docile to handle but has wound up near the top of the pecking order. Casting treats to the floor is sufficient for them to know where they come from, and build and maintain the tenuous trust you want to establish with them.
  9. AV Brahmas

    AV Brahmas Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 30, 2011
    The Great White North
    Handling is fine but keep in mind that it is not a natural thing for a chicken to want to be touched by us. Not frightening them is more important. There is absolutely no substitute for hand feeding poultry to make them tame. Homing pigeon people have known this for years as that bird must be tame in the loft to make it easier to clock. We hand feed all of our show birds....geese, turkeys, ducks, and chickens. Brahmas are about as big as they come and the occasional peck when you are not looking is startling but not likely to do you much damage.

    The other thing you should keep in mind is that not all birds are going to respond to your invitation to friendship. Withing breeds there are differences and between breeds especially. We have good luck taming Brahmas to the point you have to push them aside with your leg as you wade thru them. Cochins, Orpingtons, about the same. But we had an entire pen of Lakenvelders once that were unbelievably wild and raised in the same manner as the Brahmas. Silkies can become incredibly tame. Had an OE rooster many years back who would ride on my shoulder if I let him. We culled the entire pen of Lakenvelders.
  10. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2011
    Waldo County, Maine
    Quote:Precisely. My aim in handling them when small and, in fact any handling at all regardless of age, is to make them comfortable in my hands. I may be washed up in my thinking, but I've always been of the mind that their last memory of the experience is the one that will stick, and make a point of settling them back to a sound footing as the last bit before loosing them. I know I'm making progress when they don't dart from the spot I put them in, but take a look around before going about their chickenly business from that spot.

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