Getting dramatic chicks comfortable with being picked up

May 28, 2020
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I have five 2-week old chicks. 4 of the 5 will climb on me so it's easy to get them out of the brooder. My silkie has itty bitty wings and she's kind of useless getting out. She hates being picked up to come out but will scream if she doesn't get to come out. One of the ones who can get out easily HATES being picked up to get back in. I've read a lot of posts about getting them familiar with handling - they enjoy being held once they are, the one who hates getting picked up to go back in will cuddle on my shoulders all dang day. I have tried luring with treats, rewarding with treats once picked up. I do the slow underhand movement to their chest and then give a treat with the other hand. Nothing seems to work and it's frustrating because I'm at the point of not wanting to let some of them out of the brooder because of the stress for them.

Thanks for any tips in advance!
 

21hens-incharge

Nuttier than a squirrels stash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
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Most birds go through a personality/temperament change when they reach maturity.

I will say out of well over 150 birds over the decades I only had ONE that actually wanted handled.

Remember....everything likes to eat chicken so nature tells them DANGER DANGER about 99.9% of every moving thing around them.
 

Gallinarium

Crowing
Apr 15, 2020
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All of my birds would ignore me when I walked among them, until they realized I actually wanted to pick them up. Then it was every chicken for themselves. They did enjoy being held.
It depends on the breed as well. Leghorns will give you a dirty look if they even suspect you're thinking about picking them up. Cochins, on the other hand, often follow you around everywhere begging to be held. There is always that exception though.
I think most chickens just act like that. Sorry that I'm no help whatsoever.
 
May 28, 2020
241
282
126
All of my birds would ignore me when I walked among them, until they realized I actually wanted to pick them up. Then it was every chicken for themselves. They did enjoy being held.
It depends on the breed as well. Leghorns will give you a dirty look if they even suspect you're thinking about picking them up. Cochins, on the other hand, often follow you around everywhere begging to be held. There is always that exception though.
I think most chickens just act like that. Sorry that I'm no help whatsoever.

One of them DEMANDS being held. 😂 At least I got one really affectionate one. The biggest problem child is the one who gets out on her own but then getting back in is another story. Sucks because I want to socialize them/give them freedom to roam but not traumatize.
 

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