getting friendly with slightly older chicks?


7 Years
May 29, 2012

I am a new chick mom to 2 4-week-old chicks and 1 3-week-old chick. They clearly have not been handled much yet and seem startled when I put my hand in to do anything... they try to get as far away as possible. Is it too late to socialize them to me? Can I try to bribe them with treats like meal worms? I really hope to have people-friendly hens if possible! Thanks so much for any advice!

Yes, its possible. I didn't socialize mine well. They are now 11 and 7weeka. When I moved them into big coop they all ran from me. After one week of coming and going, they now come looking for treats. They don't like being picked up much, yet, but will readily eat from my hand. Just take your time, move slow and BRIBE them.

My younger ones are nicer because they see me as a protector. The older ones are starting to get the idea that I'm not that bad after all.
The way to a chicken's heart is through their stomach. I have socialized several older chicks with success using treats. I think the key is to not force socialization, let them come to you. I don't pick up my chicks a lot, as this swooping hand from above sets off serious prey responses for them. You have to respect their natural instinct. My big girls are free range in the yard, and they come running to me every time I walk outside, and follow me around the yard. I treat them regularly, but don't push them further than they feel comfortable.
My chicks were like that at first also. I would put some crackle and mealworms in my hand and they all come running. I will pick them all up, even the shy ones, and hold them until they calm down. I stroke their back and whisper or sing. Yes I am a little chicken crazy, but they are just so sweet. :D just go slowly and they will come to you.

Good luck:)

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