Hand feeding...bad idea?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by my first peepers, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. my first peepers

    my first peepers Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    South Western VT
    A couple of weeks ago I started hand feeding my chicks in order to tame them a little. They are now 10 weeks old and it is starting to hurt! They do come up to me if I go sit out in the grass but the silliest one, Dotty has started nipping at me. She is very curious and it is not a malicious kind of nip but I don't really like it and I don't want her to hurt my kids.
    Is handfeeding a bad idea? What is a good way to make them friendlier and more approachable without encouraging biting?
    Thanks for any suggestions!
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2008
  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Mine love me just as much if I throw their food at them! [​IMG]

    My chickens have always just enjoyed hanging out with me, whatever I was doing. They also really like it when I talk to them. They all seem to enjoy perching on a leg, while we're sitting in a chair. We've always handled them from the time they were chicks, but don't usually hand feed them. They just aren't as gentle taking food as my parrot is! I did hold the dried mealworm container while they ate out of it, at Christmas. [​IMG]
  3. greenmulberry

    greenmulberry Songster

    Jul 17, 2007
    They will nip at you if they are bold enough to come visit, it has nothing to do with handfeeding, except that you have friendly chickens!

    Chickens peck at things they are curious of, so they will peck at little specks and spots on your skin and clothes. I would shoo them away if they peck, and teach your kids that if they see a chicken looking intently at their skin, to move away because the chicken is about to peck. You can usually tell when they are about to peck because they will look at the spot for a moment before they peck.
  4. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    Mine are very friendly too and I never hand fed them and they will still peck at a leg every now and again. They don't mean to hurt you but they are just looking for food and if you have any spots on your legs or arms they want to see if it tastes good! [​IMG] I would dress the kids with long pants and long sleeves if they are young and would get scared. My 3 yr old doesn't seem to mind my hens pecks. They are nine weeks old now. We quickly learned NOT to wear crocks out to the hen house [​IMG] OR earrings!
  5. shangri-lafarms

    shangri-lafarms Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    NY-Upstate Adirondacks
    Mine peck my rings when I hand feed them, which is only when I feel like it...They don't hurt me too badly, They are pretty gentle and happy to get some atttention..[​IMG]
  6. Ladysonja

    Ladysonja Songster

    Jul 29, 2008
    Porter, Texas
    Quote:Thanks for this little tid-bit of information. I am covered in freckles on my arms and legs, I'm sure I'll be a taste tester from day 1 when mine arrive - LOL!

    If I hadn't read this, I would have automatically assume my birds didn't like me and were out to eat me alive - LOL!

    Thinking about it, my Quaker Parrot nibbles on my arm trying to get a freckle - too funny, but make sense now!

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