handling baby chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by snlconner, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. snlconner

    snlconner Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 5, 2015
    We plan on getting some baby chicks in the next few days and I want them to be friendly yet at the same time don't want to handle them so much they die. We also have young children. How much should baby chicks be handled by age? We should be getting them around a day old.
    Thank you for any advice!
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016
  2. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Flock Master

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    In my experience you really do not need to handle them a lot for them to recognize that your being there means food.
    If you place treats in your hand and let them peck at the treats they are sure to associate your presence with good things. I would not use actual treats until they are a week or three old. I would use some of their starter food. When you do introduce any treats or food items other then their starter food they will NEED grit for chicks.

    NOW then with small children and chickens......
    Mostly the children will need to be taught that they need to be calm and quiet around the little chicks so they do not frighten them and NOT to pick them up.
    Little children tend to grab harder then intended or not correctly to avoid injuring the chick.
    Hand washing before and after having a hand in the chick brooder even if they do not touch a chick is a good practice to teach the kiddos.

    Lastly the children need to understand that they are NOT to open the brooder without you there. Nothing so sad as a well intentioned child bringing you a dead accident. It is also much safer if you are there so the light does not get knocked around or broken.

    A lot of my chicks were only handled when I had to take care of a pasty butt or check them over. They are all friendly as adults. Please bear in mind that chickens are not going to be like a puppy and want to be in your lap. Chickens are a prey animal and tend to fear things coming in from above too.

    Best wishes and be sure to post pics. (We are pic addicts here on BYC)
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016
  3. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 3, 2016
    Hello snlconner,
    Congratulations on this most auspicious occasion. New chickens are always a blessing! 21-hens-incharge made a number of very good points and I will only offer a slightly different experience in the areas that differ from 21hens. Some breeds of chicken and some chickens in particular may decide they like to be handled. I've seen it first hand ((had chickens in my lap less than 20 minutes ago)) and heard many other folks whom often allow their hens to free range....in the house! You can to some extent through gentle and responsible handling encourage more friendly and accepting behavior in your flock though breed and temperament ((nature)) has as much to do with it as their upbringing and handling ((nurture)).
    Please note there are right and wrong ways to hold a chick. Learn them and teach them to your kids. This bit of research done now will save you a lot of distressed peeping. As 21hens said post pics! ^_^

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