Handling Baby Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Caseym1717, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. Caseym1717

    Caseym1717 In the Brooder

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    Hello! My chicks will be 1 week old as of tomorrow. I hold them about once a day because I don't want them to get too cold or scared. Recently, they are super skiddish when I try to hold them and just seem happier when they are alone together. I want my chicks to be friendly and comfortable around my family and I. Should I let them be or hold them more often so they get used to me? Thanks!
     
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  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    They are flock animals, so it's natural for them to freak out when you remove them from their flock and their home (their brooder). I would try to interact with them in the confines of their brooder. Offer them treats from your hand, put your hand in and let them explore it.
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    We can tailor our replies more completely if you will complete your profile with you location.

    If you are lucky enough to have a mild winter climate, you can begin taking your chicks outdoors on nice days to let them romp and explore. This will give you the opportunity to get down on their level and allow them to explore you.

    Chicks react completely differently when they can take you in as a whole instead of disembodied hands diving at them.

    Practically everyone reports their chicks becoming much more friendly and trusting once they are outside in a larger space. DSCN3974.jpg
     
  4. Caseym1717

    Caseym1717 In the Brooder

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    Feb 23, 2018
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    Thank you! I live in central California. It has been so warm here lately, in mid 70s, yet now its 50 and raining, go figure haha. I took them out together in the sunshine yesterday and they seemed to enjoy it. Thanks for the tips, I really appreciate it!
     
    drumstick diva likes this.
  5. Joeschooks

    Joeschooks Just clucking around

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    That is completely normal. As the others said I find they prefer me interacting with them in the brooder. I feed treats out of my hand (that causes a stampede!!) and stroke them and generally just handle them inside the brooder to get them really used to me and my hands. I do take them out occasionally and give them one or two meal worms each but they are keen to get back to their flock. I do this so that they hopefully associate being picked up with getting yummy treat! I hope you end up with lovely tame chickens!
     
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  6. Caseym1717

    Caseym1717 In the Brooder

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    Feb 23, 2018
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    Thank you! Ive been putting my hand in with some fruit and they flee to the edge of the brooder and won't get the courage to try any. I am hoping that an egg tomorrow will do the trick!
     
    drumstick diva likes this.
  7. Joeschooks

    Joeschooks Just clucking around

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    Once one is brave enough to come to you and have a taste, do it a couple more times and they should come running like lightening if they like the treats! They go crazy for mealworms IME.
     
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  8. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    Can you fashion a side access in your brooder? Chicks approached from the side, as opposed to from overhead, will react with much more trust and calm.
     
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  9. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    If you're more comfortable you can sit with them in your bathtub lol! Yes I actually did this with mine on days it was too cold or rainy outside. :)
     
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  10. HoopyFrood

    HoopyFrood Songster

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    @Caseym1717 Welcome to BYC!!

    If you give them any food other than starter crumble be sure to offer chick grit as well. Especially if you treat them with insects :)

    BTW we handled ours (and talked to them) constantly from the first day. But we didn't take them out of the brooder or any distance from their flock mates until they were much more settled into their routine. The nice thing about talking to them while your hands are in the brooder (especially when they're very young) is it calls their attention upward so they see your face and body - you're not just disembodied hands as @azygous mentioned.

    As soon as we got them in the brooder we had to teach them to use the poultry nipple waterer, so it was "hands-on" from the first moment! The first time they look you in the eye is quite amazing!
     
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