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Handling baby chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MarTeeBoys, Jun 9, 2015.

  1. MarTeeBoys

    MarTeeBoys Out Of The Brooder

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    A friend of mine advised me that it was a good idea to not to handle chicks, and to only handle them when absolutely necessary. I want my chicks to be people friendly and not be skiddish. Can you handle chicks too much? Any help/advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. N F C

    N F C Home in WY Premium Member

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    Hi,

    Did your friend say why she thought chicks shouldn't be handled much?

    I have found that frequent, gentle handling really makes a difference in terms of people-friendliness. Of course, you wouldn't want to alarm them with fast hand motions that may look threatening or turn them loose with an unsupervised 3-year old kid, lol. But if you take your time, get them used to your hand (little treats can help with that), and talk softly to them, they'll figure out you're their friend and not be scared of you.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. MarTeeBoys

    MarTeeBoys Out Of The Brooder

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    He told me that handling chicks stresses them out too much and causes them to have a shorter life span. Our chicks are a week and half old and we feed them treats out of our hands and pick them up for a few minutes every day and talk to them.
     
  4. N F C

    N F C Home in WY Premium Member

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    It sounds to me as if you're doing it right and your birds will be fine.

    You'll probably hear some pretty amazing things from people now that you have chickens (from both owners and non-owners). Everything from "you have to have a rooster to get eggs" to folks that won't touch an egg that didn't come from the grocery store (!).

    If you have any more questions, this is the best place to come for answers. You have access to experienced chicken keepers from all over the world and most are more than glad to help a newbie out...after all, everyone was new at some point.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Overrun With Chickens

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    It's impossible to handle baby chicks too much as long as they're properly handled. Improper handling, thrusting your hands into a brooder from above the chicks stresses them out and makes them fearful since it resembles a hawk diving at them. It's best to reach in from the side to handle them.

    Even better, I like to get into a pen with them and let them crawl on me. They become fearless that way, often falling asleep on me. I allow them to explore my hands and arms and legs, and it makes handling them a breeze.[​IMG]
     
  6. MarTeeBoys

    MarTeeBoys Out Of The Brooder

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    You all are awesome! Thank you! That's why this is site is so great.... great advice from great people and from people with lots of experience!
     
  7. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had my chicks for a total of 6 hours. I put my hand in the brooder to pick some bedding out of the food dish and I had 2 chicks hop up on my hand. I had to nudge them off so I could turn my hand over and hold them. They hopped back on right away, it was so cool.
    I need to find some chick treats to keep them friendly, we have a friend with a 7 year old who loves some farming game on the cell phone. He says that she buys way too many animals, and says that she will be too excited to help me collect eggs when they visit.
     
  8. eviemethugh

    eviemethugh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In our house we have a little "rule" that shipped chicks get to be left alone for the first day so they can ease into things. But no real reason why I suppose. And after that they are free game for handling! Incubator chicks we don't observe any special handling rules and feed store chicks sometimes someone will cry out that we should leave them alone, sometimes we do sometimes we don't. [​IMG]
    I do think there is some merit to letting the chicks have some peace, but yeah you also want them to know and trust you!
     
  9. TBirdsTheWord33

    TBirdsTheWord33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Azygous always offers the BEST advice on how to socialize chickens. I agree with her post. Personally, I have found that the more time our family spends holding, petting, and hand-feeding our babies, the friendlier they become. Just follow your instinct to love and spoil them and observe their reactions carefully. They will ALWAYS let you know what they like and what they don't. Treating them with the utmost sensitivity, dignity, and respect will go a long way toward establishing a relationship of mutual understanding and trust. Most of all, life is short, so ENJOY your precious babies. They are a gift and a blessing!
     
  10. MarTeeBoys

    MarTeeBoys Out Of The Brooder

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    Awesome advice! Thank you all!!! And trust me, they will be spoiled rotten!!!
     

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