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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by petejd, Oct 21, 2011.
We have 4-5 day old chicks. How much should they be handled if we want them to be somewhat "tame"?
when I refill feeders I would often offer food from my hand before putting the feeder down again. Getting them used to trusting the human hand is a start
Last spring, I got chicks for the first time. I handled them every chance I got, even if it was just a little pat as I was going by the brooder. Most of them still love attention, although one is a little standoffish. Love seeing them run to the door of their pen when they see me! As chicks they would peep when they heard my footsteps or my voice. Seems like they really love interacting with humans. Mine are a little afraid of my grandchildren though.
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You don't want to handle them too much when they are young, because they need to be kept in their nice, warm brooder. Hand feeding really helped when I was raising.
I didn't handle mine much but what worked for me was TREATS. I would get them maggots or waxworms each week. THEY WOULD GO CRAZY but develop a trust and when they see the Blue container that the treats came in my chickens come running, they will jump on my leg, arms whatever it took to get to those treats..
I would say as much as you can. Handle, feed by hand, touch them, love them, kiss them and play with them, put a little fluffy stuff animal in there. I would sit and watch and let them see me and run on my hands. How can you stay away from ALL THAT FUZZ!!
we handled ours quite a bit, treats help a whole lot. DH used to dig earth worms for them each night. we really wanted friendly chickens and that's what we got! have fun!!
Handle them enough for them to get used to you, and understand that you're not a threat. It may mean small moves at first. Example would be cradling them in your palm without actually lifting their feet completely off the floor and then letting them go. As they get to be okay with that, lift them higher and wiggle your hand so that they get their feet up enough to stand on your fingers, still low to the floor, allowing them to hop off when they want to.
You'll learn your way around them. The one thing NOT to do is to chase them in any way at that age, on foot or even with your hand. Those that are going to will come to you in time. Some will come in on their own, and others will follow out of curiosity. A shiny ring on your hand will bring in some that are more shy. Some will not have anything to do with you.
I was able to reduce the death rates by eliminating handling the first 7 days. Visit yes, hand extended yes. Chick can approach, but no reaching for chick (unless in need of help). This is what has worked best for us.