Handling Chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jcornett37, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. jcornett37

    jcornett37 Out Of The Brooder

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    Will handling my chicks more when they are young make them more "holdable" when they are older? They are kind of skiddish now......can I change this by more handling?
     
  2. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    A lot of how holdable a chicken will be depends on breed.
    Yes if you pay attention to them now they will be more inclined to allow you to handle them when they are older. HOWEVER I will add that you probably do not want to stress them out and make them more likely to become ill.

    Things I have done that has helped my chickens accept me.
    1. Spend time near them
    2. Rest hand in the brooder palm up and allow them to explore it
    3. #2 and put some feed in the hand to encourage the shy ones to come see what is up
    4. Never grab them suddenly
    5. Keep the brooder raised up so when they see me I am not some looming thing to fear.
    6. Talk quietly to them so they get used to my voice.

    I have some that will never be holdable due to the nature of the breed. They do not startle when I enter the coop nor do they run from me unless I look like I may try to touch them.

    I hope this helps.
     
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome! I agree with 21 hens totally. Some birds will allow handling, jump on your lap, and generally be "friendlier" than others. I enjoy all of them, even though for most birds being held is a very traumatic experience. My flock comes when called (looking for goodies!) and hangs around in my presence, but chickens are not dogs, and have to enjoyed for who they are. Mary
     
  4. jcornett37

    jcornett37 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2015
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    Thank you!!! We are doing most of these things now so I dont feel so bad that some are still skiddish. Hopefully as they get older they will get even more trusting of us! Yeah!!
     
  5. WashingtonWino

    WashingtonWino Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Which breeds do you have? I think I freaked myself out, reading the breed reviews and now I'm concerned I bought a bunch of beautiful but unfriendly chicks. Too late to change the order now! Please do let us know if/when your chicks come around!
     
  6. SimplyLogan

    SimplyLogan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With our first batch of chicks we handled them all the time. We had read on BYC if you do that they will be more friendly. Although, I got what was considered friendly breeds, they turned out nice calm and friendly. The second batch we did not hold as much. My son had went to college and I had became ill so they did not get the attention the others had. That batch is not mean, but not quite as friendly and don't really want touched. The second batch of breads are quite different but still are said to be friendly. So, we try to handle them as much as we can and still not stress out the baby chick. We have seen quite a difference between our first two flocks.
     
  7. WashingtonWino

    WashingtonWino Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SimplyLogan,thanks for the info! I'm glad to know that it really makes a difference! Would you say that you handled your first flock every day? This may also be a silly question but how would you know if a chick had been handled too much and was stressed?
     
  8. SimplyLogan

    SimplyLogan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will start by saying I have only had chickens for three years. So, I am by no means an expert and use BYC for lots of advice (wonderful people here). With that said, really watching the babies and observing how they act is a good tale. One sure sign is said to be pasty butt. Always important to watch for in baby chicks. Other wise, if they are happy, active, no labored breathing, they are good. You can usually tell if they are acting slow or lethargic, labored breathing. not active like the rest, kind of like a momma, you can usually tell if one looks off. If they huddle under the light they are to cold and need to lower heat light; if scattered out or to the sides then they are to hot, raise the lamp. We did not mess with the babies much the first week and let them get their bearings. After that, we started holding them just for shot bits and only every other day till they got comfortable with us. All of our chicks so far came from a local Co-op. Although, they were still shipped to the Co-op, they often hold them a few days to make sure they are ok or recover somewhat before selling them (at least mine does). For the first time ever, I have an order placed from a hatchery this year (little nervous). From what other have said they can be very stressed from the postal handling during shipping. I plan to get mine in the brooder, make sure they are warm and eating/drinking and give them time before I mess with them to much. Long story short (as I tend to babble on), as long as the babies are active and happy, handle away starting slow. If you have any doubts of how your babies are acting, don't be afraid to ask BYC.
     
  9. jcornett37

    jcornett37 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2015
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    Thanks for all the great info!!
     
  10. WashingtonWino

    WashingtonWino Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's early yet, but I'm already noticing breed differences. I'll put my hand in the brooder and the curious easter egger runs right over to investigate, practically falls asleep in my hand. Australorp hardly makes a peep and relaxes immediately. BC Marans peeps like it's the end of the world. None of them run away from my hand but only a few willingly approach. Interesting!
     

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