Handling very young pet chicks: Yea or Nay?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by joselleceline, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. joselleceline

    joselleceline Out Of The Brooder

    I'm the proud new mom to one 4 week old Silkie and two 2-day old Silkies, Gigi, Fifi and Lola. I've read conflicting info on whether to hold the young chicks or leave them alone. I want them to think of me as "mommy." Does often and gentle holding of them result in bonding for them? (I know it does for me!)
  2. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

    Aug 26, 2011
    :welcome and congratulations on your new chicks!
    As for holding, I definitely say yes, I spent a lot of time with my chickens when they were young, and as a result they grew up used to being around people and now have no qualms about flying onto my knee for a snack. ;)
  3. felidaet

    felidaet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    I also say hold them a lot. I hold my every day.
  4. I held my chicks when they were a day old....

  5. Squawkbox

    Squawkbox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 25, 2011
    I pretty much maul mine [​IMG][​IMG] They are just so cute! They need to be handled to get socialized. No different than any other animal IMO.
  6. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 2, 2009
    North Texas
    I agree. Hold them often! I watch TV with mine just to get them used to being around me. I had a group of chicks that I didn't get to handle a lot due to crazy work hours, and to this day, the birds from that group are not nearly as cuddly as my other birds. They also tend to spaz more when there is something new going on.
  7. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

    Aug 26, 2011
    Although sometimes there'll just be an odd chicken with an anti-social personality who won't respond as well to the attention. I had one of those, and she still runs away when someone approaches, hanging around the back of the group during feeding. And she was one of the first too, meaning I used to spend a lot of time with her, being fascinated by having chickens. :lol:
  8. PAchicks007

    PAchicks007 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 15, 2012
  9. Rachel96

    Rachel96 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2012
    South Australia
    Definately yea! All of the chickens that I've had as chicks, I've handled and they turn out very friendly birds. We get some full-grown birds occasionally and they're very flightly, whereas when I go into the coop where they're mixed with the hand-raised ones, the hand-raised ones will come up to me and jump on me (even when I'm standing without food!), very friendly. As long as you're quite gentle, especially when they're very young, and don't hurt them, they'll be fine.

    I have some 3-week-olds at the moment who I got at 1 week, they hadn't been handled much and were a little skittish but after two weeks of being in a brooder in one of the main rooms and being picked up and cuddled by any random family member who walks past, they're quite friendly and don't run to the other end of the brooder when someone comes anymore. They're happy to be held. In fact, I spent most of this afternoon with one on my shoulder and it hardly peeped because it was used to me.

    Definately hold them, cuddle them, play with them, rub your nose against them... Seriously, try it! They're so soft! They tickle... anyway.
  10. kittycooks

    kittycooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    I made a brooding apron out of a towel so I could carry my chicks around with me when they were small. The only time we didn't handle the chicks was when they arrived in the mail at three days old. But after a day they were eating and hopping around and we handled them every day to socialize them as pets. Do supervise young children to keep baby chicks safe. I tell the kids the chickens get to decide if they want to be carried around and the silkies always say yes! In the winter my kids would tuck them in their jacket and they would take a little nap.



    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by