HANDLING: WHEN IS IT TOO MUCH ?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SissaRuth84, Oct 2, 2016.

  1. SissaRuth84

    SissaRuth84 Just Hatched

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    Sep 12, 2016
    Clovis, CA
    Hello everyone !

    We have 6 chicks (2-4 weeks old) and are excited to have them big and loving. I know a decent amount of handling is acceptable, as well acceptable vital to their docile character, but when is it too much ?

    My 8 year old just wants to hold them one after the other, all day every day, and my primary worry is stress.

    How often should chicks/pellets actually be heald ?
     
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    You really need to watch your birds. If they are becoming lathargic, that is way over stressed. I would work with him not on holding the bird, but rather laying his hand in the coop and getting the chicks to approach him. Chickens are not terribly smart, a very small brain. Capturing them and forcing them to be in your hand will not make them calm down. They are prey animals, and anything swooping down from above is going to cause stress, and will not make them easy to handle, but reinforce their natural flight ones.

    Encourage him to be still, and to have the birds approach him, more challenging. Or just say no, that is too much. You could easily kill a bird with exhaustion.
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    central Wisconsin
    I would think for a bit every hour would be okay, but they do need to eat and drink and sleep, and bond with their clutch mates, so sometimes it's better just to watch them.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Instruct your child to not pick chicks up unless they are to be inspected or moved. Child can still be encouraged to touch chicks from side and call them over to stand on hand or otherwise approach. Birds I want very tame later are seldom held like you might do a kitten or puppy, rather they are encouraged to approach with treats and encouraged to sit on my lap to nap.
     
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  5. SissaRuth84

    SissaRuth84 Just Hatched

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    Sep 12, 2016
    Clovis, CA
    Thank you everyone. She's very slow and gentle, and at least 2 of them will approach her hand and let her scoop her hand under their chest and they just lay there and I do let her know that earning their trust is key rather than training them to comply. But she just wants to do that so often I was worried. We will keep it down to a few times a day to be safe.
     
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