Hatchlings or Feed Store age? Which is tamer?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Sonya9, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Never had chickens before but this spring I am going to get some (just 3 hens for eggs and bug control). Question, I would like for these chickens to be as "tame" as possible as ideally I would like them to be able to free-range in the fenced yard and eat bugs BUT be able to catch them easily and put them back in their coop.

    Will getting newborns make a difference? Do they bond better straight out of the egg? I plan to keep them in the kitchen initially so they will have plenty of time to bond. Our feed store has a lot every spring but I also know folks that keep chickens (my vet does) so I could probably get hatchlings just as easily without having to mail order.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
  2. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes,bonding is stronger in chicks. Handling also tends to make for more people oriented chicks,but breed does make a difference as some breeds are more docile/receptive to human contact than others.
     
  3. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    I've not had any difficulty taming the babies at feed store age. In fact I just got a few months ago some 5 week Olds. Now they are 4 months old and amazingly tame! They sleep on my belly and love to be petted. It all depends on YOU and how much you handle the birds. You will get a occasional Bird that does not care to be picked up no matter how much handling .but most are very easy to tame.it really depends on you and the time you spend. Breed also comes into play. Remember each Bird will have his or her own personality as well. Usually if time is spent even the ones who don't care to be picked up will let you handle them. They just make a fuss when picking them up but settle down short after. You will have no problem taming birds up to 8 weeks old. Older than that it might be more difficult. Which breed are you getting? I have silkies and they have always been exceptionally easy to tame. They are very docile by nature. So in my opinion hatchling or feed store age either one you will get about the same results with spending quality time and handling them often. Hope this helps and best wishes! !
     
  4. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you both for your replies! I just googled for local breeders and there is one very close to me. He has 30 different varieties and will have Buff Orpingtons hatched in a few days.

    He also has many others (see below). I want a friendly type that is a fairly good layer, he said sexing could be difficult and I don't really want roosters. Guess I should buy older chicks that are easier to sex. Any tips are appreciated.

    Quote:
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Sonya9: If you want your chicks to be super tame, you may be better off buying chicks, either locally or from a feed store. go to see this guy's farm b/fore commiting. It could be a wonderful place to buy chicks, but at least a drive by if it's local might be wise. I'd like to give you a heads up about one comment you made: re: being able to catch your chickens to put them in when necessary. If your girls are used to a treat bucket, you'll NEVER have to chase them. When ever you give them treats, call them with a specific call you use before dispensing goodies. They will learn your voice, and respond to that plus the sound of the treats shaking in the bucket. It's much easier to lead a chicken than it is to chase her! Even if you get adult birds, they'll come running as soon as they learn that your call plus the rattle of the treat bucket = goodies. And, you only have to train one chicken! The others will catch on quickly!

    ETA: You might want to re-think your plan to keep them in the kitchen. They are incredibly dusty. It doesn't matter what you use for bedding. They are dander and fluff shedding machines. Perhaps read a bit on the threads re: taking care of chicks to get an idea about how much space they'll need, temperature requirements, etc. Above all, have fun!
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
  6. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lazy Gardner thanks! I will definitely use the treat idea. And yes I am big into research, I have wanted chickens for 5 years, ever since I moved to a rural area and see them at the feed store every spring.

    Regarding them making a mess in the kitchen...lol. I live with 6 dogs including a 115 lb livestock guardian (Anatolian), they are all house dogs so a little dust or dander ain't no big deal! I have plenty of extra dog crates to use as a brooding box, also have extra heat lamps, temperature regulators, thermometers etc...that my two small reptiles aren't using. Space wise 3 little chicks should be fine in a large (or x lg) wire dog crate right? Of course the walls would be lined with cardboard to keep out drafts and they would have a heat lamp and suitable bedding etc... If they needed more space than that I could put them in the back bedroom.

    I live in a small house so the kitchen is in the main living area. While the dogs will always be supervised when in the room one of the reasons I want them in this area is so that they all get acclimated to each other (and the dogs get somewhat bored with the chicks). They will have a secure outdoor pen when they are old enough to start going in the yard.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Something to keep in mind about buying chicks from a feed store....it sounds harsh, but the weaker chicks that were going to die in the first 48 hours are already gone. Around here the chicks don't last much longer than a week in the feed store, so I doubt there would be much difference in taming them down. Chickens are highly treat/food motivated, no matter the age!
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Chicken dander and dog dander/hair are 2 entirely different issues! I'm glad you have a back bedroom, so that if it does bother you, you have a plan B to turn to! Have lots of fun.
     
  9. FVRM

    FVRM Chillin' With My Peeps

    Handling chickens at any age can make them tamer. I have a small flock and all of them get close when I go inside the run. They just don't like to be picked up but I still can if I needed to.
     

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