Help! How to deal with little kids holding chicks!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by justamomma, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. justamomma

    justamomma Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2013
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    This is long but please read and give advice!!My mother and my youngest sister are in town visiting and my little sister is obsessed with our little chicks. She just got here this afternoon and has already been downstairs to play with the chicks 20 something times. The problem is that she keeps putting the chicks on her finger and holding them up in the air :( and of course they jump and fall :(
    She is a really well behaved little girl and is around all sorts of animals back home ranging from bunnies to bobcats. But i explained to her that they are just fragile babies and i showed her how to hold them so as not to injure their wings but i am already worried about their safety. I have a 10 mo old baby girl and my mom also has my 7 mo baby brother here too (big age gap i know lol) so i can't go downstairs every time to moniter my sister with the chicks. My husband has asked her to hold them down low and so have i and i snuck down and she was holding them up trying to put one on her finger again. Its nice that she enjoys them because it's gives my mom and i and the babies some peace and quiet while she is playing with the chicks aside from the awful cries for help i hear from my little chickie babies :( how does everyone here handle kids playing with your baby chicks?? I told my mom to maybe talk to her about how fragile they are tonight before bed. It's day one of their visit :/ i love my sister and i know she means well but we have a lot of time and money invested into or little chicks and their coop.
     
  2. Bellatrixed

    Bellatrixed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they were my chicks, I would put a latch on their cage/brooder so that it can't be opened without adult supervision. Then I'd explain to her that it's bad for the chicks to be overexcited like that and that it's unnatural for chicks to be grabbed and picked up repeatedly. Maybe if you tell her the chicks think her hands are scary animals eating them she'd stop finding it so fun. It's not a good idea for a child to be handling chicks unsupervised anyway--it's very possible to get sick if she touches them and then puts her fingers in her mouth or something of the sort.
     
  3. CedarAcres

    CedarAcres Sunny Side Up

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    I wouldn't let kids play with my chicks unsupervised. They just don't understand that they could be hurting them. I think it's adorable that she loves them so much though! I'd try to make it so she can't get at them on her own, with some sort of cover on the brooder. Or simply tell her she can't play with them on her own.
     
  4. EmuJane

    EmuJane New Egg

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    We got a small box with some bedding in it for my daughter to sit on her lap while she's holding the chicks. We did it mostly so she would have a slightly lower risk of being pooped on, and because she wanted to hold more than one at a time, but maybe that could work for you?

    [​IMG]

    Here's her set-up. the side closest to her is low, but we taped up the other sides to discourage flying out as much as possible.
     
  5. justamomma

    justamomma Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2013
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    Yes she understands that she can get sick from them, she has sanitized and washed her little hands so much today they are raw :( so i know she is trying to be good and listen. I think a cover on their brooder is a great idea! A couple of or chicks are older and are trying to escape anyways. My husband will have to cut some wire to put over the to when he gets home from work tomorrow so in the meantime and i will accompany her when i can and I'll just have to say no to her if i am busy. I haven't had a chance to go down and give them some soft cuddles and inspect them for injuries yet but i will first thing in the morning and hopefully they are all okay :(
     
  6. justamomma

    justamomma Out Of The Brooder

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    That is so darn cute!! If she lived close by i would definitely have to make her something like that, but they live 6 hrs away :( Next time they visit the little chickies will be outside where they can run away from her lol
     
  7. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There was a thread not long ago about a child accidentally dropping a chick and the chick was injured. They thought it sustained head damage and the poster was contemplating putting the chick down.

    You've got more than your hands full with visitors and a baby of your own and it's going to be impossible to monitor your chicks 24/7. I'd put them in a locked room unless you are able to be there with your sister to personally supervise her with the chicks. Maybe she can be your "Chick Helper" and can assist you with feeding, watering, etc. and visit with them when you go to do those chores. I would explain to her how she can and - more importantly - how she can not hold and treat the chicks.

    Set ground rules in the beginning of this visit or it will be an absolute nightmare should she accidentally injure [or worse] one of the chicks. She'll be upset - you'll be upset - your mom will be upset and in the middle - and the visit will be ruined. Good luck and I hope that it all resolves itself so that everyone has an enjoyable visit.
     
  8. bugglesmommy

    bugglesmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Have you considered teaching her to place her hand down with feed? My chicks, little piglets I should say, LOVE it and I enjoy it as well, even though the pecks are starting to get uncomfortable. It's a way to interact with them without picking them up. It is really hazardous to have unsupervised interactions but I know you can't make a lid right away and depending on her age and personality she might sneak play sessions even with telling her not to. I would personally rather have her sneak in a try to coax them to eat from her hand then what she's doing now.
     
  9. justamomma

    justamomma Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2013
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    Thank you,those are some great suggestions and very well put! I have been unable to fall asleep tonight because i don't want to hurt any feelings over the chicks and also don't want any chicks to get hurt if they haven't already :( I think they went through quite a bit of stress this afternoon so i hope all is well and everyone is still eating and drinking and alert in the morning.
     
  10. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You say she is really well behaved. So you should be able to tell her "NO" and expect her to obey. They are your chicks and if you have told her how to hold them and she has not listened, then the consequence has to be that she can't go down there unsupervised. Your mom should back you up 100%...and the latch on the brooder isn't a bad idea either.
     

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