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HELP!! I Think They Hate Me!!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Leah and peeps, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. Leah and peeps

    Leah and peeps Songster

    Jun 28, 2009
    Hi everyone,

    I have a dilema! I have 10, 3 week old chicks and i think they all hate me/ are scared of me! (except for my 2 EO's[​IMG] ) I really can't have them afraid of people! They are going to have visits from different people and i want the people to be able to hold them , and pet them, and not have the girls run away from the visitors! Of course i want to be able to do that too! Please help me tame my chicks! [​IMG] Thanks guys!

  2. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    Hold them, Pet them, Hold them, Pet them, Hold...... you get the picture. [​IMG]
  3. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    From what direction do you approach them to handle them?

    If you reach for them from overhead, their instinct is to react as if a predator was swooping in to attack them from the sky. If the only way you handle them is from above, they will just get more and more afraid of you. Even the most tame adult chicken will usually run from you unless you approach them on their level, coming in toward them from the side.

    I solved this problem with newborns by constructing a cardboard box brooder with an access door on the side, and placing it on a table. I'm raising my second batch of chicks in this set-up, and I've never had such tame chicks. None have been the least afraid to be handled, even from day one.

    I've been cementing my relationship with them by cuddling them in my lap each night. This has paid off in spades with the eight-week olds who are now learning to go into the coop at night. Sometimes it's necessary to round up a couple who are reluctant to go inside, and they literally come to me when I call them and wait to be picked up! This is a far cry from last year's pullets, raised in the conventional brooder on the floor, most of whom I still can't catch.
  4. sharol

    sharol Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    I think you are completely right about the side access, Azygous (love the name, by the way).

    When I started with my chicks, they were in an old cat cage from cat show days 30 years ago. It is 52x22x22 high, and it has two side doors and a roof that is hinged on one side. The cage was low enough that I took the top back to clean and arrange and reach the chickies. They were pretty nervous about the "hand of death" that would swoop down on them.

    My dog discovered the pen, and we had to put it higher on a taller table. At that point I couldn't reach over the top of the cage and began accessing it from the doors on the sides. Last night I put my hand in to refill the waterer, and within a few seconds, there were 4 2.5 week old chicks perched on my arm and hand. I petted them and stroked them with the other hand for quite a while before they got bored and went on their way. The best part is that the shyest chick (the one who hated handling the most and was the hardest to catch to hold) was one of the four who "volunteered" to be stroked.

    THe location, and reaching in from the side made a huge difference for the girls.
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I agree with all that's been said...approaching them correctly and treats, treats, treats (especially scrambled egg). Some will tame down nicely, and some will most likely be curious and approachable, but will never like being petted/handled. At least that was my case, and all of mine were handled a lot as they grew up.
  6. midget_farms

    midget_farms Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    At that age they are afraid of anything that moves. Its OK.

    I got a box of grubs from the local pet store & every time I opened the brooder I gave them a handful. It only took a day for them all to come running when I opened up.

    To this day - most of them will follow me around the yard when I work & all come when I call them. Its crazy - but treats trains them early on that people are a source of good stuff!

    Don't use grains or other hard things they cant digest. Use scrambled egg or grubs.
  7. MarieNC

    MarieNC Songster

    May 10, 2010
    Mine acted like I was evil incarnate at the age. But you have to persevere! Pick them up gently as others have mentioned, set them on your lap, pet them and talk to them. Mine are quite friendly but going through the independent teenage phase right now - don't want anything to do with me unless I have food, or there's a thunderstorm. Treats really do help! You could pick one up at a time and feed her some treats - mine particularly liked uncooked (but not instant) oatmeal, to the point where they won't eat it unless it's in my hands. Another big hit was mealworms!

  8. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
    Get down on their level-makes you less scary. Move slowly and be consistent and only touch and pick them them from underneath; not over the back...
  9. Leah and peeps

    Leah and peeps Songster

    Jun 28, 2009
    Thanks guys! You really helped me out a lot! Great suggestions! I will try them all and let you know on the how its going! [​IMG]
  10. Chicken Charlotte

    Chicken Charlotte Out of the Brooder

    Jun 7, 2010
    Like anyone would say spend time with them play with them catch them even put them in a small bag(only 1) and keep it close to you all the time then it wont leave you alone it will always want you thats what my nextdoor neighboor says because she did it when her chick got hert by the others.[​IMG] hoope it helps:thumbsup

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