Holding a chicken

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Rosey516, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. Rosey516

    Rosey516 Chillin' With My Peeps

    77
    5
    58
    Jul 14, 2013
    New Jersey
    Hi, can someone please tell me how to hold a chicken ? My girls come on my lap and let me pet them but I'm afraid to hold them I red somewhere that you can press on their lungs and cutoff air..
     
  2. DancingWthDucks

    DancingWthDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,065
    161
    166
    Feb 21, 2016
    Cumbria, UK
    I firmly hold down the wings with my thumbs, and wrap my fingers under her breast bone. Grabbing by the wings and neck are definitely a no- no as this can damage the bird. Although some people hold their birds by the legs, upside down, I find this a bit rough and prefer to treat the bird with more respect. There are other meathods but go with what you and your chickens find most comfortable.
     
  3. Rosey516

    Rosey516 Chillin' With My Peeps

    77
    5
    58
    Jul 14, 2013
    New Jersey
    they are so big I will try thanks.. [​IMG] Can I pick them up from their sides like holding wings down?
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
  4. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

    838
    300
    126
    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    I scoop them up with one hand directly under their bellies, so their legs dangle on either side, and then tuck them against my body. Don't know how "acceptable" that is but most of them don't seem to mind. I have one that doesn't want to be held at all so I just let her perch on my arm like a parrot would.
     
  5. Rosey516

    Rosey516 Chillin' With My Peeps

    77
    5
    58
    Jul 14, 2013
    New Jersey
    Lol I was just practicing and that's how I ended up holding them.. one of mine also won't let me pick her up.. thank you
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,746
    6,877
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    If you can scoop them up under the belly that's good, some won't tolerate that, and it gets harder the bigger they get.

    Otherwise wrap both hands around their bodies holding the wings down, don't squeeze too tight....
    ......then hold them like a football, one hand on the wing and underneath them the other wing against your body.

    Then you could sit down with them on your lap, holding wings in place if they are agitated.

    Holding their wings from flapping makes them understand they can't get away and they will submit...
    ....the more time you spend handling them the calmer they might get .

    A lot of birds just really don't want to be held.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Wickedchicken6

    Wickedchicken6 No Rest For The WicKed Premium Member

    6,070
    6,547
    416
    Nov 7, 2015
    Southwestern MB, Canada
    I used to hold a chicken like you were describing...like hugging it.
    Then I saw this video which does work quite well.

    [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  8. PingoBags

    PingoBags Chillin' With My Peeps

    136
    20
    53
    Jun 27, 2016
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    That's how I do it too, my girls don't mind it at all. Most of the time I don't need to tuck them either, just one hand and go.
    I can't do it with my cockerel though, so I grab him around his wings with both hands and hope he doesn't escape.
     
  9. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

    838
    300
    126
    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    I don't really have to tuck my Buff Rock against my body, she hunkers down which makes her easy to carry, so she's the only one I pick up with frequency. My Buckeye is my "parrot" and willingly climbs onto my arm but doesn't like being held in any way, so that's how I handle her. My other 2 birds aren't as keen on being picked up so I only pick them up every few days to check them over, and when I do I usually tuck them against my body just to make sure they don't flap and hurt themselves.

    I do like keeping one hand free so I can offer treats or check feathers for pests, etc.
     
  10. henny1129

    henny1129 Crazy Livestock Gal

    2,354
    329
    196
    Mar 21, 2016
    Ohio!
    I hold my birds with one hand underneath them and each of their legs dangle on the side of my fingers. That probably didn't make much sense :)lol:), so here's a pic of how I hold my hands:
    [​IMG]
    You put you hand under your chickens body and then your pointer and middle finger go on the outside of one leg, then a chickens leg go's between your middle and ring finger, and then your ring finger goes between the two legs, and the chickens other leg goes between you ring finger and pinky. Your pinky than goes on the outside of the leg. This is how you are supposed to hold a bird while showing it and it really is the safest method. When you hold a bird like this they really cannot get away as long as you have a strong, firm hold on their legs. Until your bird gets used to being held this way you can put your other hand over their wings if you want. We have some show birds and they are so used to being held like this that we can extend our arm and go anywhere with them. It's also helpful because when we hold them like this in a show, you can use one hand to hold them and the other to extend their wings, show their eyes, show their legs, etc. Hope this helps and if you want to I can get a pick of me holding an actual bird like this. :D
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by