How can I get my chicks used to me handling them?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Baby_Chick, May 5, 2009.

  1. Baby_Chick

    Baby_Chick Out Of The Brooder

    They all run away and jump ontop of each other and they try to "fly" away. I don't want to hurt them and I also don't want them hurting each other. It's really annoying.
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You just have to hold them a lot. You can help them get used to your hand by offering food in it. Sometimes just the chicken food works. Treats work better, of course. If they're very young you might let them peck some plain yogurt off your palm.

    What breed are they? Some breeds are much more skittish than others.
  3. Chicky Tocks

    Chicky Tocks [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2666.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Ru

    Oct 20, 2008
    Benton, Arkansas
    You have to just pick them up initially. Mine have been tamed by simply holding them up close to my body and under my chin. It's very warm there and almost winglike. Then I speak to them softly and say "chook chook chook chook".
  4. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    Mine were total freaks too...but we had a breakthrough today!! They ate crumble out of my hand for the first time, and my little BR jumped onto my hand, walked along my arm, and perched there for about 5 minutes!! TOTALLY worth the wait!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Have patience, it'll happen..
  5. realmofthewoodsranch

    realmofthewoodsranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2009
    Palintowne, Alaska
    I put my hand in the brooder and then wait through the madness until they are all still. Then I'll wiggle a finger, wait, wiggle two fingers, wait, so on and so forth. Eventually they will stop (it takes less than a minute usually) and you can pet them without picking them up. I'd be pretty freaked out if a giant "predator" hand came out of nowhere and picked me up and took me away from my hatch mates (think hawk). Take it slow, but make sure to practice the waiting game every day, at least once or twice a day. Once they stop freaking out about your hand in the brooder with them, and accept you petting them, you can start putting your hand around their bodies to restrain them, and then if they're not freaking out, let them go. Once they have accepted the restraint, then you can move it along until they are ok with you holding them against their will and you will be able to start picking them up with very little fussing. Again, take it slow! Pick them up for a few seconds, then put them down if they're not fussing. Keep adding time until you can hold them for as long as you like without them fussing. That should help with the crazy behavior when you stick your hand in the brooder. They need to know that your hand is not a predator and that you're not going to kill them. Good things come from hands, like scrambled egg goodies, yogurt, crickets, mealworms. Feel free to use treats to assure them that you're the good hand, not the bad hand. [​IMG] Training chickens is not too much different than dogs, you'd be surprised how smart they can be. [​IMG]
    Edited for clarity and spelling.
    Last edited: May 5, 2009
  6. Bridget399

    Bridget399 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    South Western PA
    I talk to my chicks as much as possible (the brooders in the house). They all stop and turn their heads to the side![​IMG]
    But they do eat crumble out of my hand and jump on it when I offer it. Just takes some time! Keep up with it, it'll happen! [​IMG]
  7. Baby_Chick

    Baby_Chick Out Of The Brooder

    Quote:Yeah, I've tried to let them eat crumble out of my hand once before and I waited about 5 mins and nothing, all 5 of them were just there bunched up in the corner farthest away from me. When I try to let them eat crumble out of my hand should I take away the feeder? My chickens are a week old as of today and they are New Hampshire Red Hens.
  8. Baby_Chick

    Baby_Chick Out Of The Brooder

    Quote:At one weeek old are they too young for treats? And when I pick them up for a few seconds, should I just pick them up a few inches of the ground of the brooder? And how long will this whole process take? I'm not that patient.
  9. astatula

    astatula Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2009
    Maybe someone here with more experience can correct me if I am wrong but I was having the same problem and then I went to the pet shop and bought some meal worms.

    I have 25 babies at 2-3 weeks old. BC Marans, Welsumers, and Barnevelders and I want to tell you that they now run to me every time I open the coop/brooder they are in.

    I am their best friend and I am finding that the Welsumers are the most comfortable with me followed closely by the Marans and for some reason, maybe because there are only two of them out of the 25, but the Barne's are still a little shy.

    Try meal worms and you will get them all on your side, they will even fight over being closest one to you.

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