How did you win over your chick/en's love?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Barbeque, May 11, 2010.

  1. Barbeque

    Barbeque Songster

    May 4, 2010
    And by love, I mean lack of fear. Understanding you are the supplier of food.
    Mine think I am Satan.
    How did you raise your chicks to get them to not fear you?
    What treats did you give them that they enjoyed?
    I understand it may take 4 months for them to not think I am a danger to them, but I wanna know your ways of warming them up to you.
  2. St-Hubert

    St-Hubert Chicken Convert

    Apr 6, 2010
    Anniston, AL
    Mealworms are a big hit when they are a few weeks old. So are crickets. Our three girls out in the run are a little over two months, and they love earthworms and grass. And probably everything else they can get into their beaks.
    If you put some of their feed in your hand, you may find they come to you more often. Same thing goes with the treats. [​IMG]
  3. lizzy06019

    lizzy06019 Songster

    Oct 26, 2009
    Our chicks are 10 weeks old and they all come running to the door when they see me walking down the backyard. They know I bring the treats. But I had the same problem as you. When they were really little (like up till they were 5-6 weeks old) they would run away from me and it would sound like I was murdering them. Once they moved into their coop/run, I spent an hour everyday sitting with them. I allowed them to walk all over me, wouldn't try to touch them at first and then slowly started touching them as they walked by. I also hand fed them starting at a young age (just their chick feed). There were some that didn't need this much "training" and others who I still have to work with. That's just their personalities. As chicks, I started giving them meal worms, hard boiled/scrambled egg and yogurt. Now that they're older, they get ALL our leftovers. If you have questions about what they can eat, please refer to this website... I've found it incredibly helpful.
  4. babypeeps

    babypeeps In the Brooder

    Apr 28, 2010
    Southern Illinois
    Well my chicks I raised last year (10 of them) I just handled from the begining, and I fed them normally. When they grew I did give them treats, oats etc. Mine were also really loving. They followed us around like they were puppies. Loved to be held. All were really well natured. We just messed with them a LOT from the begining.
    My mom who had chicks all her life said that I had the best natured chickens ever LOL She couldn't believe how calm and fearless they were. I never knew why they were that way if it was the breed or if it was the way we were with them. (shrugs) lol
  5. I agree with feeding treats- bribe them! If i walk out in the yard and say 'chickens' the whole flock comes running! They won't let me hold them, and hate being petted, but they love to be where people are, just a few feet away. I seriously can't pick up anything without at least 2 inquisitive hens (usually my giants) coming to see if they can eat it.
    But around 4 months old, they got really suspicious of us (maybe it was their age, maybe it was the mysterious dissappearance of 10 extra roosters on a day we did not let them out of the pen) and it took a while to earn back that trust. I was the first to get it back and here is what I did:
    I collect feathers. I just went out every day, ignoring the chickens, and picking up feathers. This calmed them to me since they seemed to feel like I was just foraging like they were. I made no move to touch or even look at them, I just looked for feathers, about 30 minutes to an hour a day. Soon, they stopped running. Then they became interested in what I was doing. Then I was able to feed them again without the panicky things freaking out. And now they RUN to me. I think this non-chicken-centered activity helps them feel at ease. Plus, I love feathers, so thats a bonus!
  6. pharmchickrnmom

    pharmchickrnmom Songster

    Apr 13, 2010
    [​IMG] Satan, huh? My chicks are almost 5 weeks old and I make a point of holding them every day, even if they complain. I also give them treats [​IMG] but not all the time. I also let my arm hang in their box and when they settle, I talk low and pet them.[​IMG]

    Yours will come around unless they find out you go by the name Barbacue on this website! [​IMG]
  7. Barbeque

    Barbeque Songster

    May 4, 2010
    I named my favorite chick Barbecue [​IMG]
    He follows me around the yard all the time.
    In fact, he is on my keyboard and I can barely reach the t and y xD
    If I try to set him aside, he insists on being on my arm, under my chin, etc.
    Anyways, I guess I'll wait it out...
    I really want my chicks to not fear me.
    I give them treats, they'll eat out of my hand.
    I give them food and water.
    I clean out their brooder.
    They'll learn some day, I hope. [​IMG]
    also, when should I put them in their coop?
    At what age?
    I'll be gone most of June, I'll be in Vegas.
    Will they be scared of me when I come back?
  8. Redcatcher

    Redcatcher Songster

    May 7, 2010
    At My Desk!
    I have observed two types of fear in chickens. One is where they perceive you as a predator, and the other is a submissive fear. Chicks are more apt to show submissive fear because at that point they have not yet established their own pecking order in the flock. They will generally submit to any and all of the adult chickens in the flock, and this would include humans. This happens usually at around 3-6 weeks of age. Right about the time the adult chickens will begin to peck at them to remind them of their places. Chickens are smarter than what we give them credit for and they know what eye contact is. So avoid eye contact with them since they can perceive that as a threat. NEVER chase a chicken or let other chickens observe you chasing one. Nothing will make you more unpopular with the flock than chasing one. Overhandling them can backfire on you too especially if they are already fearful of you. The best way to tame them down is with plenty of time and patience. Pull up a chair and spend a few hours with them. Even get down with them on the floor/ground if you can so that you are at their level. Bribes can never hurt but allow them to get accustomed to your hands without grabbing for them or trying to pet them (most chickens do not enjoy random petting). Allow them to come to you, and they will. Some breeds take to people more than others and some individuals never do tame down. I have one such EE hen which came from a line of feral chickens. When I look at her she will let out a squawk but then ignores me when I go about my business.
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  9. chkinut

    chkinut Songster

    Feb 25, 2010
    Leesburg, Ohio
    i have 4 LF girls who are one month old and i like to go into their run and sit with them. 3 of them love to jump on my lap, arms, shoulders and head! the 4th one was super friendly as a chick and would always hop into my hand, now....she's still friendly, but it's as if she's too interested in her surroundings to bother herself with me at the moment. but from day 1, i handled them a LOT! i also have a 9 day old silkie chick who was the only hatch. therefore, she's spoiled rotten! when i take her out to visit her 4 friends, she just hangs out with me the whole time. she will only venture a few inches from me. today, though, i left her in the run while i weeded my garden....she peeped loudly for me while i was "gone" (i was just a few feet away)! it's so cute! but her situation is different. she was the only hatch....therefore, i spoil her all the time, hold here almost her eyes, i am her mom and buddy.
  10. StormyMoon

    StormyMoon Songster

    May 1, 2010
    Alvarado, TX

    is a video of mine, we just give them a lot of attention, we play with them often talk to them.
    They love to play tug of war with grass the higher you hold it up they like to jump for it.
    Play with them is all I can tell you [​IMG]

    Good Luck

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