How do i befriend my chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by pixieschickens, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. pixieschickens

    pixieschickens Hatching

    Apr 24, 2019
    I have a lot of chickens, about 40, and some hens birthed chicks. About 15 chicks in total. They are all healthy, and i clean them and Feed them everyday. They run from me whenever i try to approach them. There is only one chick in the whole batch who comes to me and likes being handled and handfed. Even she is really scared when I move with her in my hands. I tried to befriend the others but they peck at my hands when I try to approach them...:( I’m quite new to raising chickens, as the grown hens were my grandpa’s. Oh and also, how do I tell if the chick that doesn’t peck when I handle her really likes me? I can’t seem to distinguish sounds of distress from sounds of happiness. Help me!!!! I’m new to BYC....
  2. chkva

    chkva Songster

    Mar 20, 2015
    I have an OE and she doesn't let me hand feed her or pet her (I raised her from day 1), she will run if I try but she will sit with me on the steps or ground. I held this chicken every day of her life, but as she grew she wanted nothing to do with it. I realized that she just doesn't want to be pet or anything so we keep it at that. When she lays eggs and I go collect them, she will run right next to me as I inspect it and every time I tell her "That's good laying, Eve" and she makes this cooing noise as she follows me to bring the egg inside.

    I think spending time with them daily and staying still will help them warm up to you. Once they get used to you staying still, you can start to slowly move and so on. It takes time for them to warm up to you especially if they were in the care of someone else before.

    Chicks to me are easier to get acting like a pet because they're new in this world. They usually adapt easier to humans. Chicks are also easier to handle because you can pick them up and interact with them easier than a grown chicken.

    Good luck with your chicks and chickens!
  3. crazy4ChickensNducks

    crazy4ChickensNducks Songster

    Dec 16, 2018
    west, michigan
    Chickens do not like to be handled, they are scared of you, unless you handle each one for about 30 minutes a day they will still be terrified
    CaramelKittey and Callender Girl like this.
  4. Callender Girl

    Callender Girl Crowing

    Sep 18, 2018
    North Central Iowa
    Chickens, like any other creature, are individuals; some will become pets and some never will. And, some will change their opinion of you as they get older.

    My first brooded chicks acted as if I was gong to tear off their heads every time I reached into the brooder. As adults, they run toward me for treats, and when convinced another hen might take the treat, will even hop onto my lap. It may be because they saw my grand dame hen getting all the grapes, and they wanted some, too. When I didn't harm her, it may have colored their opinion of me as non-threatening. Your friendly girl may have the same effect on the flock.

    The hens that were raised by their own Iowa Blue mother still act as if I am planning to kill them. They will run up for treats, snatch them away as quickly as possible and eat at a distance. Attempts to physically return them to their coop means lots of running around for all of us, and plenty of noisy exchanges.

    I've had my best success with handling babies daily; I often put them on my lap and loosely wrap the front of my sweater around them to help calm them and make them feel protected. This approach is working with my 4-week-old chicks as they are making "field trips" out of their brooder. One girl actually wants to stay on my lap rather than run around with her siblings. She may need a little push "out of the nest," so to speak.

    I think careful observation will tell you if the chicks' sounds are happy or not. Soft, little sounds usually mean everything's okay while sharp, shrill sounds mean something's a problem.

    Be patient because you are as new to them as they are new to you. Keep feeding them and working to keep them healthy, and I bet some friendships will develop for you.

    Welcome to the group, and happy chicken keeping!
    Sherloki and CaramelKittey like this.
  5. CaramelKittey

    CaramelKittey Songster

    Feb 15, 2019
    New Jersey
    Congratulations on having 15 chicks!

    From my experience, making slow movements is best. Never make a sudden movement or quickly grab a chick (unless you have to).

    My younger sister and I handled our 4 chicks every day. The chicks are now comfortable with as being near them and holding them, and allow us to do all sorts of weird things with them. (They are meant for show)
    Despite our efforts one chick (who I probably gave the most attention to) does not like her wings pulled out or her head touched.

    Handling the chicks every day is best. My sister and I would take them out of the brooder and handle them in pairs if we had a lot. 15 is a lot of chicks to handle but, 15 is also adorable!

    Hope this helped!
    Callender Girl and chkva like this.

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