How do I make them friendly?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by andrealeec, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. andrealeec

    andrealeec In the Brooder

    Apr 10, 2011
    I got my chicks on Saturday, and everytime I put my hand in there they run away from me. How do I make them used to me-just keep gently picking them up? Also, their wing and tail feathers are starting to come in and they are pulling out their fluff like crazy. Is this normal? Thanks in advance!

  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    The daily handling and feeding from hand. Good time to find the treat they can't resist for later food oriented training. Don't over do treats and supply grit/sand.

    Your reminding me we've kinda been neglecting the fondling. Straight run so we were avoiding any rooster imprinting but they're old enough now for serious sessions of handling.
  3. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Songster

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    They're not actually pulling out their fluff, they're just grooming themselves. The fluff comes out as the feathers come in and yes, it's perfectly normal. Chicks feather up REALLY fast at first. By 14 days or so their wings will probably be all feathered out and they might even be growing feathers on their shoulders.

    The running away in panic is also perfectly normal and the best way to bring them round is probably to wait till they're a few weeks old and start feeding them treats. Food is a great training tool! Keep handling them in the meantime but don't rush to feed them treats. In my experience baby chicks do best on a basic diet of chick crumbles and water and nothing else, at least for the first couple of weeks. If you fill them up with too many treats, they sometimes ignore their crumbles, and then they can miss out on vital nutrition. Loads of people do feed treats from when they're very young and don't have any problems, I'm just mentioning it to be on the safe side.

    Personally I find that chicks go through a panicky flighty phase from maybe 2-6 weeks old no matter what I do with them or how much I handle them. Now I tend to handle them a bit but not too much, and wait till they're past the blind terror stage to get them friendly with me. And of course some breeds are a lot calmer and friendlier than others...
  4. Mommysongbird

    Mommysongbird Songster

    Mar 17, 2011
    Small Town, Virginia
    We have put our chicks (2 weeks old now) in a new brooder that has both an opening side door and the top opens as well (its an old dog crate that I picked up at Goodwill a few months back). Anyway, my son who is 9 will sit in the floor with the front/side door opened and he just talks to our chicks and feeds them their crumble in his hand. They are getting more and more out of their 'flighty' scared stage by doing this. We still have a few that don't like for you to pet them, but most of them love it. We try not to pick them up too much either. Just sit and talk to them and hand feed.

    We are new to chicks, this is the first time ever hatching and raising, so we are learning a lot. The first few days we picked them up every few hours or so and they were scared them because we put our hand in from the top and that is how we put their feeders in as well, they would even run from them. But they got use to that after about a week. Even now if we add something new to their crate, like the blue saucers that I put their treats (scramble/boiled eggs or yogurt) in they will run. I put a new waterer (rabbit water bottle) on the side of their crate yesterday and at first they were frightened, but after about 10 minutes or so they were investigating.
  5. I spent some time every day picking them up and talking to them- also played classical music for them. They just went out in the coop and this morning when I checked on them, they all gathered at my feet. I think they like me. Too bad they have a metal roof and the radio doesn't work in the coop- no more Bach.
  6. Mommysongbird

    Mommysongbird Songster

    Mar 17, 2011
    Small Town, Virginia
    Quote:Haha, we play country radio for ours, we do this for our dogs too, they love it.

    We really won't have a way to run electric to our coop, so I may try to find a small radio that I can just put batteries in and play it a bit. We have a while before the "move" though. [​IMG]
  7. jeepchick

    jeepchick Songster

    Mar 23, 2011
    Loudon, New Hampshire
    Not sure if I am making them friendly or not because these are my first chicks but they are 7 days old now and everytime i walk by the brooder I stop and talk to them and put my hand inside. At first they ran around crazy but now at a week old they peck at anything on my hand and arm that they dont think belongs there and jump up on my hand and walk up my arm so they can sit on my shoulder and look at my face. I find they get extra happy when I have rings on.....they get that "OH SHINY" excitement and go right for it lol. Only thing I am having a problem with is my day old RIRs and my 5 week old polish are in the brooder together.....they all get along great, there is no bullying going on but when I put my hand in the polish go nuts and freak out all the little ones. I got the polish at 4 weeks old so they didn't get the chance to get used to be from the get go [​IMG] Hope they come around.

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