How do I tame chicks that are raised by a broody??

4 Georgia Hens

Crowing
Jan 3, 2017
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Northern Georgia
Hello everyone! I have a broody silkie with 5 chicks. They are all about a week old. On my “farm” all of my chickens are super tame and I don’t want these babies to be any different. The hen doesn’t seem to care if I hold her chicks, but they really don’t love attention from me. What would be the best approach for taming the chicks? Any advice or experiences are welcome!
 

50-45-1

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 25, 2008
2,786
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Northern Michigan (tip of the little finger area)
My Coop
My Coop
I would not "force myself" on these chicks. If it is alarming to them you are scaring them and teaching them you are scary.
Let them come to you. They will given time come to trust you.
I always advise folks to make your visits to the coop pleasant.
Let your critters know that good things happen when you appear.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,862
22,035
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Southeast Louisiana
You are lucky that the hen allows you to handle her chicks, that often does not happen.

I pretty much agree, make your visits pleasant and fairly often. Maybe take a chair and just sit with them while reading or playing with a device. Use food as a bribe to keep Mama and them close. Move slowly and try to not move your hands over them. They instinctively are scared of things like hawks moving over them. Chicks with a broody can be challenging but it sounds like you are in a good place with that broody.
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
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Idaho
if momma likes to sit on your lap pick her up and just sit there the chicks will come , chickens are creatures of habit, so they see momma sitting with you and getting treats it's positive experience and momma says it's ok. Another option is spend a little more time but put their feed up for a bit and teach them to eat out of your hand, you can gently stroke their breast area while they eat so they get used to you touching them. Good luck with that
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,454
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Holts Summit, Missouri
I generally do not pick up the chicks, at least not at first. First step is to be around hen with brood to get every one to calm down. Apply small amounts of fresh feed and stay close as they feed. Then let them out to feed on feed spilled on you. I also like using live meal worms as an enticement. I use game hens mostly, meanest on the planet, yet even they are easy once you get the technique down. I have two broods operating around house that now break off to follow me with hen into tow. Those broods need to work around people, including kids not familiar with chickens, so chicks and hens need to be tame to the extreme.
 

AuntieWeasel

Songster
Jun 23, 2019
104
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Sussex
The three chicks I hatched under a broody last year have never tamed as much as the chicks I raised from an incubator. I can pick them up when I need to, and I guess that's as much as I expect.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,454
18,031
876
Holts Summit, Missouri
You can tame hen reared chicks, even when the hen is not helpful. When a crazy hen is involved, I treat her like a wild acting budgie where she and brood are placed in a rabbit cage that is largely covered by a cloth that lets light through but no real images. Then I apply feed in small amounts into a feeder where that is the only place she and chicks can see me. As they calm down, I make so they can see more and more of me.

At this moment I have 7 game chicks in a brooder where they see me only when I supply water and feed. At this point they are flat out scared of me. With just a little work, I will be able to get them to come to me and even fly to my hand when called. The chickens are so plastic if you only take your time and provide rewards at first to get them respond to calls.
 

MANNA-PRO

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