How do I tame my baby chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by thecreekhouse, Jan 23, 2019.

  1. thecreekhouse

    thecreekhouse Songster

    Feb 26, 2015
    East Tennessee
    I am raising three baby chicks in a brooder in our house. They’re one week old and they’re a white Leghorn, an Easter Egger and a Rhode Island Red. My problem is that whenever I try to hold or even touch them they go into a frenzy of trying to get away. My older pullets - 7 months - are also very shy, so I am hoping that I can raise these babies to be more friendly and outgoing. They’re so scared of me that they won’t even get close enough to allow me to offer treats from my hand. Does anyone have any suggestions for making my chicks more friendly and unafraid of me?
  2. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

    Jul 31, 2018
    Catalonia, Spain
    My Coop
    Keep your hands low.
    Never approach them from above.
    Don't hold them, let them walk onto your hand.
    Don't lean over them.
    Wear the same cloths.
  3. FlyingNunFarm

    FlyingNunFarm Crossing the Road

    May 28, 2015
    Chesterland, OH
    My Coop
    Keep trying. Think if how much bigger you are then them. You must look like a scary monster coming to eat them!

    Chickens are very food motivated. Trying wetting a little feed and see if they will come up to you to eat it. Talk softly but continually so they are used to your voice. Move slowly, predators move fast. Just sit near them where they can see you and walk up to you but don't reach out to them.
    Usually they will come around. It takes a little time and patience.

    Enjoy fluffy babies and share pictures!
    Chickassan and Kris5902 like this.
  4. Notaneggspurt

    Notaneggspurt Songster

    May 17, 2016
    My Coop
    Did you start out with more chicks and lose some? I had one get stuck in the feeder and created a huge ruckus. Took about a week working with them to get them calmed down after that.
  5. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    For chicks I found it made a huge difference to not reach down to pick them up, but from the side instead. Depending on how your brooder is set up that might be difficult.

    For the older birds, time, patience and food are key. If they're extremely skittish, I would not even try to touch them right now. Grab a chair or a picnic blanket, some chicken treats, sit in the run with them, and read a book. Just spend time with them in a non threatening manner. You can talk to them in a soft voice. If they start showing some interest in you, you can toss a few treats like scratch or mealworms. As they gradually get used to you, you can toss the treats closer to where you're sitting, or offer them in your palm. Once they accept being that close, you can try stroking them briefly.

    Some birds will never love being handled and the best they'll do is tolerate you being close, but that's usually good enough IMO for handling purposes.
  6. MissChick@dee

    [email protected] ~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~

    Aug 18, 2017
    Caliente Nevada
    Sit on the ground. Get comfortable. Let them come and explore. It takes time to build trust. Usually there is one that is more confident or curious then the others. Work with that one and the others will follow. Use comforting tones and speak quietly. For me I spent time every single day with mine.
    I didn’t pick them up till about 3 weeks old. At that age they were offered treats and GRIT. Once you pick them up wait until they are calm (mine would fall asleep) don’t pick one up unless you can hold them until calm. Before you know it they’ll be fussing over who gets the best spot on your legs. And some will show you that they want to be held next. I have one that even as a tiny chick didn’t want the attention. She 10 months old now. I can pick her up easily but she happy just sitting beside my chair next to my feet. They all have their own personalities. Best wishes
  7. divediva

    divediva Chirping

    Feb 23, 2016
    Hello I'm raising my first babies. I got them at 10 days and had them inside till 6 weeks. I spend a few hours every day with them and usually have them on the sofa with me while I watch tv. They snuggle up and fight over who sits under my chin but in the day time they don't want to come to me unless I have food. Will they get more comfortable being handled. They are 7 weeks old? They are Rhode island X leghorn and I read that leghorns can be aloof. I just want them to enjoy being petted. Will it just take time? I give them lots of treats.
  8. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    Where do you keep them in your house, and can they always see you?
    It helps to brood in a room where you spend alot of time and in a brooder that they can see you out of.
    My broods are done in the den and in a puppy playpen.
    They get use to seeing and hearing me on all sides and on their level.
    It is just freaky to them to have a big human pop into a quiet room and over the top of a solid box with no view.
    It is like you came out of nowhere!
    Imagine if you went to your bathroom, flicked on the light and there was just a random person in there...same idea.:)
    Shadrach and [email protected] like this.
  9. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    Maybe, maybe not. Some chickens just don't like petting.
    They are fine with touching you but not vice versa, no amount of food can change that.
    One day, they might decide its fine too!
    They're strange little creatures with their own ideas, we are just along for the ride.;)
  10. MissChick@dee

    [email protected] ~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~

    Aug 18, 2017
    Caliente Nevada
    Just don’t tell Judy she aloof. She a sensitive flower :lau
    My LH is my biggest cuddlier!

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