How do you get the little fuzzbutts to imprint?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by wings, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. wings

    wings Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    I will be getting 7 more chicks in the spring, and I want to get them to stay in the yard so we can let them free range.
    I know this is almost impossible, but it's worth a shot, right???
    Also, wouldn't it be soooo awesome to have 7 chickens follow YOU, and only YOU around??

    So how do you do it? Or more specifically, how do you TRY to do it?
  2. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not sure what the question is, but I`ll try. After chickens are old enough to roost( about 2 months for most), they will return to the same roost at night if allowed to free range. To get them to follow you around, try hand feeding them from an early age. Then you have to keep it up as they mature. Some breeds are better than others for this as are some indeviduals.
  3. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    Hatch geese. [​IMG]
  4. Chicky Tocks

    Chicky Tocks [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2666.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Ru

    Oct 20, 2008
    Benton, Arkansas
    Hehe or also you can put their treats in the same dish or bucket, be it scraps or scratch, they'll identify you as the one with the nom nom.
  5. Superior Chicks

    Superior Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Spend as much time as you can with them, talking to them, cuddling them, picking them up, sitting with them, stroking them, playing with them,......spend time time time!

    This of course was easy for me as I am retired, and I spend more time in the coop than I do in my house![​IMG] But I adore my girls, and they adore me! They will follow me anywhere, and come when I call. (Although they expect treats when they got older, but I taught them that too I suppose.) I love giving them special treats.

    The single best thing you can do is BE with them as much as possible. (It is a chore I love.) This is also the best possible thing you can do for the health of your little flock. You will spot any problems or abnormal behavior right away.

    Time well spent.[​IMG]

  6. chickenpiedpiper

    chickenpiedpiper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2008
    New Durham NH
    Nothing impossible about it! It is easy to get chicks to imprint! Like the previous poster said, its all about time and treats!

    We got 15 baby chicks last spring, and set up a brooder cage right in the living room, I lined it with newspaper, and changed it twice a day. When the weather was nice, I took everyone out, put them in a cat crate, (eventually two cat crates, cause they grew so much) and took them out into the garden with me! they would spend the day outside scratching and roaming around! I set up a pen with movable panels and a heat light, and food and water, that always stayed in one place, and released them from the crate into that pen every morning, then after a few minutes, opened that pen and let em run! When ever they got cold, or scared, they would return to that pen, or if nap time came, which was often when they were young, they would go back to the pen, and nestle down under the lights and snooze. (oh, I covered one end, as protection for the lights against rain, they liked that area.)

    My chicks are all now full grown, and they still will follow me wherever I go or come running when I call them, I developed a call for them when they were babies, everybody I know who raises chicks makes up thier own. But they learn your sounds, if you are repetative, and what each sound means.

    I also made it a habit to pick them up by scooping my hand under thier chest so thier legs stuck thru my fingers. by doing this from a young age, they are now easy to catch, and I can 'scoop' even my big cochin Roo with relative ease, (tho he takes some effort!) They understand what I am doing, and rarely raise a fuss about being picked up. I think the scoop method is less frightening to them than a snatch and grab, tho sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do!

    When our chicks where still young, they would come out of thier brooder after a long day in the garden, and want to sit in our laps, or shoulders, and we spread towels for them to do that, and they would fly to us to sit and watch tv with us. Then like sleepy kids at christmas, we would put them back in when we went to bed ourselves. To this day, if I sit in the yard, or on the porch, inevitably someone will want to come and sit on my lap! There was no effort involved, just time, nonstartling movements, and consistancy!

    Also tho, I have noticed that breeds can effect the likely hood of a lap chicken. Choose a mellow breed. Cochins, RIR's, and Orpingtons are some of our favorites. Polish and crevacoers, as well as other flighty birds dont tend to enjoy the personal attention as much!

    Good Luck!
  7. Chiiiiiiiiiickens!

    Chiiiiiiiiiickens! Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 26, 2008
    Southern New York
    Mine all stay in the yard! They never wander very far at all and they come running when they see me. In fact, they wouldn't let me work in the garden in peace. One day one of the Barred Rocks jumped up on my knee while I was doing some weeding. As everyone says, just spend time with them. I can't wait until the weather is better and I can hangout with them more.

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