How do you hold a chicken??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by horsewishr, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. horsewishr

    horsewishr Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    My 14-week-old chicks are getting BIG. They used to be so easy to hold, but they sometimes struggle to get down, now. I've been scratched more than once. Is there a good way to hold them--where they feel comfortable, and I won't get scratched???
  2. alex

    alex Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    well, you make sure they are agaist your body and make sure you put your hand under there feet, because they think there flying so they get scared.-alex
  3. K8tieCat

    K8tieCat Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Northern California
    Hey Horsewishr,

    I used to have the same problem with my lovely ladies. When I pick them up, I find it easiest to do the following:

    Put one hand with wide fingers wide open, firmly over the top of their wings so they can't flap. If they are female, they may squat and be still for a moment so you can gather her up into your arms. Put the other hand under their breast bone and belly so they can't get traction with their feet. Squeeze firmly, but not so tight that they get squished. If they struggle, just hold firmly for a minute until they give up and relax. You can then put one rm over her entire body to hold the wings down and provide a feeling of safety.

    Once they settle down and trust you a moment, then you can talk to them in soft sweet tones and place them on your lap however you would like to arrange them. After repeating this several times, you might find them looking forward to such cuddling. Mine love to be tucked into bed every night with a kiss and a hug and lots of petting.

    Hope this helps!
  4. eggchel

    eggchel Crowing

    Dec 26, 2006
    Both Coasts
    Slide your hand under their belly from the front. Spread your fingers out so that they slide on both sides of each leg then close your fingers so that one leg is held between your pinky and ring fingers and the other leg is held by your index and middle fingers. For the best grip, their legs should be between your fingers very close to where your fingers join your hand. The bird's chest rests on the palm of your hand or wrist (depending on the size of the bird, lol).
    If the bird flaps its wings, you can grasp and hold down the tip of one wing with your thumb and then tuck the bird up close to your side/chest to hold the other wing down.. The bird will stop flapping and you can carry it around like a football or even in an outstretched hand. They will get used to this hold very quickly and if held firmly they cannot scratch you or jump out of your grip. If you occasionally put your free hand on their back and turn them over, they will get used to it so that you can inspect their feet or check their vents for lice without a struggle. Napalongtails showed me that hold. [​IMG]

    If you need to reach into a carrier or coop and pick up a bird that does not want to be caught, you can grasp them in a grip that holds one wing and one thigh firmly firmly together. It is safe to pick them up like that and with a firm grip, they will not be injured or get away. Wolfey shadowspirit showed me that hold and it really works on the wilder ones. [​IMG]

  5. domromer

    domromer Songster

    May 11, 2007
    I have a really independent hen who refuses to be held. She will perch on your arm like a falcon, and you can bring her where ever you want and carry her for as long as you please, but she will not be carried like the other girls. I'd swear she was a rooster If I didn't know better.
  6. horsewishr

    horsewishr Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    thank you. I practiced this morning, and I'm already feeling better about holding them. We'll keep working on it until it's comfortable for everybody [​IMG]
  7. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    The football carry works well for your flighty birds.
  8. chickenwoods

    chickenwoods Songster

    Apr 29, 2007
    I always would grab them with each hand on both her sides(thumbs on top where wings attach,and fingers down toward breast bone) and then i would tuck her in between my left arm and my chest just like a football hold.

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