How do you teach chicks to not be afraid of you?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Citychick11, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. Citychick11

    Citychick11 Chirping

    Apr 20, 2014
    Hi, I have a few baby chicks that I just hatched from our own eggs. The first few days, they weren't afraid of us reaching in and picking them up. A week later, and they run and hide every time we reach in the box. Could it be the moving shadows from our hands? They run around like "the sky is falling, the sky is falling!" Are they afraid of laundry room noises? What could I do to get them to like being held and played with by the kids?
  2. You didn't say how often you handle them, my suggestion would be more frequent handling and enforce that handling with treats... If they suspect they will get a treat when they come over to be picked up chances are they won't run and hide...

    I personally have the other problem, with most of my chickens some are WAY too friendly... I currently have two young pullets that follow me around the coop like they are on a short leash attached to me shoes begging to be picked up...
  3. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Crowing

    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    How old are your children? Have they been 'handling' them at all yet? Quite possibly one of your kids has scared them unknowingly, but chicks can be quite skittish at times normally.

    What I did was to never just swoop in to handle them. Imagine you're a tiny 2" to 4" little ball of fur and this big monster comes swooping must look to them that Godzilla is after them! While they are still in a brooder box approach very quietly and sloooowly lowering your hand into the brooder. Have some dried mealworms in your hand and just hold your hand open with the goodies at their level. I've always talked really quietly and softly to them. Trust me...once they see those mealworms your poor hand will be attacked, they love them that much! [​IMG] Wishing you all the best!
  4. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

    Jan 10, 2013
    Good advice.

    Chickens instinct is to fear things from above - hawks- and the reflex is to run and find out later what it was. Even older they will show the same reflex with unexpected movement above them. When your hand comes down from above, they see danger. Make your movements slow, talk or sing to them…and offer hand held dried mealy worms. But remember if you are feeding anything other than starter crumbles then they need some chick grit…..When they are a little older and can be out of brooder, getting down to their level - sitting - they will come to you.
    1 person likes this.
  5. LanceTN

    LanceTN Chirping

    Aug 31, 2014
    I noticed that my chicks panicked when they were in a brooder they couldn't see through the walls of. This led to me just suddenly appearing over them and they would lose their minds.

    I started crouching down a bit and approaching lower and slower so o didn't surprise them so much or look so threatening.

    Also I made sure to take them outside during the day and let them out in the grass. Once outside the confines of their brooder they were much less panicky and way more interested in interacting with me.
  6. DustyDawgy

    DustyDawgy Songster

    Apr 13, 2013
    I gave mine string cheese when handling them, and I never tried to catch them from above. I would make sure they saw my hand and then I would move it towards them from about their height at the bottom of the cage. Now, at one year old, they come running when I call them from across a horse pasture!
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014

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