How long and how often for holding?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CluckyCharms, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. CluckyCharms

    CluckyCharms Chillin' With My Peeps


    Our hens are to be pets (and egg providers) and therefore we'd like to have a good relationship with them. We've read that holding them from as early as day 1 is important so the chick can build up a "tolerance" to being a pet (as by nature they're not pets).

    My question is:

    If the house temperature is 70 degrees with 60% humidity (average) and baby chicks are supposed to be in a brooder under a heat lamp on one side of the brooder at 95 degrees the first week and decreasing that by 5% every week thereafter (according to virtually every single source I have read) long can they be out of that and how often?

    We want to hold them from the get-go ...but I want them healthy, how often and how long is okay?

    Thanks in advance[​IMG]
  2. Frizzle13

    Frizzle13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2012
    If they're in your hands then they'll stay warm do it a couple of times a day
  3. OldChurchEggery1

    OldChurchEggery1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2011
    Do you know for certain that they're female? I have read horror stories on here of "lap chicks" that turn out to be terribly aggressive roosters. I'll be honest- I rarely hold my chickens until they're a month in age or more. If you have children, you risk injury to the chicks letting kids hold them. Since I hatch my own, I can't always tell gender until the secondary sex characteristics kick in. When that happens, I split my hatch into an all-male and a separate all-female group. Then the majority of the handling I do is moving them one at a time into a chicken tractor during the day and then putting them back in their respective coops at night. If you want to hold your chicks more because you know they're all female, by all means, do whatever makes you happy. Just always keep in mind that 1) gentleness will win them over, force will not and 2) chickens are birds of prey and may never like to be held. Some more docile breeds are happy to be picked up and toted around anytime and anywhere while other breeds may flip out if you try to pick them up from behind. If you plan to show either in open or 4-H shows, handling becomes more important.It's up to you and what you want out of the "flock owner/chicken relationship."
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012

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