How much do you handle chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by csaylorchickens, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. csaylorchickens

    csaylorchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I really want friendly chicks [​IMG][​IMG] and I know handling them is good to get used to people. How do you recommend going about making a bond with them? Cats, dogs, horse, ect is it the same with chicks? They run from me right now. Just looking for ways to make a bond [​IMG]
     
  2. chickienewbie88

    chickienewbie88 Out Of The Brooder

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    Im curious too!!
     
  3. LeanneP

    LeanneP Out Of The Brooder

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    My oldest flock is only 9 months old, so I'm relatively new with chickens. I handled all of them equally (and often) as babies, but there are a few that still run away and some that can't wait to get my attention. It is said that some breeds are more flighty than others, but I have more than one of each breed and one is lovey-dovey and the other runs away screaming like I pinch her when no one is looking! So, I think that a lot depends on the particular bird's personality as to how much they want to be handled when they grow up.
     
  4. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Your chicks naturally run away from anything that is 100s of times their size, with two grasping hands, and that is hovering over them like a hungry chicken hawk. I have often thought that we resemble one of H. G. Well's "War of the Worlds" aliens, when we're trying to catch a baby chick or a chicken of any kind. And the more that you traumatize them in this manner the harder that they will become to approach and the less friendly they will be when your chicks reach adulthood..
     
  5. csaylorchickens

    csaylorchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lol I total get that chickengeorgetto haha we are very scary! I don't always grab and pick them up. I have been just sitting with them and talking or observing. Less handling in the first few days I think is better anyway because they are so stressed out from hatchery and being brought home.
    I also have been putting small amount of feed in my hands and letting the girls eat a bit out of my hand. They seem to calm down a bit. Just curious on how to handle them. I have never owned a bird of any kind as an adult. Only one little bird when I was very little and she was amazing. Her name was windybow and she would fly around the house and be happy and sing.
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    It's easy to have tame chicks from the very start if you use a side access brooder. Instead of a typical box on the floor where you need to stoop over and reach into it from above in order to pick up a chick, a brooder placed on a table with a door cut into the side enables handling of the chicks from their level, easier on everyone.

    It's true chicks have an instinctive fear of anything coming at them from above, so avoid it. If you slide your hand in slowly, palm up, across the brooder floor, edge of your hand up against a chick's toes, it will probably step onto your hand and you can very slowly lift it out of the brooder. Very soon you will have most of them trained to do this, and it will usually last into adulthood, making handling your chickens much easier.
     
  7. csaylorchickens

    csaylorchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! I will do that for sure.
    Right now I have the brooder in the bathroom in the tub. They are in a plastic large bin.
    But I have a galvanized cage in the garage to put them in after the first week being inside. I wanted to keep a close eye on them and the garage gets too cold right now. I have the ecoglow 20 so I can't out them in the garage until they can handle a bit colder temps by two weeks is 85 so I can get away with it in there.

    That cage is side access and I can sit down so I am at eye level.

    Thank you again :))
     
  8. microchick

    microchick Overrun With Chickens

    We handle our week old chicks several times a day from a side access to our brooder. Yes, they panic and run a bit to group together in their favorite corner but if you just let your hand rest on the litter with your palm up with a treat for them to see they will quiet down considerably in a few minutes and start exploring rings, fingernails, etc. We then slowly start stroking them until that doesn't seem like such a big deal then we begin to gently pick up whoever is within reach. We try to keep things as calm as possible. No sudden movements or loud noises. Some are more accepting than others but even the flighty ones tend to calm down once you get them in your hand.

    I want our chickens to be chickens, not pets, but tame enough that we can pick one up whenever the need arises to take care of an injury or transport them to their garden tractor for the day. I also, like a dog, want them not to fear us or our hands. Even the two little roos get picked up a couple of times a day and stroked. It's all about trust and patience.
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    A misconception about temperature and chicks is that the entire brooder atmosphere needs to be at a certain temp, decreasing 5 degrees each week. The reality is that you only need to provide a warm zone for the chicks and the rest of their environment can be any temp, even very cool.

    Imagine a broody hen needing to radiate 85 degrees into the environment. No, the chicks romp far and wide and run back underneath her when they chill. Your Ecoglo is designed to simulate a broody hen. The chicks can be moved into the large cage and will keep themselves as warm as they need to.
     
  10. csaylorchickens

    csaylorchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok I'll transfer them in another day! Three days in the house to keep a close eye. They are very active, happy, eating, drinking, pooping, and seem very healthy this far. They also are flapping their wings and the cage they can fly and have more room to explore. It's 4x3 feet. I also have to small roosting bars in there
     

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