How much handling?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by substandardtim, May 4, 2009.

  1. substandardtim

    substandardtim Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 15, 2009
    How much should I be handling the chicks in the first week? I don't want to over stress them but I also want to make sure they get very tame.

    They all appear to be healthy as far as I can tell. I've got 8 Buff Orpingtons. All supposed to be pullets, hopefully that's the case.
  2. pascopol

    pascopol Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2009
    Tampa Bay
    Quote:I would not handle chicken first week. Live them alone.

    Mine get tame in a few weeks cause I feed them and take care of them properly so they find their own comfort to let me handle them later.

    Tameness differs by a breed and individually.

    There is some chicks which do not want to be handled, and I never force them to become "friendly".
  3. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    I disagree totally.

    I was told to leave them alone so as not to stress them and now they are 12 weeks old and only one out of 15 birds will even let you touch her.

    Since I got that bad advice, I have read hundreds of threads and seen dozens of pictures of people holding and playing with their chicks from the day they are hatched and they are just fine - they don't get stressed or cold, they don't die, and they turn into friendly, snuggly chickens.

    I am devastated that I got the bad advice to leave them alone. I really wanted friendly chickens. Mine love people because I hang out with them everyday, but no petting except for one pullet.

    Don't terrorize them, but hold them and snuggle with them and let them nap on you as much as possible. You won't be sorry.
    Last edited: May 4, 2009
  4. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    p.s. the proof is in the pudding -

    I got an order of 27 chicks from the hatchery. I kept 17 (lost 2, so I have 15 now) and another lady took 10.

    I left mine alone because they seemed scared of me so I just sat with them and talked to them and let them eat out of my hand but didn't force them to be held. And, like I said - no petting to this day.

    The other lady with chicks from the same batch held them everyday along with her grandkids, etc. after about a week, many of her birds ASKED to be picked up and held and love to be petted. Same birds - only hers are snuggly and mine are not. Again - I am devastated.
  5. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    I also disagree. I start handling mine the day after they hatch.
  6. farmerlor

    farmerlor Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree with Lisa. You don't want to hold them all day or anything but a few minutes at a time gradually lengthening that out to whatever you can deal with will make very friendly chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese or whatever. My chickens and turkeys can't wait to jump up on the half door and jump onto my hands so I can carry them around and snuggle with them.
  7. Rusty's Ranch

    Rusty's Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    So Cal
    When my husband brought home our 2 chicks (RIR's), I already had them in my hands before he could give me the warning not to pick them up for a few days.

    I was in with them several times a day holding them for a few minutes at a time or just talking to them. At night I'd bring the brooder out from the bedroom into the livingroom so they could just hang out with us.

    I agree you don't want to over do it and stress them, and you also have to make sure they stay warm and don't get a chill. But my birds aren't any worse for the wear.

    Now they see me as "mom" and although they aren't the most sociable creatures (could be the breed) - they have their moods and sometimes just want to sit all over me. They are especially sweet first thing in the morning, right before bed, and anytime they think I have food!! [​IMG]
  8. chickenguysmom

    chickenguysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    First let me start by saying that what ever you choose it will be the right decision for you and you have to do what feels right to you.

    I have to say I fall on the side of picking them up. We love on all our chickens and we hold them whenever we are working outside. We hold our chicks and let them sleep in our hands. Some like being held more than others - those always end up being our favorites.....

    Also, if you gain your hens trust you may be rewarded when she has baby chicks. Ours did, she let us handle her babies and didn't peck us or growl even when we reached up under her to grab a baby or two to play with. Now when another hen got near those babies, different story

    ..... she growled and puffed up as big as a basket ball. LOL. Very funny to watch.
  9. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2007
    Long Island NY
    I handle them a little each day from the time I take them out of the incubator. Seems to work fine for me.
  10. m2wandc

    m2wandc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2009
    I handled my chicks from the second we got them (2 or 3 days old) and I would handle them for about a couple of minutes SEVERAL TIMES a day...then once a day I would take them out and let them run about in the livingroom with my young children sitting down...that way they could get used to the kids as well...

    sooo in a nutshell MY hands were on them at least 10 times a day for a minute or two at a time during the first week...then once in the afternoon/evening I'd take them out for my kids to hold...that adventure would be 5 or less minutes, because I didn't want them away from the heat lamp too long...

    *** week two***

    same thing, I stuck my hand in the brooder and picked them up get them a little pet several times, as well as started giving them meal worms as a treat...(which they LOVE...and grit!)

    now that they are 2.5 weeks old, I think I stick my hand in there about 4 or so times a day and my kids stick their hands in there 1 time a day...I didn't bring them out to the living room last night, but will give them a short romp kids are sleeping, so I might wait until tomorrow am...


    I'm a believer that the reason my chicks are SOOOO amazingly friendly and melt in my hands is because I've handled them so much they are used to it and enjoy it...and they LOVE looking for worms in my kid's hands! [​IMG]

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