How much should you handle new chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CassInMass, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. CassInMass

    CassInMass In the Brooder

    Jan 19, 2009
    My chicks are a week and a half old. I want them to like being held when they mature. When should I start getting them used to being held?

  2. Sam The Yam

    Sam The Yam Songster

    Apr 4, 2009
    Certainly anytime now is good. Being around them as much as possible will help them get used to you. Letting them eat out of your hand or if you can confine them to an area where both you and them can be comfortable and let them run around and come to you as they want to. Have some treats such as a vegetable leaf or fruit that will attract them to you. But some gentle handling is great interaction.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2009
  3. cat

    cat Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    When mine were really small I used to take a book to read and have some quality time with the chicks just sitting in the pen with them. I would read and they would lay on my lap and sleep, I just loved watching their little heads bob up and down as they fell asleep....

    Now I really am broody! Enjoy, I am sooo jealous! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. BigSkyChickens

    BigSkyChickens Free Bird

    Apr 3, 2009
    Pleasant Hill, CA
    I've held mine 2x per day without fail since I got them. I stroke their chest, say their name, and tell them in a soft voice that they are good, calm chickens. Food is also a really good angle. Once they associate you with food, you can teach them to jump through a flaming hoop. [​IMG]

  5. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Songster

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    I say do it as much as possible ASAP.

    I was told that I shouldn't handle them so much because it frightened them and stressed them out and it wasn't good for them. That I should move slowly around them and let them eat from my hand but not rush it and they would come around. Well, they didn't. I have one bird out of 15 that likes petting, and even she doesn't like to be picked up or held.

    I split my order of chicks from the hatchery with another woman who proceeded to have herself and her grandkids hold the babies all the time from day one and now she has chickens that like to be held. I'm really quite unhappy that I got such bad advice. If I had it to do all over again, I would hold them all the time until they calmed down and got used to it, because clearly that works. Since then, I have read many times and seen tons of pics of people holding and playing with their young chicks. Clearly it won't stress and kill them (which is what I was told), and in fact it gets them used to people. I spent HOURS with mine every single day since they arrived (less than 48 hours old), and let them eat from my hand, jump on my lap, etc, and nowadays, they like people plenty and run up to them and want to be around them, but all but the one act like a human hand is a red-hot branding iron. It makes me sad.

    Moral of the story - GO FOR IT! Hold them all the time so you can have nice, snuggly chickens [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  6. joshnmel

    joshnmel Hatching

    Apr 28, 2009
    Hi, I am new to the forum and this is my first post.

    I just bought 3, 1-week old chicks last night. And have gotten just the information I was hoping for concerning how much to hold them. Thanks! But now, from reading the posts, I am curious about the food treats you are talking about? I was sent home with a bag of chick food and have no idea what else I can or should be feeding them in addition. And I would LOVE to give them treats if I can!!!

    Thanks a ton,
  7. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Songster

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    do a search for chick treat on the forum and you'll find zillions of thread on the topic with good info.

  8. chickorama

    chickorama Songster

    Jul 8, 2008
    The more you hold them when they are young, the sweeter they'll be when they're older. I held my flock all the time as babies, and now they'll all eat out of my hand.
  9. totallydiversified99

    totallydiversified99 Hatching

    Aug 17, 2008
    i handle and talk to mine as much as i can to make em friendly.

  10. lostsoulhelpmejebus

    lostsoulhelpmejebus Incubating Fool

    Sep 23, 2008
    Roanoke, Illinois
    I agree. Handle them, spend time with them, talk to them in a soothing way or even sing to them if you like...heck I even carried mine around in my pockets. The more time you spend with them the more comfortable they will be with you, it makes a huge difference in how they will react to you.

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