how much time should I be spending with my chicks


In the Brooder
5 Years
Oct 1, 2014
I am new to all this, so I am wondering how much time I should be spending with my little chicks? Does me interacting with them make a big difference in their relationship with people later? (I would think it would but I really know nothing about chickens) I want them to be friendly and like us and be okay with us coming and going around them. Not scared or hating us.
As much as possible - you don't have to be actually handling or interacting with them, either - you can simply be present (reading a book, etc) so that you are a normal fixture in their environment vs. something that is seen as strange and scary. There is some great information on socializing chicks available here in the forums and also in the Learning Center. Keep in mind, though, that you want to keep your interactions with them age appropriate - meaning that with the smaller/younger chicks it takes less to tire them out, so you want to keep your "sessions" with them to a time that fits their ability to cope.
I tried to spend about half an hour with mine every day, as suggested by a book I own about chickens. Like Ol Grey Mare said, you don't have to be handling them the entire time you're with them. Just being there gets them used to you. Mine are very sweet to me, and most of them don't mind being picked up, or petted. The ones that don't like to be picked up still aren't scared of me, I think it's more of a personal preference for them.
Yeah, it's interesting to see who likes to be picked up, who likes to jump up on their own terms, and who's friendly but doesn't really like to be pet at all. My chicks are 7-weeks and I probably spent anywhere from 30 minutes now while I'm teaching full-time up to (can't believe I'm saying this!) two hours a day on late summer days. They're just so fun to play with! They associate me with food, so they always come running.
I picked them all up twice a day because I carted them inside and outside for weeks before they moved to their coop, so I think that helped.
I would say all of my chicks are "friendly"--but some are really affectionate and calm while others are more stand-offish and not as quick to hop up in my lap.
I find the Roos hands-down more friendly, willing to explore, and willing to be pet. Wonder if this will change--my pullets are typically the more shy & reserved chickens.
I'm just here for the responses =) I'm taking mine out to watch a tv series with me every day =)

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