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How to become a chicken whisperer?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Painted Spirit, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. Painted Spirit

    Painted Spirit Songster

    Oct 18, 2009
    What the heck do chicks like? Where is a good spot to scratch them to make them a little more cuddly? I know a little about dogs, cats, and horses but the chickens have me stumped. Day old orpington chicks love each other but seem offended when I pick them up! Help!

  2. Quote:Well thats easy... just get down on one knee and speak softly![​IMG]
  3. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Songster

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    Chicks are more scared of us than hens. I make mine friendly by offering treats and holding them. As they get older they will like you more! Once they start laying they like to have their backs stroked especially closer to their tail feathers.
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    lol...if they're orpingtons, they'll friendly up soon enough if you're handling them frequently and carefully. My chicks weren't "cuddly," when they were itty bitty, although two or three were definitely friendlier and calmer than the others. Other than coming in from the side (rather than like a hawk coming in from above) and scooping them gently up and then holding them on your lap securely (not out in the air), there's no set way to pet your chicks. I gently stroked mine from back of neck to tail. As they got a little older, one really liked having her chest rubbed (like massaging her crop). Two still really like me working their feathers around their shoulder area kind of like kneading my dog's ears...they're all different. Two don't like being petted much at all (alhtough they like being around me...or maybe like the prospect of getting a treat...lol). Good luck figuring out what yours like.
  5. Painted Spirit

    Painted Spirit Songster

    Oct 18, 2009
    Yeah, I'm just trying to find that spot that they'll lean into me and say MORE! Don't want to make them think "I'm dinner!" The first hatch were light brahams and dominques and they had that snuggle instinct when I'd hold them. These guys are pretty independant and herd orientated - watching them fall asleep is a hoot!
  6. mandelyn

    mandelyn Crowing

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    My Bantams are being this way... except for Socks who hatched a week before the others and I had to spend time with him to keep him company. I've found that you need to immitate hen noises as best you can, over food and such. Talk to them before you put a hand in the brooder. I announce myself at the door and they've started making noises back, so that they already have their necks craning to see where I am before I even get to the top of the brooder to look in. It's cute!

    Move your hands slow, offer a treat or piece of their food with your hand. Socks will let me pet him while he stands, the others see this and they come to investigate.

    Slowly move your hand in a way that directs them into a corner. You want the whole process to be low stress. Once they're in the corner, carefully wrap your hand around one and bring it up to be held. Coo at it and baby talk it, quieter than the noises it is making. If it doesn't like actual petting, hold it under your neck, it's warmer there. As they get bigger though, they'll like being rubbed behind the head (it's an itchy spot for a long while until the head feathers are done growing)

    Put your thumb on the back of the head, and a finger under it's chin, and gently rub both. Those eyes will close and the bird will go about limp. LOL

    Don't support the feet at first when you hold them, for some reason they "fight" more about being held. Let the feet dangle. Unless they're freshly hatched... then support them.

    Put on an old t-shirt, one that fits real loose. Fold up the front of the shirt to make a pocket, put about 5 birds in there (or more if you have room!). Now go find a show to watch on TV, and hold that pile of chicks, petting each one, keeping them warm in the shirt and piled on each other for comfort. It's as close to a mother hen as you're going to get! Great way to bond with them. If it's something you find yourself doing every evening.... start a pile of "poop towels" to go inside the shirt or have several shirts. Half hour to one hour is good... too much more than that and there will be enough poops to make it gross. About a half hour though, there likely won't be any poops and it's plenty of time to get your chick fix. If you don't have indoor cats and dogs, you can take a break by putting some newspaper down, some food, and a water dish. "dump" your pocket of chicks, use your hand and voice to show them around on the floor. They'll follow your hand and they'll stay near you, all you have to do is sit on the floor with them. When they act cold put them back in your "pocket" and when you're done they go back in the brooder. But you get to pretend to be momma hen and the chicks learn you're friend and not foe, or they might even call you momma and scream when you put them back in the brooder. (which isn't fun) To avoid that, wait until they're 5 days old before toting them around. LOL

    BUUUT... don't let small children see you do this. They will want to help, and until they're older and out of the Elvira "I want to HUG you and SQUEEEEZE you" phase the chicks could be hurt.
  7. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    Gosh, I just scoop mine up and kiss them all over their adorable little rounded heads. They hate it at first but you can tell, later, they learn to accept it.

  8. felidaet

    felidaet Songster

    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    After mine were about a week old I would put a few cheerios in a plastic and mash them with a rolling pin. I would put a little of this in my hand and slowly put it in the brooder. It only took a couple of days for the chicks to figure out the hand had a treat. [​IMG]
  9. chickenwhisperer123

    chickenwhisperer123 Whispers Loudly

    Mar 7, 2009
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    It takes a lot of hard work and determination.

    I would know. [​IMG]
  10. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Songster

    Dec 6, 2009
    I pulled a Robert Redford and got down on my knees in the middle of the run and stared at the rooster and he just barked (my roo barks like a dog). I am glad I wasnt caught I might have slept with the girls and boys of my coop.

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