How to Gentle Baby Chicks?

canesisters

Songster
8 Years
Aug 18, 2011
2,341
149
246
Virginia
Well.. what I did was to move very slowly - all the time.
I'd reach in slowly, sort of corner one and pick it up. Hold it a while (check for pasty butt, mites, etc) tell it how lovely it's new feathers were, etc. Then when I'd put it back I'd make sort of a cage around it with my fingers so that it could be set on the floor of the brooder but couldn't leave. As long as it tried to flee, I'd keep it gently in place. As soon as it stopped struggling, I'd open my fingers and let it walk away. The fleeing in panic thing seemed to be sort of habit and as soon as they found out that they'd get back to the feed and friends faster by being calm and quiet, the settled right down. I still move slowly when in the run or coop - but mostly because someone is always underfoot and I don't want to step on anyone... well that and also because my roo is a 'teenager' and I'm trying to not set him off (the little hormone crazed bugger)

Chickens have an instinctual fear of movement overhead. If at all possible, try to reach for them from the side.
By the way - LOVELY chicks!!!
 
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kaylee gee

Songster
9 Years
Jul 5, 2012
186
64
181
Connecticut
Well.. what I did was to move very slowly - all the time.
I'd reach in slowly, sort of corner one and pick it up. Hold it a while (check for pasty butt, mites, etc) tell it how lovely it's new feathers were, etc. Then when I'd put it back I'd make sort of a cage around it with my fingers so that it could be set on the floor of the brooder but couldn't leave. As long as it tried to flee, I'd keep it gently in place. As soon as it stopped struggling, I'd open my fingers and let it walk away. The fleeing in panic thing seemed to be sort of habit and as soon as they found out that they'd get back to the feed and friends faster by being calm and quiet, the settled right down. I still move slowly when in the run or coop - but mostly because someone is always underfoot and I don't want to step on anyone... well that and also because my roo is a 'teenager' and I'm trying to not set him off (the little hormone crazed bugger)

Chickens have an instinctual fear of movement overhead. If at all possible, try to reach for them from the side.
By the way - LOVELY chicks!!!

Thanks! Good point about the fear of overhead things! I didn't even think of that. I try this for the next couple weeks and see what happens. Thanks for the advice!
 

kaylee gee

Songster
9 Years
Jul 5, 2012
186
64
181
Connecticut
Just as mentioned above move slowly.In farm stores where there are chicks,don't strike in aand grab one.Like kittens talk soft and be gentle.You can put a board out in the yard and lift it up and give them bugs.They should love it.
They are too young and flighty to go outside right now, and its too cold. my older chickens do love that though! i have several boards throughout the run, and i move them here and there.
 

ChickieBooBoo

Cold Canadian Chick
10 Years
Dec 2, 2009
28,316
41
374
Canada
I prefer to wait until they are older before handling them a lot, but I do spend time just sitting in the coop to help them get used to humans being around. Be quiet and slow when working around them too like mentioned.
 

kaylee gee

Songster
9 Years
Jul 5, 2012
186
64
181
Connecticut
I prefer to wait until they are older before handling them a lot, but I do spend time just sitting in the coop to help them get used to humans being around. Be quiet and slow when working around them too like mentioned.
They arent out in a coop, as they are still so young and its so cold out. They are in a brooder in my house. I dont want to wait until they are adults as that would make it much more difficult to tame them. I know this, because i have 4 chickens who I bought as adults back in june who still wont let me touch them.
 

Sally Sunshine

cattywampus
Premium Feather Member
Aug 23, 2012
57,645
11,025
967
PA
Well.. what I did was to move very slowly - all the time.
I'd reach in slowly, sort of corner one and pick it up. Hold it a while (check for pasty butt, mites, etc) tell it how lovely it's new feathers were, etc. Then when I'd put it back I'd make sort of a cage around it with my fingers so that it could be set on the floor of the brooder but couldn't leave. As long as it tried to flee, I'd keep it gently in place. As soon as it stopped struggling, I'd open my fingers and let it walk away. The fleeing in panic thing seemed to be sort of habit and as soon as they found out that they'd get back to the feed and friends faster by being calm and quiet, the settled right down. I still move slowly when in the run or coop - but mostly because someone is always underfoot and I don't want to step on anyone... well that and also because my roo is a 'teenager' and I'm trying to not set him off (the little hormone crazed bugger)

Chickens have an instinctual fear of movement overhead. If at all possible, try to reach for them from the side.
By the way - LOVELY chicks!!!
Chickens have an instinctual fear of movement overhead. If at all possible, try to reach for them from the side.
By the way - LOVELY chicks!!!

x2 and you WANT them to have that instinct! Great suggestions!
 

tomingreeneco

Songster
9 Years
Jun 29, 2010
295
14
113
Greene County, PA
Handle them often and talk to them when you do. I had a small "basket" that I put them in so they can sit up on my desk when I work or watch TV. The more often they see you the friendlier they will become.
 

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