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How to hold chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by werttyy, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. werttyy

    werttyy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2011
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    I'm scared of holding chickens and I'm even more scared to hold them upside down. Does holding a chicken upside down help? How do you regularly hold a chicken? Thanks for the help!
     
  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I do not hold my chickens upside down. I put a hand on each side of the body, over their wing and pick them up. Then I can move them into my arm like a football if I want. Some of my birds will step up onto my hand - when I place my hand in front of them and ask them to step up - makes it easy to carry them.


    Chicks I cup in one hand if they are calm and in two if they are a bit wild.
     
  3. kla37

    kla37 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2010
    Hillsborough, NC USA
    I do the under the arm football hold too. I haven't ever held them by their legs and I don't think I would want to. Of course, they prefer it when I hold them on my lap with one hand stroking their back and the other hand holding a treat.
     
  4. froggiesheins

    froggiesheins Overrun With Chickens

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    When I first started handling chickens, I too thought I might break them if I picked them up etc..... I have found out they are quite sturdy little affairs tho. I pick all mine up by holding both hands on either side of their bodies at the wings to keep them from flapping. Then do the football hold. If they struggle against you just hang on to em and as soon as they quiet down relax your hold and praise them. I will only grab a leg/tail if they get away from you, doing the above, just long enough to get them back in the crook of your arm. Most all chickens I have like to be held on their backs and have their chin/tummy/feet massaged. My roo goes to sleep and will just stay that way....
     
  5. kannna

    kannna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Martha's Vineyard
    "how to pick up a chicken" by Terry Golson also known as the Hencam lady

     
  6. KazAnder Farms

    KazAnder Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Machias, WA
    I used to pick up chickens and hold them football style until my wife learned me different now. So now I pick them up both roosters and hens by placing my hand underneath their body so my thumb and pinky fingers are both around one leg. This does allow them to flap about if they are not used to being picked up but in this manner you can pick up two at a time, or just one while you inspect it all over: on the legs, pulling out one wing at a time, their vent etc, without having to jostle the chicken about too much. This also keeps you free from their spurs. As long as you keep a firm grip around their legs, they're not going anywhere.

    EDIT
    I do like the hen cam idea that would be easier for starters.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011
  7. chickened

    chickened Overrun With Chickens

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    According to "The Chicken Health Handbook" holding them upside down by the feet has a calming effect.
    Quote:
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011
  8. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Quote:
    Mostly because they're strangling, or close to it. It can cause the crop to press against the airway, and it can also cause the crop to empty, in which case they aspirate their own vomit, so to speak.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011
  9. chickened

    chickened Overrun With Chickens

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    Mine breathe when I have picked them up that way and have never vomited unless they just ate which means not all the food is in the crop yet. If your chickens are healthy and have the right nutrition they should not have airway obstruction issues. I believe the calming effect is one of submission not strangulation the crop should not move under its own weight a chicken spends alot of time with its head near the ground. I don't routinely carry mine that way but do sometimes out of necessity. A chicken being held is unnatural and is an aquired, tolerated trait that is usually encouraged by treats. Signs of strangulation or blocked airway is usually flapping and convulsing not the calm appearance of a chicken upside down...at least with my birds.
    Quote:
    Mostly because they're strangling, or close to it. It can cause the crop to press against the airway, and it can also cause the crop to empty, in which case they aspirate their own vomit, so to speak.
     
  10. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I've also read that holding them upside down compresses their lungs. It's been discussed in threads about taming a difficult roo.
     

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