How to Make Friends with my chicks - NEED ADVICE! - New Chick Owner

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lisahaschickens, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    Hello all,

    I am a new chicken owner and new to this site as of yesterday. I have 15 chicks right now and they are almost 3 weeks old. They are doing very well and are healthy and growing like weeds and I believe I have given them a very nice coop to live in.

    BUT - they are all scared of me! I try to spend a lot of time sitting with them and talking to them in a nice voice and they will eat out of my hand and stand near me but if I try to touch them they run away in distress. I want my chickens to be pets and I am afraid they'll get too old and it'll be too late!

    I have read conflicting advice - some say to just grab them and force them to be held until they calm down and get used to it. Others say to never do that because it just makes them more scared, and that they will eventually just get used to you and then you can pet them.

    Any thoughts?? I'd love some advice!

  2. toletiquesbysam

    toletiquesbysam Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2008
    No idea but I'm going to watch to see what others say! [​IMG]
  3. stormylady

    stormylady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2008
    HI and [​IMG] my chicks are just over 3 weeks also, and I handle them constantly seem like and now they insist on being held! some of them were scared but I chased them down and held them anyway they screamed at first! but as soon as they settled down I would gently put them back in the brooder, now everyone comes and wants to be held (most of the time), I still have a few that I have a little trouble with ( CWs tend to be a little skittish, but there learning. Good luck with your chicks, Oh also the little extra Roos that I got in my order LB boys are the #1 favorites for being held, I don't know why? but they will shove there little chest in my hand and wait to be picked up. There just too cute. Im am new to all this chickeny thing so Im probably not doing it right but it does work for me. Again good luck with those babies of yours![​IMG] Stormy
  4. My chicken is cuter

    My chicken is cuter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2009
    Houston, TX
    First of all Welcome! But I also have to warn you BYC it addicting. (I'm not kidding, watch yourself.)
    Second, I got some chicks when they were two weeks old. I would have to catch them at first but they got used to it. Also, they like it when they were held because they got to get out of the brooder and go see new things. Lastly, the LOVE treats,they'll sometimes even learn their names if you have a specific one out and you say their name and give them a treat.
  5. birdlover

    birdlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    It's been my experience that MOST chickens don't like to be petted. I've raised a small number of chicks in my house on several occasions and they learned my presence usually meant food so they had no problem coming to me to see what goodies I possessed but really didn't like being picked up and petted. That being said, some would tolerate it better than others and I've had a few that went on to be "lap chickens" and come hop up in my lap while out free ranging. Just keep doing what you're doing and try to figure out which ones are friendlier and concentrate on those. I doubt they will ALL appreciate your affection but they should all learn to realize you are friend and not foe. Does that make any sense at all? Also, when you go to pick them up or pet them, I think it's an inborn trait to be afraid of "things" coming down from above. They may perceive your hand as a hawk coming to grab and eat them. Give them more time and just enjoy their individual personalities.
  6. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    Thanks to all the replies!

    Chicken is Cuter - what do you use for treats? Right now my babies just get chick crumbles and earthworms because I've read that other things can give them pasty butt at this young age and I don't want any of that!
  7. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    We have cultivated a couple of lap chickens by sitting on chairs in the run - treats in hand - whoever flies up on the lap gets first dibs. They seem to like to sit on a lap. (This doesn't mean they won't sh*t on a lap, too.) [​IMG]

    However, I must agree with birdlover: Mostly, chickens like to do their own thing. We are just the housekeepers & caterers.
  8. bigmike&nan

    bigmike&nan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:We have blue and black mottled bantam cochins, who are by breed pretty friendly and docile. Since day one they have been handled all the time. Yeah some fuss and make a racket when you pet them, but in the end they learn to trust and depend on YOU... now they all rush to the front of our brooder/hutch when I walk in the room. They climb up my shirtsleeves and want to go to sleep on my shoulders and hair. My wife says they like me best, I don't believe that. They just know me better....

    Spend more time handling them, no matter how much they fuss. YOU are the head hen/rooster - so just explain to them what's the deal.

    Isn't it great ???
  9. bigmike&nan

    bigmike&nan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:We also have seven parakeets and buy millet sprays in bulk. So we give the babies a couple millet sprays. Man they love them...
  10. daisychick

    daisychick Incubator Tetris Master Consultant

    Feb 8, 2009
    Chickens can be really friendly but it seems to be only on their terms. Mine come to me all the time and will sit on my feet etc....but only when they want to. If I try to hold them still or pick them up they don't like it. As they get older and figure out that you are the one that gives them treats they will certainly come running to you when they see you. If I go outside with a bucket of any kind mine will follow me like dogs just waiting to see what I might have. I would say give them time and don't pressure them. Just my experience with my chickens. [​IMG]

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