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How to make your chicks gentle?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by txchickie, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. txchickie

    txchickie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    Texas
    My last round of chicks (last summer) aren't just the most gentle things in the world, and are quite skittish. I didn't handle them unless I had to (changing brooder litter, etc...I didn't want to stress them) and once we moved them out to the coop and then on to free range, I hardly handle them at all. They are nearly impossible to catch!

    So with my new babies I am wanting them to be more personable, and I am just wondering HOW to get them to be gentle? They are 1 week old. Just hold them for a few minutes a day? They are wild, jumpy little buggars and I'd like for them to be nice chickies [​IMG]
     
  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Hold them more than that! I always held mine whenever I was home, kept them in my pockets, under my shirt, etc. And now they RUN to me.
     
  3. LovinMyChickies

    LovinMyChickies Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2008
    Redding, California
    Feed them treats and they will love you![​IMG]
     
  4. ThePolishPrincess

    ThePolishPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

    There's no 'gentle' chicken. Really, the only time you'd find the like that is if they're asleep, the little tykes constantly move about! But with all of my past broods, I get a hand-full of feed and let them peck at it dircetly from me. It's shocking, but they seem to be more keen on the feed from people's hands than from the feeder. If they see you and your hand as a positive reward, they'll see that you are of little harm. Handle as often as possible, but I'm telling you, you have to learn to acquire their trust first, and that would be with food. Don't worry about giving them their space. If you treat your clutch right, they'll want you to be there with them.
     
  5. LovinMyChickies

    LovinMyChickies Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2008
    Redding, California
    When mine were that young, I hard boiled an egg a chopped it up for them until they were old enough for other treats. It worked, they love me![​IMG]
     
  6. welovechickens

    welovechickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2009
    Round Rock
    Handle them gently as much as possible. [​IMG] I have a 1-week-old Americana chick sleeping on my chest right now. [​IMG] She already comes to my hand when I open the cage! The others are varying degrees of timid, but I try to handle all of them as much as possible.
     
  7. txchickie

    txchickie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    Texas
    Oh wow, okay! I didn't realize chicks that young could have anything other than starter.
    Whenever I put my hand in their brooder to change water or feed, they all run screaming and flopping [​IMG] obviously I am not helping this by not handling them! I've just been too afraid to stress the little things out.
    Thanks for the advice!
     
  8. LovinMyChickies

    LovinMyChickies Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2008
    Redding, California
    A boiled egg is good for them. Yogurt is also a hit (but messy) I waited to give them other treats till later. (About 6 weeks old)
     
  9. beektoria

    beektoria Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 1, 2009
    Everett, Wa
    You get such good feedback here. I'm so glad to read about these little techniques, I've got my 4 little girls eating out of my hand but I haven't been doing much else. I keep my hand in their box so they get used to it, but this is great stuff! I can't wait to get home from work and try some of it!
     
  10. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Quote:ok, that right there is Big Scary Hand. You are comin at them from above, as a predator would. If possible don't come at them from above - with my brooder it was impossible so I spent more time holding them. Just know that is why they are running. It isn't you, it's the Big Scary Hand.
     

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