How to make your chicks gentle?

txchickie

Songster
11 Years
Nov 15, 2008
1,405
12
161
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
 

ThePolishPrincess

Songster
11 Years
Dec 29, 2008
2,944
24
181
Orange County, New York
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.
 

welovechickens

Songster
10 Years
Mar 7, 2009
416
5
141
Round Rock
Handle them gently as much as possible.
I have a 1-week-old Americana chick sleeping on my chest right now.
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.
 

txchickie

Songster
11 Years
Nov 15, 2008
1,405
12
161
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
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!
 

beektoria

Chirping
11 Years
Mar 1, 2009
73
2
87
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!
 

debilorrah

The Great Guru of Yap
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 25, 2008
39,693
125
423
The Carpal Tunnel Rehab Center
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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