How to Pick up Hens

Andylbc

Chirping
Aug 13, 2017
33
60
59
Hicksville, Long Island, NY
Hi all. Looking for advice.
i have 3 Welsummers which I bought as Pullets so are not comfortable being handled. Although they are food motivated and follow me all over the yard they catch on very quick and don’t seem to stand still long enough for me to pick them up easily.
Because I can’t pick them up I’m worried I missing some hidden health issues.
We had an issue lately with Mites, and although I built a new coop for them and dusted and sprayed them I’m worried I didn’t catch it and they have not gone.
Apart from waiting until they go to roost, is there any other way of safely picking them up without stressing them out? I wasn’t looking to grab them by the legs as I think they might hold a grudge after.
 

TheTwoRoos

Crowing
Sep 25, 2015
4,352
1,955
286
I just got two new hens who are in starting to socialize.
I always use feed as motive.First few days I have just been talking to them and throwing scratch to them,this makes them get closer to you.Dot his for awhile,then once their actually coming up to and eating around you,start hand feeding them.Once hand feeding begins and their successfully eating from you hand,without any flitching,twitch and wiggle you fingers,so this every so often so they know it’s your hand,although them probably already do.Whilet heir up there eating from hand,try petting them with your thumb,once you successfully are able to thumb pet while their eating,make attempts to actually prt them on their backs and neck/chests.If your able to get the petting successfully,than try holding,some birds just don’t like being touched,some just don’t like being held.
 

luvmigirls

Songster
5 Years
Jan 23, 2015
121
141
141
pennslyvania
oh, they sure will remember being picked up, stalked or chased. best way to grab them is at night. Or in the morning I go in at morning sometimes.
Really important to do a look over every day or two. I had a rooster who had a string caught around his tounge and the loose end was in his crop. Definitely would have caused an issue if I hadn't found it right away. There was grass already affixed to the string when I pulled it up!
 

townchicks

Free Ranging
Dec 1, 2016
1,998
6,428
666
Contra Costa county, Ca.
I also got my first 2 hens as 8 week old pullets and they did not like to be picked up. I taught them to go into a cat carrier by throwing mealworms into it and letting them go in and get them and then come back out. I did this every day, for several weeks. Now they are comfortable doing that, and when I need to get them, I just throw the worms in, and shut the door after they have gone in. Be sure to do it regularly when they don't get shut in, or they'll start to grow suspicious of it. I'm also working on them to step up onto my arm like a parrot, transferring to my lap, where I can pet them, as long as I still have worms in my hand, that is. Hens are food motivated, so they can be trained fairly easily, as long as you don't rush it.
 

Andylbc

Chirping
Aug 13, 2017
33
60
59
Hicksville, Long Island, NY
I just got two new hens who are in starting to socialize.
I always use feed as motive.First few days I have just been talking to them and throwing scratch to them,this makes them get closer to you.Dot his for awhile,then once their actually coming up to and eating around you,start hand feeding them.Once hand feeding begins and their successfully eating from you hand,without any flitching,twitch and wiggle you fingers,so this every so often so they know it’s your hand,although them probably already do.Whilet heir up there eating from hand,try petting them with your thumb,once you successfully are able to thumb pet while their eating,make attempts to actually prt them on their backs and neck/chests.If your able to get the petting successfully,than try holding,some birds just don’t like being touched,some just don’t like being held.
We’ve been working on this for a few weeks but still tend to Freeze with their wings slightly apart when I touch them or try to slowly stroke them.
I thought when they Froze it would make it easier but it just seems like they are startled and as soon as two hands get near them she’s off.
 

Andylbc

Chirping
Aug 13, 2017
33
60
59
Hicksville, Long Island, NY
oh, they sure will remember being picked up, stalked or chased. best way to grab them is at night. Or in the morning I go in at morning sometimes.
Really important to do a look over every day or two. I had a rooster who had a string caught around his tounge and the loose end was in his crop. Definitely would have caused an issue if I hadn't found it right away. There was grass already affixed to the string when I pulled it up!
I am out for work before even they get up but I’ll definitely try the night
 
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