How to tame chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Chickycat, May 12, 2010.

  1. Chickycat

    Chickycat Songster

    May 12, 2010
    Bristow, Indiana
    I am new here and new to raising chicks. I just got 4 Buff Orpingtons and 4 Gold Lace Wyandottes. These are for pets/egg laying only. How do I go about taming them and getting them use to being handled. I do not want to over stress them catching them to hold, but I read you should hold them a lot to tame them. They are one week old and we have had them for three days. I just do not want to scare them or stress them.
  2. shandiane78

    shandiane78 Songster

    Jul 23, 2009
    Woodinville, WA
    Hmmm, I don't know. We handle our chicks every day, and they still run away like we're going to kill them every time. lol They're 5 1/2 wks old.
  3. MaKettle

    MaKettle Songster

    I try to spend atleast a half an hour every night handling & being with my chickens. I have 5, 7 week old girls--some are WAY more tame than others. Most of my chickens don't actually like to be held but they really enjoy just standing on the back of my hand or my arm. My most tame girl will even fly from the back of the brooder up on to my shoulder when I open the door. Its crazy though because they still run like I have teeth coming out of my hand almost every time I open the door to the brooder.

    Use slow movements, talk softly to them & when all else fails--TREATS! Try to handle them every day..I really think this is what works--handle them early & often.
  4. Chickycat

    Chickycat Songster

    May 12, 2010
    Bristow, Indiana
    Thanks. I will continue to spend time with them. Right now they are in the spare bathroom. We set the tub up as a brooder. I can sit beside the tub or on the side. I started just dangling my hand in the tub to get them use to it, but they still cower into the corner. A few minutes ago, one fell asleep while I was holding it. I guess that is a bit of progress.[​IMG]
  5. NeeleysAVLChicks

    NeeleysAVLChicks Songster

    Aug 4, 2009
    Leicester, NC
    Sounds like you have a similar set up to my bathroom brooder! [​IMG] I found that by actually being able to sit in their environment (ie brooder) it really helps calm them down. If you can arrange a spot in the tub for you to actually sit in there with them and let them get comfortable with you, I think that really helps. Then comes problem number 2, twelve nearly full grown chickens all competing for lap space. [​IMG]
  6. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
    It sounds like your brooder is pretty big (a tub). You might try sectioning off an area when you are going to handle them so that they don't have far to run. Their survival instinct is to 'run away'; if they can't run far, it seem to me anyway, that they don't get as scared of the 'big scary hand'. I grew up as an only child in the country and I still tame everything. I suggest giving them less area to run, move slowly and gently, talk in a calm voice, give treats and by the time you move them outside, they'll be running to you every time they see you.
  7. MrsChickendad

    MrsChickendad Songster

    Jun 18, 2008
    Lennon, Michigan
    I use treats (grapes in particular). When they are still really little, I cut up a grape into 8 pieces and toss it at their feet. Once they get a taste of it they come running and start to take it from your hand. Also, when I pick them up I slide my middle fingers under their breast so my hand doesn't close down over them. Move slowly, pick one up, put it on your lap, give it a treat, return it to the brooder. Repeat. Five year old granddaughters are perfect to help with this!
  8. Keenonf

    Keenonf Songster

    Jan 7, 2010
    Dallas area
    Bribe them with treats. Who says you can't buy love?! [​IMG]
  9. mcharles13

    mcharles13 In the Brooder

    Apr 28, 2010
    we have 10 chicks and picked 2 of the BR for pets. We baby these 2 by holding them a lot, letting them sit in our laps, give them more outside time than the rest, and just spend time with them in general. When we reach into the brooder the other chicks run except these 2. They'll actually come up to us and try to get on sometimes. We've been doing this since day 3. They are ~2wks old now.

  10. wfiles

    wfiles In the Brooder

    Apr 12, 2010
    Thanks for posting your feedback on this subject:cool:! I thought maybe it was just me that couldn't tame my chicks. We had one we kept in the house for weeks and she always wanted to be held, but as soon as we put her out in the pen she acts like she has never seen us or been held in her life.

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