Imprinting Chicks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Equest94, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. Equest94

    Equest94 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2007
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    I posted this topic as a question in my picture thread about my silkie chicks, but haven't heard any answers/advice about this, so I figured I'd repost it as it's own topic.



    A little background:

    My first batch of chicks I had, I bought directly off a farm. These were the most friendliest birds I have ever had and they seemed to have imprinted on me right from the start. I have one chicken left from that first group, my grey hen, and to this day she comes running to me every time she sees me. I even got a polish pullet from the county fair this past summer. She was already pretty big (maybe 8 weeks old at the time). She seemed to have imprinted on me too even though she was already older. I'm pretty sure she came from a breeder so she was farm raised too. My Polish isn't as "affectionate" as my grey hen, but she will still come when I call her and tends to 'stalk' me around the yard - always keeping me in sight...

    The silkies I have now don't seem to care about me so much. They don't really mind me holding them or working around them, but they aren't ones to cling to my side, climb on me, or follow me around like my others in the past have done. I bought them from Tractor Supply, so I'm pretty certain they were hatchery raised with minimal human contact. I've had them for a bit longer than a week now, but can't imagine they were any older than a few days-a week when I bought them (they're just getting their wing feathers and some tail shoots now)....



    Question:

    Is this (the "lack of affection") just the way the silkie breed is or is this because they were from a hatchery? Is there anyway I can still imprint them or did that chance sort of past by already? Is there anything I can do to "make they like me more?" (<--- lol, this sounds so funny [​IMG])




    I've heard silkies were one of the most friendliest cuddliest breeds; I want to make sure I have human-friendly chickens that will stay around and not try to run off. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
  2. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    ALWAYS carry treats! [​IMG]
     
  3. Equest94

    Equest94 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2007
    New York
    Haha! thanks

    Treats definitely do work! [​IMG]



    I'm just wondering if there's anything else I can do at this point to kind of form that bond. As I have said my "imprinted" chickens are always by me, come when I call them, are easy to handle/catch/put away etc...

    The few girls I got in action have warmed up to me since they now associate me with treat handouts and will come running if I have stuff to give them. Otherwise, I can forget it if I bring them nothing. They are spooky, dart around, and are set on keeping their distance.


    I was hoping since my chicks are so young, I can convince them better that "people are the way to go" instead of putting up a circus act when it comes to being handled once they grow up.


    Is there anything else that might win them over or are treats really the only solution as of now? If so, what kind of treats do I give week+ old chicks? Can they eat the same stuff I'd give to my adult birds (Bread, grapes, lettuce, etc - smaller pieces of course)?
     
  4. caspernc

    caspernc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 15, 2010
    Z town NC
    Scrambed eggs are THE fav at this coop!
     
  5. Equest94

    Equest94 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2007
    New York
    My chicks don't really seem interested in any treats I offered them (scrambled eggs, chopped grapes, some left over dinner side of whole grain rice - nothing) [​IMG]

    They seem interested in pecking at a lot of different things but just aren't interested in actually eating anything other than their chick starter crumble.



    I've been spending a lot of time with them, and as mentioned, they don't seem to mind me hanging around with them, but they seem to be getting more frustrated the more I try to handle them. I do have one chick that seems more interested in me - it'll come up to me, stare at me, and will occasional curiously peck at my clothing, but like the others, as soon as I go to carefully pick it up or touch it, it scoots away.


    I'm just wondering what the problem is here - is it me? Is it just them? Like I've said, my first chicks were very clingy and friendly. Even the pullet I got this past summer seemed to have attached herself to me even though she was older when I got her... Is it because my previous chicks and this pullet where 'farm-raised' and have seen people regularly whereas my new chicks most likely came from a hatchery?


    I mean, I guess it's not really that big of a deal or anything, but I was hoping to have "easy-going/handle-able" birds... Since the treats aren't working what else can I do to convince them I'm a good person to go to?
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011

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