Is it bad to hold your chicks?

gumpsgirl

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Mar 25, 2008
14,106
41
311
Virginia
When I first got my chicks on 3/20, my dad told me to just leave them in the brooder and not bother them. He said if my children or myself tried to pick them up very much it would kill them. Is this true? We have not held them, only picked them up to clean out the brooder, and they have done great! Let me tell you, it is soooo hard to just watch something that is so cute and not touch or pick them up!!! I have noticed that a lot of people on this forum hold their chicks. Can we do that without killing them?
We did pick them up some yesterday and the kids had a ball! I hope it helped calm the chicks down some. They are getting to where they are scared any time we put our hands into the brooder to change/replenish the feed and water and I don't want that. I know this all sounds silly, but I just don't want to hurt them. I would feel terrible if they died because we wanted to hold them.
 

SeaChick

Songster
12 Years
Apr 25, 2007
1,661
15
206
Southern Maine
In my opionion: You absolutely won't kill them unless you drop them, strangle them, or take them someplace too cold.... personally I think some chicks really thrive on attention (different personalities- some chicks don't care about humans, and some do!). Most definitely they'll be tamer, easier to handle adults if you hold them now. And at 2 weeks old they're getting a little more robust, less likely for kids to damage them inadvertanantly. I say go for it!!!

(We've been holding ours since day one.)

Stacey
 

chicktasticvt

Songster
11 Years
Mar 17, 2008
224
1
131
Bennington, VT
no it will not kill them if you hold them, but there is such a thing as over hndling them. just make sure when you pick them up your not moving around alot and makr them feel secure in your hands. Dont let the kids run around with them, and make sure they stay calm when handling them.
 

Crazy4Chicks

Songster
12 Years
Nov 20, 2007
1,722
2
181
Glendale, AZ
I have 6 banty chicks that will be a week old tomorrow - out of the 6 I have 3 that love to be held they will jump in my hand every chance they get, 2 that will kinda back up when you try to pick them - and one little bugger that runs around like he is on a race track LOL

I have been holding them everyday at least 3-4 times a day hopeing to help them stay calm when they are all gorwn up.

I say go ahead and hold your babies, just be careful


Julie
 

arlee453

Songster
12 Years
Aug 13, 2007
3,768
16
221
near Charlotte NC
I think the 'don't hold them' thing comes from the idea that kids will squeeze chicks to death.

It's related to the whole Easter chick phenomenon - get a kid a cute fuzzy chick for Easter, then watch it fail to thrive and die.

Personally, knowing how tough chicks can be, the early demise of Easter chicks is probably more due to lack of warmth and proper care than handling by properly supervised children.

Just handle them gently (no squeezing, throwing, etc) and the chicks will get more and more tame.
 

MissPrissy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 7, 2007
24,434
102
371
Forks, Virginia
Also teach your kids to wash their hands before handling the chicks so they don't transfer germs to the chicks and afterward wash again so they don't transfer chick germs to other things.

Handwashing is a good thing
 

Moonwalker

Songster
12 Years
Jan 9, 2008
925
3
161
Washburn, MO
Quote:My babies are almost a month old now and they are nowhere near as tame as I'd like them to be because I had the flu when they came in and didn't want to handle them and make them sick! I kept a thing of hand sanitizer beside the brooder for before and after handling (mostly before!)
I agree with the "Don't handle the chicks" being an across the board warning for little kids and people who don't know that chicks can get chilled easily, especially in the first week or so.
 

Frozen Feathers

Songster
12 Years
May 4, 2007
2,755
4
211
Maine
Chicks are pretty tough. My daughter will be 3 in June and loves holding the chicks. We've never lost one because she handled it too much. She builds them little "castles" and they seem to enjoy playing in and on them. We just make sure the rotate chicks so they don't get chilled and always supervise.

I agree with MP on the hand washing. We always keep a bottle of hand sanitizer around.
 

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