Kids and chicks - Update w/ pics :)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jettgirl24, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. jettgirl24

    jettgirl24 Songster

    Feb 21, 2010
    Duvall, WA
    Hi Guys,

    I know many of you have small kids and chicks so I'd love your advice. We have my BF's kids this weekend and it will be their first time around baby chicks. They are SUPER excited about them and bugged us all night last night to go out and see them. The babies are about a week old and the kids ar 3 and 7. His older boy did pretty well and was quite gentle with them but his young daughter was a bit rough. It wasn't on purpose but she didn't seem to get that you need to pick them up gently around their abdomen, be gentle with their wings, etc. I was right there to oversee things and I tried to show her how to hold them and pick them up gently but I'm pretty sure everything I said went in one ear and out the other. I think with the babies scurrying around she was just too distracted to pay much attention and I'm not really sure how much a 3 year old will retain anyway. I'm keeping the shed door locked while they're here so they can't sneak in there if they somehow got out of our eyesight but I'm wondering if I should even be letting them pick the babies up? Maybe I'm worrying too much but I'm new to the whole kid thing and I would just be sick if something happened to one of my sweet fuzzfaces. At the same time I really want them to be around the animals and learn to be empathetic and kind as they don't have a lot of exposure to small animals at their mother's house. Any advice for teaching little ones how to handle them while also keeping the babies safe?

    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  2. awesomefowl

    awesomefowl Argues with Goats

    Let them hold them, just supervise the 3-year-old. If they're not mean kids, they will enjoy them. But i know my 5 yo sister can be somewhat too lovong to the chickens, so keep an eye on her and gently show her how to hold the babies. Kids usually LOVE chicks! I don't think the chicks are so stuck on the kids, though. [​IMG]
  3. AKsmama

    AKsmama Songster

    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    It can be hard with a three year old. My advice is just to be vigilant when they're out there with them, and never allow them to visit by themselves. Calmly remind them of the rules for handling before you go visit the chicks and make sure you enforce the rules- i.e. the first time someone is too rough, that's it, visit's over. Tell her how small and fragile the chicks are, and that she is much bigger and stronger. Repeat, repeat, repeat, and she will eventually get it. Make them both be calm and quiet while handling. Show them the best way, even though it may take several times to sink in. If it seems she can't handle them safely, then don't let her. Maybe that sounds harsh, but they are tiny and it is your responsibility to keep them safe. This is what I would do with my own kids if they were that young.

    And make sure they always wash their hands VERY thoroughly when they're done.
  4. Mrs. Feathers

    Mrs. Feathers Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Our granddaughter (now 19 months) has been invovled in our last three hatches. She walks with the grown chickens and helps with the chores but does not pick them up yet.
    When handling the babies I have her sit down with a towel on her lap and bring the chicks to her (or let them come to her themselves) rather than having her pick them up. At three your friend`s little one is older but maybe still at the "squeeze them too tight" stage when she is excited. It is a tough concept for the little ones to understand. It is a great experience for kids to be invovled. Lucky little ones that you have this opportunity for them to learn from you about caring for animals in respectful ways.
  5. jettgirl24

    jettgirl24 Songster

    Feb 21, 2010
    Duvall, WA
    Thanks for the advice you guys. I was a little worried my boyfriend would let them play with the chicks while I was at work but fortunately he didn't. I like the sit down with a towel on their lap idea. If they had been around small animals more I wouldn't worry quite as much but they are used to a cat and a giant dog so I don't think they really have a concept of how to handle tiny babies, especially the younger one. I think maybe we better ease into this a little bit slower, if only for my peace of mind! The baby fuzzbutts are worried enough about my hands reaching in to get them, I think the kids just scare them a little too much. For the rest of this visit I think we'll stick to petting and holding in the lap, maybe when they're a little older they can start picking them up on their own!
  6. jettgirl24

    jettgirl24 Songster

    Feb 21, 2010
    Duvall, WA
    When I got home we hung out with the big chickens when and that went much better [​IMG] My BRs and such little sweethearts, they let the kids pick them up at least 100 times and sat calmly in their arms the whole time!



  7. Robo

    Robo Songster

    Jul 15, 2010
    Chicks are very exiting. After hundreds of hatches it won't get old.
  8. Amyh

    Amyh Songster

    Jul 11, 2010
    North Carolina
    Chicks are surprisingly resilient, I've found... My two year old has been handling our little chicks and she is doing awesome. Sometimes she forgets and is a little rougher than what I'd like, but the chicks seem to do fine. I let her hold them, but remind her to use two hands, one to support their legs and one to hold their chest and wings. I tell her that when she puts them down to put them close to the floor before she lets them go. I remind her over and over to be gentle.

    It's funny, but the chicks are very good at telling me when she's being a little too rough by chirping very loudly. I try to catch her before then, but at least i know if I miss something, the chicks will let me know what's happening!
  9. LizGled628

    LizGled628 Chirping

    Jun 13, 2010
    Rhode Island
    Aren't BR the best? Those pics are precious!
  10. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
    Love the happy faces! Its how children learn to be kind to animals. They learn that if you are gentle and loving, the animals are easy to pet. Here's a pic of my 5 yr. old granddaughter with our 'lil roo... She's very gentle with all animals.


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