My babies are AFRAID of me!!! Gentle tips?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ArkaFarmaMama, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. ArkaFarmaMama

    ArkaFarmaMama Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 24, 2011
    I did the whole I'm the mamma pecking thing when I first got them, responded very well and kept it up.
    NOW THEY RUN in their brooder when I walk up! I talk and make sure they know I'm coming but as soon
    as they see me they run to the other side! [​IMG]

    I've had chickens for as long as I can remember, even had some pet ones in my dorm apartment that followed
    me around like puppies! These guys are just not responding!!

    How soon can I start giving them tidbits of clover from the yard? I know this sometimes helps! (6 days old)
    My daughter has been at Mimi's for the past few days, should I let her loose with them? She is VERY gentle.
    (6 years old) I'd supervise of course.

    Any ideas???

    Thanks so much!
  2. shober

    shober Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2011
    I'd try the clover! We always just grabbed them and held them and such! Now they are very friendly and even jump up on my shoulders when I open their coop door! They will be 10 weeks on Tuesday. Have your daughter hold one while you hold one too. Be sure to give lots of kisses too!! [​IMG] That is what we all did. I have 3 daughters! Good luck with them! It will work out.
  3. JP101010

    JP101010 Chillin' With My Peeps

    sometimes its a flight or fight response from the whole flock- as in one gets spooked and thats enough to make them all sense danger and run away. maybe some one on one or two on one here and there- see if it helps.
  4. ArkaFarmaMama

    ArkaFarmaMama Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 24, 2011
    I'm getting to know their personalities already and a few are curious, responsive.
    And then there are the spooky pack runners that freak out when I show up.
    I'll start with them! I've never had a chick(s) so terrified! If I can find them
    I have picts of my daughter packing hens all over the yard. Maybe she's what
    I'm missing! They are in the house, right off the kitchen so it's not like we only
    see them when being fed, I'm having a hard time getting anything done cause
    I just can't take my eyes off the cuteness! I'm also going color blind from staring
    at the red light! I'm an artist and it's getting to be a problem.... [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  5. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2011
    Waldo County, Maine
    You're not going to make them love you. What you can do is build a trust with them, where they don't see you as a threat, now or in their futures. If you're successful, you can read their trust in whatever satisfying way that suits.

    First thing is to call out to them quietly to let hem know you're coming. Another is to come in low. If this means raising the brooder, or getting down to your knees before presenting yourself to them. That's important. anything that towers over them is a threat.

    Deliberate movement of your arms and hands in the brooder is okay, but avoid anything sudden or jerky. Don't chase one with your hand to pick it up. What works better is to mutter calm sweet nothnings and approach the bird with your hand from a direction that it can see it coming. If it darts away don't chase it. Lift the chick by cupping it in the crook of your fingers and palms, supporting it beneath with a finger between the legs. If you want to stroke and coo, fine. But a key I've found is they respond very well in future if you settle them back gently to a footing on the floor of the brooder and release them gently, holding your hand still as they move away in a fashion that they feel they are safely back on their own. . It's their last memory of the experience that sticks. Any billling and cooing while the bird is calm in your hand can help make the more skittish chicks curious, and more receptive to being handled. If you've any number of them, you won't convert them all, but gentle handling with attention to an outcome that leaves them feeling safe is what has worked for me.

    It's all conditioning.
  6. Achickenwrangler#1

    Achickenwrangler#1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 7, 2011
    west virginia
    my chickens love me [​IMG]
  7. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    My newest chicks think I'm their mom. What did I do? I used to put an old sheet on my bed, put them on my bed and lay on the bed. The had a real good time, and when they were tired, they came over to me and took a nap!!!
  8. larsonll

    larsonll Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2011
    West Georgia
    Oh mine hated me for about 3-4 weeks! Once they were old enough to feed freeze dried mealworms, everything changed! They are 8 weeks old and tolerate being picked up but would rather come up & eat from our hands. No jumping on my lap yet!
  9. larsonll

    larsonll Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2011
    West Georgia
    Oh, and I forgot to mention, my 5 and 8 year old were fine with the chicks!
  10. DawnM

    DawnM Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 21, 2010
    Tacoma, Wa
    Chicks are always a bit flighty. They calm down a lot when they get to laying age. We have one D'Uccle hen right now that used to run and scream everytime someone looked at her until she was about 3 months old. Now my daughter and I can't walk outside without her trying to fly on our shoulders. Just keep bribing them with food and give them a little time and everything will turn around.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by