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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by hueghy, May 21, 2010.
How can I socialize my 6 week old chicks to people?
Hold them a lot, and give them lots of treats. It works pretty well once they realize that they can't get away from you and that you are giving them food.
Ours were afraid of us and we went to a local pet store and got meal worms and hand fed each one to a different chick/girl. Next day I brought them some greens from the garden....every day there is a goody and I try to do at least some holding and petting and some hand feeding. While digging the post holes to the run I had at least 1, if not 2, standing on my foot while I dug so they could catch worms as they came out of the ground. They will figure it out fast. Move slowly around them, obviously they get spooked by fast movements, talk calmly. Even sit in the coop or run on a chair (box, bucket, whatever) and hand feed pieces of some fruit or bugs or whatever. The more you do this, the friendlier they will be. My girls are spoiled rotten, they know it and they now have come to demand it. pushy little brats, anyways. Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
Yup, I agree. Mine are 6 weeks old now and come running when they see me. I hold them every day and feed them treats. They LOVE grapes. Make sure you talk to them too. Dont just pop up on them or they will freak out Welcome to chickens...its addicting!
I have 14 black sex link chicks. 11 are about 5 weeks and 3 are about 11 days old. I have my older ones out in the coop and a fenced yard area. How do you get them to let you old them? I take them treats everyday and they do come to me for them but as far as letting me hold them, no way unless I catch them. I always talk to them too.
I posted this on another thread when someone asked how and when to handle her chicks. The warm air in the 'egg' thing really works:
Start with a small brooder so that you don't have to 'chase' the chicks with your hand to pick them up. Talk softly while you are approching the brooder, move slowly and put your hand in slowly, palm up.
Slip your hand under the chick's tummy, cup your other hand over her and lift her gently to the area of your chest just under you chin. You want your hands to sort of form an 'egg' around the chick with her head sticking out. NOW THE IMPORTANT PART: Allow warm air to envelope the area around the chick in the 'egg' formed by your hands by putting your mouth just above the chick and using sort of a 'haaaaaaaaaaaah' breath. They tend to relax immediately. When they relax and sit down in your hand, you can then use your thumb or forefinger to gently stroke the area behind the little ears and back of the neck. They learn quickly that your hand is a good thing. Do this several times a day with each one.
If your brooder isn't small, try this trick to lure them to your hand; make a small dark dot on your palm to entice them to come 'peck the dot'. Once one starts, usually several others will join in. It becomes a competition for them and before they know it they are gently lifted off the ground. I don't use real food; I prefer that they learn from the start that 'hands are for loving'. When I was little, I remember my mother telling me not to handle the chicks; it would make them sick. Obviously, that was not the case (she didn't want me to get dirty). I'm not sure but I think I was an adult before I figured this out. So its OK; you can handle your chicks - just be gentle -they're so tiny....
Well they are 6 weeks old right now and the weather is good enough that they are in the coop with a heat lamp at night and outside in their run and the yard all day. I did handle them a lot when they were little but when they went to the coop a couple weeks ago I didn't hold them everyday they started getting really flighty around me. My 6 year old boy didn't help much since he decided to introduce his chick to the dog who was on her chain in the yard. I was doing dishes when I heard him screaming at the dog and I looked out the window and the dog had the poor chicken in her mouth...lucky for me (or him) our dog didn't chomp down and put the chicken down when I opened the door and she happily ran off without a feather missing. (probably to tell the others how horrible humans and dogs are)
I haven't given them any treats really up to this point since they run around the yard all day but I will start trying to hand feed some treats and spend some more time around them talking and handing out treats. Thanks for the advice!