My chicks don't like to be handled. Help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PhoenixPhlock, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. PhoenixPhlock

    PhoenixPhlock Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 5, 2009
    My husband and I are going to raise 4 chickens in our backyard. I would like to be able to handle them safely, and not have them be afraid of me. Is there any way I can get them to want to be held? We have them sectioned off in our master bath at the moment, and I like to bring them outside occasionally. The problem is that they don't want to be caught, and when they are caught, they squawk and flap their wings. We've tried treating them with mealworms, but that doesn't seem to lessen their fright of being held. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  2. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    im new at this-i have 4 chickens that are 10 months old got them at 4wks-they were skittish from the start-the roo and one of the hens let us pick them up at that age-now we are afraid of the roo because now that hes been having fun with my girls hes mean!! of course his favorite is the nice hen and we can still pick her up and we try to every chance we get-we he doesnt come after us! they are both BO's..I have 2 baby's in my tub! 10 days old and we pick them up all the time-they squak and flap every time but after a minute we use soft voices and pet then--we also announce oursleves before reaching to get them so they are notso afriad and startled...
  3. vermontgal

    vermontgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    You could try feeding them on your lap, so they are hopping up on you by their choice, to get the food. When mine were little, I held them a little every day. When they were teenagers, they hated being held. Once they started laying, they got friendlier again. It's still mostly about food, though.
  4. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    Hand feed them treats: apple pieces, lettuce, cooked noodles. Just tiny tidbits in moderation. They will warm right up.
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    [​IMG] I agree with the other posts. Be patient and don't give up. They are still young. I would sit with mine for what seemed like hours every day. I had treats. Eventually they would try to climb in my lap for a treat. They like repitition and routine. They are creatures of habit.
  6. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    If they are in your bathroom, you have an awesome opportunity to spend time with them. Mine are in our closet/bath, and I go in and sit with them...just read a book or...sit glued to BYC on the laptop! [​IMG]

    I've gotten them so used to me that they use me like furniture- hair is great for nesting, and perching, as the head is high, don't you know??

    They are so addicted to a mommy after a few hours that they will call to you when you leave them.

    Work at it- it's make it or break it when they are young...much easier now!
  7. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    If you need to move them without catching them, you can take a cat crate and open it in their pen. Throw some scratch in, and when they go in to get it, shut the door. Move them outside, repeat to get them back in. After a couple of days, they will have the routine down. Some chicks just never like being held, but will jump on your knee happily. So don't force it if you don't have to.
  8. montana girl

    montana girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 23, 2007
    Kalispell, Montana
    I have always kept mine in the brooder box on the kitchen floor, which is the room that gets the most people action. Them seeing us come and go constantly, talking to them, reaching down and picking them up, hand feeding them treats has really worked well to make them tame.

    My husband took one of the 5 week olds outside yesterday because it was in the mid 50's and sunny. He set it down on the ground and it was unsure about its surroundings. He squatted down near the chick and she jumped up on his leg, and then up onto his chest forcing him to cradle her in his arm. It was the cutest thing ever!
  9. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    They will get more use to you as they get older, when they are small they think of you as a predator coming down into their safe box, it's just a natural instinct in them. Handle daily and throw treats once in awhile they will warm up to you.
  10. PhoenixPhlock

    PhoenixPhlock Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 5, 2009
    Thank you so much for your replies. I will certainly keep doing what I'm doing. I guess I just needed some reassurance that it just takes time.

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