New chickens

jcotter

Hatching
May 11, 2015
2
0
7
Hi,
I just got my baby chicks last week and I'm a newbie. I hear that you need to interact with the chickens consistently to "bond" with them, but every time I go around them, they run away and act scared of me. Also, is grit a necessity at this stage?
Thanks!
 

TwoCrows

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Hello there and welcome to BYC!
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Congrats on your new chicks! It is natural for them to be nervous of you at first. They don't know your intentions and they think everything is out to eat them! So go slow with them. Lower your hand in the brooder very slowly, don't try to grab them from above but scoop them up for the bottom. Coming down on top if them is like a predator grabbing them. You can cup your hand over top of them as you scoop them up and they usually aren't too afraid.

Warm and chop up some hard boiled eggs. Put some in your hand and let them eat from your hand. This will help them learn that the hand is not that scary and that when you show up, good things happen. Chickens learn by positive reinforcement. Make every encounter a positive one and they will begin to trust you.

Another good bonding event is to lay down an old sheet on the living room floor and lock up the dogs and keep away all tiny children. (you don't want the kids to step on the chicks or the dog to eat them) Get the chicks out of the floor and sit down with them. They will instantly run for your lap. The floor is a scary place!! They will slowly leave your lap to explore only inches away from you. But this helps them to bond with you because you are their only source of comfort out on the floor. This also trains them up to be lap sitters. All my chickens are raised this way and they all beg to sit on my lap now. LOL

Long story short, it takes some time. Just keep working with them, picking them up, getting them out for field trips on the floor or even outside on nice days in a small enclosure so they can't escape or get eaten. And by the time they are ready to go outside to the coop for good, they will be quite bonded with you!

Have you stopped by our learning center yet? Lots of good articles on all the aspects of keeping your babies and grown poultry...https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center

Enjoy your new babies and welcome to our flock!
 

jcotter

Hatching
May 11, 2015
2
0
7
Thanks for the advice! As for bringing them into your living room, would you recommend doing that one chick at a time or do you bring in multiple chickens?
 

Mountain Peeps

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