Normal chick thing?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by NorthChicken, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. NorthChicken

    NorthChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    All but a couple of my chicks are very friendly. They will hop up onto my lap and looooove to be pet down the back, several will fall asleep this way. My polish is a complete flighty spaz, but when the mood hits, she will also either jump on my lap or shoulder if I'm sitting on the ground. I handle them numerous times a day, mostly just petting them, letting them jump on me out in the run, feeding them treats out of my hand.

    But when I go to pick them up, scream city. Several will calm down as long as they are standing on my hand, none of them like it if their feet are dangling (cupping them with their belly in my hand, feet hanging down). Some will go nuts, flapping, shrieking, struggling to get away. I never let one go who is acting like this, I hold them gently and shush them until they calm down somewhat, at which point I let them walk out of my hands (or zoom away, which they usually end up doing).

    Is this just a normal chick thing? Should I continue trying to get them used to be being held, or do chickens just not like being picked up/held? They are fine for petting, jumping on my lap, eating from hand, etc. I just want friendly pet hens, so I want to make sure I'm doing everything right in order to get that!

    Preening on my legs

    This is what happens when I open the brooder door.
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    Its pretty normal for chicks to be like this. My chicks don't like being picked up at first, but learn to tolerate it. By nature, chickens aren't exactly "cuddly" creatures. So, they have to get used to being held, etc. I'd continue picking them up every day or so. While holding them, try offering them some treats, like dried mealworms.
  3. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    Sounds like typical chicken behavior (TCB) to me. Every time I hatch out a dozen bittys there's always 2-3 that seem to love & adore me and fly up on my head & shoulders, 2-3 that absolutely hate me, and the rest don't give a darn 1 way or the other unless I have feed bucket in hand.
    Every morning I let my old hen & her bittys out of the 4x4 broody box to let them "free range" in the main pen. When I open the lid the old hen jumps out and the bittys line up on the perch and I pick them up 1x1 and set them on the ground. All except 1 that is; there's 1 that runs flapping & screaming around the broody box bouncing off the walls like I'm an axe murderer. This upsets the old hen so she jumps back on top of the broody box and starts pecking & flogging me on the head while I'm bending over into the broody box trying to catch this idiot bitty.
    I go through the same thing with EVERY hatch.

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