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Not very fond of new chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by clucknpeck, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. clucknpeck

    clucknpeck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got 3 new chicks from someone on Craigslist, I was told they are silkie x frizzle mix. They are around 3 weeks old and nothing like my 4 week old chicks I have raised from 2 days old. I knew they might not be friendly like mine, mine sit on my lap and enjoy being petted. These new chicks aren't just not friendly though, they are down right mean. Every time I put my hand in their brooder they don't just peck at me, they go for full force bites. When I do manage to pick them up, they attempt to claw me and they screech and flail around. They are not even friendly to each other! They are constantly chest bumping, pecking, and jumping on top of one another. My chicks rarely do this. I find mature feathers in their brooder everyday because I think they pull them out of each other.
    Why are they so mean? What should I do, and is there hope of them being able to be handled?
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    You know, some chicks are just that way. Poor breeding? Maybe. I'm wonder if you ended up with three little cockerels too, with all the fighting. Females will chest bump too as chicks, but I've not dealt with them fighting.
    But I will say, the only bantam chicks I've ever ordered (silkies) were as flighty as all get-out. My chicks (and chickens) are babied to death, but these little girls (and one guy) acted like I was jack the ripper every time I'd go to handle them when they were little. Thankfully they outgrew it by the time they were 5 weeks or so. Every other batch of chicks I've had...the majority were friendly, inquisitive, and loving when handled. But they were all LF. So I guess I thought it must be a bantam thing...
    So hopefully yours will outgrow their flightiness, and I sure hope you didn't end up with all cockerels.
     
  3. clucknpeck

    clucknpeck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I really hope they are not all roosters. The previous owner told me she thought one was a rooster because he had the same comb all the other chicks that ended up roosters had, but she thought the other 2 were pullets. The one she thought was a rooster is literally baby blue in color so I took him thinking maybe he will be the one rooster I choose to keep for my flock, but not if he stays like this. They have weird feet too... Their toes look short and stocky. So you may have a point with bad breeding.
     
  4. clucknpeck

    clucknpeck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is there anyway to earn a chickens trust?
     
  5. MommaK6

    MommaK6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Snacks?
    I noticed a big change in the calmness of my chicks when I stopped "swooping" them up, quickly, from above and behind them. I read that it naturally triggers that, "Oh god, a hawk" reflex. Now I put my hand in, pause, and grab them from the front while I talk to them. I also read somewhere that you can cup them, tucked in firmly until they relax and they learn to like it. Not sure how that one actually works though.....

     
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens


    [​IMG] Pretty much THIS... even now I have to tell DH not to try to grab our more skittish birds from above (and every time he acts discouraged that they dash away [​IMG]). All of our birds (adults and young) can be picked up/held if you squat in front of them, talk to them calmly, and scoop them up, although most of ours that are more skittish do better with a side scoop. The friendlier ones can be picked up from above. And ALL can be won with treats from your hand. With chicks, after they've taken treats from your hand, show them the treat and then make them come up to your lap to retrieve it. They will get used to you quickly....
     
  7. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    YES It is what I call chicken crack. Go buy yourself meal worms and slowly offer to them, you will become their best friend.
     
  8. clucknpeck

    clucknpeck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! I will be trying all of these suggestions and hopefully I will grow fonder of my new chicks... Also hopefully they aren't all roosters...
     
  9. cadeschicks

    cadeschicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Our chicks are only a little over a week old, are they too young for meal worms?
     
  10. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    Patience. You're an epically huge monster compared to them and they don't know any better...so you just have to show them. [​IMG]

    Don't chase them or force them to be held; that'll only make them worse. Instead, spend time around the brooder...as much as you can, even if you're not necessarily paying them direct attention. It'll let them see you and come to realize that you're not always out to get them and that you're no threat. In conjunction with that, put some of their feed in your palm and off it to them in the brooder, open palm up. Be quiet and still and let them come to you. No quick movements or loud sounds, just talk to them softly and keep putting food in your hand so that they eat out of it. This'll start getting them in the frame of mind that you're more of a warm, harmless feed dispenser rather than this massive grasping creature from the sky. It'll take a few weeks, but if you keep doing that, they'll warm up to you and be a lot more handle-able. [​IMG]
     

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