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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lolmom, Mar 18, 2011.
I've found that the chicks I raise in the house turn out to be very friendly. The only time I've had chicks outside is when they were hen raised. And they were very afraid of me.
Are you talking about brooding in the coop with a broody hen or in a brooder? I'll answer as if you meant in a brooder.
I normally start chicks in the house the first week, so I can make sure they are all fine and none of them have any issues. It's easier to keep an eye on them or to treat poopy butt, if they get it, in the house. Some started in the livingroom and then moved to the basement, others started in the basement. I've then either finished brooding them in the coop or a grow-out tractor. When they moved out depended on how many I had and what's been available for housing at the time.
I think they've all turned out friendly. Even the ones that started out more flighty or that were hand shy after being shipped as day old chicks, still turned out friendly. They all love treats, there's always at least a few lap chickens and they're all happy to follow you around from time to time or come over to see what you're doing. When they aren't too busy foraging for bugs. Let's face it, a live bug will always come first!
I still visit with chicks, even when they aren't indoors. I don't handle any of my chicks as much as some people do, but I talk quietly to them and let them observe my hands in a non-threatening way in the brooder. They learn that I'm not a threat and bring good things. When I do handle them, I'm very gentle and slow about it. When they first start free ranging, I walk with them. I show them where they can go to forage and help them feel safe. They're always glad to see me or my husband when we come outside or go into the coop.
If I was letting a broody raise them, I would bring special treats to the broody every day and spoil her. Letting them see you have a good relationship with their mom and the other chickens is a good way to help them have a good relationship with you. My good and trusting relationship with animals that have young has rubbed off on their babies. I would just do the same thing with chickens.
I've brooded two batches of chicks on the screened porch - won't have chicks in the house. I've also had chicks brooded by a mama hen, within the coop.
By far, the friendliest chicks I've had are the three reared by mama hen in the coop.
It really depends on the breed of the chicken and how many you have at one time. I've had very friendly chicks indoors as well as under momma hens but I've also had very skittish chicks as well. The fewer, the friendlier and easier to handle but if the breed is sketchy, not much is going to change that. I am about DONE with the leghorns and leghorn crosses I have. They lay well but are so freaking skittish I can't stand it... and they were brooded indoors and I handled them a lot.
I've had experiences opposite to gritsar's, but I do brood chicks in the house (in the bathroom). "My" hen raised chicks are heartier, healthier, much more savvy than my brooder raised chicks, but not as people-oriented and friendly.
I don't handle them a great deal, but they know from whence food comes. And they're used to me moving around them. Once they are outside and comfortable ranging freely, they follow me around, talk to me, and will eat out of my hands. The hen raised chicks stand at the outskirts of the group getting treats and seldom come eat out of my hands until after they have started to lay eggs - even if the hens who raised them eat right out of my hands.
Quote:LOL! I've grown used to closing the kitchen door real quick or the three chickateers (the broody's chicks) will follow me right into the house. The minute I enter the coop in the evenings they are all over me. I've gotten pretty good about being able to get my work done with three chicks climbing all over me. I don't know what it is about these three, but I love it. Their parents are friendly enough, but nowhere near as human attached as the chicks.
The spring before last, we got our first chicks and brooded them indoors, lavishing them with attention. They grew up to be very friendly, tame chickens. Last spring, we let three of these hens go broody and raise their own chicks. We lavished those chicks with plenty of attention as they were growing up, too. All of those chicks grew up to be just as friendly and tame as their mums.