picking up and inspecting hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by warren, Oct 6, 2007.

  1. warren

    warren Songster

    Sep 29, 2007
    I have had my 2 hens for 6 weeks and have not yet got a good technique for picking them up to inspect them. If I get them around the wings all of their weight seems to be too far back and I have to let go. If I get them farther back they get their wings free and flap like mad until I have to drop them. Either way I end up dropping them and am afraid of hurting them. They seem to land with rather a thump. Help please!
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Warren......when I need to inspect my gals.....I pick them up first...holding the wings tight against thier body, and pull them close to me. Holding them for a few minutes untill they settle. Talking softly, letting them know I am not going to hurt them. Then find a place to sit/squat....and perch them on my lap...keeping my hand over thier back to keep them still. They are calm...and I can safely raise thier wings...inspect rears...and no one is upset. Some just hold them by thier feet, upside down...I just think this is cruel, and upsets them too much.
  3. This is the way that I do it:
    I place my left hand under her chest, my right hand tucks the wings in to make the next step simpler.
    I then pick her up.
    With my left hand I seperate her legs so that my index finger and middle finger are grasping her right leg and my pinky and ring finger are grasping her left leg underneath so they sit on my hand. Then they lean comfortably on my forearm with their heads facing toward my elbow. I use my free right hand to steady them if need be. Its hard to put into words!
    Its dark here now or I would go and grab my camera!!!
    Im sure theres alot of other ways but this is my preferred method.
    Ive seen inexperienced people grab them by the wings which to me is a no-no!
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2007
  4. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    poor warren, i know how you feel. I have the most trouble with my silkies. They are still young. I think it you keep doing your best, they will get used to you too. I also notive they get batter as they get older, so hang in there and have hope [​IMG]
  5. warren

    warren Songster

    Sep 29, 2007
    Thank you all for your time and help. I had not thought of sitting down with a hen on my lap. I will try that later. I have just moved them to a clean area of grass so I do not want to upset them at the moment.
    I saw the previous owner of my two move her hens. She had one under each arm and another in her hands with complete control. I wish I had a video of it.
    They are not afraid of me as they come running when they see me. They just run the other way if I try to pick them up!
    I'm afraid that I have let them know that if they flap their wings they can escape any time they like.
  6. chick-e-pie

    chick-e-pie In the Brooder

    When our hens were younger we routinely went into the coop with "treats" (leftover corn or peas) and let them eat out of our hands. It was easier to pick them up once they knew they were getting something good.

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