Please help- handling baby chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JamieandShady, May 7, 2007.

  1. JamieandShady

    JamieandShady In the Brooder

    May 7, 2007
    Oak Hill TX
    I just got my baby chicks four days ago. I hear you should handle them, but this proves to be a stressful experience for them. They run away from me even though I offer food before during and after handling. I try to talk to them to soothe them, but handling them makes them anxious.

    Should I continue to try to handle them? The handling seems to make them more afraid of me.

    I do want us all to be friends...


    I have two austrolorps (pretty friendly and hungry)
    two wyandottes (NOT interested in handling- very anxious)
    one rir (doesn't much care for handling)
    one buff (likes to be talked to and cuddled but doesn't seek it out)
    one brahma (very gentle- likes to be cuddled too but doesn't seek it out)

    all pullets
    Last edited: May 9, 2007
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Jamie....they will be scared at first...I mean..think of thier position....babies...and a large monster hand coming in and grabbing them up. Its natural. When they are about 2 weeks old, you may want to offer them some hard boiled egg yolk, from your hand...just not too much. They will learn in time, the hand offers treats! Keep holding them....let them get used to your voice...maybe call to them when you enter the room, right before you reach in. Let them know you are coming. Good luck, and congrats on your new chicks!
  3. steffpeck

    steffpeck Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Erda, UT
    justusnak - Is there anything else you can give them when they are 2 weeks old??
  4. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Well....not at 2 weeks...really...they need the chick starter. You might be able to give them cooked rice...but VERY limited, and then you will have to offer grit. I would stay with the boiled egg yolk...just to be safe.
  5. aran

    aran Songster

    Apr 28, 2007
    rochester ny
    i gave my lil guys some boiled egg yolk and they wouldnt eat it! They turned their noses up at yoghurt too![​IMG]
  6. Lipkis

    Lipkis In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2007
    Kennesaw, GA
    Try holding your chick's feed in your hand!

    When we first got our chicks they were very frightened. They were (and still are) in our bathroom and the first time we tried to hold them it was stressful! I felt awful for our little girls.

    But I started to hold their feed in my hands and our vbravest one, Queenie came forward and pecked at the food and raced off. Eventually she started to eat more and more and the other two started to follow en suite.

    Then I would just put my hand in and they would come up and investigate. I'd gently pick them up aong their back with my other hand cupping their feet so they wouldn't feel too insecure. Cupping them makes them feel warm and I would imagine safe because they were calm when we held them like that.

    Now, our girls are a little over eight weeks--we got them six weeks ago before Easter and they were born on St. Patricks Day. And they're starting to get big and we can't cup them anymore! All their feathers are in and they look like little mini chickens without combs and waddles--their waddles are coming in too its so cute.

    Now when we open up their cage they roost on the side and when Mom and I hold our hands out they hop up. Sometimes Queenie will jump from my hand to my shoulder. And if my mom's bending over to pick out poops she'll usually find Truffles and China on her back.

    They'll warm up to you I promise! Chicks are just like small children alone in a new home. Imagine how frightened you'd be in a new envoirnment, filled with strange people, and new things. Give them time. I'm sure they'll grow to love you!
  7. Hey Jamie:
    This might not be possible for you but it worked so well for me:

    I spread a towel (pretty big one and one you never want to use again) on our bed so they couldn't poop all over it. I let them out onto it and lay down (well, sort of half, a bit sitting up). No food or treats, but they came to me for the warmth, I think. They crawled all over me. Then I would gently pet them slowly (god, this sounds ridiculous!) and they would all join in.

    It took some time, maybe 30 mins. before they felt comfortable enough, but it did work. Mine are three weeks now. We just had a party. People were surprised at how easy it was to handle the birds and I think it might be (who really knows?) b/c I handle them daily.

    And per Barg's request: Yes, I am new to this. We've got 6 chickies. 2 Barred Rocks, 2 White Leghorns, 1 Wyandotte (dark, don't know the specifics) and one...da da da daaaaaa Turken! I dig the Turken, way cool.[​IMG]
    Last edited: May 13, 2007
  8. schmoo

    schmoo Songster

    May 7, 2007
    West MI.
    So weird to read this........mine come to me the second I come near the brooder. They are plenty warm and they just chase my hands wherever and whenever I put them near them. they are all like pick me up, pick me up........... and when we do they love it! strange the different behaviors among chicks...
  9. I held out a piece of lttuce ad once one of them came to me the all started coming over. I only gave them a tiiny tiny bit though and I gave them grit immediatly after. I hope u enjoy ur new chicks. the are so DANG CUTE!
  10. Farm girl 1465

    Farm girl 1465 In the Brooder

    May 3, 2007
    We have had our five chicks for 6 days now and have been trying to handle them often. Some like it more than others. My daughter made a barrier with rolled up towels in a cirlce and lets them all run around in the middle of it on the laundry room floor where their brooder is they hop all over her and try to climb into the cuffs of her pants. It does seem to help the more nervous babies to clam down if you cup them in your hand with just their head sticking out...and they are getting better the more they are held. Some of them come running whenever my hand goes into the cage they peck at my ring and the camera lens. They even let the dog sniff them up...They are soooo cute. Keep at it they will come around!

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