Preparing young chickens for school!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Jose21, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. Jose21

    Jose21 In the Brooder

    May 18, 2011
    I am trying to get my chickens used to be handled and used to human company. We only have two currently so this should not be too difficult, but I am not sure if I am doing the right things. They are currently 7 weeks old and in an outside run and raised coop.

    I do the following:
    1. Sit on a small low stool in their run area
    2. Pick them up (they fuss briefly at that point) and hold them
    3. Walk around the house and garden whilst holding them - showing them things (?!)
    4. Talk to them
    5. Encourage our friendly dog (whom I would not trust) to show an interest in them.
    6. Show the cat they are getting bigger and she should not mess with them.

    When I do 3 it seems as if one of them would rather stay in the house, which she is clearly interested in, than return to the run. The other chicken is less keen on it all.

    Is any of the above making any difference? I am a Headteacher and these chickens are currently in my house in the school grounds, but they are to be school chickens from September (my students watched them hatch!) so it is important to me that they like people. They are likely to be completely adored by the girls in my school (don't worry, they are very nice girls and I will be very strict about how they treat them - I haven't looked after them all this time just for them to be neglected later) and I live on site and will see them everyday. When they move up to school they will have their own outside area as well as the coop and run for night time. All the girls are going to be trained on how to look after them.

    Anyone got any other suggestions as to how I could be preparing them for starting school in September??? I think I was less concerned when my own daughter started junior school!!!
  2. chicksntexas

    chicksntexas Chirping

    Apr 30, 2011
    Magnolia, TX
    I spend time with mine in the morning, then a little later I go back in with treats! Wow, do they ever like me then! LOL So far, dry oatmeal is their favorite. They love to be petted and I make sure I pick up and hold each one so they don't feel left out. [​IMG] Of course, I only have 6! I think the more you interact with them, they will be more tame or people friendly. But not all! I have an ameraucana chick that is a week old, and the little thing runs and screams everytime I get close to it! I'm not giving up though! Mine vie for lap position and jump up on my shoulders. I just have to be careful they don't peck my eyes! I discourage the shoulder jump, though and hold out my arms instead. They follow me around, too...they are so darn cute!
  3. stcroixusvi

    stcroixusvi Songster

    May 5, 2011
    Western NC
    My Coop
    Wow, great school that encourages this kind of learning! I don't know the answers to your questions, but just wanted to say how wonderful those kids are to have you as a head teacher.
  4. MamiPollo

    MamiPollo Chirping

    Mar 6, 2011
    My Coop
    Your school sounds wonderful and I think your chickens will be a great addition. I would love to hear more about your school!

    Two of my five hens are very tame and will allow me to pick them up and handle them. This is because I often handled them and petted them when they were small. I think it is also dependent somewhat on their personalities. My Araucana's are not personable and run away from me. I have one Australorp who is shy and the other one I picked at the feed store because she was curious and came over to me from under her heat lamp to check me out. She is still bold and curious.

    My friendliest hen is my Columbia Rock, who is also the lead hen. Now, these chickens will always cluck and fuss when I pick them up and if I do not hold them correctly they will struggle to get down. Make sure that you hold them with their wings down because if one wing pops up it is all over!

    Take them treats and you can get the trusting ones to eat out of your hand!

    I believe chickens can recognize individual humans, and even if they get used to you they might still be shy of your students. If you can borrow some girls of the age of your students to visit and mess with them, it might help smooth the transition in the fall.

    Sounds like such a wonderful program for your school! I look forward to hearing more!

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