Proper way to hold?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by CacklingCarolyn, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. CacklingCarolyn

    CacklingCarolyn Out Of The Brooder

    71
    0
    29
    Apr 25, 2011
    Louisville, Ky.
    Is there a proper way to hold or carry a chicken? I mostly just cradle them like a football but thought I read somewhere about holding their legs.
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    113
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I just hold em like footballs. Some of my chickens prefer that I support their feet with my free hand, other ones don't care if I support their feet or not. If the chicken is skittish and kicking, you can secure their legs with your free hand instead.
     
  3. JLB

    JLB New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Jul 1, 2011
    Thanks for the description on how to hold 'em. I'm new to this. Just got 3 pullets last week: 11 week old Ameracauna and 13 wk old Rhode Island Red and Buff Orpington. They are very skittish and I'm finding it difficult to even catch them. The few times I have, they seem even more skittish afterward and run the other way when I come into the run. Any advice?

    JLB
     
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    13,295
    18
    291
    Aug 25, 2008
    SC
    Time and treats. I keep mine penned until they realize I'm not a threat. I actually have a lawn chair I take into the pen so I can sit with them. JLB, yours are in their "teenage" stage, just be calm, quiet and offer some treats. They'll come around a bit. But do keep in mind that chickens are not like dogs and cats, they won't bond with you as securely.

    As far as carrying, yep, just like a football. I only do it if I have to, especially the leg hold. Makes them paranoid sometimes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2011
  5. ThinkingChickens

    ThinkingChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2011
    I didn't really pick up or carry mine much until they started the egg squat. Once each one has started laying they've been nicer. I also found a law chair and keep it in the chicken yard. I'll take a magazine out or a book and some treats and just talk to them.
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    113
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Get ya some brahmas. Not only will they be totally at ease with being carried around, they'll come to expect it.
     
  7. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    28,669
    5,250
    576
    May 11, 2010
    Older birds I carry around like this:

    [​IMG]

    Note how I use my third and pinky finger to control a leg. If needed to calm my bird I will cover his head with my free hand.

    Baby chicks I will cup in my hand:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Mommy 2 Wee Ones

    Mommy 2 Wee Ones Chillin' With My Peeps

    735
    28
    138
    May 19, 2011
    North Texas
    I slide my hand under their belly & have their legs dangle between my fingers. My BO just settles into my hand while I pet her with my other hand. My daughters carry them in front of them, with their legs dangling, guess they have gotten use to the girls holding them that way. They only get fussy when they don't want to go to bed, and then it is chase the chickens around the run game.
     
  9. sandykopandy

    sandykopandy Out Of The Brooder

    78
    1
    41
    May 22, 2011
    I had also read that they like their feet supported but mine don't. They are WAY easier to hold once they're older, bigger and less flighty. (They get so much slower and will crouch down and let you pick them up.) The main thing I have found is to lift them gently but firm and confidence, keeping an arm around the wings. Now this one in the pic with me... she has gotten to the point where she lets me carry her by her body and just holds her wings straight out if she's in the right mood- we play "airplane"- but I'm not sure whether that's common or not [​IMG]!
     
  10. CacklingCarolyn

    CacklingCarolyn Out Of The Brooder

    71
    0
    29
    Apr 25, 2011
    Louisville, Ky.
    I have a sweet Speckled Sussex that seems to want me to pick her up and a BO that doesn't mind at all. Most of the the other girls are not so very fond of being held.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by