Question about handling chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by melissadvm, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. melissadvm

    melissadvm Hatching

    Jun 7, 2010
    Hi everyone-
    I'm new to the chicken world, and I'm hoping you can help! I have six 12-day-old chicks, and I really want them to grow up to be as friendly as possible and comfortable with people. I spend several 20-minute sessions per day with them, just sitting with them and allowing them to come up to me as they please. They tend to take turns coming and going, pecking at my hand now and then. They do run to greet me at the door when I arrive since I have made a habit of putting a plate of food down during these sessions. With the exception of one chick who is extremely friendly and loves to be held, the majority of them just occasionally show interest in me but spend most of their time on the other end of the brooder.
    I wonder if I should be insisting on holding them all daily to get them used to it, but they get really stressed out about being caught and held. I don't know if the stress they would feel by being caught and held daily would be worth the benefit they would gain from getting more comfortable with human contact, or if you think it's better to just continue with my sessions of sitting with them but not force them to be held against their will.
    Any input is appreciated!
    Thanks [​IMG]
  2. chicnfarmer

    chicnfarmer Songster

    May 21, 2010
    I handle mine as often as possible. I think the general consensus is that it is good to do and makes them easier to work with when they get older.
  3. dreamwallaby

    dreamwallaby Songster

    Apr 18, 2010
    Camden County NJ
    My crew are 4wks old now and I did do holding sessions with them, but I found that they were much calmer when they knew they had the option to leave. I also found that they liked perching on me and being scooped up from underneath was okay, but they freak out if a hold them in a way that prevents their wings from opening. They also like having their breasts pet but not their backs at all. Now they are very friendly and curious. They don't run away when I move around them and nobody freaks when I pick them up. Good luck with your chicks [​IMG]
  4. Yardbirds286

    Yardbirds286 Songster

    Jan 7, 2009
    Western Mass
    I held mine all the time when they were little, now they all want to sit on me every chance they get. Tonight I had two on my lap eating crushed Cheerios watching TV. They are so sweet. [​IMG]
  5. schmije

    schmije Songster

    Aug 25, 2008
    Peoria, IL
    Handling them is good. Yours are still at the age when they're very afraid of people. They'll get better in the next few weeks - especially since you're bringing food when you're there. Their natural instinct is to run from anything overhead (where predators come from). I agree with dreamwallaby that they respond better to picking them up from underneath. Some of them will always be more friendly than others, but you can make them better by handling them often.
  6. missychicky

    missychicky Songster

    Jun 10, 2009
    Milwuakie. OR
    I handled mine every day for several days and now that their all grown up it has paid off. They all come running when they see me and doofus my gold sex link pecks at my foot until I pick her up!
  7. Daisygirl

    Daisygirl Songster

    Nov 10, 2009
    New Zealand
    from a really early age (2 days) one of my chooks, Daisy, would sit on my shoulder whilst I sold eggs at a market stalll. She would sit on my shoulder, hide under my hair, sleep, and talk to me----and anyone else who happened to be near...and she still does at 9 months, and has taken to the habit of doing my hair for me!
    The others are a little shy, and some of them hate being picked up or touched----but theyre very happy for a good chat! Some chooks just dont like being picked up...and some are naturally friendly!!!
  8. KandJsmama

    KandJsmama Chirping

    We have always held ours whenever we get the chance. My 9 week olds are very skittish around us still but they let us get closer and one even jumped in my son's lap. With my older girls, I found that all the handling paid off after they started laying. I can pick up any of them now and they will jump in my lap if I sit outside with them.
  9. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
    You can look at my member page for my method of taming. My 5 week olds are allowed out in the backyard during the day and all will come to me for holding and petting. I can pick them up and carry them around the yard and (most important) they like it. Don't ever chase them or grab them, and I don't feed mine from my hands. Consistency is the key...
  10. melissadvm

    melissadvm Hatching

    Jun 7, 2010
    I can't tell you all how much I appreciate all of the input! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! [​IMG]

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