Question about taming chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by showjumper_girl2002, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. showjumper_girl2002

    showjumper_girl2002 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two 3 month old silkie chicks that I've had since they were a day old. I really want them to like me lol. I've been really busy with work but I'm trying to spend more time with them. I will put them on the couch with me while I watch tv and they are fine and will let me pet them and even snuggle by me but for some reason when I sit with them outside they run when i try to pet or pick them up :( why do they seem like they like me and aren't afraid on my couch but not outside? They will come up and take treats from me but heaven forbid i try to pet them. What can I do to make them more friendly? I chose this breed because I read how laid back they are and that they make good pets. What am I doing wrong? :(
     
  2. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Their instinct is to be afraid of predators from above. They are prey animals, used to getting picked up by hawks, eagles, falcons, coyotes, dogs, and the human hand reaching down on them triggers that fear. It sounds like when she was on more level ground, on the couch, it was less terrifying for her to interact with you. Probably because you were not coming down on her from above. :) hope this helps

    Also, silkies have limited vision depending on how large their head poof is. Eventually as they feather out, it can cover their eyes, and people say that makes them more docile (they can't see anything incoming from above). But it also makes them easier prey, so be careful when letting them outside unsupervised. Keep giving them treats and they will learn to love humans :)
     
  3. handyman42

    handyman42 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with Farmer Viola. And say this everyday, MAKE time to feed them treats from your hands and sit on the ground with them and let them roam around you and pick them up and touch them constantly. Eventually they will learn that you're not going to hurt them. I have one out of my bunch I babied more than the others and she's the only one I can pick up still as an adult. So it does work so long as you work at it.

    Another thing is once they're used to you, you can't just stop or they'll become skittish again. So keep at it and you'll love them and they'll love you back. Enjoy!!
     
  4. showjumper_girl2002

    showjumper_girl2002 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! Should I force them to sit in my lap and be cuddled lol or just sit with them and let them do what they want?
     
  5. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 3, 2013
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    This is so true!

    I have Silver-Spangled Hamburgs, a Cuckoo Marans and a Black Andalusian that are 13 weeks old and when I just throw treats on the ground (seeds and fruit), they scatter at first and never let me too near, but if I sit on the ground and hold the seeds in my hand they will crawl all over me to get to the treats!

    It can be a little scary because there are 16 of them! I do it several times a day though, and they are much tamer than I though Hamburgs would be. They are so much fun!
     
  6. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't really force them to be cuddled.. I start the attraction when I get them out of the cage/brooder. I feed them treats while standing outside the brooder, so they start crawling up my arms and onto my shoulders (and head) for food (mealworms, breadcrumbs, scratch). Then I'll take 2 or 3 chicks at a time for some floor time where they can run around freely and peck at stuff on the ground to show each other. They also come back to me for treats and they usually end up roosting on my leg and sleeping periodically between exploration. I'm usually watching TV. I will put my hand next to them so they just feel used to it, not necessarily always touching. umm.. yeah :) hope this helps :)
     
  7. Manningjw

    Manningjw Chillin' With My Peeps

    The predator from above concept is interesting and could by why my chickens act they way they do. I have one chicken who is the friendliest hen we have ever had. When I go outside to the fence she waits on the other side, if I offer my arm over the fence she flies up and roosts on my arm to let me pet and hold her. She will ride around on my arm/shoulder while I do things in the yard too. However, if I bend/reach down to pet her she often runs away.
     

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