Raising Friendly Chickens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Deerling, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. Deerling

    Deerling Songster

    Feb 5, 2013
    King County, WA
    This is our first time raising chicks and we would really like them to be friendly as they get older. That being said, I don't want to over handle them or scare them. We also have a six year old (who is mature and great with animals) and a one and a half year old (not to be trusted ;) ). Those of you who have raised pet chickens, how much did you handle them as they grew? Any tips would be great :) Thanks in advance!

  2. Deerling

    Deerling Songster

    Feb 5, 2013
    King County, WA
    I guess I should add we have four week old chicks right now and 25 coming next week. We are brooding them inside for at least the first few weeks.
  3. Aphrael

    Aphrael Songster

    Jan 21, 2013
    I handled and petted and talked to mine a few times every day. Some of them stayed standoffish no matter what I did. The others just loved climbing on my lap and perching on me. When they reached "teenager" stage they all got so skittish and wild we couldn't get near them and I was convinced I had done something horribly wrong with them. But as soon as they started getting close to point of lay they all settled down very nicely and now cluster around my feet any time I am out there talking to me and begging like children begging for candy. [​IMG] The ones who were standoffish as chicks still don't care too much for petting but they at least tolerate it and do like to be close and to be talked to.

    I think as long as you make sure the chicks know you and always try to make your interactions nonscary comforting or fun ones then they will probably grow up to be plenty friendly. Just don't despair if they go through a "don't touch me" teenager phase like mine did. They should come back out of it so long as you continue interacting with them in positive ways throughout.
    2 people like this.
  4. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Songster

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    x2 great post. It is fine to handle them as long as they do not seem stressed. I would recommend sort of scooping them up from the side instead of picking them up overhead like a scary looming monster. Give them little treats like mealworms so they associate you with happy yummy things.

    LIke Aphrael said, when they get to be teenagers they usually go through a grumpy stage but you can easily tame them again with treats and calm interaction as they continue to grow.

    Good luck!

  5. obsessedwchicks

    obsessedwchicks Chirping

    Feb 12, 2013
    When they get to the laying stage, they will be way calmer! We have about 30-35 hens and about 30 of them are always around me when I'm in the pen, and are just WONDERFUL! But then I have one who just runs off by her self, and five who are just pecking away. So they get WONDERFUL in the later stages but with my hatch I'm getting this weekend, I'm looking forward to kind of spoiling my own chickens without hurting them.
  6. spolley1

    spolley1 In the Brooder

    Aug 14, 2011
    Baltimore MD
    I have 7 chickens that are 10 months old. We got them when they were just a few days old. We started them in basement and picked them up several times a day for about a minute at a time. We also subjected them to all kinds of noises, hammering and drilling. We built a chicken play pen in the basement because my coop & run were not finished. We made a temporary pen outside while the run was being built. We would bring the girls out while we work. The girls were subject to more sawing and hammering. The girls were never spooked because they were subject to it at a very young age. I can drive the tractor around the run and they don't even care. My girls are so friendly they just come up to everyone who enters the yard. Nothing spooks them and we can hold all of them. They all have there own personalities and bring so much enjoyment to our family. Were getting 5 more girls this spring for an even dozen.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by