Skittish chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by stroud2009, May 9, 2016.

  1. stroud2009

    stroud2009 Out Of The Brooder

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    How do I get our chicks to not be so skittish every time I try and pick them up or even give them fresh water ? They go nuts when I go anywhere near them .
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Chickens are fearful of anything approaching from above - as a prey species this is instinctive. Brooder boxes with an opening side so that they can be approached from the side generally calms these fears. Ducklings can be even more fearful when approached from above. The larger the brooder the less they panic.
     
  3. kana9

    kana9 Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]

    I agree on the benefit of a side opening on the brooder. Last year we used a large stock tank as a brooder. It worked ok but this year we added a side door and it works better. I started by just holding my hand still and offering oatmeal that I pulsed in the food processor first to make it more fine. I read somewhere that oats are ok as an occasional treat, and the chicks really like them. Just a handful a day will still let them eat mostly the complete starter. When the chicks were one week old they would eat from my hand and some would stand on my palm while eating. Now that they are two weeks old, the chicks hop out of the brooder to come to us when my son or I sit in front of the brooder. It is easy for them to hop back in so they feel safe.
     
  4. stroud2009

    stroud2009 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for the information :) I am trying a dog crate starting tomorrow in hopes of getting them less scared of me by not teaching in and freaking them out . I try and hand feed them once a day and it's mostly just threw of them that avoid me like the plague.
     
  5. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    A lot of it also depends on breed and disposition of the chick's itself. The shyness usually disappears at point of lay but some may never like lap sitting or cuddling. My chick's are almost a month old now and I have 7 Barred rocks, 1 penciled rock,1 laced Wyandotte, And one buff Orpington. At 6 days old ALL but one barred Rock and my penciled rock were jumping in my lap, climbing on my arms and sleeping in my lap.(they still do, all but the two) one even went through the motions of dustbathing in my lap! But if I touch the other two, oh my goodness, they scream like I'm eating them! Even though they watch all 8 of the other chick's play with me several times a day they are just terrified of me. I came to believe after raising chickens for a few years now that some just don't come around until after laying. Continue to handle them and after they lay you will be able to pick them up and carry them without too much fuss but it's still usually not their favorite activity. Some have cuddly personality some don't. However the Barred rock breed in general is the most friendly breed I've ever had! They almost all love to cuddle and play. Beautiful loving and smart. All chick's are individually different. Some cuddle some don't but it gets a lot easier once they lay.
     
  6. missy1971

    missy1971 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 2 buffs and 2 rocks approx 7 weeks, I have them in a coop outside now, have for a few weeks ...i haven't had a lot of time to go sit with them (cast on my leg) but I do talk to them a lot. Is there anything I can do more to make them not so skittish. I'm starting to get a little worried
     
  7. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    As another posted they mellow out when they get closer to laying age.

    Remember these are birds aka food for just about every predator on the planet. Being shy/ skittish should be expected. Give them lots of time and just be near them quietly. They will come around to the best of their ability. Please do not expect them to be like a small dog. They just cannot make that leap.
     
  8. missy1971

    missy1971 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yes...i agree! im sure trying
     
  9. missy1971

    missy1971 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are a lot better, still skittish, but getting more social by the day. Ive put them into the large run, and they are out free ranging every day. They even come into the shed with me, and fly to my shoulder and sit there!
     

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