Socializing baby chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lilrosc, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. lilrosc

    lilrosc In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2011
    Northeast CT
    I am brand new to chickens, have ordered 6 from MPC. Other than coming 3 days early and currently living in a rat cage while we work on our brooder (4'x4'x2') they seem to be doing pretty well. I got a Dominque, Partridge Rock, Light Brown Leghorn, SLW, BO and Golden Campine, and so far, personalities seem to be very different, though how much can you tell at less than a week? Which I suppose is my question. Currently, the Dom is very friendly and when I stick my hand in the cage, she is the first to jump on and just hang out. She has hopped out of the cage on her own numerous times. The BO, PR and SLW are just rather chill chicks, who don;t mind having their butts cleaned and will hang out while being held. The Campine isn't sure of anything, but doesn't really complain much about being held, though jumps away quickly. The Leghorn, one would think that my hand was a snake. When I just hold it in the cage, she is curious and will peck at me, but at any movement she is off, running around and seeming freaked. She complains horribly when I hold her, and thankfully her butt hasn't caked up, because that would be impossible to clean I reckon.

    So, my run down on chicks, the question is what do I do? They are a week old, do these personalities last or change completely after adolescents? I know leghorns and campines aren't known for being particularly friendly, and they were most purchased because the kids liked the look of them. Which probably isn't the greatest buying strategy, but I don't need all 6 particularly cuddly birds. Specially if the dom keeps up with this.

    Thanks. And I know treats are a good way, but when can you start giving treats and what sort for babies?

  2. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    I would give it another week before you start giving treats to the chicks. If you give them treats that are larger than pieces of chick feed make sure you give them some grit to help them digest the treats. Soft foods like yogurt don't need grit. I would just keep handling them often to help socialize them. Some birds just never become lap chickens. I noticed my first group of pullets calmed down a lot after they started laying but none of my grown chickens are lap chickens.
  3. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Crowing

    Mar 28, 2011
    I take my girls out of the brooder 5-6 times a day. I also am down there 100 more times a day cleaning out poo. Everytime I see them, I pick them up and hold them. They are all friendly and come flying toward me whenever they see me now. When I was picking up Maple last weekend I came across the leghorn bin. I tried to grab one and the guy there says they are more flighty then the rest of the birds that were there. They are nice looking birds, but I closed the bin and walked away. I would keep handeling them and give treats. I also put starter food in my hand and the girls come running. They will eat anything that's in my hand.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2011
  4. ChicknLittleLexi

    ChicknLittleLexi In the Brooder

    Mar 24, 2011
    Sonora, CA
    I have been sitting with my chicks, talking to them and giving them treats out of my hands. They will be 4 weeks-ish on Tuesday, so they get grapes. They LOVE grapes, so they all come running over. I also try to pick each of them up and snuggle with them a little bit to get them socialized. It's working, sorta. They've only been with us about 2 weeks, so they're getting used to us. I also take them outside and let them run around. Really all you can do is spend time around them, getting them used to you, your voice, and your hands (especially if your hands bring treats!!!)
  5. lilrosc

    lilrosc In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2011
    Northeast CT
    I love the idea of sitting on the ground with them and letting them run around. Once they are moved into the brooder that might be a bit easier. The cage is currently in the entry way of the house, where cats and the dog have free access to, while the brooder will be in the extra bathroom, which can be shut off from prying kitty eyes (though honestly I am surprised how uninterested the cats have been). I can easily sit with chick feed on my hand though, that way they are pecking at something other than me.

    Thank you all for your advice.
  6. lilrosc

    lilrosc In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2011
    Northeast CT
    Who needs treats when you have chick feed? Doesn't seem to matter to them that there is a full feeder of the stuff, I had 6 chicks all trying to get into my hands after the feed, including the leghorn without issue. Unfortunately, I have relatively small hands, and can two can jump up at a time. Was hilarious seeing the BO trying to chase one sibling away only to be knocked off from behind by another.

    Thanks for the tips
  7. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    My 5 week old orps favorite treat STILL is chick food with enough water in it to make it a nasty paste. They love it! You'd think they'd catch on that it's just chick food but nope, they'll about knock me over for some of that stuff.

    Since they're already in that bathroom, sit on the floor with some of this glop in your hand and feed it to them. I instantly became the coolest thing ever the first time I did this! Before that they really didn't want a thing to do with me really.

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