Socializing Baby Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Chyatt24, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. Chyatt24

    Chyatt24 Out Of The Brooder

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    So, I have 2 baby chicks, a little over a week old I believe. One is a buff orpington, one is a slw, both females. I want to socialize them better, because right now, they're a bit unfriendly. They get very scared when I go to put my hand in their bin, and they are very flighty. Both birds have actually pecked at me when I went to pick them up. They also randomly fly very frantically, but I'm not sure why they're doing that. I tried putting feed in my hand and then placing my hand in the bin, and both birds came up to me and pecked at the food, but soon the slw only pecked my hand and fingers, not the food. Could it be because there are only two of them and they're closely bonded, they don't like people as much?
    What do you all do to socialize your baby chicks? I don't want them to be unfriendly, especially as adults.
     
  2. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    I've raised buff orps before and although they are a affectionate and friendly breed, they are always skittish to begin with.

    What I do is when they are a few days old, hold them and cuddle them... A LOT! I also keep my hand in the brooder while talking to them. This lets them get used to my voice and look. Once they get to the hyper age I take them outside and teach them to follow my by calling "Girls!" Sometimes they get distracted and don't listen but usually they follow my like they would a mother hen. Then at around 8 weeks I hand feed them treats. .I spend time with them each day.

    All of my girls are some of the tamest I've ever seen.
     
  3. Chyatt24

    Chyatt24 Out Of The Brooder

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    My two get super scared when my hand is in the brooder, or try to peck at it, which is not behavior I want to encourage. It's hard to hold them because they peck and move so quickly that I can't even pick them up in the first place. Is this normal for baby chicks, or are mine extra skittish?
     
  4. Chyatt24

    Chyatt24 Out Of The Brooder

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    I was able to pick them up fairly easily the first few days, but now I'm worried about having unfriendly chickens
     
  5. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Move very slowly. When they start to freak out say in a soothing voice "it's ok babies." If they seem to simply get super scared when you reach in, don't.
     
  6. Chyatt24

    Chyatt24 Out Of The Brooder

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    How should I pick them up?
     
  7. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Maybe at this point don't pick them up much just yet. Let them get used to your hand, and you, a bit more. Chicks naturally are afraid of any movement above their heads (think hawk) so they will naturally be afraid for a while. But they will learn, just keep putting your hand in with them and always move SLOW. Some chicks/chickens never do enjoy being caught and picked up, it does not come naturally for prey animals, others get used to it and don't mind. Food is the way to any chickens heart, offer a bit of mashed, hard boiled or scrambled egg from you hand, they usually gobble it right up. With time and maturity they will settle down.
     
  8. 16 paws

    16 paws Chillin' With My Peeps

    My baby chicks have all been skittish. When they get older they will become more friendly. I would not worry about it. Just pick them up as carefully as you can and hold them as much as you can. Every chicken is different just like people. They will mellow out.
    Have fun with them....
    Marie
     
  9. Chyatt24

    Chyatt24 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! At what age do chickens really start getting 'flighty' because both of mine already seem like they want to fly right out of their brooder
     
  10. 16 paws

    16 paws Chillin' With My Peeps

    In my experience very early, so just expect them to and make sure they cant. Just to be safe that is.
     

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