Socializing our chicks with us

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tankernav1, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. tankernav1

    tankernav1 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 20, 2009
    We have 4 EE and 4 Buff Orpingtons that are about 5 days old. We want them to be friendly and get used to us. However I feel that we are scaring them so much now when we try to pick them up or handle them. They don't mind our hands being in the brooder on the floor---they are curious-- but not over them. What is the best way to keep them socialized, get them used to us, and love us too? I don't want to scare the poor little girls. We just want them to be friendly when they grow up. Thanks for advice!
  2. homestead5er

    homestead5er Out Of The Brooder

    May 16, 2008
    Can they see you when you come into the room? If they can't talk to the when you enter. I have three that fly to my hand when I put my hand in the brooder, i'm still working on the other three.[​IMG]
  3. embkm

    embkm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2009
    Colbert, Ga
    If I can, I ususally put my hand in the brooder near the floor. If they come up to me great.. then I just scoop them up slowly under their bellies. It is really easy with the babies I've had longer.

    The newer ones from TSC are more skittish... I think it's from being in the stock tanks and the hands always came from above them. I still try to scoop these up from underneath, but if I just can't, I grab them as quickly as I can, then snuggle them a few seconds against me so the calm down. In just a few days, they have calmed down quite a lot when I go to pick them up.
  4. RendonRoo

    RendonRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2009
    ft. worth
    It's instinctive for chickens to be afraid of preditors from above. Like they said in earlier post just talk to them and when you pick on up do it fast and hold it close. If you hold it to your chest so it can feel your heartbeat it will bond better also. Good Luck
    O'Yea when they figure out that your the one with the treats it will help too.
  5. artsyrobin

    artsyrobin Artful Wings

    Mar 1, 2009
    Muskogee OK
    i am new to chickens, but what i have read when they are tiny hold them close to your face and talk to them- and then what i have done is sit on the floor with them and let them walk all over me- somehow this 'peoplized them...
  6. tankernav1

    tankernav1 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 20, 2009
    We are scared to take them out of the brooder too far for fear they will jump. But I guess we should take them out, sit on the floor and hold them? That's a good point about the heartbeat. I can just picture me holding them close to my face---like that's going to make them feel better with my big eyes, nose, and mouth! [​IMG] But we will try it! Thanks for the suggestions. They are only 5 days old though---I keep thinking that as they get older it will be easier when they aren't so tiny too. Do they calm down some? Right now they are in a box in the bathtub. I'm thinking as they grow I will bring them out to the kitchen and put them in the large open wire dog kennel with some cardboard around the bottom. Easier to put a perch into and then they have a top on them which they don't have now. I thought being around us more would help too. Although we check on them frequently as it is. They are behind 2 locked doors now because of 1 of my children and the cats and dogs! Thanks again!
  7. tankernav1

    tankernav1 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 20, 2009
    Oh and the treats you mentioned---that's not until later right? I thought we should wait for 4-6 weeks until giving them any treats because then they have to have grit? I do feel like giving them a "toy" though. It's so instinctive to want to give them something to do!
  8. BCMominMD

    BCMominMD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Southern Md
    As far as the socializing, I have wondered the same thing. I have eight from a feed store. I have had them a week, so I think some are a little over a week and some may be two weeks - some have more feathers. I pick each one up at least once a day. They don't like it that much but they don't peep in that scared way anymore. They are in a plastic tub in a closed bedroom (dogs & cats). I talk to them alot. I too wish they were a little less skittish.
    I already tried a couple kinds of treats. Mini-mealworms from Petco. A BIG hit! Now they are big time into pecking around. Today I came upon some earthworms & put them on a plastic lid in their brooder. You MUST try it! I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. It is hysterical!
    Thanks for asking this question.
  9. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    My first batch are about 4 weeks old (more itty bitties coming on the 7th!) and they were very skittish. So about a week ago we started holding one every time we came into the room, our home office, even if we were just typing on the computer. They are much less skittish now. This weekend I have a couple of my co-workers daughters coming over to hold the chicks and pet them. The girls are 9 and 11 so they think it's just the best thing in the whole world, and the chicks will benefit greatly from the extra attention. Not to mention that the girls get to go out to the coop with the grown hens and find eggs to take home with them!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by