Socializing

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Jh2Owen, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. Jh2Owen

    Jh2Owen Just Hatched

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    My family recently adopted two hens there were about to be homeless. We found out as we were picking them up, they also came with 4 brand new (3 days old) baby chicks along with 8 eggs still to hatch.

    I don't think the hens were around people very much - their owner just left them in the coop and really didn't do much with them. I'm not sure he even collected all the eggs b/c I saw a bunch on the ground smashed when we got there.. so sad.

    We haven't done much with them yet as my husband started to build a new coop that would fit all of them b/c the one that was given to us (their old home) is .. for lack of a better word... in shambles.
    Fingers crossed he can get the new one done today. He's a bit of a perfectionist. :)

    So - we've left them in their old coop while my husband builds their new one and we just peak in on them a few times a day.

    But the hens are VERY protective of the baby chicks and the eggs and I'm not about to mess with a momma and her babies.

    On to my question- We want the chickens to me more like pets to our family. We'd like to handle the baby chicks as much as possible to get them comfortable with us but I'm kind of terrified of the hens.

    Are the hens a lost cause as far as socializing with humans? I really don't think they are very old.
    And whats the best way to socialize the baby chicks w/o being attacked by momma?

    Thanks for any suggestions. I have never been around chickens so I am feeling a bit lost!!

    Here are some pics I snapped last night.

    There are eggs in the basket still to hatch - I can't get anywhere near the basket to take them out. And we will be transferring them to the new coop soon so I just though I'd leave them in the basket until we get them moved - is that an OK idea?

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    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    For the time being, I would leave the chicks alone. Only when a momma knows specific humans will she possibly allow you to handle them. Trying to handle them will cause undue stress on the mommas.

    Spending time quietly in the company of the flock and handing out treats will accustom the chickens to you and there's no reason why they should not become friendly. Some chickens seem to like people - others don't, regardless of what one tries to do.
     
  3. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    Congrats on the new Birds..:)


    Well the best thing to do is not interfere with the Chicks...Broody Hens are very protective of their Chicks...Excellent Mothers....The Birds are already a bit stressed from the move and you will be moving them into another Coop so that will be added stress...Once the birds have been around you a few weeks they will learn the routine and will trust you more ...


    Best wishes...

    Cheers!
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    What kind of chickens are they supposed to be? They are diminutive, almost bantam-sized, and appear to have rose combs which is consistent with Spanish Games. If Spanish Games then be prepared to treat them differently from most regular chickens. I would normally keep chicks only with one hen.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Good advice^^^

    Welcome to BYC @Jh2Owen !
    Interesting situation.
    Does one of the adults come out too keep the babies warm at night?
    Wonder how long she's been sitting on those eggs....and if they are even fertile.
    Those chicks look pretty young, just a few days(?), wonder if they came from the same batch of eggs shes still sitting on?
     
  6. Jh2Owen

    Jh2Owen Just Hatched

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    The white one is usually with the chicks but every once in awhile she'll hop in the basket with the brown one. And sometimes the brown one will be with the chicks and the white on is in the basket... is that strange?

    Yes very young chicks - they are born last Saturday/Sunday.

    I believe the chicks came from the white one b/c when we went to picked them up the owner was shocked to see the eggs under the brown one. He thought only the white one was broody.
    So he wasn't sure how long she's been sitting on the eggs.

    Is there a way to pick the eggs up and see if they are fertile?
     
  7. Jh2Owen

    Jh2Owen Just Hatched

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    I have no idea what kind they are supposed to be. The owner didn't know either.

    I'll take better pictures when they are not closed off in the old coop.

    Are Spanish Games mean? Eeek.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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