Taming Silkie chicks??? Help!!

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by Broody Bist, Jan 22, 2019.

  1. Broody Bist

    Broody Bist Songster

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    Hi all

    So I’m a little upset. Not mad, just kinda disappointed.

    I got some silkie chicks on Thursday, they are about 2 weeks old, maybe a few days older. They are SUPER skittish. I mean, really.
    I offered them some grass (and other treats I read were safe for baby chicks) and they acted like it was gonna blow up in their faces.
    I put a few pieces of grass in the middle of their brooder.

    They tiptoe around it.

    Eventually someone gets brave enough to stomp on it.

    I’ve researched all kinds of ways to get them tamer and friendlier. I put my hand in there as slowly as possible. They always have fresh food and water, I offer them food out of my hand.
    They just aren’t having it. They act like I’m gonna grab all of them and chunk them out the window every time I reach in there. The reason I even got silkies was because I read they were very friendly birds. I know they are really young and I should give it more time, but it just seems to be getting worse.

    Are there any experienced peeps out there with some advice?? Or at least anyone who you can tag???

    I’m honestly almost frustrated to tears right now, and if my phone autocorrects “silkie” to “Dollie” one more time I think I’m gonna throw it at the WALL


    Sincerely,
    A very desperate silkie Momma
    :he:barnie:hit:hit:hit:hit
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    Okay, calm down. Chickens hate change and do not tolerate it well. They have just been introduced into a new environment and first they need to adjust to that. Chicks/chickens are leery about being approached from above. It is best to approach young birds from the side on their level. The grass is most likely another 'new' thing to them. Once they adapt to their new home start feeding in small amounts multiple times during the day. Keep them just a bit hungry until they come to associate you with feed. Do not grab them and force yourself on them. Forced handling at this point in the game will only make things worse. Feed will win them over.
     
  3. Broody Bist

    Broody Bist Songster

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    Hmm.. they pretty much have a full feed bowl 24/7. So you’re saying if I wait just a little longer to fill it back up it will make them more eager when I stick my hand back in there to fill it up?
    Also, I have them in a homemade brooder with a lid so there’s really no way to approach them from the side.
     
  4. Broody Bist

    Broody Bist Songster

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    They’re in the house, and they get A LOT of attention, believe me
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    What I am suggesting is only feeding them an amount they will eat in a matter of minutes doing so many times during the day until they come to associate you with feed instead of unwanted handling. Once they start coming to you for the feed, then it will be time for first touching and perhaps eventually handling. Handling right now simply feeds their flight response. They have the normal responses of prey animals.
     
  6. Broody Bist

    Broody Bist Songster

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    I guess I’ll have to try it, I’m really just kinda at a loss. We’ve raised quite a few batches of chicks in the house, none ever as flighty as these. Guess I’ll just have to wait it out.
     
    drumstick diva likes this.
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    The significant differences are that I am guessing you started with younger chicks, and they regarded your brooder as their home. These chicks are older, imprinted on another home, dealing with a new home and something that their instincts tell them wants to eat them. They may never be as tame as birds raised from newly hatched chicks, but if you are patient and use common sense they should improve.
     
  8. L1sa

    L1sa Songster

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    My Silkies (18 weeks) have always been pretty skittish, and still are and we raised them from day old chicks (well, with their broody muma!) The roosters are not quite as scaredy as the female, she runs from most things! Terrified! And she has no reason to be, so I just let her be. All the other chickens come round eventually to me being food lady, some just take a bit longer than others.

    My Polish however is on a whole nother level!! I have never seen such a scared chook!! It Runs and squawks and screams and runs!! And that pretty much is it's day! I'm hoping it will learn to chill or the poor thing will die of a heat attack!

    Good luck with your Silkies.
     
    drumstick diva and Broody Bist like this.
  9. Stacyoung13

    Stacyoung13 Songster

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    My polish is just the opposite, she chases me down wanting loved on. My silkies are my babies too. They all come running when I call “hey babies”. What I did was after the first week, 7-8 times a day, reach my hand in the brooder with food in hand. That’s the only food that I put in there after the first week. During the first week I would just set my hand in the brooder, palm up, and leave it there not moving for about 5 min. 4-5 times a day. Like dogs, patience and repetition.
     
    drumstick diva and Broody Bist like this.
  10. Broody Bist

    Broody Bist Songster

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    That’s exactly what I say to mine every time I go over there :lol:
    I’ve done it with all of our chicks, I just automatically say “hey babies!” whenever I see a little chick lol
     
    drumstick diva likes this.

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