Tips on making chickies more friendly and holdable

LocoPollo

Songster
11 Years
Aug 13, 2008
573
2
151
Ellijay, GA
I was just wondering if anyone has any tips on making chicks friendlier and more tolerant of being held. I didnt do a great job when I bought by speckled sussex a few months ago, although they are still pretty friendly. I hear of chickens that LIKE being held and petted and I dont know how to do that. I try to hold the chicks and they just run away. I fear it makes it worse with me chasing them trying to get them used to being held and handled. Any thoughts?
 

HorseFeathers

Frazzled
11 Years
Apr 2, 2008
4,719
39
241
Southern Maine
You hold them and give them treats while you hold them. No matter how hard they struggle, don't let go... show them the "I am the boss of you and what I say goes" thing, and just make them accept that they have to do as they're told. Once they quiet down you make release them.
 

WindyOaksYokes

Songster
12 Years
Jul 17, 2007
1,078
2
171
Central Virginia
Have you tried just sitting down and just being quiet? I go outside all the time and just sit on the ground... not all, but most of mine will come over and sit in my lap or on my leg... keep from being quick, move slowly, and just give them the option of coming to you... when they do come up to you, move slowly and just try to pet them, if they run, do not chase them, it scares them... Also, I have raised all of mine from chicks and handle them quite regularly which helps them get to know and trust you...

I do hope this helps... Tes
 

Maryallison77

Songster
11 Years
Jul 18, 2008
328
3
131
Fountain, Florida
I was wondering the same thing. out of all 16 of my chickens I just have 1 that really seems to like me.....she is a red frizzle named Autum and she comes to me all the time and the others like run and fly away. Now I carry Autum around everywhere, but as a chick I didn't kiss her anymore than the others--hehe!
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
12 Years
Nov 18, 2007
23,127
13,838
641
Florida
My Coop
Quote:I agree with this post. I used to sit in their run on a milk crate and feed them treats in my lap. They would all take turns and jump in my lap for the treats. Bribery will get you everywhere. Some like to be held more than others. I experimented with the treats to find out what was their favorites.
 

LynneP

Songster
11 Years
Mar 21, 2008
4,746
58
231
Centre Rawdon, Nova Scotia, Canada
I had mine when they were less than 12 hours old and the brooder was in the house, so I was with them at least every 2 hurs except at night. Then when we moved them to the coop both of us would sit in the coop or run with them quietly, using a hay bale or an old milking stool. We became the 'living roosts' and both of us can handle any bird in the flock. It takes time and patience. Become their benovelent keeper- it's Stockholm syndrome for birds!
 

Chicabee19

Songster
11 Years
Aug 8, 2008
2,585
12
189
n/a
You hold them and give them treats while you hold them. No matter how hard they struggle, don't let go... show them the "I am the boss of you and what I say goes" thing, and just make them accept that they have to do as they're told. Once they quiet down you make release them.

That's Attachment Parenting!​
 

SandraMort

Songster
11 Years
Jul 7, 2008
1,115
2
171
ny
OMG, you nearly made me laugh, which would have been baaaaad, since I'm "swaddling" the infant with my arms right now and she's finally asleep. Every time I shift, she wakes up wailing. So maybe AP is more like "once they quiet down, you don't dare put them down".


In all seriousness, she's teething. She's usually a good sleeper... just the timing of the post was funny.

Quote:That's Attachment Parenting!
 

Jarhead

Songster
11 Years
Aug 12, 2008
626
7
141
Arkansas
I handle each one several times a day starting day 1. We also will take 1 at a time and just sit with them in the living room while watching tv for 30 minutes or so, we rotate who we hold like this. We give them treats out of hand. They also spend time with the dogs. The more contact the better. We are luck as we both office out of our home so we can spend time with them several times a day. I think there is a slight imprinting that happens. If you can spend enough time with them they will end up being friendly. There are degrees though. Some will be cuddly sweet and some will tolerate being held, but you can tell they don't like it much. Each one has it's own personality and way about it. There are some breeds known for sweetness like cochins and silkies. I do think that the breed matters some, but individuals are different. White leghorns are supposed to be skittish and flighty, but I have a white leghorn who is cuddly sweet, and one that has never liked being held and has more of the typical breed temperament. Out of our EEs (5) they run the full range from cuddly to standoffish. Our other breeds are the same. All of them get the same treatment as chicks. The more chicks you get have the better chance you will get some that are very friendly. You could always get a bunch and keep the ones that are sweet for layers and use the temperamental ones as meat birds(or re-home them). Although probably not a popular way of doing it, but it would be practical if you only want sweet birds.
 

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