training hen and chicks for handling

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by centrarchid, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,707
    2,336
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I want to have a hen or two that can be handled with their chicks so latter can be weighed on a daily basis for a backyard experiment. Objective is to be able to call hen up on weigh table with her chicks so I can delicately place each chick on scale for weight determination. They may have to be walked up board unitl chicks can fly. Ideally, the experimentor (me) will not get flogged. I have had game hens in past that tolerated handling but not that would bring chicks to me. Anyone done anything they felt predisposed hens to do what I want?
     
  2. Samilitant

    Samilitant Out Of The Brooder

    59
    0
    29
    Jul 22, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I don't know that it will help, but the only thing that gets my birds a runnin' to me is food. Otherwise they don't care much what I'm doing.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,707
    2,336
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I can get hen and chicks to approach using food. Problem is hen too uptight when I begin to handle chicks. She either puts-it-too-me by flogging which I do not enjoy, especially when spurrs involved or leads the chicks away, sometimes does both. I would like to condition her so that she will be more relaxed as I push chicks individually on to scale for measuring. Some of conditioning will have to be before hen even begins to set, possibly even while she is a chick herself. I am not adverse to interacting with hen while she incubates eggs.

    I have had some hens about 25 years ago, before interest in monitoring weight, that allowed considerable handling. Some of tolerance due to genetics but some owing to my handling proceedure which was not properly documented or defined. Luckily birds I have now are direct descendents of those I worked previously. It is preferred that if a couple hens are targeted for monitoring, they will be easy to handle. Previously, as many as twenty hens might have had chicks but only a couple would tolerate handling at the level I need.
     
  4. jn21v3

    jn21v3 Out Of The Brooder

    21
    0
    22
    Sep 12, 2010
    Manchester England
    Talk to them as you feed them use their name regularly so that they associate a particular sound ; their name, with food given to them. repetition works in a short time they will distinguish their own name and come when you call them by name= always give a treat for responding. Mine love small tomatos
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,707
    2,336
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:I can get them to come to me. Getting them to consistantly tolerate handling is problem.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by