Whats the best way to pick up my chickens?

kes-cooper

Hatching
10 Years
Mar 10, 2009
3
0
7
Forfar, Scotland

I have had my chickens for about 5 months. I started to get them to eat from my hand. They are really fine with doing that and are very used to me. To be honest, I'm just a bit tentative when I try to pick them up so they just run away! Now I have kind of settled into the fact I won't get to pick them up! Its sad, I would love all these nice photos with me and my chickens, and especially to do health checks by picking them up. They are really not keen even when I touch them! My own fault. I should have been more confident and picked them up when they were young. Any suggestions?
Kerry
 
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Marlinchaser

Songster
12 Years
Oct 18, 2007
4,943
24
231
MERRY LAND
Just grab them, try to squeeze around the waist, so thier wings do not flap, just enough to hold them, they calm down quickly, then you can balance on you knee and bribe with treats, eventually they should associate sitting with you with the probability of getting a treat.
 

Hens_And_Chicks

Songster
10 Years
Feb 23, 2009
551
1
139
Ohio
I spend a lot of time with my birds - the younger ones seem more skittish and harder to catch so I sorta trick them and wait until they are distracted eating. You can place your hand over their back and gently push them down - it restrains them without hurting them. I put one hand, with my fingers spread wide, under their breast and my other hand over their back holding their wings down and pick them up.

At first, they really flap their wings and will try to scratch - wear leather gloves and long sleeves to minimize any damage to you. Sometimes you need to snuggle them to your body until they calm down.

Eventually, they will learn you won't hurt them and they won't mind being picked up.

I luvs my birds - even my roos!
 

Momma_Cluck

Songster
11 Years
Jun 11, 2008
592
2
141
N. West Michigan
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No--REALLY!
squat down (or use a chair) and wait for them to approach you... standing and reaching with our "claw-like" hands we seem a bit too "predator-like" to them.
Then just use both hands to scoop them up, holding down the wings.

Sit them on your lap or knee, but do not let go yet--
tuck it under one arm (still on your lap) and use the other hand to pet and preen her...
after a few days of this being repeated--they get used to the routine and will start to hop-up on their own!
 
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The Chicken Lady

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Apr 21, 2008
16,155
148
381
West Michigan
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Glad to have you here!
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You're getting some good advice and some good-natured humor from folks, too.
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You might want to practice holding your chickens at night when they're on their roosts. Pick one up from off the roost; make sure to wrap your hands around the wings so that they can't flap and injure themselves or you. Some people hold their feet or at least hold an arm in such a way that the chicken's feet feel supported.

Perhaps a few members will post pictures of themselves holding a chicken for you to look at.
 

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