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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by thewolf1039, Mar 5, 2017.
i have baby chicks that are a few days old
i what to hold them but i dont know how long to hold them
Are they being brooded in a brooder or by a hen? If the former, you can (and should for hand tame birds) start handling them as early as the first day -- the length of the interactions should start short and lengthen as the birds' comfort level with being handled increases so that every interaction is a positive one, rather than a negative. A good rule of thumb is to approach it as leaving them wanting more - meaning put them down BEFORE they tire of being held and begin to struggle. Remember to approach chicks from below in a scooping motion rather than swooping down/grabbing from above -- the latter is what a predator does and puts the chick in an immediate panic mode, making the interaction a negative. Initially it helps to put your hand in the brooder, perhaps with a little chick crumble in it, and let the chicks come to you -- let them investigate the hand, hop on it/hop off, eat the crumble, etc -- don't rush to grab them when they first start showing an interest in the hand. If possible (room allowing) get down on their level and sit so you are part of their surroundings letting them check you out and hop around on you....if this requires taking them out of the heated brooder be sure to keep the sessions timed so that they are put back and able to warm up as needed (if you watch a hen raising chicks they will go out and explore the world and go back only when they chill for a quick warm up beneath a wing and then back out again). Talk softly and move slowly. There are many good articles and threads here on BYC about socializing chicks.