When my chicks peck me, should I peck back?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by wsdareme, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. wsdareme

    wsdareme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm trying to handle my 3 week old peeps as much as possible. I hand feed them, call them to me (they're in a brooder), talk to them like I think a momma hen would, and just try to get them comfortable with me in general. I'm now making a point of trying to pick them up and hold them until they are comfortable, then I stroke their crop and back and try to get them to relax. In the meantime, I'm getting pecked to death by the other chicks. I expect some of it because I have been hand-feeding them, but they're getting big enough that when they bite and pull, it's starting to hurt! How would a mother hen handle getting pecked? Should I poke them back with my finger? Should I ignore them? I don't want them pecking me when they're full grown! Geez, they might draw blood! Also -- I read posts where people are able to handle their birds well enough to soak feet for 10 minutes, treat wounds, etc. Am I doing the right thing to get my girls to let me hold them whenever I need to? This is my first foray into chickendom, so I don't know very much. [​IMG]
     
  2. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Petersburg,NY
    well I'm new too...but I would think that that might encourage them to continue? I have been doing the same thing with mine...I notice when I have a handful of feed they go crazy but if I have something small,it's one peck to get it.Mine are very friendly but regardless I'm thinking they just don't like to be restrained.When I hold them open handed they quiet down ,it's only when their wings are restricted they fuss. They also like to fly up onto my back when able and pick anybodies bare toes....hmmm...that could be bad later!![​IMG]
     
  3. bturbo87

    bturbo87 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2010
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    yes but not roughly, i know it sounds "mean" but just kinf of lightly push them to thier sides, once or twice every time it happens. it can develop into an "alpha issue" later on. i know there was one post on here with a person who had a rooster they handled a bit to much and once grown it would run up from behind and attack their legs, finally ends with a semi vicious atttack on thier toddler which led to freezer camp. so long as they know you are alpha then you really wont have any problems. i have month old that i let use my head and hat as a roost when i sit with them, and they have learned to no longer bite/ peck and anyone that walks on two legs. the only roblem ive had was a slight miss when i was hang feeding single crickets and making them jump for the treat.
     
  4. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    shows what I know! thanks for your insight [​IMG]
     
  5. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    Chickaloon, Alaska
    And, stop feeding them outta your hand. [​IMG]
     
  6. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LOL....yeah...good thinkin' [​IMG]
     
  7. Layira

    Layira Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hm, you know, my 6 RL pullets were hand fed all sort of things when they were younger and they dont peck at me. I mean, they look to see if I have any food and might experimentally peck (but its never the hard, pulling, biting kind of pecking). It might be an individual bird thing, because mine aren't mean because of hand feeding.

    I've handled my girls from the time they were a few days old and I still pick them up now at 9 weeks. I think it's just a matter of getting them to understand that being handled is a good thing and they won't fight you or try to hurt you.

    Just my 2 cents
     
  8. kaylakian

    kaylakian Out Of The Brooder

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    ive handled mine since they were little and they dont peck me now they r growen and still let me pick them up to
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2010
  9. wsdareme

    wsdareme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yelm, WA
    I have an update to my original post: I've done a little experimenting. When I hand-feed my chicks, they don't peck me unless it's by accident. I started just putting my hand in and holding it still. If one came up and pecked me, I "pecked" it back -- bumping it back with my finger or hand. I'm very careful to not do it hard, just get my point across. Well, after a couple of times with each little pecker (sorry) they very quickly learned that I was higher in the pecking order and would inspect my hand and fingers but not peck. Smart birds. Today, I was handling as many as I could, taking them out of the brooder and holding them quietly in my lap, stroking and talking soothingly to them. I had one little bird that I think tried to attack me -- she was throwing herself at my hand with her breast. When she did it the second and third time, I knocked her back (didn't hurt her, I was just firm). She got the message. I wonder if she was the top pullet in the brooder and challenged me? Well, I'm the top pullet now. LOL! Boy, I can't believe how quickly they learn. [​IMG]
     
  10. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
    Thanks for the update. I thought this string was really interesting. So much to learn!!!
     

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