When will they know I'm not trying to eat them?

hypnochyck

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 11, 2009
37
0
32
Benicia, CA

So, my 6 3-week old chicks, still in their brooder in the garage are terrified of me! I call, "chick, chick!" everytime I pass by and bring them their food and treats of lettuce and celery, but they always flip out like I'm trying to eat them. I feel guilty grabbing them to hold them, in an effort to acclamate them to me, but I fear that I am just scaring them more. I want them to love me.....I'm not needy or anything, but how do I calm them? Will that just come with time?
 

ohiofarmgirl

Songster
11 Years
Jan 22, 2009
1,420
5
161
we you stop sneaking up on them saying "i'm going to EAT you!" ha ha ha ha ha ha

just kidding. keep handling them
:)
 

noobiechickenlady

In the Brooder
11 Years
Dec 11, 2008
37
0
22
My girls are almost 4 months odl and they still are skittish of me. They'll come running and mob me when I call them with the oatmeal can, but they'll still scatter like quail if I try to walk up to them, even very slowly.
 

Uzuri

Songster
10 Years
Mar 25, 2009
1,299
10
171
I'm no pro at this or anything, but when mine flip out, I've been covering them with both hands; once they settle down, I let them up, and they're calmer.

I've also just spent time sitting at the edge of the brooder, letting them see me on their own terms. They get curious and check me out. Sometimes they'll challenge me, and they quickly get put in their place and will run off--they come back eventually, though.

They still scream like little girls when I take them out for cleaning, though
Funny thing is that they almost never run or struggle when I transfer them back in from the temporary box. Maybe they just don't like the box, and it's nothing against me
 

KittyKelly

Songster
10 Years
May 6, 2009
428
1
132
Central KY
The older they get the more they will mellow out. When BluegrassSeramas got her first 4 black star chickens, they were really scared of people. Now they are over a year old and they follow you around the farm! They come RUNNING if you call out "chick! chick! chick!" Its very intertaining. So just keep doing what you are doing and call to them every time you throw out food.
 

annek

Songster
11 Years
Mar 12, 2009
570
3
154
some breeds are worse than others. My leghorns are very skittish and I don't think will ever like me. My RIR's come right to me and let me pick them up.
 

Brindlebtch

Songster
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
5,539
11
248
Texas
I am a first year chicken owner (got my girls in Feb '09) and I was wondering the same thing. My birds had to stay inside a long time and got used to the bustle of the house but were always leery of me. Now that they are outside, when they are in their run and I come up with a handful of birdseed or a tomato, which seem to be their favorite treats (go figure) they come running up and eat out of my hand. Sometimes I take a chair into their run and sit and dribble birseed between my feet so they have to come practically under me to get their treat. They have certainly become very interested now! When I go in their run now I have to sort of wade through them.
 

Featherwisp

Songster
10 Years
May 18, 2009
172
0
109
Middle Tennessee
Slow, gentle handling takes the scare right out of it. Some chicks are just flighty, and it takes them a while to realize that you wont hurt them.

Feeding them by hand is a great way to get them to run to you. Do this a few times each day, accommodated with a call (mine is "chick, chick, chickiiiiie babies!" lol) and they will come running when they see your hand/hear the call with time.
 

modenacart

Songster
12 Years
Jan 21, 2008
159
0
129
New Bern, NC
My husband and I kept our six chicks in one of our bathrooms until they were big enough to go out to the coop/run. We'd take them out of the brooder and let them run around the bathroom while we sat there and gave them treats. We did this many times a day. That way they came up to us on their own terms and knew we had warm laps and treats. Our one Polish girl was the most skiddish as a baby, but is now quite clingy when I'm out in the yard.
 

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