Will a toddler be safe around hens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by squeakyballs, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. squeakyballs

    squeakyballs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2009
    Tucson, AZ
    We started working on the chicken coop after taking a break for the summer. It is almost done! Hooray!

    Now I have new questions!

    My toddler LOVES to feed things. Can he offer the chickens treats or will he get pecked? If he does get pecked, is it the kind of hurt that you just shake off, or can they draw blood? Will they think his little fingers are worms and try to eat them? [​IMG] Can I let him go in the coop with me? They won't try to peck his eyes out, right?

    I know I'm a n00b, but I've never even held a chicken. I know it is probably okay but I thought I had better ask just to be on the safe side.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2009
  2. claud

    claud Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    I take my toddler with me to the coop(he's 3 now). Never had an incident with the hens.
    Chickens like to peck at shiny things and eyes can be shiny so I'd be a little careful about that since he is short.
    Usually a peck just hurts but can draw blood.
    The biggest problem I have is sandals with toes sticking out. I guess they just look like worms....
  3. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Depends on the hen. I have one hen who is so good at cleaning off my fingers--she can clean them in seconds and you will hardly feel it. Most of the others are not quite so good and will occasionally hurt. One is soooo bad, she gets chunks of flesh almost every time, even with a big handful of food, but she is very sweet, so I hand feed her anyway. If you have a hen that is very gentle with feeding, that would be a good one for him to hand feed.
    ETA--but you MUST try feeding them grapes (throw one), grape rugby is just hysterical and he will love it!
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
  4. Hamptons06

    Hamptons06 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 26, 2009
    North Atlanta
    My hens seem to be very gentle when eating out of my kid's hands and mine. They've pecked at my shoes but it's never hurt. I tell them to stop and they do. Silly chickens! I'm thinking you'll be ok... just keep an eye out.
  5. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    As long as it's hens without chicks, toddler should be fine.
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    I always tell the little ones that they really only need one good eye anyway... [​IMG]
  7. Davis5454

    Davis5454 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 17, 2009
    Watch the eyes....my 7 year old got it in the eye this year. It hurt....and was really really red...but he's fine.

    I let my nieces go out there and they are quite small.

    Roosters are a WHOOOOLE other story .....lots of flogging there to be had. I keep the kids and roosters separated when we go out. They don't get along.

    Once the kids have fed them once or twice (the hens) they'll just get to where they want to pet the girls or just throw food. It's a good experience for the kids. My oldest one still enjoys getting the eggs and feeling like he is bigger than the chickens.

    Bottom line....the above posts are all right on the money. Try it and let the kids have the experience. And above all....WATCH THE EYES!
    You'll find out fast enough if your girls are ok with it.

  8. PandoraTaylor

    PandoraTaylor RT Poultry n Things

    Jun 29, 2009
    my grandson helps all the time with the birds, all of them, even my big parrots.
    Just watch them closely and everything should be fine.
  9. My son and daugther have been around the neighbor's chickens with no problem. Neighbor does have a very strict rule about them going into the coop area, they must wear safety glasses.
  10. Uzuri

    Uzuri Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    Teach your young 'un to wear safety goggles -- it's good practice anyway, get him young and later he'll wear them whenever he needs to. There are plenty of stories around here of near misses with people letting chickens get too close to their faces. I myself have had a hen -- with no malice intended -- get me just above the left eye. She was after a freckle, but it still made me nervous enough that I just don't let them sit that close to me when I'm cleaning the coop any more.

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