young children and chickens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mbrizgys, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. mbrizgys

    mbrizgys New Egg

    Apr 28, 2009

    i am thinking of getting some chickens. however, i have a baby and a 2 1/2 yr old. a pediatrician in the family said that chicken-related injuries (especially eye injuries) were quite common and serious.

    have any of you ever experienced a chicken-related injury? are chickens safe for kids? are particular breeds more gentle than others?

  2. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
  3. Sock Puppet

    Sock Puppet Grumpy Hen

    Mar 3, 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    Yes, close supervision is the key.

    My little ones do pretty good with them. Havent had a problem until this new batch of chicks I got. I have one little SLW roo that jumps at you and pecks. (He's not going to last long). But he ended up getting my little girl in the eye. Good thing it wasnt very bad.
  4. Leah-yes I know I'm crazy

    Leah-yes I know I'm crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2008
    Skidway Lake, MI
    Welcome to BYC!
    There can be problems with small children and any animal. It sounds like you are very smart to ask the questions before jumping in. Generally, chickens are curious about sparkley things. Unfortunately healthy little kids have sparkly little eyes that are very close to chickens. I don't think it is usually done out of maliciousness. Given the opportunity they will just as happily go for the toe ring of a flip-flop wearing teenager.
    I have not had any injuries and my kids are 20mos, 5 & 8 plus 3 teens. I've had chickens for nine years now. Strict rules about containing birds in run when I can't supervise, supervising closely at times when they are free ranging in the yard, willingness to get rid of any who are aggressive, and if you are over 15 and go in my coop with flip-flops and a toe ring you are on your own.
    If you are lucky enough to find chicks locally that come from parent stock known to have good dispositions I'd say that is the best way to start out (having made my own mistakes in the past) and if not use the chart JennsPeeps posted as a good reference.
    Good luck!
  5. finnleyjo

    finnleyjo Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 1, 2009
    Like others have said, it is the same as with any animal...close supervision is key. Just like I don't leave my kids alone with our dog, I don't leave them alone with the chickens. I also have no problem rehoming (or sending to freezer camp) any animal that is aggressive
  6. Sequin

    Sequin Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2008
    I am sure if you get a sweet breed of chicken, and supervise your kids with them and teach them how to be respectful to the chickens as well, you will be able to peacefully co-exist with minimal worry of injury. If you are really worried about eye injury have the kids wear some stylish little glasses or find them their own pair of children's safety glasses at lowes or home depot. Then their eyes will be protected while being around the chickens.
  7. ZepChick

    ZepChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    coos bay OR
    Hi there ! I love our chickens, and our Fayoumis have occasionally pecked at us, but it doesn't hurt. The rest of the breeds have never even pecked. My 14 yo daughter picks them up and handles them daily...including nuzzling them (which bothers me a bit) and putting right by her face. They are all gentle and put up with a lot, even the Fayoumis seem to only peck at freckles, thinking they're food (I think). I would just advise to be extra careful with young children and hand hygiene, and they also shouldn't be nuzzling them (like my daughter who doesn't listen). Especially younger children, with immature immunity, would be more susceptible to something like salmonella. Chickens have been perfect family pets (yes, pets) for us [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2009
  8. antiquebuff

    antiquebuff Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2008
    Franklin, NC
    Its very important that children realize the chicks are not a toy to be played with. I found young children, even up to age 10 or so, tend to squeeze a chick when they pick it up! Very close supervision , in my opinion, is required. This is speaking from experience! Of Course, all children are not the same.........[​IMG]
    Many animals become aggressive because of the way children are allowed to handle them. Then the animal is disposed of when all they are doing is protecting themselves from the little hands!
  9. Jeff9118

    Jeff9118 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2009
    Greenup KY
    I have a 2 1/2 year old boy named Alex and he has been playing with the chickens since he was one. Key is supervision but he picks up the standard roos and hens and packs them around telling us how heavy they are. He is very easy with them and even plays with day old chicks and now baby ducks for about an hour a day and has never injured one. Just as he learns he can hurt them and to be easy he learns it goes the other way round as well. Last year after being slapped in the face a few times by flapping wings we taught him to how to pick one up and how to hold it and now he catches chickens like a pro. He also helps gather eggs and enjoys feeding them. He has yet to get any injuries but our Speckled Sussex rooster has now began stalking and flogging Alex for some reason. He doesnt bother us but of course he could easily hurt Alex or get hurt himself since Alex sicks our English Bulldog Amy on him whenever he tries to flog. No we did not teach him this. Amy is very prtective of Alex and he noticed Amy naturally attack him when Alex screamed so now he yells for her anytime he comes to close. We are now trying to find another farm to place him that does not have children where he will get to free range often and doesnt become chicken soup. By the way the rooster name is Chicken soup. Alex named him??????...yea. None of our chickens have tried to climb his face or peck him in the eyes. Teach them how to interact with them and they will be fine. Close supervision and correction is the key. Also remember hens with chicks can be very protective of thier babies. Alex stands behind me pushing me on the butt and makes me fight them over the chicks.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2009
  10. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    [​IMG] It's difficult to say what you should get for breeds. If you asked a lot different people you would probably get many different answers. Some may agree on the breeds. Here is a great reference book, Gail Damerow's 'Storey's Guide to Chickens' is an excellent resource, as well as this web site which is an excellent source of information.

    These sites are especially helpful in selecting breeds.
    Henderson's Chicken Breed Chart

    Also here are some other good sites and info and more good links.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2009

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