All- I am now the proud mama of 4 baby Golden Laced Wyandottes, and tomorrow will add two Golden Comets. They are between 1-2 weeks old (only one has any tail feathers). They are my first chicks.
I've read that you should try to handle them every day to help them be more comfortable with people when they're older. My two adult hens (not the mothers of the babies) are really friendly with people and follow you around like dogs. I'd love to raise this bunch of chicks to be as outgoing- our chickens are really egg-laying pets, so they will get a fair bit of human interaction.
My problem is that when I reach into the crate to try to handle the babies, they completely freak out- screaming, running all over each other, flinging themselves against the cage to get away. I don't expect them to naturally be ok with being touched, but what can I do to help them be less terrified? I assume it will just take a lot of repetition. I talk to them a lot when I feed/water them every day, hoping that they'll start to associate my voice with food. Any other tips?
Ahh, and pictures of the little fluff balls- they really love their perches: