Handling chicks - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-22-2013, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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Handling chicks

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:




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Last edited by egrogan; 05-22-2013 at 01:42 PM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-22-2013, 01:47 PM
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Lol, theyre all like that untill they mature a little-- theyll get over it eventually on their own- youll know when you change the water one day and they all come up to see whats goin on and want to nibble your hands and the waterer, lol.


Theyre going to be so beautiful- a friend of ours has a few golden laced birds.
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-22-2013, 02:09 PM
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^^ True that.

I don't worry about handling mine so much .. all of mine are obnoxiously spoiled. They are jumping on my truck before I can put in into park, and trip me as I'm trying to walk to the barn .. scream at me if I don't let them out early enough on the weekends ..

Obnoxious, I tell you!

Btw.. I've got silver laced wyandottes... they are about half grown now.
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-22-2013, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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OK, good to know, I won't be too worried about them then. They've only been here about a week. They are definitely interested in the food and water!

TexasGal, my chickens (and dogs and cat and horse) are awfully spoiled too. I guess these chicks just need more time to realize how good the animals here have it

Toto, I agree they're going to be lookers when they grow up- just seeing the feathers start to come in is getting me excited, the colors are already really vivid.
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-22-2013, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egrogan View Post
Toto, I agree they're going to be lookers when they grow up- just seeing the feathers start to come in is getting me excited, the colors are already really vivid.
Most exciting thing ever-- when they get their wing feathers and the bodys still fuzzy-- very cute! Then theyre whole body will be feathered except the head and it looks like theyre wearin a feathered pair of jammies! Lol. I miss havin chicks around!
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-06-2013, 02:47 PM
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We handle ours lots every day. At the age yours are, they are the most skittish. It's just a survival instinct. Catch and handle them anyway. You'll notice that once you catch them, they will settle down in your hand. Hold their wings close to their bodies - that keeps them calm. It's almost like swaddling a baby. They're easiest to catch if you move your hand REALLY slowly in the brooder. Just place your hand in, then freeze until they calm down. Then just inch your way towards your chosen one. They shouldn't freak out then.
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