As a new chicken owner, one of the challenges that you may encounter is getting your baby chicks to be comfortable around you. It can be frustrating to see adorable pictures of chicks cuddled up with their owners, while your own chicks are still terrified of you.
However, with patience and persistence, you can help your chicks become more relaxed and friendly towards you. In this article, I will share some tips and tricks on how to get your baby chicks to not be so scared of you.
Try feeding them out of your hand
If you’re struggling to get your baby chicks to warm up to you, feeding them out of your hand might just do the trick. This technique not only helps them associate you with positive experiences but also helps build trust between you and your feathered friends.
To get started, hold your hand very still with food in it down in their brooder. Avoid making sudden movements or trying to catch them as it will only frighten them further. Instead, sit in their space where they can see you and hold your hand full of food down on their level. Be patient, and wait for one chick to get brave enough to come close and eat from your hand. Once one starts, the others will eventually follow because they naturally follow each other.
It’s important to note that this technique requires time and patience. Grabbing them to force them to be held is not recommended, especially if they’re naturally skittish. Let them come to you at their own pace and make sure to spend time with them daily to build a strong bond. With this simple trick, you’ll soon have a brood of happy and friendly chicks who will love spending time with you.
Spend time with them
Spending time with your chicks is a crucial step in building a relationship with them. It’s important to keep them in an area where you can interact with them frequently, as this will help them get used to your presence. You can sit with them and let them run around and climb on you, which will help them become more comfortable with you. Holding them is also important, but it’s equally important to let them have some freedom to play and explore on their own.
If you have pets, it’s a good idea to keep the chicks separated from them, but make sure you still spend time with your chicks regularly. This will help them learn that you’re not a threat and that they can trust you. When you’re with them, be calm and gentle, and try not to startle them. Over time, they’ll become more relaxed around you and will start to see you as a source of comfort and security.
Use treats to your advantage
Using treats is a great way to win over your chicks and make them comfortable around you. Mealworms, for example, are a favorite snack for many chicks, and they will eagerly come to you if you offer them. Start by offering the treats out of your hand a few times, but be sure to keep your movements slow and gentle. Chicks are easily frightened, so sudden movements or loud noises will only scare them off. As they start to associate you with positive experiences, you can gradually decrease the number of treats you offer and rely on spending time with them instead.
It’s important to note that treats should be used in moderation. Overfeeding your chicks can lead to obesity and other health problems. So, make sure you offer them treats sparingly and supplement their diet with a balanced feed that provides all the nutrients they need to grow and develop properly.
Raising chicks can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to remember that they won’t be super friendly right away. Unlike puppies and kittens, chicks need time to adjust to their new surroundings and to become comfortable around their human caretakers. This means that patience is key when it comes to building a relationship with your chicks.
Instead of trying to force your chicks to like you, it’s important to give them time and space to adjust. Spend time with them in the same room where they are brooded, allowing them to get used to your presence. Talk to them in a soothing voice and avoid sudden movements or loud noises that might startle them.
Using treats like mealworms or other healthy snacks can also be a great way to get your chicks to warm up to you. Start by offering them treats out of your hand a few times and eventually they will start to associate you with positive experiences. However, it’s important to be patient and avoid trying to force them to take the treat.
Remember that chicks naturally follow each other, so once one chick becomes comfortable with you, the rest will eventually follow. Avoid chasing them or trying to catch them, as this will only scare them and make them more hesitant around you. Instead, let them come to you when they’re ready.
Consider breed differences
When it comes to chicks, their breed can play a significant role in how they react to humans. Some breeds are naturally more friendly and docile, while others tend to be more skittish and reserved. Silkies and Cochins are known to be more docile and easier to handle, making them a great choice if you’re looking for friendly and easygoing chicks. On the other hand, breeds like Leghorns and Easter Eggers tend to be more high-strung and can be a bit more challenging to handle.
If you’re having trouble getting your chicks to warm up to you, it’s worth considering the breed differences. Some breeds may need more time and patience to get comfortable around humans, while others may be more receptive to your presence from the start. Additionally, you can research the breed characteristics before getting your chicks to make sure you’re choosing a breed that fits your needs and lifestyle.
Getting your baby chicks to be comfortable around you takes time and patience. Try feeding them out of your hand, spend time with them, use treats to your advantage, be patient, and consider breed differences.
By following these tips, you can help your chicks become more relaxed and friendly towards you. Remember, every chick is different, and what works for one may not work for another. So don’t be discouraged if it takes some time for your chicks to warm up to you. With patience and persistence, they will eventually become your new feathered friends.