Your opinion on holding chicks

Discussion in 'Other Pets' started by doneroamingacres, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. doneroamingacres

    doneroamingacres Guest

    Jan 28, 2008
    I'm new to the chicken thing and I've been told by many people that I shouldn't hold the new chicks and I've been told its good to socalize them. So I'm wondering what you think....Should I hold the chicks or should I leave them alone and not risk spreading disease ad my neighbor says so what do ya think? and why? thanks!
    Kelsey :wink:
  2. Tog Lovers

    Tog Lovers New Member

    Oct 10, 2007
    Greensburg, PA
    We handle our chicks everyday when we clean the brooder and feed them. It makes it easier to handle them when you need to. After we move them to the coop and pen we continue by just touching them when we go out to give treats or scratch. Always remember to wash your hands after you are done messing with the chicks. And you shouldn't let small children handle chicks either. You never know what they may have even if you get them from a reputable hatchery.

  3. zatsdeb

    zatsdeb New Member

    Jan 19, 2008
    Lincoln Illinois
    I always handle my chicks, especially the roosters to make friends with them!!
    My girlfriend handles her chicks and kisses them, they fly up on her shoulder and greet her when she goes out in the pen,(I think that could get irratating at times!!!) Mine come when I call them, always expecting a treat, I give them lettuce, and other veggie scraps. Washing hands is a must!
    my barred rock rooster, rocky
  4. bigoakfarm

    bigoakfarm New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Kentucky my OPINION (and you did ask) there is nothing nastier than a live chicken on the whole planet. Don't get me wrong. I eat chicken. I LOVE eggs. But I could go my whole life and never touch a live one if it were up to me. They smell bad, they eat absolutely anything and they poop all over my goat barn. The first person to have grabbed one, plucked it and eaten it was one very hungry individual, I think. :lol:

    I try really hard to keep my kids from handling the chicks. Of course, my kids try really hard to handle the chicks behind my back but they know that if they have touched a chicken, they had better scrub up well because there WILL be an inspection. :wink:

  5. Haviris

    Haviris Member

    Oct 7, 2007
    Handle away, I see nothing at all wrong with handling the chicks, or even the adults. I consider my chickens pets, but don't really raise them as pets, if that makes since, I handle them some as chicks, but I don't pick up and carry my chickens around, as adults they are all fairly friendly as far as coming close enough to step on my feet and hang out near me. I like them to be friendly enough that if I need to catch them for whatever reason I can.

    I really like the chickens, some more then others, I have one big rooster that likes to hang out with me, if I sit outside he likes to sit with me, he'll pick the hay and stuff off my pants while we sit together. Here he is sitting w/ me while we waited for Jade to have her kids, everytime I would move he'd follow me and sit back down next to me.

    Anyway that is my opinion, if you like holding them, go for it, there are always going to be people w/ opinions, not really right or wrong. I would imagine there are people that would be completely discussed by me (and others here I'm sure) showing affection to our goats!
  6. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    I believe the concern with holding the chicks is not because they are messy or gross etc but because of disease.

    And I am talking not in the way you might think.

    Chicks are very fragile when first hatched and in their first week and then in their 4 week I believe it is they are most vunerable to any diseases we as humans bring into their environment.

    So if you are housing them in your house or garage and want to handle them from time to time, go for it BUT wash your hands first! Make sure any kids that hold them are clean before doing so. The slightest bit of bacteria can kill a little chick even when they seem so healthy and are thriving at 4 weeks old. My mom says that at that age it is when they are most vulnerable for some reason. We lost 2 chicks at that age last year out of 10 when they were looking healthy and growing.

    Another thing you want to do with chicks is clean out their water container with bleach every day. With the heat lamp on them the water grows bacteria quickly. THey need fresh water at least twice a day even if it is still full.

    Clean betting is important as well. We found that kitty litter was the best after years of raising them off and on this past year we used kitty litter and WOW was the clean up so much easier and the smell was 50% less!
  7. bigoakfarm

    bigoakfarm New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    ack! My girls have a pet hen named 'Fluffy' and a pet rooster named 'Nugget'. Nugget likes to try and eat my toes when I wear flip flops and for some reason known only to her, Fluffy tries to sit in my lap when I am milking. I really don't like chickens. I can't stand chickens in the barn at all. But the darn things just won't go away. The kids love 'em but I like them best when they are vacuum sealed. My grandmother always said we would get mites and/or sick from handling chickens so I try not to let the kids handle them at all but as you can tell, they still manage to make the chickens friendly as all get out anyway.

    Nothing beats fresh eggs though so I do try to be nice to our chickens (without touching them) and it never occured to me that my kids could actually make the little chicks ill! :doh:

  8. Cinder

    Cinder New Member

    Mar 2, 2008
    We love our chickens!! My children held our chicks from day one, every day. They have grown into sweet, very personable adult hens. My kids still go out most every day and hold them. Even our "flighty" breeds will let us pick them up, they just don't run to us as often as the other chickens do.

    Our rules/concerns when our kids handle our chicks/chickens.

    1) Wash hands before and after handling.
    2) With baby chicks -- be very gentle when holding them. You can actually squeeze a chick just a little too hard and kill it.

    Also, (at least here in Colorado) we use the DLM (deep litter method) for the floor and there has never been any smell whatsoever. I am able to let my girls free range almost every day for a few hours so their run isn't real messy either (yet).

    I had no idea the wonderful personalities that chickens can have. I love watching mine scratching about... it's very relaxing and amusing for me. And we really love the farm fresh, organic eggs everyday!
  9. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I do think that peeps seem to be the most "fragile" before the adult feathers start to come parents raised them when I was young and we (my sister and I) were never allowed to hold them, my mom was adamant about us "making them sick". We usually got a few hen raised broods a year that would go on to produce the eggs we all loved, the old ones stuck around til they died of old age and the roosters of the broods went in the freezer...
    :slapfloor: That was a good one B.O.F!! My dad would eat the eggs but would not eat the chicken, said they were "disgusting" (though that wasn't the choice of words he used!)
  10. whatknott

    whatknott Member

    Feb 22, 2008
    Yes, chicks are fragile; but chicks are also known to carry salmonella, so hand washing after handling is important - but since our business is a traveling petting zoo, we tell everyone that you should wash your hands after touching ANY animal. I personally don't handle my chicks much because the kids in the petting zoo handle them - well, they pet them - I do not allow picking up of any of the animals. Also, a friendly rooster will be the same as a friendly ram or buck - when the hormones kick in, you can have a terror in your backyard. I had a lady give me 3 roosters yesterday because she just had too many of them. I'll be taking them to a livestock sale on Monday if I don't find homes for them before that. Two are cochin roosters and are sweethearts. The other one is a terror - and she had warned me, but I thought he was fine in his new pen by himself - wrong! until feeding time and I now have two cuts on my arm from his attack. Can't wait for Monday for him to leave!