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Frances Russell

Best way to handle a chicken!

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Hi,

I have got two girls, I have picked them both up a few times - without any difficulties. People say that you should see the bird become more used to being picked up? - I have seen no improvement! I also find it a bit tricky to get hold of a chicken - because they are in the Eglu Go, and I can't bend down for a huge amount of time because of a knee issue. I usually wait until their head is pointing in the opposite direction, then pick them up before they make a fuss. But I am just wondering if anybody has any suggestions on these two topics?!?

Some information would really help because I am still quite new to this!

Thanks!!

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This might not be much help, but none of mine have ever liked being picked up. My oldest hen I have had for 4 years and she still only tolerates it but we do get quite a bit of struggling and trying to get wings free to whip me round the face with :lol:

All of them are fairly friendly and will happily wander round me to peck my feet and legs, and Bella even quite likes to hop onto my lap for a snooze, but they just do not enjoy being picked up.

Over the last 4 years I've had 13 hens and not a single one of them have enjoyed it!

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Hello and welcome! How old are your chickens, and are they laying yet? Sometimes they can be a bit skittish but settle down when they come into lay. My ex batts will squat down and are pretty easy to catch, but my fancy ones have to be cornered first. It is good to have them used to being handled if you can. Mine also come for treats - the aforementioned

Dried mealworms!

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All this information helps! Mine do squat down when they are near the door and I stick my hand in! So I can pick them up to do various health checks etc. And they are about 20 weeks so should be coming into lay within the next week or two!!! !egg!:D I will just have to hope that they settle down a bit and make it a bit easier for me, by not flapping around as much! :lol: Some people say that going into the back of the coop and picking them up after they have gone to bed is a good way of getting them used to you! But I think that's a bit unfair because they are all comfortable and snuggled up with their friends!!! I also think it freaks them out a it because they can't see anything! What do you think?

Thanks for all the information, it really helps!!! PP

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All I would say is handle them firmly - if you're tentative, that's when they will manage to get a wing free and start flapping. A firm grip will calm them, it took me ages to get this as I was worried about damaging them.

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Hello, I find most chooks don't 'really' like being picked up, but when you take the urge to, then pick up keeping wings flat is fine and easier when they have already squatted near you. If you then sit down on a garden bench etc, keeping the wings tucked in they will settle fine on your lap, but only until you release them. Then they will fly back down and give a good shake of their feathers muttering to themselves 'what was that all for'....huh??

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Handle them firmly and try getting them out at night when they are more docile until you're both used to it.

 

Aim to slide a hand underneath and hold them firmly by the top of the legs, as below. Always keep the messy end pointing away from you.

 

chicken-care-handling.jpg

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Hi, thanks for all your posts! These all really help. I think I am going to have to try different things until I find the best way for me! And until the chickens get used to me picking them up! - Even if they don't particularly like it! :?

Thanks again for all your posts - they really help!!!

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I had kept my chickens for a couple of years before I went on an Omlet chicken keeping course last summar (which I really loved) and had 'hands on' training as it were in picking them up. I used to put both my hands down to them, one on either side, thumbs on top, and would then try and move the chicken so that I had a single hand in the correct position as demonstrated by Dogmother's picture. However before I could get to that point they would flap all over the place. On the course I found out that I'd been squeezing their little chests :oops: . Now I just put one hand underneath front to back, and one hand over their wings and it seems to work a whole lot better.

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Once the chicken feels secure, it will settle down; they do tend to sense if you are nervous :wink: I had 10 people all holding beautifully behaved chooks on Sunday, which makes a change.... there's usually one doing a parrot impression on someone's shoulder :roll:

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I have to admit they are getting alot better with being handled!!! Even when I just stroke them they don't run away! Thanks for all the really helpful posts!!! They really do help!

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