HOW TO HANDLE YOUR NEW CHICKS - ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE
Soooo you now have your beautiful new fluff balls in your brooder box and all you want to do is cuddle them, watch them and when no one is looking, yep, you just want to talk to them (guilty and admit it :-)
For those first few days, try to resist the temptation to pick them up. If you have picked your chicks up from Leah’s Chook Shed, bear in mind, they have not only gone through the hatching process, then they have been vent sexed for the grand finale… have been jabbed for their vacations. Just when they think its all ok to get on with just being chicks, along comes a loving family who can’t contain their excitement and take them home. So be strong just chat to them for those first few days, let them get used to your voice and just enjoy their antics J Chicks need a constant heat source and can chill easily if picked up too often.
The first few days have passed and the kids are ready to have their first cuddle. Firstly have young children sit on the floor preferably with a tissue or paper towel on their laps (just in case the chickie decides to poop…..98% guaranteed J) Firstly ask them to put out one hand and cup it and place the chick on this hand, then with their second hand ask them to also cup this hand and place over the young chick with the thumb in front of the chicks face. This helps to stop your little one accidently squeezing the chick too tightly. Young chicks have very soft and delicate skeletal systems at this stage and can easily be damaged if they are squeezed too tightly or dropped from a height, hence asking your children to sit on the floor prior to picking up their chick.
Encourage your children to stroke the chick’s head gently whilst talking with them. Slowly building that bond and socialisation of your chicks. There is nothing more fun than listening to your children’s laughter as the little chicks peck at their fingers when they pop their hand into the brooder. Over time, pop some crumble on your or your child’s hands and put into the brooder, and wait for the chicks to begin to explore and start eating the crumble from their hands J
It is much wiser and safer to let your children know that its not ok to pick up young chicks without a supervising adult being present. An adult can assist and teach them how to pick up and hold a chick to ensure chicks are not held too tightly, not held whilst your child is standing up, not placed on an open hand without the second hand securing the chick. Chicks easily startle and catch a child off guard. Believe it or not, in the past, we have customers calling due to distressed children accidently dropping their chicks or squeezing too tightly and killing them. Hence my reason for writing this post to help avoid and to ensure a wonderful experience is had by everyone and not one ending with distress and tears for you or me.
Remember try to keep picking and cuddly chicks to a minimum for the first couple of weeks… its is better to have a few short sessions for 5 minutes than one big hit where the chick starts to chill.
Enjoy the wonderful experience.