If you’re getting to know chickens for the first time, these little rascals can be a bit daunting. Don’t worry if you’re startled the first time you try to pick up a chicken and they begin squawking and flapping. Or trying to outrun you. This is their nature. Especially if they don’t know you very well.
You may think you’ll never be able to pick up and hold one of these little bundles of feathers, but with time and patience, you will become a pro. And it’s a good idea to have treats in your hand to coax them closer to you.
With these tips, you can begin to practice.
- Place one hand over the top of the bird so they can’t flap their wings and give you a coronary.
- Place your other hand underneath the bird.
- Place middle finger between legs, with other fingers on either side to hold the legs steady. Be gentle but firm so there’s no struggling. Either by you or the hen.
- With thumb and little finger, hold tips of wings still.
- Rest the bird’s breastbone over your forearm.
- The bird will feel more secure and wiggle less if held close to your body.
It’s very important to master the technique because you’ll be needing to examine their bodies for signs of parasites or illness.
That’s it! With practice, you’ll know how to pick up a chicken without having to think about it. Stress-free bonding!
Shannon Stansberry has been engaged in the business of raising chickens for more than 12 years. In 2016, she accomplished the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. At present, she tends to more than 80 chickens on her 4-hectare farm. Shannon regularly shares her insights and experience on how to raise healthy and contented chickens on the platform Typesofchickens.com