How to Pick Up Chicks – by Gabby Fringette
Maybe you see a chick all alone away from the others. Maybe you see one that is just so adorable. Maybe you need to practice your showmanship. There are many reasons why you need to pick up a chick.
It is important to realize they are delicate, they are young and their structure is small and very light. They’re fast, too, and if they don’t want you to practice fair showmanship on them, they will flap their little wings and try to escape. So here’s how to safely pick them up:
The ‘cuddles’ approach. For this one, you use both of your hands and you gently cup the chick and pick it up. This will create a safe cocoon one your hands, and also give you lots of skin-to-feathers contact. Remember to be very gentle. Their legs will either be folded up under them or sticking out between your fingers. This can also work one handed if the chick is very small.
The showmanship approach. This one is used on older birds who you are going to practice your showmanship on for fairs or even larger professional shows. You will want to place your middle finger directly under the bird, with your pointer on the outside of her right leg and your ring finger on the outside of her left leg. You will use your thumb and your pinkie to hold her wings in place. If using a large adults bird, you will be allowed to use your other hand for control. When I was eleven I tried showing a Buff Orpington. Orpingtons commonly weight between 8-10. Try being tiny and controlling ten pounds of angry with claws.
The trust method. This is where you don’t hold the chick, you let the little fluff perch on your hand. This gives them more freedom. They may try to escape, but if they associate you with food and security, they likely won’t. So, that’s how to pick up chicks, everyone. There would be pictures, but my lovely assistant wouldn’t stop moving long enough to take a picture.