To chicken-handling novices, the prospect of catching and holding your chickens can be quite daunting - lots of flapping and squawking, and the potential of being too rough and hurting your pet. However, with the right technique, you’ll soon be safely holding your chickens like a seasoned poultry professional.
Learning how to catch and handle your birds is a valuable skill
Chickens need to be picked up regularly, as you'll likely need to move them around the garden, and catch them to give them health checks. The more you handle your chickens, the less stressful they will find it, and the easier it will be to catch them. For the first few weeks, it’s advisable to let them get used to you by offering them treats from your hand, and slowly stroking them. If you’ve been trying to tame them for a while and this isn’t working, you can try introducing them to being held when they’re in a calmer mood. You can often do this at night when they’re in their coop.
Chickens are quite delicate creatures, so it’s important to be gentle but firm. When picking up a chicken, do so by placing one hand on either side of her body, holding her wings firmly to her sides so that she can’t unfurl them and flap around. Hold her close to your chest. A good grip is achieved by one hand holding her to your chest and the other supporting her and keeping her legs still – your index and fourth finger should be outside her legs, with the middle inbetween.