The Secret to Successful Chicken Husbandry: Picking Up Chickens the Right Way

Have you ever dreamed of having your own flock of chickens, but were hesitant to take the plunge? If so, then chicken husbandry is the perfect way to get your feet wet. With chicken husbandry, you can experience the joy of raising your own chickens, and learn how to safely pick up chickens. Picking up chickens is an essential skill for any chicken keeper, as it allows you to move them from one place to another, or even take them to the vet. In order to ensure the safety of both you and your chickens, it is important to learn the proper technique for picking up chickens. This article will provide tips on how to safely pick up chickens.

Benefits of Chicken Husbandry

Benefits Of Chicken Husbandry

Financial Benefits

Picking up chickens is a great way to make extra money. Not only do chickens provide eggs, they can also be sold for profit. The eggs can be sold in markets or restaurants, while the chickens can be sold to other farmers or butchers. Plus, they provide excellent fertilizer for other crops, which can help farmers save money on expensive chemical fertilizers.

Emotional Benefits

Chicken husbandry can give you a sense of accomplishment and pride. Knowing that you are raising animals and providing them with a safe and healthy environment can be incredibly rewarding. Additionally, picking up chickens can help you to develop a better relationship with nature and appreciate the beauty of the animals and their surroundings. Furthermore, taking care of chickens can help reduce stress and provide a sense of comfort.

Preparation for Picking Up Chickens

Preparation For Picking Up Chickens

Gather Necessary Supplies

Before attempting to pick up a chicken, it is important to first gather the necessary supplies. This includes a pair of gloves to protect you from scratches, a towel to wrap around the bird, and a box to transport the chicken in. Gloves should fit snugly and not be too loose so that you have complete control over the bird.

Prepare the Coop

It is also important to make sure the coop is prepared for the chicken’s arrival. Make sure the coop is clean before attempting to pick up the bird. This will help to reduce the chance of spreading any diseases between chickens. Additionally, it is important to make sure there is plenty of food and water available in the coop.

Familiarize Yourself with Chicken Behaviors

It is important to familiarize yourself with chicken behaviors and how to safely handle them. Chickens can become easily startled, so it is important to approach them in a slow, gentle manner. It is also important to support the bird’s body while carrying it, as chickens can be easily injured if they are not supported properly. Additionally, it is important to be aware that chickens can carry diseases, and it is important to wear gloves and wash your hands after handling them.

Safely Picking Up Chickens

Safely Picking Up Chickens

Approach Calmly

When picking up chickens, it is important to maintain a calm demeanor. Chickens can sense fear and anxiety, so if you are feeling scared or nervous, the chickens will pick up on it and become frightened.

Locate the Legs

When picking up chickens, locate each of the bird’s legs, and gently grip them with your thumb and forefinger. You want to make sure that you have a firm grip to prevent the bird from squirming loose.

Position Your Hands

Once you have a firm grip on the bird’s legs, place one hand underneath the bird’s breast and the other hand around the back of the bird. This will help to keep the bird stable and secure, while still allowing you to have full control over the bird.

Support the Chest

When picking up chickens, it is important to make sure that you are supporting the bird’s chest. This will help to keep the bird from struggling and make it easier to pick up the bird.

Lift with Care

Once you have the bird securely in your hands, gently lift the bird up and away from the ground. Make sure to keep a firm grip on the bird, and be careful not to jostle it too much. With a bit of practice, picking up chickens can be a safe and easy task.

Tips for Handling Chickens

Keep Your Movements Gentle

When picking up a chicken, it is important to move slowly and gently. Make sure to keep your movements slow and steady, as sudden or jerky movements may startle the bird.

Use Both Hands

When you attempt to pick up a chicken, you should use both hands. Place one hand firmly under the chest of the bird, while the other hand should support the bird’s back and wings. This will help to keep the chicken calm and secure.

Speak in Soft Tones

It is also important to speak in soft tones while attempting to pick up a chicken. This will help to keep the bird relaxed and less likely to struggle.

Frequently Asked Questions

What equipment is necessary for safely picking up chickens?

  • Gloves: Wear gloves when handling chickens. This will help protect your hands from any potential germs and also provide some protection against sharp claws and beaks.
  • A Towel: Having a towel on hand is an important piece of equipment when picking up chickens. The towel can be used to cover the chicken while you pick it up, and this will help to keep it calm and reduce the chances of it flapping around.
  • Chicken Harness: If you need to pick up a particularly flighty bird, a chicken harness can provide extra security. This will help you to safely transport the chicken without it escaping and also give you more control over the bird.
  • Carrying Container: If you need to move a chicken from one place to another, a carrying container or box is essential. This will help to keep the chicken safe and secure during transport and will also provide you with a safe way to handle the bird.

What precautions should I take when handling chickens?

Always wear gloves and a long-sleeved shirt when handling chickens. Wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling chickens to prevent the spread of diseases. Be aware of the bird’s feet and wings when handling them, and make sure to support their chest and belly. Move slowly, and talk calmly to the bird to avoid startling it. Make sure to keep your hands away from the bird’s face, neck, and the sharp end of the beak. If necessary, use a towel to help catch and handle the chicken.

What is the Best Way to Approach a Chicken for the First Time?

  • Calm and patient approach: Approach the chicken slowly and calmly without startling it. Speak in a soft, soothing voice.
  • Keep your movements slow: Move slowly and avoid any sudden movements. This will help the chicken feel more secure.
  • Allow the chicken to get used to you: Offer the chicken some food from your hand and allow it time to get used to your presence.
  • Gently scoop the chicken: With the chicken used to your presence, slowly scoop it up with both hands, one hand supporting its body and one hand supporting its wings.
  • Hold the chicken securely: Hold the chicken securely but gently, and keep it close to your body.

How can I tell if a Chicken is Healthy or Ill?

Healthy chickens will have bright eyes and an alert posture. Their feathers should be full and fluffy, and their combs and wattles should be red and free of discoloration. Unhealthy chickens may have dull eyes, and their feathers may be patchy or missing. They may also have discolored wattles, combs, and skin, as well as crusty patches on their skin. Additionally, they may be lethargic and unresponsive, or they may have difficulty walking. If you suspect a chicken is unwell, it is important to take them to a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.

What are the common signs of distress in chickens?

  • Panting: Chickens will pant and breathe heavily when they’re stressed or in pain.
  • Ruffled feathers: A chicken’s feathers will stand on end when they’re distressed or uncomfortable.
  • Head shaking: Chickens will shake their heads when they feel threatened or scared.
  • Vocalizing: Chickens will vocalize, either by crowing, clucking, or squawking when they feel threatened.
  • Drooping wings: Chickens will droop their wings when they feel distressed or uncomfortable.
  • Hiding: Chickens may hide when they feel threatened or scared.


Chicken husbandry can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience when done correctly. Learning how to properly pick up and handle chickens is an important part of the process, as it ensures their safety and comfort. With the right approach, you can become a confident and successful chicken keeper.


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