I'm thinking about getting a couple more chicks to go with my three new Orpington chicks. While I love the Orps, I would like to have a breed that will allow my 10 year old niece to hold them and carry them around. My Orps love to jump up and perch on you, but they don't like to be held. So, do any of you have any experience with a breed that will allow an adoring 10 year-old play with them?
My Cochins have always been friendly. One Roo waits for me to put him to bed at night, he can't make the perch without help (or doesn't wish to exert himself :). My Orpingtons are friendly, too. But, far and away the most personable are the Turkens, but I know some people find them slightly unattractive.
I think most of the heavy breeds will be friendly if raised to be comfortable with being held. If I were to go specifically for a carry-around pet I'd probably choose a bantam Cochin, or Silky.
Thanks, Catmad. I raised my Orps from one week old, and held them a lot for the first month, but they are seven weeks old now and under no circumstances do they want to be picked up or held. I have to chase them into a corner and grab them, if I need them for anything. They are very friendly and quite happy to jump up on my knee or shoulder when I sit down, but holding them is a completely different story. I wish I knew what I did wrong that makes them so difficult to pick up now.
My Brahmas are very mellow and they do have that reputation. They are pretty big, though. One of them particularly like to be held--think that trait depends on the individual bird and not so much the breed. And they are so mellow that they also have a reputation for letting the other birds in the flock beat up on them. I'd love to add to my little flock with some replacement hens, but don't know which breed to look at as I'm woried about the girls getting beat up. But I'd like some variety in my hens. Silly of me, I know, but still...
Thanks, Catmad, that gives me hope! Do you think that I should keep cornering them and forcing them to let me pick them up, or should I just wait for them? I want them to be used to be held, but I don't want them to be afraid of me by cornering them all the time.
Terri, I read the same thing about the Orpingtons...they are so mellow that the tend to get beat up by other breeds. Maybe Orps and Brahmas would work well together...
Perhaps you could handle your girls in the evening when they have gone to roost so that you don't have to horrify them first with a chase. My Orpingtons are very tame but they did go through a rather skittish phase as young pullets.
Thanks Porkpal, that's a terrific idea...I'll hold them for a little while every evening after they have gone to roost. They met my 15-yo niece last night for the first time and were pretty comfortable with jumping up on her lap (after she showed them a handful of blueberries), but otherwise I would definitely describe them as skittish. Hopefully, they will outgrow it like yours did.