I like to sit in the brooder with my little ones and hand feed them some ground up oatmeal as a treat so they get used to being handled. Otherwise, chicks left all alone become very nervous and skittish. That's why I like keeping them in my computer room for the first 6-8 weeks. This particular group is made up of chicks that will be 3 and 4 weeks old this weekend. They will climb into my hand, and then I can pick them up and put them onto my lap. They will immediately fly back down, but at least they get used to the human touch and interaction, and they associate it with a good experience (food!). Pretty soon, they'll be OK with being picked up and held and stroked. Of course, treats are always freely given! It's a great way for us to bond!
The seltzer bottle in the picture is filled with water and some organic apple cider vinegar, which they get from day 1. I grind their chicken starter in a coffee grinder, which encourages the newborns to start pecking and start eating. I also give the newborns finely chopped egg yolk, hardboiled, sprinkled right onto the paper towel. This treat is enjoyed by all the babies, no matter what their age! Oh…I also play music from Itunes on my computer for them (you can use a radio instead), just so they get used to voices and different sounds. Playtime is fun, but also a great learning experience for us all!