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Potty Training Chickens, How-to!

post #1 of 137
Thread Starter 

The first step to forming your chicken into a wonderful pet is potty training.so you can  bring your favorite chicken inside, and enjoy each others company more often, without having to pickup after him at the same time.

A few notes:
1. In order to potty train your chicken,He MUST be hand tamed this mean he can sit on your hand without assistance.(Such as holding him in place or having both hands on him).This means the chicken should sit freely on your hand, and more importantly,enjoy it.

2. There will  be accidents even after training your chicken to use a specified area to poop, just as would a dog, or any other household pet, accidents happen, you may have to pick up a few .

3.No Praise! Chickens do not do well with complex words as praise it will just confuse things, and we do not use them to tell them that they have done a good job. If you want to reward a chicken, give him a treat.The way to a chickens heart is through his stomach.tongue

4. Patience! Training your chicken does take time, especially with complex exercises such as this, you must be patient and work with your chicken.

5. The younger the betterAs with any animal, Young chickens who have been hand tamed make the best candidates for potty training, it is easier to train them at a younger age(around 3 week's is optimal) but this is not saying that it cant be done with older birds.

Ok let's get down to business! (no pun intended)

First we will teach your chicken to poop on command,  this is not absolutely necessary but it does help a lot. Training this behavior is all about Anticipation anticipating when your bird is going to go is a key factor in training him. Many birds ruffle their feathers right before they do, some don't. watch your bird in the coop and, see how he acts right before pooping.

When you bring him inside have an area for him to go in, Such as a litter box, or paper's.

Hold your chicken on your arm, and do something idle like watching tv, or even forum'ing on BYC, watch your bird closely for signs  that he is about to go.

Side-Note:(You need a signal such as a Click,hand signal, or whistle for the next step,No words!! this will be the command for pooping, try to choose a signal that you don't use everyday , it may lead to accidents)

When you think the bird is about to go, swiftly take him to the designated area and  hold him over it, until  you hear the tell-taleSquit! use the signal that you've chosen , and IMMEDIATELY reward him with a treat.

Repeat this process when you think he is about to go, until you can give the signal for him to go!

Once you have trained the above you can move on to the next step,this one is pretty easy.

During training the above
you should have noted a pattern in timing around which your bird will poop,
when it's almost time, set the bird down on the area designated,and give the command for poop,if he goes reward him  promptly, if he doesn't do not reward him. (Only reinforce the behavior your trying to train, nothing else.) Systematically practice this exercise until he start's going on his own.

Wishing you good luck and lot's of Fun-
                                                               Mark wink
                                                                      (A.K.A. Hackles)

PS:If there is interest I will write another article keeping chickens as house pets just let me know!

post #2 of 137

You're kidding right? lol LOL

*~Jenna~*
Taken over by rabbits!
Champion French Angora Rabbits located in VT
Come Visit: www.joiedeviverabbitry.webs.com
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*~Jenna~*
Taken over by rabbits!
Champion French Angora Rabbits located in VT
Come Visit: www.joiedeviverabbitry.webs.com
Reply
post #3 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by PineBurrowPeeps 

You're kidding right? lol LOL


I hope so!!  No house chickens for me thank you very much.  I "love"  my chickens,  but I doubt that they've got enough brain power to be housetrained!!

I'm a Farmer/Rancher  Wife,Mom & Grandma  No Farms, No food. 
If you want house chickens and ducks in diapers then this is the forum for you.
I've got 50+ years of poultry experience, but this 'poultry' forum isn't for me anymore.
If you're going to complain about farmers, don't do it with a full belly or a mouthful.
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I'm a Farmer/Rancher  Wife,Mom & Grandma  No Farms, No food. 
If you want house chickens and ducks in diapers then this is the forum for you.
I've got 50+ years of poultry experience, but this 'poultry' forum isn't for me anymore.
If you're going to complain about farmers, don't do it with a full belly or a mouthful.
Reply
post #4 of 137
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katy 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PineBurrowPeeps 

You're kidding right? lol LOL


I hope so!!  No house chickens for me thank you very much.  I "love"  my chickens,  but I doubt that they've got enough brain power to be housetrained!!


Indeed, I am not kidding, Chickens as other animal's are creature's of habit, and can be taught many  exercises such as this one.

post #5 of 137

That is cool! I will keep that in mind if I ever get a house chicken- all outside for now.

This signature lacks personality.

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This signature lacks personality.

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post #6 of 137
Thread Starter 

The common misconception surrounding chicken's is that they are lacking brain power,But when you train a bird, you are not teaching him, you are really just reinforcing habit, something that  come's natural to all birds, no matter  what the cranial capacity.

post #7 of 137
Thread Starter 

I might add,that when training you should only train one bird at a time
Multiple bird's will cause distractions.

post #8 of 137

That is hillarious, What happens if you house trained said chicken and you aren't home when he does his "business" to give him a treat? I have potty trained broody hens but never any other chickens, I have house seramas that i would LOVE to try this on.

Seramas, Cochins, EE's, 1 Japanese hen, few frizzles & Too many roosters and a ton of babies cruising the yard. Home of the ninja squirrel.
I am Rachel but you can call me the ccl (crazy chicken lady)
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Seramas, Cochins, EE's, 1 Japanese hen, few frizzles & Too many roosters and a ton of babies cruising the yard. Home of the ninja squirrel.
I am Rachel but you can call me the ccl (crazy chicken lady)
Reply
post #9 of 137

Thanks very much-I'd love to train my young silkie.

I live on a farm in Israel with an American Hairless Terrier from Wales (Ellah), HER cat (Señor Pussy Cat), a rescued Galah (Chrysi), her cage buddy cockatiel (Mio), 3 featherless bantam chickens (Gimpy & co), a Barockpinto colt (Felix D), a Cameroon Hair Lamb (Shoshana) & a Betta fish (Logan)

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I live on a farm in Israel with an American Hairless Terrier from Wales (Ellah), HER cat (Señor Pussy Cat), a rescued Galah (Chrysi), her cage buddy cockatiel (Mio), 3 featherless bantam chickens (Gimpy & co), a Barockpinto colt (Felix D), a Cameroon Hair Lamb (Shoshana) & a Betta fish (Logan)

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post #10 of 137
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickenaddict 

That is hillarious, What happens if you house trained said chicken and you aren't home when he does his "business" to give him a treat? I have potty trained broody hens but never any other chickens, I have house seramas that i would LOVE to try this on.


You only treat them during training, this is to reinforce the habit. after a while they should go on their own without treat's or even having you having  to set them in the area. If he isn't trained and your not at home (thats another story lol )!

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