I'm starting again with silkies after not having had chickens for over half a year.
The first of the ladies just arrived yesterday (Jan-2-2014). And I'm looking for a friend for her.
On this page i'll keep writing about my progress and training methods. May by someone else will learn something of me telling my method.
I called it a diary but I don't know if I'll be writing in it every day, but I will keep updating it as the training comes along.
Lyna the silkie that i'm training (pic 01-17-2014):
The one silkie I picked up yesterday hasn't been handled a lot so I will need to get her used to people first.
She is a little sneezy so I'll first give her some time to get used and stop sneezing. For now I go out a lot and give her treats and talk to her. She already doesn't run of when I stand in front of her run so i'm making progress.
The place where i got my little hen had a coop that wasn't raised, but my coop is raised. The first night she slept in her transport carrier. Yesterday I put her in the coop so she could explore it and she would be inside for the night. This morning she figured out how to get down from her coop.This evening she got in her coop herself. She is learning simple things. Tomorrow i'm going to take her out of her coop/run to spend some time with me to see how she is going to react.
Yesterday i didn't get her out but she almost came out herself. I opened the door and was feeding them little bits of food and she came as far as sitting in the opening of the door to see if she could reach the food i put outside the run.
Today i did take her out and she sat on my arm and ate some seeds and dried mealworm from my hand then she moved to my shoulder and ate some apple and cucumber. After about 10 minutes i returned her to her run, for a first time she was quite relaxed, I'm very proud of her. I'll give her a couple days more to get used to being picked up and then I'm going to see if i can teach her what a clicker is.
So it's been a while, i've been busy my kid had her 6th birthday.
Our chicken is used to us now and she doesn't mind being picked up. She likes to sit on an arm and she really loves mealies. We have dried and live ones. She also likes a piece of cheese and i'm still experimenting with what else she likes. We did a clicker session yesterday to learn her what a clicker is and she did't find the click scary so that is a good start. I also have her used to drinking out of a bottle, it took her only one time beak to the nipple to learn so she is a smart little chicken.
I'm going to start with the first tasks for her to learn the coming week. It will be color determination and with that learn to pick a color on cue, so when i say touch yellow she will touch the yellow piece. Of course i'll have to learn her the cue "touch" so she knows that it means she has to touch something. The weekend won't be much training but i'll be clicking with her tomorrow so she really knows click is something very yummie.
It has been a while since i was here.
I have been training and she now knows how to wear a harness. I take here outside to eat some grass and she likes it very much. Even the dogs that are passing by are ignored. Only when they come very close she walks away.
The first time i put a harness on here she walked backwards. She really hated it. But i took here outside and she was distracted so she started to walk normally. The second time she walked backwards till i gave here something nice to eat, an apple. The third time she walked back a couple paces and then she did chicken things. The only thing she really hasn't got used to yet is getting the harness hooked up, but as soon as it's on it's place she doesn't mind at all. The last time i took here outside she really didn't want to go back in side.
This was the only thing i have been working on since i was last here. But now i have some time so i will probably start training with here again as soon as she is no longer broody. She is broody for three weeks and than takes a break for four weeks (it is a silkie so.......) and i usually let her be as long as she eats and drinks. When she stops eating i take here out of here cage and after about 10 minutes i put here back and she starts eating again. This happens ones every two or three times she's broody. So that's not very often.
At the moment i'm looking for some more silkies and i hope to introduce an new friend or two within a couple of weeks.
Lyna finally has got a friend. For now there are three, but two of them are going to move.
The one that stays is a very nice black bantam silkie. Her name is Ebony.
This is Ebony. I've just measurered her for a harness and a diaper. I'm going to make a harness and diapers for Lyna and Ebony so they can come in the house for training and so they can come to my daughters school. Ebony comes into the house every evening, here feathers aren't ready to stand the cold nights yet. But during the day she gets to go outside and gets to know Lyna. I hope they'll get used to each other so they can live in a run together, but for now they have a run of there own. I hope to start training again soon. I'm waiting for an order of mealworms.