Ambassadors for the farm

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by centrarchid, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,957
    2,632
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I work at a land grant university where food production is a major concern. We have multiple annual demonstrations and shows concerning various aspects of agriculture and the research we conduct. My job is to attract kids, usually through petting zoos and like. Critters usually brought to pet are crawdads, tadpoles, big biting insects and sometimes really big fishes. This year trained chickens, juveniles about 12 weeks old were used. Two are birds being trained to come by voice command which they do. A gang of four were taken to a festival on campus to the "fairgrounds" and set loose near my usual attraction. Each time a small group was exposed to the usual round of smaller wildlife in the petting zoo, a chaser was made of calling name my trained chickens. One, sometimes two, would come cutting through crowd and fly up into my arm. We could even get birds to fly up into arms of kids that never came into contact with any type of bird prior. Eduardo and sister Sally were stars of show. They (birds) even impressed a couple old timers that raised chickens commercially. Once satiated, the chickens would even allow kids to pet them. It was not just a situation where chickens fed from hand but otherwise avoided contact. Sadly, one of the chickens ate my walking sticks while I was working with a group of kids. This use of chickens will be used in years to come.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  2. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    29,031
    5,952
    576
    May 11, 2010
    Very good! Teaching our young about farm life is very important. If this country ever loses the ability to feed itself we will surely perish.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,957
    2,632
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Spring Feild Days with school children. Trained games used to introduce poultry. Preparation began nearly year ago.

    Birds prepped for loading into hauler with minimal stress.
    [​IMG]

    Eduardo calling plays in huddle. He also checks for clean hands.
    [​IMG]

    Eduardo in middle of scrum. Kids were litterally crushing me.
    [​IMG]

    Eduardo in dialog with little boy.
    [​IMG]

    Eduardo performing strength test on budding soccer star. Mother insuring test is passed.
    [​IMG]

    End of day and ready to walk home.
    [​IMG]

    Yes, we made it back and no more darn mealworms!
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2011
  4. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Overrun With Chickens

    6,636
    41
    258
    Sep 25, 2010
    Kansas City
    Great pictures. Looks like your chickens enjoyed themselves, I'm sure the kids did.
     
  5. lvchicken

    lvchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2011
    What are the breeds?
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,957
    2,632
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:Yes, Eduardo (rooster in second to last image) allowed roughly ten people in succession over 20 minutes to support him unrestrained on their arms. He preened and talked the whole time.

    Kids kept trying to catch Spud (chick) causing Sallie (hen) to get riled up a bit, but no floggings occured.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,957
    2,632
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:Eduardo and Sallie (adults) are American games. Colortypes - Eduardo is brown breasted brown-red and Sallie is female version of black breasted red (heterozygous for brown breasted brown-red). They are full siblings. Chick was sired by American dominique. She (chick) is smarter than pure dom in that she trains faster.
     
  8. ShelterGirl

    ShelterGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    182
    0
    99
    Apr 3, 2011
    This is really interesting! PM me- I am curious to know how to train them for something like this! I am good with training cats but not many other animals [​IMG]
     
  9. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    29,031
    5,952
    576
    May 11, 2010
    Eduardo is my hero! What a rooster!
     
  10. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Did you really put the chickens in a carrier on the back of that motorcycle? That is AWESOME!!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by