Can we train chickens to avoid the rain?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sheilawagner, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. sheilawagner

    sheilawagner Songster

    Jul 16, 2010
    Pacific NorthWest
    Hi all,

    We live in Washington state, the rainy state, and we have adult plymouth rocks and 2 dutch bantams. Soon, our growers (7 cochin bantams and 10 polish) will be added to the outdoor free ranging adults. The dutch bantam hen is the only true adult, having survived through 2009's winter and she lived outdoors although she had a dry enclosed coop.

    Now we have a luxurious coop and run and we have trained the adults to use it, and we have no problems.

    I read on another post that someone's chickens would go out when it rained and stood there and got wet. A frizzle Cochin and a polish is not going to be happy being wet. Is there any way to train our chickens to go 'home' to their enclosed run whenever it rains?

    What are your experiences with your free ranging birds? Do they automatically go to shelter (coop or covered runs) or do they deliberately seek out the rain? Could it be that they seek out the rain to take baths?

    It hasn't rained yet in a few weeks here in Seattle, but this weekend, we're expecting good old rain to return. If there was a way to train my cochin bantams and polish to go 'home' whenever it rained, that would be awesome because they will free range in future.
  2. WingingIt

    WingingIt Songster

    Apr 16, 2009
    Ours always love the rain unless it was a super hard downpour. Otherwise, in light or regular rain, they were out there playing in it having a ball. I laugh and say they think they are pigs! Personally, I'd say if it's bad enough that they need protection, they'll find it. Otherwise, they're just going to play and get filthy. [​IMG]
  3. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
  4. The Tinman

    The Tinman Songster

    Jun 10, 2010
    Fairfield County CT
    They are like kids, They never want to come in out of the rain. The only thing you can do is dress them up like little duckies and let them go play in the rain. What ya gonna do [​IMG]
  5. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Quote:ditto. Mine run for cover when it pours, but regular ole rain they don't mind at all.
    They take mud baths instead of dust baths, and hey even manage to preen the mud off of their feathers when they go to roost.

    So long as they have a shelter, let them pick.
  6. woodmort

    woodmort Songster

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    I doubt it is possible to "train" chickens to do anything they don't want to do. They will learn on their own, however, and if the rain bothers them, they'll come in, otherwise enjoy watching them splash around in it.
  7. buzymom13

    buzymom13 I run the Alien Chicken Asylum

    Apr 20, 2010
    [​IMG] I must have very "proper" My chickens run for the coop if it starts to rain...they stand and complain at the doorway...but won't step their dainty pitties out until it stops.

    Silly chickens....the ducks think it's great fun!!! [​IMG]
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    There is an old saying about how chickens will stay out in the rain if it is going to rain all day but will run to the coop and wait out a short shower. I've noticed this to be true for my free ranged flock...the rain won't hurt them anyway, so let them be chickens. As long as they have shelter when they need it, it shouldn't be a problem.
  9. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Ours will run for cover if they deem it necessary, but really they just deal with light rain.
  10. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    Mine wander in and out of the barn and coop areas depending on how hard it's raining and if there is much wind. They don't seem to notice the drizzle we're so famous for, but do head for cover during the heavier storms. I don't have any frizzle or feather footed breeds so I don't know if they would respond differently or not.

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