Chickens like all other animals are smart in their own ways. A chicken can be taught to respond to direct stimuli such as clicker training, where action reaps reward. Now if you go outside and call their names, and if they run to you and get food, they will associate food with either name calling, you, the sound of the door oopening, or the rattle of the can.
So basicially, if you can utalize their natural learning system to do your bidding, they can learn how to do what you train it to do. You can't override their natural instinct though. For example, there was some animal trainers who were good at harnesing the behavior of animals to do tricks for commercials. They had an idea to teach a chicken to hit a ball and run to first base. Well, they were able to get the chicken to run to first base and click a thing to make the bat swing, but as soon as the ball got involved, they would go chase the ball. It was something like that at least. So you can train in simple reaction action steps, with a few actions before reward, but unlike a dog, probably can't train the chicken to "no, do not eat corn till told so", since I don't think chickens have the "please alpha animal" instinct in them.
At least this is what I think, and as far as all things go in life, there are ALWAYS exceptons.
Edit: And talk about making humans do their bidding! They know exactally how to look at you or get in your way so you drop the goodie basket sooner rather than later.
LOL Siliechicken.....the reason I ask is I read just today on a post a chicken went into the coop when told to go home!
Wish I could find it again grrrr
I would imagine anythings possible if a person has the time to spend in training.
Hoping there might be some good examples here, even if the experience was a fluke!
Obelisk knows her name.
She knows Down, like when she's on the table.
Treats must be an innate word meaning ummm Treats!
And she knows the word, Millet and Porch so that they go onto the porch when I tell them.
Of course, when she's pecking the bag of wildbird seed, she gets the full name: Obelisk the Tormentor, you ignorant slut, Mihalopoulos, NO!!!(Thanks to Jane Curtin and Dan Akroyd for that)
Well I wouldnt say mine are EXCEPTIONALLY smart, but they are in the house so have MUCH more human contact/interaction than a normal chicken would.
My two oldest girls and my little showgirl know NOT to go in the living room. This was never rewarded with good behavior either, this was a "spankin" if you go in there, and they learned fast. The one barred rock I have tho, she wants to push the envelope and goes in there anyway.
They all four know their names, when they are sleeping and we talk about them, you can mention their name, and they will coo at you, in turn, pretty much. Its cute! lol Even little Dash, who was not the brightest bulb in the socket to begin with, has learned her name. She has I guess ACCUMULATED knowledge. And she hates being bawled out. She has learned what to do and what NOT to do, just by watching Lily. lol I was serious when I posted that pic of them, where Dash was saying "Am I in trouble for this?" for dustbathing in the entryway. She absolutely hates being in trouble, not sure why.
My other girls know the words "Get down", "Jump" "Outside" "Grapes" "No" and "HEY!" which I have mentioned before, gets more response than no. lol They must think when I finally say "HEY!" I mean business. They also know "bedtime" and will jump in their box. I have never really taught them tricks, it would be interesting to try, but am at a loss where to start.
I know one person on here that had paper trained her house chicken, I think I only have one I could do that with, but no way could I do it with the other chickens around, they tend to reinforce each others bad behavior sometimes. lol
Spotted cow and Thundrdncr, see? now I am amazed!
wow that's a lot of words/commands for a chicken!
I will have more time in summer to spend with them, but winter sux....have to train them all over again lol
thanks for sharing these enlightening and funny experiences with me!