Hand feeding treats to train?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Knoble Chickens, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. Knoble Chickens

    Knoble Chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Tonight I gave the two week old babies a treat. Boiled egg white, crushed, and held in a open hand in the brooder. It took about 5 minutes, but one of the Barred Rocks finally got brave enough and snagged a bit. Within a couple minutes I had several taking directly from my hand, with lots of chasing and chirping. Should I be doing this? I want the girls when they grow up to see me and think"oh boy, treats!!", not "Oh crud, RUN!".........


    I know, I am a first time dad........
     
  2. eggbert420

    eggbert420 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    It won't hurt its good for them .
     
  3. Knoble Chickens

    Knoble Chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Stopped by Wilco and bought some chick grit and chick crack. (that's what I am calling freeze dried mealworms) After placing a small dish of grit, with some sprinkled around the floor, they started pecking up the grit with glee. When I was sure all had some grit, I held out a few fingers of worms. I now have a brooder full of happy chicks, and they will eat from my hand without hesitation. The Barred Rocks seem to be braver and faster to trust. The Buff Orphingtons are a bit more laid back.
     
  4. Louise Waffles

    Louise Waffles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's always good to have friendly chickens. I also taught mine to come to me. I yell "CHICKACHICKACHICKA" and throw treats down. It's useful if one gets on the wrong side of the fence, orbif it's time for them to get into their yard and out of mine.
     
  5. caboodleschicks

    caboodleschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do this all the time. It's perfectly safe and also you're not the only one who thinks this, I want my chicks to look at me and say, "Hey, it's treat girl. She better than the other girl."

    P.S
    I have a sister, that's why I said that.

    Signed,
    http://www.bootsandchickenpoop.wix.com/mysite
     
  6. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    +1 on the friendly chickens.

    It's surprising how trainable chickens are. I would suggest everytime you have some treat for them, as you approach them with the treats you say your treat word over and over. Mine is "scratch!", I say/yell that and no matter where they are in my yard they come arunnin. If I'm going to let my girls out for some free range time I just say "play time" as I'm walking toward the run gate. Within seconds they are all piled up at the gate waiting for me to open it.
    When the free range time is over I just take the scratch jar out with me and stand just outside the run and yell "scratch" and shake the jar. They come from all over the yard and I just throw a handful of scratch up over the top of the run and as soon as it starts hitting the ground in the run they all run in.

    One warning! If you have a roo that is borderline aggressive you could have a slight problem with this method. I"ve had a couple of them now that as i'm standing outside the run and waiting for more of the flock to assemble near the run before I throw in the scratch, if I'm still calling "scratch" but not throwing any yet, I get "Bumped" from behind by the roo. It's kind of funny, it's as if they are saying "well, you yelled scratch and we're all here. Where's the scratch already?"
     
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  7. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    I want to add that it isn't a now or never situation, either. I have had some chicks that were skittish and fearful but every single one calmed down enough as they reached laying age that I could get them to eat from a hand.

    I also trained mine to return to their coop for scratch. I have a cast iron ornamental bell on the coop. That sucker is loud! I started by ringing it and then tossing scratch into the run before they'd ever gone out to range. Repeated a couple times a day for a week or so. Then, I opened the gate and let them explore a while near dusk figuring they'd return to sleep if it didn't work. I rang the bell and threw in the scratch and was so happy when I simply needed to close the gate behind them. Now I can let them run whenever and they'll return for scratch when the bell rings no matter who does the ringing, what time of day it is, or how far they've wandered.
     
  8. Rwood5093

    Rwood5093 Out Of The Brooder

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    Our treat word is 'chicken bog'. When we use it, they scatter and hide. but any other word, not an issue, 'chicken' doesn't scare them, but 'chicken bog' does. lol.
     
  9. Knoble Chickens

    Knoble Chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    I have started saying "Chickie chickie chickie!" when I hold out my hand with chick crack. They absolutely go nuts for those freeze dried meal worms, gotta videotape it sometime. I like the idea of using a bell on the coop, I am going to use that!
     
  10. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    I did it because I was worried about them roaming too far to hear me. We're very rural. But it's also helpful that they'll go in for my husband, a chicken sitter while we're on vacation, or my kids who are out playing and happen to see a roaming dog or some other threat.
     

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