Has anyone ever trained their chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by suburban farm girl, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. suburban farm girl

    suburban farm girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    137
    0
    129
    Nov 16, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    We had a close call yesterday. DH had the girls free ranging in the backyard when one of our cats - who normally doesn't venture into the backyard - was suddenly in the yard making a beeline for the chickens. Fortunately DH was close enough to intercept her and avoid disaster. (She is a very accomplished huntress) If he had been anywhere else in the yard he probably wouldn't have gotten to the cat in time. Whew.

    The chickens were oblivious to the danger the cat was - until DH began running toward her. (Possibly because we have a grandma cat who hangs out in the backyard with them. She doesn't have teeth or energy enough to do them any harm.)

    Anyhoo... DH has come up with a plan that I know will work with our chicks, and I thought maybe some of you out there might want to do it too. He is going to condition the chickens to come to him by offering treats and making a specific noise when he does. The idea is they will become conditioned (like Pavlov's dogs) to come to him when he makes that sound. (Since they already recognize the treat bucket and come running for that, this will be pretty simple, I think.) Then, if there is a predator they are not recognizing, he can make that sound and call them to him and - hopefully - keep them from harm.
     
  2. wyliefarms

    wyliefarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2008
    Fowlerville,MI
    Sounds easy enough!
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I think most small flocks come running to their walking treat buckets once they learn what cues to listen for. Some are shaking cans, some are called, some frankly just hear the front door of the house open and come running. If I don't want them to come running, I have to be quiet and don't even look up. Even then some come. [​IMG]

    You can even clicker train a chicken. I hear if you can clicker train a chicken, you can do it for a dog.
     
  4. Clay In Iowa

    Clay In Iowa Chillin' With My Peeps

    663
    6
    141
    Oct 9, 2008
    Near Wilton Iowa
    my sister had her birds trained to come when she called. From hatchlings she would say "here chick chick chick" while spreading food on the ground around her. Her birds knew an easy meal was at hand. All she had to do from then on was call and they would come running.

    It was funny to watch them come running from the far end of the yard, about 400 feet away. You would have thought there was a mountain lion after them. It made it very easy to keep them off the road or get them in the coop if she had to leave during the day.
     
  5. suburban farm girl

    suburban farm girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    137
    0
    129
    Nov 16, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    Silkiechicken: Walking treat buckets is hilarious !! (And here I've been so melty inside when they come greet me and seem really happy to see me. It is and ever will be about the food, isn't it?? [​IMG] )

    Quote:It is funny to watch them run - the way they flatten out and become more aerodynamic.

    It feels good to yet another line of defense against predators.
     
  6. Dorking Pullet Princess

    Dorking Pullet Princess Out Of The Brooder

    11
    1
    22
    Oct 27, 2008
    Western Montana
    All of my chickens are trained. I use body language by bending over in half and clapping my hands and telling them good night. Some are a little more persistant about trying to escape this but after a couple of weeks it can be early morning and the sun shining bright with no enclosure and they will all just go back into the roost and settle in.

    They love to ride on ATV's and go get the mail in the back of a pickup. You would be suprised at how much they learn and they dearly love to go for rides and run loose and chase each other.
     
  7. suburban farm girl

    suburban farm girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    137
    0
    129
    Nov 16, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    I would LOVE to see a picture of your chicken(s) on the back of an ATV - or even in the pickup truck.
     
  8. ChickyBabe

    ChickyBabe Out Of The Brooder

    44
    0
    22
    May 14, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I have!![​IMG] I trained my chickens to come when I call.[​IMG] three of my chickens are name trained, too. They will come when I call their individual name. One trained to jump when I say so. I can say "coop" and they will run to the coop.[​IMG]
     
  9. ChickyBabe

    ChickyBabe Out Of The Brooder

    44
    0
    22
    May 14, 2007
    Wisconsin
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2008
  10. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    Yes, I have successfully trained my chickens to:

    1) Run like they have lobotomies when I let them out to free-range.
    2) Simulate a feeding frenzy when I give them various treats.
    3) Poop pretty much everywhere.
    4) Look at me suspiciously when I visit them in their coop.
    5) When one of them decides to run for no resason, I have trained the rest to follow mindlessly.

    I am a Certified Master Chicken Trainer Extraordinaire.

    Right?


    right?


    .
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by