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How can I get them back in run? Clicker training?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by outlawfarmer, May 12, 2010.

  1. outlawfarmer

    outlawfarmer Songster

    Mar 27, 2010
    New Hampshire
    I like to let the chickens out to roam the yard. BUT then when I have to go run an errand, how can I get them into the run/coop area again? I have started clicking a clicker when I feed them in the run, but not sure if that's the right way. Hope is I can eventualy click the clicker and they will run for the protected area and I can go on my way worry free.
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Well, I think an easier method would be to use a special treat can, something like a little pail perhaps, that makes noise when you shake it with treats in it. (Like BOSS, for example.)

    They'll get used to coming to YOU when you shake it. If you're in the run, they'll come into the run and you can give them their treats and lock them up, then go on your errand. Or into their coop, if you prefer.

    Mine got so used to coming to the run gate when they saw me come out the back door, because I'd always announce, loudly, "Chickens! I have CHICKENS!" So, now, when they are out of the run, free ranging in the back yard, all I have to do is say, "Chickens! I have CHICKENS!" and they come from all directions. I step into the run and give them treats for their good behavior. Then I close it up and go on my errand.
  3. SmartyChick

    SmartyChick An Official Milkmaid

    Oct 19, 2009
    Sullivan County NY
    I round mine up using two methods or a combination of the two.
    a) the treat method: through some bread and lead them in a trail, you through bread, they run after it, you through bread, they run after it ect. through some in the run they all run in, shut the door.
    b) the herd method: using a stick bang the ground behind them they move away from the stick, sometimes a gentle push in necessary for stubborn ones.

    I like both and if I have a helper someone can go up front and throw bread and the person behind can herd, this way is much faster than the other two by themselves.

    Hope you can find something that works for you and your flock, personally, my flock doesn't come when I shake a feed bucket if they are concentrating on yummy bugs.
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Click training sounds like a great idea. I personally use the shaking can method like Gryeyes, but use whatever works for you. It is really important to get your flock trained to come and go regardless of how you do it. It makes managing them much easier. I do not like the herd method because it leads to ridiculous chases around the yard and through the forest. The herd method also leads to a breakdown in the trust your chickens have for you. If you chase your chickens they learn to run from you. It's much better to have them running after you, not the other way around.
  5. goldenchic

    goldenchic Songster

    Nov 7, 2009
    ive only 2 hens at the moment but i herd mine with a garden brush i dont have to touch them just put it behind or at the side whichever way i want them to go they dont seem to mind, and iv'e been doing it a few months now so they associate the brush with going in the coop and you mostly find one will follow the other anyway
  6. babyspice35

    babyspice35 Songster

    Mar 10, 2009
    Maui Wowee
    Yep i shake their scratch in a cup and they come running. I also say "comeon!!!" a certain way, so clicker prolly will work.
  7. geebs

    geebs Lovin' the Lowriders!

    Sep 28, 2008
    I use bread... I call to them and then give them bread.... it's bread time... means bedtime... They come a runnin to the words... here chicky chicky chicky and a bread bag rattling... They will come from incredible distance on the fly just to get bread... I put them in and out several times a day and they fall for it every time... I throw the bread pieces a little bit at a time into the pen and stay out of their way as they rush in to get it.. One important note.... You have to have the rooster first (if you have a roo)... or the dominant hen if you don't.. the one that calls the shots... That way the leader gets them all excited about the goodies.
  8. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    from the begining i have claped my hands. and they all go running back into the coop. serisouly.
    i also have a broom, that i swoop from side-side incase the claping is ignored. i have done this for all my 10 chickens, and its working. i started when they first went to roam about. i only let them out at 30 minutes at a time. then i increased it. so they knew who was in charge.
    good luck to ya!

  9. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    Mine come running the minute they see me, hoping that I'll give them some bird seed w/corn. I almost always give them some; that way, when I want them in the run, all I have to do is toss it in there and shut the doors.

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