How to train a chicken...

Sorya C

Songster
Jul 22, 2016
194
111
161
Canada
My Coop
My Coop
Lately our chickens have been going everywhere in our yard and even in the road, so we would like some boundaries that they would not be allowed to pass, is it possible to train them not to go to certain places without having to place a fence in our yard?
Thank you
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
22,914
32,483
1,102
Colorado Rockies
Positive reinforcement training for chickens works very well. But negative reinforcement is very dubious as to effectiveness.

For example, if you want chickens to do something, like come in when they are called, treats work to get this done in record time. And they will remember it for a long, long time.

But I've never had any luck discouraging chickens from undesirable behavior, with the exception of disciplining a cockerel on an individual basis.

If you don't want chickens in a certain area, the only effective way to accomplish it is with a barrier.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
22,914
32,483
1,102
Colorado Rockies
Scratch grain and meal worms are my flock's favorites.

I would show them the container and maybe rattle it to get them to come in from free-ranging. Now they have an inner sense of time and return to the run on their own, and I reward them with some worms or scratch.

Use the same container each time and they will learn to recognize it. Also you can use a verbal cue while you show them the treats. Often I need to get them back in a hurry if I've spotted a hawk, and I'll use the verbal cue to get them in even when I haven't had time to get the treats.

Just to show you how long chickens can remember, I was peeling bark from firewood last year to get the bark beetles out before stacking it. The chickens were right there gobbling them down as the bark came off the logs. This year they remembered that and have been crowding around as I split my firewood, even though there are no bark beetles in the wood this year. Chickens have long memories.
 

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