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Sorya C

Jul 22, 2016
My Coop
My Coop
Hello, i have a few questions, first of all do chickens like to be held? Do they like to be petted? What treats do they like best? And how do you teach them to go to their coop/run when you call them or say "home"???????? ,Thankyou.
Some breeds are "cuddlier" but like people they're also individuals. I've only had Orpingtons, Wynadottes, RIRs, Australorps & EEs. I've read that Silkies are the "pets" of the Chicken World. There are several breeds, I'm sure others will be peeping in.

Freeze Dried Mealworms have always been my chickens favorite, great training tool also. I use mealworms in a plastic container (shaking) to call them from where ever they are, gets to where they'll come running when they see the container.
There are chickens that love to be held and stroked and there are chickens that hate it.
I leave it up to my flock-- if they want to sit in my lap, it's good.
I won't chase them around for snuggles, though.

As for treats, they love pretty much everything but you need to be careful of what and how much you give them.
And some things are poisonous for them!
Here's a great chicken treat chart to get you started:

They will learn where "home" is and they will put themselves to bed at dusk.
If you see that they are having trouble, leave a light on in the coop for them. Chickens don't have good night vision.
I keep a container of Quaker Oats handy to bring in my late birds. They know that sound and know that taste
Depends on the bird whether they like the physical contact, I handle mine daily with lots of bribery but I'd say only 2 of them truly enjoy being petted.

Mine know they should be in the coop at "bedtime" but they're usually hanging around outside instead. I keep freeze dried mealworms in a plastic container and as soon as I grab it they'll all come over. I toss a few mealworms into the coop, they all run in, I lock the door.
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About bedtime/coop training:

Mine trained to an automatic door really well. The first 3 nights of the auto door, I had stragglers and sad hens piled up on the ramp wanting to get in. I left them out there for a good 15-20 minutes in the dark on purpose (predator secured area) because they hate getting separated and want to be roosting with the flock.

I leave their coop light on so it's the most appealing place as it starts to get dark outside. I set the auto door for dark and after that 3rd day nobody was on the wrong side of the door. The first few days there were lots of treats in the coop at bedtime-- they'd been contained to the new big coop for a week before I let them out into the run, so they knew where home was.

Gradually I weaned them off of bedtime treats because I wanted them to go up to their roosts and settle in, not beg shamelessly for goodies (they get plenty of those throughout the day). I don't mean that in any kind of contrary way to how others do things-- just my flock got out of control with the bwakking and jumping down off the roosts making things chaotic instead of creating a good time to check everyone over as they sit calmly on their roosts starting to doze- knowing there's no food coming. What works for one flock doesn't always work for another- so if your run into similar issues there's a second way to consider.

I've got two sets of lights in the coop, one over their living area and one over the people side. Now I just wait to go out after the auto door closes, turn off the chicken light and turn on the people light- kind of like blinking the lights at intermission- it dims their area but they can still see- then everyone jumps up to their spots- check everyone over, then all lights off.

I don't worry about those evenings I'm not home at dusk because they come in to the lighted area when it's dark out - returning to the coop every night has nothing to do with me. The auto door has battery backup so in case of power failure it will still operate.
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