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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Willow's Meadow, May 18, 2010.
So I heard some people teach there chickens tricks. Do you? If so what tricks do you teach them?
Well, so far they've been resistant to learning tricks but they have trained me to do some. I turn over rocks and dig holes in the garden for them so they can look for worms. Oh, and when they come running up to me and crouch down - I give them a back scratch.
Seems mine have trained me to do the same. I dig up clumps of grass for the cooped hens. (their run is bald) I dig worms too. I have thought of teaching them tricks. I have two large hends that will do just about anything for a piece of bread. She jumps straight up in the air (quite high in fact) will jump on a roost. Share some tricks and I'll try and teach her.
haha!!! margot that is a BEUTIFUL horse in the picture!!!
If you know how to clicker train, you can train chickens to discriminate colors on cards and walk a slalom course & go through big tube. I saw both on UTube - probably typed in clicker train chickens. Someone taught their hamster to do a high five, a turtle to turn in circles on a rock, rabbit to hop slalom course through plastic carrots, etc. Taught my horse to stand front feet in bowl in under 3 minutes with a clicker once for fun & to give me a hug, walk sideways, back, etc. It's easy if you study up on clicker/operant conditioning. Good luck.
I trained my chickens to come when called. My daughter has them trained to squat when she wants to pick them up. She has trained the new chicks to jump up to fetch a treat out of her hand. She tried to train them to jump up her her arm, but I put a stop to that. She's 5, so it's OK that the chicks jump up on her arm now, but in a month or 2 that could do some damage when the birds are 3 times the size they are now.
I trained mine to eat all their food, escape the fence, and poop on my deck.
My bantam roo comes running when I yell "cookie"
Mine have trained me to find them worms too. They give me the "big brown puppy-dog eyes look" when they see me gardening and I give in and turn up the soil so they can eat worms.
The only thing I've worked on is getting them to come to me when I yell for them while clapping. I worked hardest on that in case of an emergency.
I have this idea about chickens who "work" for a living laying eggs, catching bugs, semi-weeding the yard, amusing me with regular chicken behavior; I think that's enough for them to do. If I had a house chicken, I might spend some time teaching it to do "tricks." But mine are already pretty clever. Clever enough for me to enjoy their own, innate antics without adding to their repertoire.
However, I DO like it that they will come running, even when free ranging, if I call out, "Chickens! I have CHICKENS!" which is what I did every time I opened the back door to go out and do chicken chores, or just to spend time with them.
Yes, I was thrilled to be a first-time chicken keeper. And that hasn't changed.
I don't think it's a "trick" when Bernadette jumps into my lap when I'm sitting in a chair in their run, or in the yard when they're free ranging. She just wants to share chicken stories about her day. Or when Matilda circles me, chumbling away and pulling at my pants legs. She just wants attention. Or when Betsy does a little jump in front of me, about 2, 3 inches high; she wants me to pick her up and carry her around. Or when any of them squat so I can skritch the back of their necks. That's normal behavior for chickens who "like" the human a whole lot and are submitting the way they would to a rooster.
It's all quite clever. I love 'em for it.