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Potty Training Chickens, How-to!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Hackles, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. Hackles

    Hackles Chirping

    Dec 16, 2008
    The first step to forming your chicken into a wonderful pet is potty training.so you can bring your favorite chicken inside, and enjoy each others company more often, without having to pickup after him at the same time.

    A few notes:
    1. In order to potty train your chicken,He MUST be hand tamed this mean he can sit on your hand without assistance.(Such as holding him in place or having both hands on him).This means the chicken should sit freely on your hand, and more importantly,enjoy it.

    2. There will be accidents even after training your chicken to use a specified area to poop, just as would a dog, or any other household pet, accidents happen, you may have to pick up a few .

    3.No Praise! Chickens do not do well with complex words as praise it will just confuse things, and we do not use them to tell them that they have done a good job. If you want to reward a chicken, give him a treat.The way to a chickens heart is through his stomach.[​IMG]

    4. Patience! Training your chicken does take time, especially with complex exercises such as this, you must be patient and work with your chicken.

    5. The younger the betterAs with any animal, Young chickens who have been hand tamed make the best candidates for potty training, it is easier to train them at a younger age(around 3 week's is optimal) but this is not saying that it cant be done with older birds.

    Ok let's get down to business! (no pun intended)

    First we will teach your chicken to poop on command, this is not absolutely necessary but it does help a lot. Training this behavior is all about Anticipation anticipating when your bird is going to go is a key factor in training him. Many birds ruffle their feathers right before they do, some don't. watch your bird in the coop and, see how he acts right before pooping.

    When you bring him inside have an area for him to go in, Such as a litter box, or paper's.

    Hold your chicken on your arm, and do something idle like watching tv, or even forum'ing on BYC, watch your bird closely for signs that he is about to go.

    Side-Note:(You need a signal such as a Click,hand signal, or whistle for the next step,No words!! this will be the command for pooping, try to choose a signal that you don't use everyday , it may lead to accidents)

    When you think the bird is about to go, swiftly take him to the designated area and hold him over it, until you hear the tell-taleSquit! use the signal that you've chosen , and IMMEDIATELY reward him with a treat.

    Repeat this process when you think he is about to go, until you can give the signal for him to go!

    Once you have trained the above you can move on to the next step,this one is pretty easy.

    During training the above
    you should have noted a pattern in timing around which your bird will poop,
    when it's almost time, set the bird down on the area designated,and give the command for poop,if he goes reward him promptly, if he doesn't do not reward him. (Only reinforce the behavior your trying to train, nothing else.) Systematically practice this exercise until he start's going on his own.

    Wishing you good luck and lot's of Fun-
    Mark [​IMG]
    (A.K.A. Hackles)

    PS:If there is interest I will write another article keeping chickens as house pets just let me know!
  2. You're kidding right? [​IMG] LOL
  3. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Quote:I hope so!! No house chickens for me thank you very much. I "love" my chickens, but I doubt that they've got enough brain power to be housetrained!!
  4. Hackles

    Hackles Chirping

    Dec 16, 2008
    Quote:I hope so!! No house chickens for me thank you very much. I "love" my chickens, but I doubt that they've got enough brain power to be housetrained!!

    Indeed, I am not kidding, Chickens as other animal's are creature's of habit, and can be taught many exercises such as this one.
  5. HorseFeathers

    HorseFeathers Frazzled

    Apr 2, 2008
    Southern Maine
    That is cool! I will keep that in mind if I ever get a house chicken- all outside for now.
  6. Hackles

    Hackles Chirping

    Dec 16, 2008
    The common misconception surrounding chicken's is that they are lacking brain power,But when you train a bird, you are not teaching him, you are really just reinforcing habit, something that come's natural to all birds, no matter what the cranial capacity.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Hackles

    Hackles Chirping

    Dec 16, 2008
    I might add,that when training you should only train one bird at a time
    Multiple bird's will cause distractions.
  8. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Songster

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    That is hillarious, What happens if you house trained said chicken and you aren't home when he does his "business" to give him a treat? I have potty trained broody hens but never any other chickens, I have house seramas that i would LOVE to try this on.
  9. danischi24

    danischi24 Loves naked pets 9 Years

    Aug 17, 2008
    Thanks very much-I'd love to train my young silkie.
  10. Hackles

    Hackles Chirping

    Dec 16, 2008
    Quote:You only treat them during training, this is to reinforce the habit. after a while they should go on their own without treat's or even having you having to set them in the area. If he isn't trained and your not at home (thats another story [​IMG] )!

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