training chickens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by henmom12, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. henmom12

    henmom12 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 2, 2011
    I've had my girls for 10 months and they are great layers and great fun to watch. I let them out of the pen for about an hour each evening so they can go free ranging, but now they have discovered my flower beds. Is there anyway to train them not to go there?
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Birds that spend 99% of their time in a coop/run know very little about "free ranging". Free ranging is a learned/experienced flock behavior that true ranging chickens do virtually all day long as they traverse up to 20 acres or more and travel a quarter mile or farther in doing.

    Since your birds only have an hour of free time, they do what's simple, easy and accessible. They dig a hole, they dust bath, they can't/don't go too far, they wear out the same places, over and over again.

    You'll have to fence off the areas that you do not want the birds to go, or fence off the chickens into a large run. That's all that can be done. Training that overcomes their natural tendencies isn't very effective. They follow their instincts. Digging, scratching and uprooting is just about a chicken's favorite thing to do.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  3. henmom12

    henmom12 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 2, 2011
    Thanks for the info.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    My free ranging chickens really love to scratch in anything mulched. They are drawn to it like a magnet. They will take all the mulch out and scatter it all over the place. They also love to play in any bare dirt, but mulch is their favorite. I'm sure they find some nice creepy crawlies in there.

    I agree. You either have to fence them in or fence them out.
  5. Bugman37

    Bugman37 New Egg

    Sep 28, 2011
    My chickens are like yours in that they only get out for an hour or two. I have been able to "somewhat" train them on their borders. I've come out and run them back from the side of the house so many times that they usually stay in the back yard. Occasionally they will stray, but not too often. But keeping them out of a specific area of the yard probably would be tough. I'm going to try and keep them out of my garden this summer. (Like that will happen) lol

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