Training kids and Chickens

CityBredCountry

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 1, 2014
39
1
36
On our first try of Chickens we started with 32 with 4 of them being roosters. They are open/free range chickens that are put up at night time for safety. Right now they are about 8 weeks old and outside in a "mini-coop" tractor. They come out daily to graze, etc.

But... we also have 7 kids between the ages of 9 and 5months. There are 4 that are needing some adjustment to them. 3 (20 month old; almost 3 yo and almost 4 yo) of those kids really freak out when the flock comes running up. I understand that it looks overwhelming and sometimes the chicks go pecking at their feet for food. I am sure that it seem scary for them.

I call the chickens in at the end of the day with some food to get them into their mini-coop, so naturally when they see me, they come running, and often times when they see anyone, they come checking them out.

I want my kids to play in the yard and have them get used to the chickens and have the chickens get used to them...

But what is the best way to train my kids with chickens and train my chickens with kids?

Thank you in advance
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,373
17,726
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
I have similar aged kids. Most of how kids react is a function of what they see their elders do. First concentrate on the business of being calm for all parties. To simplify, stop call birds to coop with food. Rather have feed placed in with door closed so no feed transport around birds to get them excited. Setup so stimulus associated with getting into coop is time rather presence of you feeding. Have kids out with birds when food not involved. Give kids something to do that distracts them.

I let my kids run with gamecocks and broody hens caring for chicks without issues and grew up that way as well.
 

HighStreetCoop

Songster
6 Years
Aug 28, 2014
2,030
222
206
Oakland, CA
My Coop
My Coop
Same as with dogs IMO: empower the children to understand they are in charge (at the same time teaching the chickens the same lesson). Let the kids call them in at night (with you as back up and coach). Let the kids feed them treats, lock up the coop, etc. In no time, both parties should learn the proper relationship.
 

CityBredCountry

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 1, 2014
39
1
36
Thank you both!

We'll be sure to change the feeding habits. We'll get some meal worms tonight to start with the treats (We'll eventually do a meal worm farm.) They like to go out there and pet and play with them when they are tied to my hip. They enjoy feeding them and lock them up and even opening the door in the morning. So, we'll make the feeding adjustments and let time to the fixing.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,373
17,726
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
I use mealworms in training birds for public demonstrations. They work great when done properly. Improper method can lead to food related aggression patterns. Consider this issue carefully.
 

InvertedKitty

In the Brooder
5 Years
Oct 15, 2014
66
4
38
North Carolina
I have a 5 year old very active kidmonkey, so this thread caught my eye. I am new to the world of chickens and would love the tips to "training" chickens work millworms. My son and I love hanging with flocks, which is what prompted us to work toward our own.
 

MANNA-PRO

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