Would like to hear more about Treat Training

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CarolynF, May 13, 2011.

  1. CarolynF

    CarolynF Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,305
    142
    216
    May 11, 2011
    Puget Sound
    My Coop
    I just read that "treat training" could make it easier to get the chickens to do what you want. I'm thinking... getting them back into the coop after a few hours outside. I'd like to know how to "treat train" chickens. I've never trained any kind of animal so I'm a total beginner. If you can teach me or point me somewhere that explains it well I'd really appreciate the help. I'll be getting some 6 month old pullets soon and thought it might be good to start asap.

    Thanks.
     
  2. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

    982
    70
    166
    May 15, 2010
    Cadiz Ky
    Chickens live to eat so they are easy to train with treats. I use scratch and sunflower seeds for treats. Once you have them hooked on the treats its easy. I Just started to shake the scoop and call come on girls and then only give them the treats in the run or the coop if thats where you want them to go. In a week or two they will be trained for treats and will follow you anywhere. We also have a bell on the run that we would ring while calling the girls, it didn't take long for them to figure out the bell means treats and come running. It's actually pretty funny to watch a chicken stampede from a hundred yards away when they here the bell.
    Just play with what works with your girls and you'll figure it out.Just make sure your not giving to many treats as they need their regular food for good nutrition. You can also do a search for recomended treats on this forum if your not sure what to use.
     
  3. stormylady

    stormylady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2008
    Illinois
    My chickens treat trained themselves, I have always kept there treets in a gallon corn can and when they see it coming the all come running to get it because if your out free ranging your not getting any so I make sure everyone sees the can then I open the run door and everyone follows me in like the pied piper! LOL
     
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    5,719
    42
    283
    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Find a treat they like and use the same container each time. You can use any type of food they like and any container. After a few times, they will recognize the container. You can start the training in the coop, run or while they are free ranging. Just give them a little of the treats each day.

    You can call them to you, or use some type of sound like a bell, but it doesn't take long before they learn to look up at the door of the house, any time they hear it opening. Most of the time mine run over to beg, anyway, but if they see the treat container in my hand, they do that flapping run, to get here the quickest.

    Once they run over to you for a treat, you can lead them back to the coop or run and lure them in. Just toss some of the treats around and close the door.
     
  5. CarolynF

    CarolynF Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,305
    142
    216
    May 11, 2011
    Puget Sound
    My Coop
    Thank you, thank you! Sounds like something even I can do! I like the bell idea, too.

    Carolyn
     
  6. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Overrun With Chickens

    6,636
    40
    258
    Sep 25, 2010
    Kansas City
    I just call chick chick chick when I am walking down to the coop with any food or treat. They come running now when they hear me, or see me with anything in my hand. Makes it hard to carry in groceries, lol.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,495
    2,159
    456
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I use treats in my training regimen. Sunflower and mealworms provide strongest response with my free-range birds. Mealworms even motivate flights.

    Also use a very consistent call and possibly a prop (i.e. container only used with treat). Birds learn very fast, but if satiated, then expect slower response to your calls.

    Repetition! Lots! During training give only small amounts, do not allow topping off crop as a single reward.
     
  8. jennh

    jennh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2007
    Lititz
    I trained my girls not only to come when I call them, but they also know their names. I used mini animal crackers to train them. Each time I would give them a treat, I would say their name. Now when I say a name, the girl whose name I am saying pops her head up like, "you called"? I keep their animal crackers in a white plastic Cool Whip container. Now whenever they see me carrying anything white, they come running without me even calling. The person who said "chicken stampede" is exactly right. So funny to watch [​IMG]

    BTW, in case I didn't get to say it [​IMG] and [​IMG] from SE Pa.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by