Learning about how to train chickens is necessary, especially if you are a backyard chicken keeper. Chickens are good learners and they can be trained easily. Chickens are very intelligent birds and they are capable of learning a variety of tricks. So training your chickens properly can help you managing the flock easily. You can easily train your chickens by making a call your birds will recognize and also with adequate treats. You can train your chicks to come when called, perch on your hand and even run an agility course.
How to Train Chickens
Chickens have keen eyesight and they are extremely motivated by their desire to eat. Training actually works better with smaller-sized flocks (fewer than ten chickens). And the more chickens in a flock, the harder it is to manage them. However, training the chicken is something every backyard chicken keeper can and should do. Training actually enriches lives both of the birds and the keeper. And it also allows the birds to be healthier mentally and physically. Training will also aid in the care of chickens and improve your relationship. Here we are describing more about how to train chickens.
Training is actually the communication between you and your chickens. You should have an expression that signals to the bird that they did something correct and you can give them a treat. This is essential, especially if you want that behavior to be presented again.
Come up with a sound that your chickens will recognize during the training session (these sounds are called bridges). And any sound can be a bridge as long as you can make it consistently so your chickens don’t get confused. You should use the bridge right after your chickens do something right and before you give them a treat. Soon they will start to associate the bridge with getting a reward.
Motivation is actually the driving force for the chickens to perform any specific behavior. You must have to motivate or convince your chickens if you are going to train your birds to step up on your hand voluntarily or even run an agility course. You should use good and special treats for training your chickens. The chickens which are given as much food as they want, still work for food during training sessions because the treats are of high value to them. You may be used to fed your chickens with laying ration or other foods, but they should receive a range of other foods (such as fruits, grains and vegetables) during the training sessions.
You can also motivate your birds by changing the time of day you train your birds. Your chickens will be inspired to work for their breakfast if you train them early in the morning (before they receive their bowl of scratch or forage in the yard all day).
Like many other domestic birds, the chickens generally love food. So treats are good for reinforcing the behavior you are trying to teach them. You should always give your chickens a treat during training after they do something right. And use treats that are different than their regular food. Fruits, bird seed, vegetable and obviously the dried mealworms are the best treats for chickens. Always make your bridge noise while giving your chickens a treat.
Hide the treats while making the bridge noise after a few days of training and watch the reactions of your chickens after you bridge. The training is working if the birds perk up and approach you like they are waiting for food. And you should give them the treats after they have come to attention and approached you. But if your chickens are not associating your bridge noise with food, then you should keep training them until they do. Sometimes it could take several weeks for all of your chickens to get there. Don’t worry and keep training them!
Be Consistent with your training. Chickens are very smart creatures, but you will need to reinforce their good behaviors daily if you want your training to stick. You should make an effort to work with your chickens at least once a day. The faster your chickens will learn, the more often you train them. Good luck!