Raising chickens in our backyards is not just about fresh eggs anymore; it’s about forming significant bonds with these feathered friends while making our homesteading or farming journey more rewarding. Training your chickens to come when called can do more than add entertaining flair to your chicken-keeping – it enhances efficiency, and safety and enriches your understanding of chicken behavior.
Through seven simple steps, this guide will provide you with the roadmap to accomplish precisely that! Moreover, we’ll explore practical reasons why attuning your chickens to your call can be a game-changer for poultry enthusiasts or any chicken-owning household. Embark on this exciting learning curve and take one peck at a time toward fostering better communication with your free-ranging flock!
7 Steps to Teach Your Chickens to Heed Your Call
Teaching your feathered friends to come when called doesn’t require you to be a seasoned bird trainer or clairvoyant! All you need are seven easy steps, consistency, patience, and a bag full of their favorite treats!
1. Preparation and Setting
To kickstart this exciting training program, choose a confined space for your first few lessons. It’s inadvisable to begin in open spaces as chickens could easily scatter about or even fly short distances out of fear or excitement, leading to chaos. So choose their pen or any other fenced area on your property that provides them with a sense of security while learning this new trick.
2. Identifying the Right Treat
The second step involves finding the perfect allure! Every chicken has an irresistible weakness for certain snacks, so find one that sets their little hearts aflutter. Dried bugs or worms make excellent choices- disgusting to us but utterly tantalizing for these feathered gourmands!
3. Call + Reward
Now comes the fun part! Every time you serve up one of these delicious delicacies, call by name or use a marker word or action. Keep calling while giving treats so they start associating the word or sound with getting rewards.
4. Making Curiosity and Leading
Here’s one pro-tip though- don’t give the treat away outright! Shake the bag enticingly and lead them back into their spacious pen or coop. The mysteriously rustling bag will tickle their curiosity while teaching them to follow wherever you lead.
5. Building Suspense and Patience
Next step- add suspense! Don’t dish out treats immediately after calling every time- teach them patience by gradually elongating this period.
6. Respecting Comfort Zones
A good teacher is always alert about her students’ comfort zones. If one or two chickens are wary about leaving their comfort zone and approaching you- allow them some time! Don’t force any reluctant ones but allow them time as they become more confident while watching others bask in their rewards for obeying your call.
7. Testing in Open Spaces
Finally, once you’re confident about their obedience in a fenced area- assess their training by allowing them free roaming time. Don’t be alarmed if they don’t respond immediately- remember consistency and patience are keys here.
Follow these seven easy steps, and add a pinch of patience and a dollop of consistency! Before you know it, your chickens will run towards you whenever they hear that magical call!
Ensuring Chickens’ Safety by Training them to Come When Called
One of the top reasons you’d want to train your chickens to come when called is for their own safety. Sounds improbable? Surprisingly, while chickens are free-ranging or just wandering about pecking and scratching for food, they can easily lose track of time and space. Chickens are also prey for a wide range of predators – from hawks swooping down from above to raccoons lurking under the cover of night.
Teaching your flock to heed your call enables you to gather them back into the safety of the chicken coop or run at the swift yelp or whistle or name-calling- whatever sound you choose! It’s essentially about instilling in them an automatic response that saves precious time in emergent situations or possibly in dangerous times.
Once trained, as owners, we hold an enhanced ability to locate our beloved feathery friends when they wander off exploring their surroundings or chasing bugs. No more heart-in-mouth moments while searching under every clump and shrub in your yard! Your worry about rogue hens running away can be essentially solved by teaching them this simple trick! Resulting in peace of mind for us and one less ‘flighty’ tension amongst backyard poultry enthusiasts.
Moreover, do not underestimate the potent trait of quick learning abilities chickens exhibit! This makes it relatively easy and time-efficient – perhaps around three weeks using consistent daily rewarding methods with treats every time they answer your call correctly.
So whether it’s about asserting control over your free-ranging flock or warding off a predator threat, training chickens to respond directly to your call may just be one of the most beneficial skills you can teach as a flock owner.