Hello chicken keepers!
Move over, clever puppers! Look out, performing parrots! There's a new set of tricksters in town. Chickens are clever cluckers, it's true. I love seeing how curious and adventurous they can be in the backyard. Teaching my chickens these tricks has not only benefited their health and happiness, it also helps me hold their attention when I need to herd the flock. Here's 3 tricks to teach your pet chickens.
Follow the Human
Just like dogs, cats and myself, chickens are very food motivated. Train your chooks to know that the shake of a Mealworms bag or the rattle of the scratch mix bucket means SNACK TIME. Repeat the bag shaking or bucket rattling as you reward your hens and be sure to use the same container each time. Your ravenous mini-raptors will quickly learn that these sounds and sights = delicious treats! Your girls will soon be following you around the garden with glee. It's an easy way to get your ladies in the coop, out of the veggie patch or back into their chicken run as you need.
Once again, treats = success when getting your girls to give it the ol' razzle dazzle. Hold your most curious hen's favourite treat about half a metre above her head. Make sure your chook can see the treat and then keep still, lowering your hand a little if they don't make the leap in the first few minutes. Curiosity will soon take over and your hen should attempt a treat leap. Have more treats on hand to repeat until they catch on. Using your most curious clucker will encourage your other girls to give it a go. Within a few days the whole flock should know what to do.
A swinging chook is a sight to behold. While this avian acrobatic trick takes a little longer than the first two tricks here, it's worth the time and effort to see your ladies enjoying their time in the chicken run. It's also a great way for you and your kids to bond with the birds and spend time outdoors with happy and healthy hens to keep you company. Have a peck at our guide to getting your girls swinging here.
Before you know it your girls will be ready for the big time like these ladies! Until then, keep your hens cacklin' and curious when you're not around with our chicken run boredom busters guide here. If you're on the peck for some chook motivating munchies, stick your beak into our chicken treat chart.