We’ve heard of clicker training dogs. We’ve even heard of clicker training cats. So what about clicker training chickens? Yes, it turns out that you and your feathered friend could be about to learn something that once sounded like a crazy dream.
What is clicker training?
Before we get started, what is clicker training? It’s a form of training that has been used by many for several years. It focuses on positive reinforcement by telling your pet they have done well with a simple ‘click’ or word that you replace the clicker with. The sound of the clicker is followed by a positive experience, usually a treat. Once your pet has picked up that the clicker means good things, it can be used to further their training.
How can clicker training be used?
Clicker training can be used for a while host of things with other animals, but there are some great uses for clicker training your chickens. To start, you can teach them to return to their coop at night by clicking the clicker. This can make it a lot easier to make sure they are all away at the end of the night without having to chase them around. Clicker training can also be used to get them to put themselves inside the hen house, to get into a crate, or to fly onto your arm whenever you need. If you want to take things even further, you can teach your chicken to run through an obstacle course with the help of clicker training.
Starting out clicker training
There are many ways that you can start clicker training with your chicken, but one simple way is to start with a tame chicken and a portion of their food. You may need to cut down their usual feed so that you can make it up throughout the rest of the day. Give your chicken a portion of food and click the clicker as soon as they start to eat. Then, throughout the next few days, put the food down and click whenever they begin to eat. Your chicken should soon start to recognize that a ‘click’ means that they get food and therefore think of the noise as a positive experience.
Advancing your clicker training
As soon as your chicken starts to come to you when you click the clicker, you can further your training. Just be sure than a ‘click’ is always followed by a reward. The next step is to put a hand signal or word command to each action you want your chicken to perform. Believe it or not, but clicker training your dog is very similar to training any other animal once you’ve got started.
It turns out that you really can clicker train your chickens. Of course, if you start with a domesticated chicken that’s used to you being around, you’ll probably get results a little faster. It might not be long before your chickens are putting the rest of the pets to shame thanks to their impressive training.