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    • CommentTimeFeb 13th, 2012 8:04pm (Feb 13th 2012) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    So I've just had the idea of clicker training'll mean I see more of the girls and will be fun, interesting, pro-chickens and show that old birds can learn new tricks (hopefully!) :smile:

    Soooo, what should I teach them?! I wanna start off with something fairly easy but, as I don't know what constitutes easy for a chicken, I need some ideas and thoughts!

    Here are a few I have:

    1) Peck an object (one that I hold or put on the ground, NOT EDIBLE!) --- I think this is my favourite
    2) Scratch on command
    3) Come when called
    4) Stand on an object (eg log)

    I think jumping would be a *really* easy one as it's pretty obvious using a lure, but I don't want to put pressure on their old bones! Especially not as Tilly is quite chunky :smile: So I'm trying to think of quite common behaviours that I can catch naturally, and mark and reward.

    Most these tricks will be done with just Tilly, at least at first, as I'm going to work with Penny on just building her confidence around me. Imagine if I helped her enjoy human affection after 9 whole years!

    Once again, I really don't know if this will work at all...especially as training will be irregular. But who knows!
    • CommentAuthorTrevs Mum
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th, 2012 11:37pm (Feb 14th 2012)
    It's worth a try Red if you have the time. I imagine food would help as an incentive too.:face-smile:
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th, 2012 5:03pm (Feb 15th 2012)
    Mine ignore whatever I say/do...perhaps yours hold you in higher esteem! :rolling:
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th, 2012 6:20pm (Feb 15th 2012) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    They did used to jump when prompted, and Eva and Milly knew recall - Penny was too scared and I think Tilly was just ignorant!! She'd come running if you knelt down and said "Oooh, what's this?!" though :rolling:

    I'm gonna try get them to peck at something first, possibly a CD or cut-out shape. Once Tilly knows to peck at the object I can teach her to only peck that object no matter what else is introduced, or peck only at that shape / colour etc.

    I'm trying to get over tomorrow or Friday...I'll introduce them to the whole 'click = treat' idea and see where it goes from there. I've been talking to some dog trainers about it (one has trained cats and fish so has similar experience) and she says their age and me only being able to go once a week shouldn't be a problem.
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th, 2012 5:54pm (Feb 17th 2012)

    Keeper of the hens

    She learnt to peck the target, in this case a CD! And who said 'bird brained' was an insult?! :tooth:

    I sat in the coop with the door open and waited for her to come first she wandered around a fair bit, but she still picked up what I wanted her to do within 20 minutes. Not bad for a 9 year old chicken!!

    Next time I'm gonna try move the target and maybe add a different coloured CD.