Yes, I am actually trying to train my backyard free-ranging chickens. (If that sentence doesn't make me sound like a Crazy Chicken Lady then I don't know what does!) I am not training them in the agility sense, but more like stay the hell away from my newly planted shrubs. Some of you may be thinking:
Why don't you just keep them in their run?
Keeping them in their run has been a bit of a challenge. When we first got our chickens we allowed them to free-range the backyard. They got a taste of sweet freedom and now they pretty much despise the run. They loudly protest being locked up and then eventually launch themselves over the fence. I could put a cover over the run, but to be honest that requires way too much energy and resources at the moment.
So what are my options?
1. Train my chickens.
2. Create a chicken friendly garden
How does one train their chickens? TREATS! That's it! In the past we fed the ladies treats anywhere in the backyard, which was never in the same spot. Now they only get fed treats in their run. The result: They spend much more time in the run eating treats and scratching around for missed crumbs on their own free will. It was that simple. Of course it took a couple of weeks with this new routine, but it worked. Do they still roam? Yes, but not nearly as much as before! (I am sure many of you already do this so I guess I am a little late to the party, but at least I finally showed up!)
In addition to training our chickens to stay away for our newly planted shrubs, we also created a chicken friendly garden. I can't wait to share the results with you, but that will have to wait for now.
So, have any of you trained your chickens?