So you have backyard chickens and they’re great. They provide you fresh eggs daily; they eat bugs and weeds in your yard; and best of all, they provide you with countless hours of entertainment watching them flit and play in your backyard. What if keeping backyard chickens could get even better? What if you could train your hens to come when you call? Or what if they could learn to go into their coop upon your command at any time of day? Well you can teach your chickens to do those very things and so much more!
On today’s episode of The Urban Chicken Podcast, I am joined by animal trainer extraordinaire, Giene Keyes. Giene is a certified dog trainer and animal behavior specialist. She has advised police departments, doggie day cares and animal shelters on how to better train their dogs and to deal with dangerous or troublesome dogs. Giene is a Red Cross certified instructor in animal cpr and first aid and a canine judge for AKC competitions and 4H shows. Giene also has a rich background in training horses.
This past March, Giene and her family got their first chickens. Though she did not originally have any plans to train her hens, she began to work with her birds when they were quite young. Today, her hens are well-versed in several trained behaviors. Using the clicker training method, Giene has taught her chickens to recognize colors, patterns and to follow a target. She has also trained her hens to return to their coop when called, to crate themselves and much more.
I talk with Giene at length about all the possibilities for average urban chicken owners like me to teach their hens fun, useful and entertaining tricks. Can you teach a chicken to dance? Can your hens learn not to poop on your patio? Can a rooster be trained not to crow? All of these questions are answered along with many others on today’s show. Giene not only answers the questions, but she also shares step-by-step instructions on how to perform certain clicker training regiments with your backyard flock.
This show will instruct you on how to teach your chickens to be even more wonderful than they are right now! You can train you chickens and it could be good for you and your birds.
GIENE’S CHICKEN TRAINING VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE
MOVIE CLIP OF DANCING CHICKEN
MAIN SEGMENT RESOURCES:
- Giene Keyes’ business, Dogface website LINK
- Cluck the Chicken Store, where Giene has held chicken seminars WEBSITE
- Cluck blog – Clicker Training for Chickens POST
- Cluck blog – How do you train a chicken? POST
- Science Daily – Chickens One-up Humans in Ability to See Color ARTICLE
- Live Science – Chickens see infrared/ultraviolet light spectrum ARTICLE
- Wisconsin State Journal – Chicken Training with Giene Keyes ARTICLE
- Giene Keyes Clicker Training Seminar PHOTO
- Clicker for training – StarMark Clicker Dog Training System
- Clicker training package (for dogs – useable for chickens) – Karen Pryor, Getting Started: Clicker Training for Dogs Kit