Have you ever struggled getting your hens in their coop at night, or had trouble catching one of your flock when they need a health check?
As with any animal, it requires far less energy to train them to do what you want, rather than stressing them out by chasing them round and round. And I have used this very same trick to great effect with quail, turkeys and Muscovy ducks.
Follow these 3 steps, and your hens will follow you to the end of the earth and back:
- Find a metal or plastic tub or tin that can become your dedicated chicken treat box.
- Half fill with treats of your choice. For this to work well, they need to rattle in the tin and make a lot of noise. The hens also need to love the treats that you choose, and not be the same food that they have access to all day long.
- Go into their run, talk to them in a soft voice and gently shake the tin whilst sprinkling the treats on the ground. If your flock is very wild, they may initially stay away until you retreat. That’s fine, just step back and let them get used the treats, the tin and the sound of your voice.
Keep doing this every day if you can. Eventually, they won’t shy away from you but come towards you to claim their reward. They’ll soon be eating them out of your hand, pecking your boots and generally getting under your feet!
If your flock is particularly feral, this isn’t going to turn them into cuddly lap chickens, but rather make them a little more trusting of you. Not exactly rocket science I grant you, but it works.
I’d love to know what your hens favourite treats are, please let me know in the comments below. Janie x