Brooding On

Can Your Chicken Roll Over on Command?

Neither can mine.  That would just be crazy.

But, who knows, that might be the next trick we try to teach her.  We ARE having some pretty good success when it comes to training Maggie, our lone backyard chicken.


During the off-milking-season, Maggie had taken to sleeping in the milking shed.  When she was cuddled up next to the goats, that was fine. But, she'd begun sleeping on the hay bales and feed containers.  We put up with it for awhile, but when Nutmeg came home and it was time to milk again, the bad habit had to stop.  It was just too unsanitary to have her sleep (and, therefore, poop there).  

So, each night for a week, we would wait until she'd fallen asleep, then go scoop her up and walk her to the old chicken tractor (red in the pic below) where we'd place her on the roosting bar to spend the night.  In the mornings, we'd let her back out to roam the yard.


It worked!  After a week of consistently moving her to where we'd like her to sleep, she began going there herself!  The past two nights, she's headed over to the tractor at nightfall and roosted on the pole, exactly where we'd been placing her.  


And, in the morning, she hops down and out the open door and is back to freely roaming the yard and spending time in her favorite place, the goat field.

We've successfully trained a chicken (again).  So, what should we go for next?  It would be pretty nice if we could train her to use the compost pile like a litter box or maybe to haul off the dead birds and moles and mice that the cats present to us at the back door.  ;)