Lesson 517 – House training a house chicken

I fully admit and take responsibility for my actions (isn’t that the first step? :-))

I like having Charlie in the house. We’ve had her here since she was a day old and she’s become part of the family. Even Pippin, our dog who lost his two best buds last fall has grown attached to Charlie. The two of them play with each other, like, well, puppies.

And like puppies, when they are tired, they fall asleep on top of each other. It’s nothing short of adorable.

Allowing her to live in the house, is not exactly surprising behavior on my part, as a kid, I was always the one to bring home animals both injured and adoptable. Throughout my childhood, I’ve had hamsters, guinia pigs, gerbils, mice, (I once had 46 mice that all escaped in my bedroom and my mother told me I couldn’t ever eat dinner again until I found all 46 – I did), birds, rabbits, fish, frogs, ducklings, dogs, cats, and even salamanders.

If it was alive, and especially if it needed help, I was there. (Is there really any surprise that I went on to have 6 animals children of my own?)

Yesterday, on a whim, I googled “How to house train a chicken” and, believe it or not, I actually found directions on clicker training a chicken to do her business on demand. It requires watching the chicken for the “poop-tell” (that specific body language that indicates poop is coming – kind of like when a toddler starts wiggling and you ask him if he has to go pee.)

Once you know this sign, you take the bird over to a spot lined with paper (some people used a litter box) and hold her there on your arm until she poops. Once she poops you click the clicker and reward her with a treat (I’m going to be getting freeze dried meal worms – YUM!) According to the directions, the chicken should be trained in about 2-3 days.

Guess what we’ll be doing this weekend?



Filed under Backyard Chickens, Charlie, chicken care, Chicks

6 responses to “Lesson 517 – House training a house chicken

  1. Jenn

    Good luck! Keep us posted on how she does! I’ve got a pair of sizzled bantams that I would love to keep in the house!

  2. Hey sis- yep that is how it is done. . . similar instructions for a cockatiel, or a baby in India whose mothers in the countryside I hear have a keen sense for this pre-pooping or pre-peeing behavior and whip that baby out of a carrier or off their hips into safe territory with a skill that stuns us all. So, become one with your chicken for a while!

  3. Dani

    Did it work? looking for a sure way to train a house chicken.

    • Wendy Thomas

      no, it didn’t work. We used diapers which did work but were too much of a bother to Charlie. Mostly we just cleaned up after her.

      These days Charlie spends most of her time out in the hen house but she is allowed to come into the house whenever she wants. Cleaning up a mess here and there is a small price to pay for her company.


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