Chickens may not fly, but the price of eggs certainly seems to be. It’s no wonder that so many people are taking interest in keeping chickens! It’s great having a supply of fresh eggs on hand. Of course, chicken keeping will be much easier if your birds are properly coop-trained. A Middletown, DE vet offers some advice on bringing the chickens home to roost in this article.
It’s important to give your birds time to learn to associate their coop with home. Keep them inside it for at least a week or two after bringing them home. Make sure that the coop is at a comfortable temperature, and is clean and well-ventilated. When it comes time to let them out, don’t be surprised if some are reluctant to leave the coop at first. This is normal. According to pecking order laws, the boldest birds will likely venture out first. The others will follow when they’re ready.
Let your birds out at the same time every morning, and lock the coop up at the same time every night. Chickens often start wandering back home around sunset. You may need to turn a light on when it’s time to come in. (Making sure the coop is predator-proof is also crucial, but that’s another topic.)
Feed your chickens dinner in their coop, and offer them yummy treats in it. Be sure to stick with safe foods. Ask your vet for advice on this.
You can also train chickens to come to a certain sound. (There’s really no dignified way to call chickens, so you may as well have fun with this one.) Use the exact same sound every time, and always toss out some snacks as you call your flock.
Occasionally, a flock will get into the habit of roosting in trees. Once isn’t a big issue, but if it continues to happen, your birds may eventually figure that they live in the trees. If this happens, start over from scratch by confining your winged pals to the coop for a few weeks.
Training animals always takes time and patience … as well as snacks. Be consistent, and don’t give up. Sooner or later, you’ll find all your chickens trotting—or flying—home for dinner and bedtime!
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