Saturday, February 7, 2015
How to Train Chickens to BE QUIET!
Most backyard chickens will spend their days quietly pecking away at grass and bugs, sleeping under a shady bush, and quietly incorporating themselves seamlessly into the regular routine in even a highly suburban area. But every now and then you get a chicken that will NOT be quiet. Some can even be considered SCREAMERS! The white chicken in the picture above, Snow, was definitely a screamer.
If you have one of these, you know what I'm talking about. What is that ungodly creature yelling at the top of its lungs outside my window so early in the morning???? Forget fresh eggs for breakfast- I'll just eat the chicken!
And I know that if she is driving me crazy, then the neighbors must be thinking of ways to murder me in my sleep! You must decide- deal with the noise or get rid of the chicken. Thankfully, before I decided to send away the culprit, I found a simple solution that worked beautifully...train the chicken to be quiet.
If you have ever trained a dog, it is very similar, and all you need for quiet, well-behaved backyard chickens is water! Fill a spray bottle with water and every time the chicken starts to scream, tell it to stop and spray it with the water. It will quickly learn which behavior is causing the undesired spraying, and stop!
I know, there are some chickens who are bent on disobedience. They are strong willed, and a spray bottle won't even ruffle their feathers. Don't be discouraged- you are stronger than the chicken. All you need with a strong willed chicken is a couple of hours and a garden hose! Every time the yelling starts, spray the hose at the chicken (resist the urge to put it on the jet setting, this is for instructional purposes only). This has worked with even my most rambunctious chickens. When I am out watering the garden anyway, it is a great time for training. An hour at the most is all you will need. Now chickens do have a short term memory, so you may have to have a refresher course every now and then, but you don't have to live with a SCREAMER!
Do you have any screamers? If so, how do you deal with them?