Chicken Training – Chickens as pets!?!?

Pet Chicken

Chickens not just pooping breakfast!

When I tell people that I teach chickens to play the drums for a living - I get some strange reactions.  Of course, I'm badly describing my job.  I teach them to play multiple instruments, from the xylophone to the tambourine and (of course) how to play soccer and other games too.  The latest chicken school class that I've been running is actually a dance class.  It's the next logical step after teaching them to play music, right?

Chickens are easily the most underestimated pet out there.  Intelligent, curious and social they have most of the traits that people don't know they were looking for in a pet.  They have the ability to become highly bonded to those around them and trust me, their antics will keep you laughing.  You haven't lived until you've had a chicken strut through the dog door in order to steal your armchair and watch some tv!

Training chickens does pose some challenges.  They're a lot faster moving than animals such as dogs and way less patient than a parrot.  Their tendency to snatch food from in front of each other can be challenging in a group training setting, but it can also liven up a chicken school class.

Just like any other animal, chickens can have behavioural problems too.  Some chase children, some hate human toes, some have poor socialisation skills (have you ever seen a chook with that I can kill another chook glimmer in their eye?)  Some, just like parrots have feather destructive behaviours (plucking).  Many are recovering from trauma after being rescued, so have fear and anxiety.  Unfortunately, chickens are the most commonly abused animal on the planet.

Currently all of my sneakers are on top of my fridge, which can be confusing for visitors attending my house.  My newest chicken "Brown Tickles" apparently has a problem with shoelaces. She is turning out to be somewhat obsessive about them.  So while I work on this, I'm keeping the offending things out of reach.  Well that's what I'm saying, but as it turns out she's an exceptional flyer (to the detriment of my fridge magnets).  So I am also using them as bait to get the flying on cue.  It does feel a little bit like cheating but Brown Tickles will apparently do anything for a shoelace.

Chickens are a huge part of what we do at Bird Vet Melbourne.  The most common bird surgery we do, is surgery for chickens with reproductive issues.  So many people say it's just a chicken, they're cheap to buy and the value of taking a sick chicken to the vet just isn't recognised by the average person.  So many are surprised that chickens even see a vet, let alone realise they do better with an avian vet.  It's incredibly sad and if you pause and think about it, you find yourself wondering why as humans we don't automatically think a sick bird needs a vet in the way we do for dogs and cats.

Chicken events are regularly run at the clinic, so it is worth checking out the events page for more information.

Chicken Armchair

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