Train Your Chickens to Come When Called – In Just One Week!

3 min


Chickens are content to free range once they have left the coop, thanks to the abundance of bugs and the open space beyond. After releasing your girls from the run, it may seem like an impossible chore to corral them all back in. But it need not be; simple tasks can be taught to chickens with remarkable ease. The most useful skill you can (and should) teach your flock is to come when called.

Like Pavlov did with his dogs, we’ll be conditioning our birds to respond to a certain sound. The whole thing will take around a week, though you could be astonished to see your birds master it in just a few days.

How it Works?

Pavlov’s Bell Is Our Coffee Can

Simply start associating the jingling of the coffee can with your flock’s favorite snack now. So, do this on the run while the girls are inside, or at least at a time when the girls will be around.

While the girls are snacking on the larvae, shake the coffee can full of coins. The noise is less noticeable if you shake the can behind your back. While they’re eating, spend between 30 and 60 seconds shaking the coffee can continually.

Repeat this process twice a day for two days. Ringing the dinner bell, so to speak, can begin on day three.

It’s the simplest thing, but it works great.

Jingle The Coffee Can With BSFL (Black Soldier Fly Larvae)

On day three, start jingling the coffee can with the BSFL ready to go. Step 2 should preferably be completed when your flock is out of sight. Your flock needs to rush to you. If not, go back to Step 1 and give it another day or two.

If you can prepare the treat in advance without alerting the hens, that will work best.

Your birds may have already made the association between the jingling coffee can and their favorite food, which may come as a surprise to you.

Now that we want it to stick, keep giving the girls treats once or twice a day when they come running when they hear the coffee can.

Once they consistently come on demand, you can make it a point to only shake the can when standing in the run to get them to come right inside for treats (a good safety precaution). Alternatively, you may jingle the can to get their attention, then guide them into the run while offering rewards as they enter. Choose the method that you think will be the most effective for you and your birds.

Black soldier fly larvae are tiny insects that pack a huge wallop of nutrition for your chickens’ diets.

Practice a Weekly Recall

For best results, attempt to practice a weekly recall with the coffee can and rewards to keep your birds from forgetting their training.

Don’t fret over educating the newest members of the flock. As soon as they hear that clinking sound again, they’ll know exactly what it implies from the other girls.

Benefits to Training your Hens to Come When Called

It’s not only a cute party trick to teach your chickens to come when called; it’s something every poultry owner should do. It’s not just about looking good in front of the neighbors and the neighbors’ kids; it might mean the difference between life and death for your flock.

There are several benefits to training your hens to come when you call them, especially if you often let them roam free.

  • To make catching and isolating a single bird easier.
  • It’s possible that you’ll have to leave town without much notice, in which case you’ll have to return the hens to their run.
  • There is an ambush predators in the area, such as a hawk, a dog, a bear, etc.
  • You never know who might stop over to check on the flock: family and friends.
  • It’s possible that the flock has gone astray and found itself in an unsafe or undesirable location.

Like it? Share with your friends!