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train your chickens/cattle/pigs/dogs/etc.

 
paul wheaton
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When I bring treats for the chickens, I make sure to yell out "here chick chick chick chick".  For the pigs "her pig pig pig pig pig ..." etc. 

And then, if they ever get out, then you can be sure they will be back with the magic words.

 
Jami McBride
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Simple yet effective ~ I love it!

I bet this would work for us.  We are having trouble with our boarder collie 'Logan' getting out and causing passersby to wet themselves - LOL not really, but they do get upset when pinned by a ferocious dog. 

Paul you wanna come over and be the test-guy that walks by our house while we do the training?

More on animal training:  Did you know you can train your chickens not to cluck?  I live in the city where clucking is frowned upon.  When a group of new chickens begins to lay and announce it by Bakaw-ing we run out and lightly spray 'em with the hose.  In no time at all the announcements stop and they lay eggs without all the noise for the rest of their lives.  Before anyone shouts chicken abuse - red spots in egg whites are a sign of trauma or fright to a chicken.  There are none in the eggs of our chickens in training.
09Winter Logan.jpg
[Thumbnail for 09Winter Logan.jpg]
 
paul wheaton
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I don't know about getting chickens to not cluck, but I do know of somebody that house trained a goat!

I guess the important thing is that I've visited several farms and it seems quite rare that anybody does this anymore.  It seems like such a powerfully helpful thing - I cannot imagine not doing it!

Plus, I used this trick to get my chickens to eat yellow jackets.  I caught yellow jackets in a trap, froze them, and then fed them to the chickens yelling "here chick chick chick ..."  after doing this about three times, the chickens started catching the yellow jackets on their own.
 
Jami McBride
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"Plus, I used this trick to get my chickens to eat yellow jackets.  I caught yellow jackets in a trap, froze them, and then fed them to the chickens yelling "here chick chick chick ..."  after doing this about three times, the chickens started catching the yellow jackets on their own."

Really...Wow  I'm so glad you mentioned this training.  Wasps have their roll to play in a tight system, however to many and they can become a problem.  This is very interesting.

Our chicken's are good mousers, now I'm wondering if I had something to do with that. 

When I saw mice had found the chicken feed I set traps.  I checked the traps often, and as soon as one was full I would call the chicken's and open the trap.  They would jump up and swallow them whole!  I had pictured something different happening.  After a season of collecting and feeding mice I never saw any in our feed again.  The downside is nighttime - chicken's will not leave their roost to hunt at night.  So we put up their food.  But ducks are a different story *grin*


 
Leah Sattler
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what a beautiful dog jamie!!! I love border collies and all those intense herding dogs. although they can be a challenge sometimes. I have a 1/2 border collie that completely escaped the genetic intensity genes. she is an excellent rat hunter though but has very little of the desire to please in her.  my aussie (mix?) has that desire and she loves having a job. I have seen several that turn that intensity towards humans. they also tend to be such one person dogs and will make it their duty to protect the place from unwanted humans. I hope you have some luck breaking her of terrifying passerbys!

I whistle for my goats and yell goatie oaties! they all know that means FOOD! all but my stupid boer buck will come to that. he is a complete dunce.

my chickens will go to the ends of the earth to hunt down any flying insects including wasps. its funny watching one and sometimes the whole flock zig and zag while staring up in the air following a wasp.
 
                                      
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those Japanese beattle are a good source if you have traps for them you can give them to the chickens
 
Fred Morgan
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We are about to rescue a border collie today that was abandoned in the central valley, which is pure city. Going to be quite an upgrade of life to come to live on the plantations. It is four years old and appears to be relatively pure.

The sheep flock is up to 60 and so I have a job of training on my hands. I enjoy training dogs though. Silky, our Cocker Spaniel is very well behaved.
 
Leah Sattler
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if you are wanting to use her on sheep and she has the typical person pleasing personality you may not have to do much to train after she's bonded to you. they have amazing instincts.
 
Fred Morgan
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Leah Sattler wrote:
if you are wanting to use her on sheep and she has the typical person pleasing personality you may not have to do much to train after she's bonded to you. they have amazing instincts.


So far so good with Bingo (the Border Collie). I will admit to be a little worried at one point because when we tried to crate him, he told me in no uncertain terms he wasn't going to do it. Took me a while to win his trust again (skin from a roasted chicken helped soothe the savage beast!)

Seems when they found him on the street, he was pretty ragged, so he spent 1 month in a vet. Which meant one month caged, with people giving him shots, etc. Wish I had known before I tried!

He didn't bite me, but he did startle me.

Super friendly today. We are taking it easy with him. Only about 3 years old, very intelligent, very loving, very playful, even after yesterday's 6 hour trip in a car.

We named him Bingo so that he wouldn't associate his name with bad experiences, as well because going from being a street dog in a large city to getting to work with sheep, must be for him as though he won BINGO! 

We have 4 different locations of plantations, with full time caretakers at each one. I am thinking if this works, eventually we will have our own sheepdog trials as a way to encourage further training, and to reward those who do a good job. Besides, it is fun!

 
Jami McBride
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Sheep dog trials - that would be wonderful.  I'm sure Bingo is in hog heaven living out in the country and having someone to work with him.

I agree with your experience - kenneling an animal that was raised with a kennel/bed is bad news.  Our Logan was raised using a kennel, but now is just chained when we have to have him confined for a bit.

I wish we were out on land for our Logan, his dad is Odie (a national dock dog champion)
Watch a bit here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VC-MF2qMM  These dogs need a purpose that's for sure.
 
Fred Morgan
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I was wondering what a dock dog was! Our Cocker is very good at that game. Another is if I am swimming in the river, he will get up on a rock and if I get too close, jump on me.  I try to make sure to keep his toe nails trimmed because of that!
 
Travis Philp
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Does anyone have experience training ducks or chickesn to follow flags by feeding them at flags and getting them used to being around them? I'd like to avoid keeping the little ones penned up in tractors yet still put them in the garden to clear garden beds without going for nearby beds with crops in them.
 
Ken Peavey
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This summer in NY someone dropped off a couple of big dumb white ducks (pekin?).  I named them Jake the Drake and Mr Quackers.  I started by feeding them cracked corn in the barn at night like clockwork.  They learned where the food was.  When they were comfortable inthe barn, I let them out.  At feeding time I'd yell "COME ON DUCKS!"  At first I had to chase them inside, but they figured out what I was talking about because the food was there where it had not been a few minutes before.  Eventually they found their way down to the pond.  All I had to do to bring them in at night was yell. They'd waddle on up through the field and into the barn.  I miss my ducks.
 
Jami McBride
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You can train them to anything - use a certain dish with food in it and train them to follow you until you put it down. 

Many free-ranger farmers do this to get their birds into different fields to forage.  In the morning they open the door with the food in the dish, lead the birds out to where they want them to forage, put the dish down and the birds start with the food in it and then move onto the field.  End of the day farmer goes out collects the dish and the birds, walking them back into their house.
 
Ken Peavey
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I wish I could train them to DO the dishes
 
Jami McBride
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Forget dishes!  How about scratch only where I want?  LOL
 
Ken Peavey
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You are gonna have all the guys here wishing they were chickens! 
 
                              
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Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
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I kinda doubt you could train chickens to only scratch in one garden bed while the garden bed right next to is is available  Some easy to move portable fencing is probably a better option to keep them out of the nearby beds while you let them scratch in different ones.  Don't leave it too long though.  If they turn one bed to dirt if a few days, mine would jump the fence to get at the fresh greens and ground.

But to get chickens to follow you to a general area, the food dish/flag idea is a good one but I wouldn't count on it keeping them within a specific distance from the flag all day.  My girls get in habits where they like to go hang out under specific types of plants during certain time of the day.  (Lounging under the cut leaf philodendron etc.)
 
Travis Philp
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Last year I was gardening on a friends land who had bantam chickens and muscovi ducks running loose a lot of the time. They came into my garden and I watched them a few times...

I had two 40' raised beds with beans and lettuce growing, and while watching them I didn't see them eat a single bean plant part or lettuce. Maybe the secret was that there were a lot of weeds growing in between the rows of lettuce and beans, which the birds preferred over the crops. I was quite surprised when I observed this. Now this is not conclusive, maybe I wasn't looking carefully enough, or maybe they were sneaky and waited til I left 

They did knock a few bean plants over but it was marginal damage and the plants usually recovered.
 
                              
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It will all vary depending on what is available to the birds and what they are craving.  Some times our girls will quickly dig up and/or eat all the vegitation in an area.  Other times they work it over more slowly and leave some areas intact.  The main thing to keep in mind is that you can't necessarily expect the flock to leave the plants you like intact (I think that is the case with pretty much all farm animals other than say earthworms and fish.)  And just because they didn't touch the zucchini last time, it does not mean that next time they don't figure out they like em.  (So far my girls don't seem to attack cucubrits unless I cut them open for them but that doesn't mean one won't discover how to peck into one some time in the future.  But so far, I seem able to let the girls into the pumpkin patch once there are fairly large pumpkins ripening.)

I've watched a video where they talk about using geese to take care of grass and weeds in the potato fields but they were not really clear if they were let loose on the fields between crops or while the potato plants were growing.

Chickens geese and ducks would all be great in orchards once the trees are big enough not to be bothered by the scratching.  Small trees could be protected by some wire either around the trees or in a patch on the ground under/around the trees to protect the roots.
 
Jami McBride
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Hum.....Ken.... Hadn't thought of that, you funny guy 

My one Indian Runner is flying into the chicken area and going into their house to lay her eggs.  She just got tired of all the mud and exposure due to winter die-back in the backyard.  Funny thing, she then doesn't know how to fly out and we have to go in and toss her back over the fence.  She just paces the fence line and the male duck comes and looks in at us from the windows.  When he takes this strange 'I'm watching you' stance we know Percy's in the chicken house and needs saved....  So maybe they are really training us 
 
Leah Sattler
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I can relate to the runner duck issue. goes for chickens and goats sometimes also! why oh why can they figure out how to get out of something but can't figure out how to get back in, then beg me to let them back in the gate? "just crawled out of that hole over there dummy you can't figure out that you need to crawl back through to get back inside" all i can say is..there is a reason why some animals are food and some animals aren't.
 
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