How To Train Chickens? (Survival and Fun Tricks)

Are you new to the poultry world and need guidance on how to train chickens effectively? Or are you someone who only wants to explore new and fun tricks for your chickens? Whatever your situation may be, keep on reading!

This post consists of two essential parts. First, the basic training your chickens will need to survive daily. Second, the challenging tricks you can also train them with.

How to train chickens to come when called?

How to train chickens to come when called

Step 1: Develop a bridge noise

A bridge noise is what your chicken will remember. It is like a sound that will connect them to you. So, it is best to create something they will remember quickly, one which is not a typical sound in the area.

Step 2: Associate the bridge noise with the treats

For the first couple of weeks, always associate the sound with treats. If you make the bridge noise, be sure that treats are present too. The chickens will remember the sound better.

Do this step until all the chickens are already familiar with the sound.

Step 3: Bridge noise but no treats

Start making the bridge noise but do not give them immediate treats. However, make the changes gradually so the chickens can adjust too.

Again, the purpose is to familiarize the chicken with the bridge noise. You’ll know it is effective if the chickens form a herd even without the treats.

Step 4: Practice in the free range

Free-range the chickens if you think they adapted well to the sound. This is a vital step in knowing if you need to allot more time to train them or not.

Let them roam for a while, and call them using the bridge noise. If the chickens responded well, then you did a good job!

How to teach chickens to lay eggs in a nest?

How to teach chickens to lay eggs in a nest

Step 1: Prepare the nests in a safe place

Hens don’t just lay eggs everywhere. Although they do this in different areas of the coop, they always ensure it is a safe spot.

For that reason, the key to making the chickens lay in egg nests is ensuring their eggs are safe. The nests could be scattered or placed in one spot. Just make sure it is far from any hazards.

Step 2: Use fake eggs

When you are already decided where to place the nests, put some fake eggs on them. This will make the hens even more sure that the spot is safe. It will lure the chickens, so let the artificial eggs stay in the nest.

A fake egg could be a golf ball because it resembles a white egg. It could also be a wooden egg since it is more durable– it will not break even if broody hens peck it.  

Artificial wooden eggs are more favorable for poultry farmers.

Step 3: Block unnecessary egg-laying spot

You placed a nest for a reason. Blocking the areas where the hens typically lay their eggs will help them recognize the nest more.

Do this for no less than two weeks and witness how changes will happen.

Step 4: Collect the real eggs

Collect the real eggs regularly. The only eggs that will stay in the nest are the fake ones.

Always check the coop, too. Make sure no eggs are laying someplace else so that the hens will not get confused.

Here is an informational clip about chickens laying eggs in nests:

How to target train a chicken?

Step 1: Introduce the target trainer

First, you have to introduce the target trainer or target stick to your chicken. You can buy this tool, or you can make it yourself.

One trick to introduce a target stick to your chicken is by putting it near the treats. This way, the chickens will see it as associated with their food.

Another is by sticking a treat into it. Use tape to attach the treat. The chicken will peck at it and become familiar with its color and design.

Step 2: Point and place the target trainer in different spots

If the chicken is already familiar with the target stick, you can now train them to find and follow the stick. If your step 1 is successful, then this step shall be easy too.

Once the chicken sees the stick, it will come for it. Do this continuously. 

Step 3: Try leading the chicken using the target trainer

Another activity you can do is lead the chickens around the coop or at a particular spot using the stick. The training is going well if the chicken is following the target trainer.

Note: Target training for chickens is a vital skill that will lead to more challenging tricks, like the ones in the next part of this blog!

How to train chickens to run an obstacle course?

How to train chickens to run an obstacle course

Method 1: One-by-one trick training

Since running an obstacle course is challenging, one technique you can use is to teach the tricks one by one. This way, the chicken will learn how to do each trick.

Some tricks you can teach them are going through a tunnel, jumping, circling, using a teeter-totter, and climbing stairs. If you manage to train them with each trick, you can now put it all together in an obstacle course and practice the chicken.

Method 2: Whole obstacle course training

This method seems to be an efficient way to train the chicken. All you need to do is teach the whole course as is.

However, this may not be suitable if you plan to make more obstacle courses with various tricks. Since you have to train the chicken again from the beginning of the course to the end.

The method you will use won’t be a problem; just ensure you will give them treats as rewards.

To give you inspiration, here is a video of a chicken running an obstacle course:

How to train chickens to go through a hoop?

Step 1: Make the chicken comfortable

Ensure that the chicken is comfortable with the hoop. Do not start the training with the hoop too far or too near. Enough distance is necessary.

The hoop should touch the ground at first so that the chicken can start from walking into the hoop to jumping.

Remember to take things slowly.

Step 2: Use a treat and a target trainer

The basic training about target training your chicken is helpful at this step. Use a treat for a reward, or you can have the chicken peck on your hand.

One way or another, all you have to do is lead the chicken toward the hoop!

Step 3: Change the intensity of the trick

Once the chicken has mastered the basic walking toward the hoop trick, it’s now time to make some changes to the level of intensity of the training.

Adjust the hoop height so the chicken can jump through it. You can also lessen the treat rewards.

The chicken should be able to adjust to these changes. If not, go back to the basics and do not rush the chicken.

How to train chickens to play instruments?

How to train chickens to play instruments

Step 1: Pick the musically inclined chicken

The hard truth in this step is that not all chickens can play an instrument beautifully. That’s why you really have to be observant.

A chicken that pecks hard will always be a great choice to train for a keyboard or xylophone.  

Step 2: Place the treats on the keys

This is a complex task if you don’t know the notes. So, make sure to practice too.

Place the treats on the required keys. But, just do it little by little. This step requires patience from you because the chicken might have a hard time remembering each key.

Do not practice all the keys at once.

Step 3: Practice more keys

As we said, do not teach all the keys at once, they won’t remember it all! Take things easy and if you think that they already master the previous keys, add another set for them to practice.

Step 4: Play without treats

To test the newly instilled skill of your chicken, let them play the instrument without the treat or guide. Also, practice the chickens regularly.

Here is a video of a chicken playing piano: 

Note: These steps are just applicable for instruments that can be pecked.

Frequently asked questions

How easy is it to train a chicken?

It may not seem like it initially, but chickens are easier to train than other animals. Plus, training a chicken can be both enjoyable and profitable.

A technique called clicker training is often used when training a chicken. It is an effective method commonly used by poultry farmers.

What do I need to train my chicken?

Generally, what you really need is the treats. Without these, it is impossible to lead the chicken. It is also a reward, so ensure you have enough during training.

 Although these are not tangible items, it’s crucial to remember that patience and consistency are essential. Training chickens can be straightforward, but it does require consistent patience.


The list of tricks you can train your chicken with is unending and should not be confined to the ones in this list. But rest assured that the tricks we included here are helpful for their survival and yours as a poultry farmer. The fun tricks can also make your interaction with the chickens more enjoyable and less monotonous.

Let us conclude this post about how to train chickens by saying, “enjoy the training process!”.

How To Train Chickens

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