The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: AND chicken? :)
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 11:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 7:51 pm
Posts: 2055
Location: Netherlands
I don't have anything with chicken, I've actually always found them a bit scary with their dinosour-legs and eagle eyes, but as we've been adopted by one recently, I decided that in return I was allowed to clickertrain with her. 8) It's a gorgeous chick that came into our garden one day, discovered that next to the orchard we have a paddock with pony's who get treated with grains that spill on the sand - and decided that this for the past few months should be her new home. She sleeps in a tree and joins in with every training session of the ponies in order to steal their treats and my attention. And the ponies are soooo unbelievably jealous! :lol:

Now my question to other chicken-trainers ;) : what are your experiences with training them?

Our chicken seems really intelligent. Today I put down a tennis ball in our 'training area' (a sandy patch in the garden so she can pick up the grains more easily) and after about ten minutes she pushed it away with her beak, had had a leg resting on it for ten seconds and also had had one leg in the air for ten seconds. The interesting thing I notice about playing with her, is that she really holds profitable behavior. For example with the leg on the ball, that happened accidentally when she walked backwards, encountered the ball and tried to get her feet over it when it landed on top of it. I immediately clicked (tongue) and threw a grain to her, and continued to do so while she stayed like that. The same with the standing on one leg: she suddenly lifted a leg to scratch herself, I clicked and rewarded and she just kept standing on that one leg. There's no cue and once she stops the behavior, she doesn't repeat it anymore (yet), but I thought it was a very interesting different with the ponies, who are more of repeating profitable behavior (many short attempts), instead of immediately holding that pose for a longer time while being rewarded.

She's soo funny!

Another thing I noticed, is that she is extremely intelligent when it comes to remembering where grain has landed. If I throw out twenty grains that fall down at the same time, she will pick them up one by one, walking very efficiently and goal-oriented around and not miss a single one.

She is totally self-sufficient, not afraid of the cat nor of the ponies, even though both Blacky and Sjors chase her regularly. She just understands that when a pony attacks/chases her, she has to walk to the hindlegs and then the pony has to make all kinds of difficult turns in order to chase her and gives up. When our cat chased her seriously, she flew onto the paddock fence and just sat there looking down on Rozijn with a very fierce look, which confused Rozijn so much that even though the chicken was sitting 10 centimeters above her head, she decided to just walk away and do something else. :roll: :lol:

So looks, brains and character, all rolled into one! :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 12:16 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:03 am
Posts: 1351
Location: Washington, Maine USA
Hi Miriam!

Have you heard of Bob Bailey's Chicken Camp here in the US??

It's to teach skills for clicker training, operant conditioning, and learning theory. he uses chickens cuz they are so fast with their responses and so quick to 'get it' it makes a great challenge for his students with timing, shaping, stimulus control, extinguishing, etc.!!!

I have never been but have heard many stories, especially of how the chickens get so excited to have their turn to be trained!!!

Go for it!
'
Brenda

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 7:51 pm
Posts: 2055
Location: Netherlands
Yes, I've heard about chicken camps in order to teach people clickertraining! :D I'd love to know if someone has been there and experienced similar things.

And yes, our chicken is very keen on being trained too! Whenever I train the ponies in the paddock, 30 centimeters behind me is the chicken. It really is The Birds from Hitchcock. :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:44 pm
Posts: 1938
Location: The Hague, Netherlands
:lol:
My AND 'career' began when I was.. 6.. I think.. training chickens... mostly because they were easier to train as my rabbits ;) who were just looking at me and were doing nothing... which made me insane ;)
Indeed chickens are very smart, sweet and 'food' minded :D
I see here also the same difference in training again between us :lol: ... My training of chickens when I was young was mostly aimed that they would run after me and fly on my shoulder and stuff.. and you did study the movement of their feet :lol: really great! I would so much have more of your ability to focus :D

The most impressive thing I saw my chicken do was when our cock died :( ... she just took over and began to "cock-a-doodle-doo" :shock:

But to make a long story short.. training chickens is totally the same as training horses... and you can also feed them out of your hand :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:16 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:25 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Minnesota, USA
What an interesting topic; it almost makes me want to have our flock of laying hens back so that I could try training some. Although something about those eyes, though, gives me a bit of the creeps. I suppose it didn't help that when we had chickens, I was not very old, and the rooster was mean as all get out, which has scarred me for life. :shock: :lol:

But definitely keep us updated -- perhaps you could do an AND multi-animal demo of ponies, chickens, and who knows what else? cats? rabbits? goats? cows?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:50 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:07 pm
Posts: 10
Location: lier Belgium
I try to teach my chickens to produce one egg a day, it's not working :cry:
I remember Bobbejaanland a Belgian attractionpark
a long time ago had a chicken playing piano in a small cage. You had to put some money, the chicken started to play piano and afther finishing there was food dropped automatically. They had a lot of chickens that could do this job.
You watch chicken playing piano on u tube
http://nl.youtube.com/watch?v=o5jEcOvzZys

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