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.
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!
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.
So looks, brains and character, all rolled into one!
New horse book: Mandala horses!
Never stop making mistakes! Natural Dressage