How to Train a Chicken

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1  Your chicken needs to know from day 1 that you are important.  Much better than Head Chicken, you are the Top Dog, the Cat’s Whiskers, the Bee’s Knees.  You are great!  Try to remember this when you’re shovelling poo from the chicken coop each day.

Cornflake Phyllis gardening2  Your chicken can easily be trained to help with the gardening.  She won’t need much encouragement.  Barely will you have retrieved your spade from the shed, when she will appear full of enthusiasm.  Once she has finished admiring her reflection in your shiny spade, you are free to start digging.  Point out all the slugs and snails, then watch as she devours all the earthworms instead.  Point out all the weeds that she can eat in the flowerbed, then watch as she devours your prize blooms instead.  Rake all the leaves into a large heap and your chicken will eagerly help.  As you walk away, make sure you turn back for a minute to watch her scattering the leaves with great gusto back across the garden.

3  You can easily train your chicken to eat out of your hand.  Offer some food on your palm and your chicken will eat it.  Hold some food in your hand and your chicken will peck you to reach it.  Place your lunch on a plate and your chicken will jump up to swipe it.  Take a bite of your lunch and your chicken will power jump to snatch it out of your mouth.  Don’t bother trying to reclaim your lunch. Cobweb Gladys running A chicken can run like a first class sprinter when there’s food involved.  Oh, and your chicken will need no encouragement to sup from your cup of tea.  Just make sure that you pick the bits of dead leaves and grubs out of the cup afterwards.

 

4  Train your chicken to recognise the correct hierarchy in the family.  A swift peck between the eyes Cat and chickenwill tell the chuffin cat that she is far less important than anybody else, despite what she thinks.  Shoelaces on big boots can be pulled like worms from the ground, then left loose to trip up the wearer whilst your chicken nonchalantly retreats to a safe distance.  As the chief food provider, you will automatically be afforded respect and adoration from your chicken.  Until the food has gone.  Then you’re fair game just like everyone else.  Arm flappingBend over and your chicken will hop onto your back.  Lean forward and your chicken will jump on your head.  Sit in the sun however, and your chicken will settle down on your lap to sunbathe.  Hierarchy: an important lesson for you to discuss with your chicken at regular intervals.

5  Train your chicken to recognise that the coop is her domain, whilst your house is your domain.  Even if you do leave your patio door open as your chicken roams about the garden: that is not an invitation to house share. Doris DooDah stare There is nothing worse than finding your chicken standing motionless in your kitchen, her eyes fixed on the plucked bird roasting in the oven.  Awkward, very awkward.

6  If your chicken is particularly unruly, you could try hypnotism.  For the chicken, not for you.  Place the chicken on the floor, grab a piece of chalk and draw a straight line on the floor.  Your chicken should be completely mesmerised, staring inanely at the white line.  Unless they eat the piece of chalk first.  Then they’ll just belch loudly and carry on causing havoc.

7  If all else fails, reach for the grapes.  Doris DooDah dancingYour chicken will do absolutely anything for a grape: jump through a hoop, twirl on one leg, somersault on the trampoline.  The moment you hold a grape in your hand, you are the centre of your chicken’s world.  Just for a split second, until the grape is plucked rudely from your grasp.  Then you revert back to your original status of chief poo picker.

Rules of the Chicken Coop by Cobweb Gladys

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1  The appointment of Head Chicken will be decided upon every 5 minutes.  Or sooner.

2  Broodiness is not to be mocked.  A broody hen is always Head Chicken.  She can eat all the food and is never wrong.  Is she.

3  If you must poo in the dust bath area, make sure that you do so after your bath and not before.

4  Cats are not allowed in the coop.  They bury their poo and eat your food.

5  The nesting box is only to be used for laying neggs.  And sulking.  And hiding.CobwebGladysfull

6  Neggs can be laid at any time.  Or not at all.

7  Singing is good, whether or not you need to lay a negg.  Humans love to hear a chicken sing, especially at 6am on a summer’s morning.

8  When roosting, only one perch should be used, regardless of how many chickens or how many perches there are.

9  Tomatoes are not to be touched.  They will kill you.

10  Grapes are not to be squandered.  Or shared.

11  All bugs found on a chicken’s body are the property of the finder, not the host.

12  If you find a bug, you can eat it; if you drop it, anybody can eat it.

13  Regurgitated food is the property of the chicken who eats it first.

14  Preening should be practiced every hour on the hour, and 60 times in between too.  A well-preened chicken is a happy chicken.  Unless all your feathers fall out.  That would make you a cold chicken.

15  Human living quarters should be inspected on a regular basis.  Just remember to wipe your feet on the way out.

16  Any freshly-laid cement in the coop surroundings should be trodden on as quickly as possible.  It’s always important to leave a good impression and you can pick the dried lumps of cement off your feet later to prevent boredom.

Cobweb footprints

How to Wrestle a Frog from a Chicken

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1  Look the chicken in the eye and say in a very stern voice “DROP!”

2  Chase the chicken round the garden.

3  Offer the chicken a grape.  If the chicken drops the frog to eat the grape, problem solved.  If not, panic.

4  Stop panicking and fetch a strong boy.

5  Chase the chicken round the garden.

6  Wait for the chicken to run head-first into a bush.  Extract the chicken by grabbing it firmly and pulling it backwards.

7  Pick yourself up off the floor and chase the chicken round the garden.

8  Corner the chicken and grasp it firmly with both hands.  Instruct your boy to grab hold of the frog’s legs as they dangle from the chicken’s beak.

9  Shout “PULL!”

10  If the chicken’s eyes begin to bulge, you are gripping it too tightly.

11  If you end up with 2 uncooked chicken drumsticks in your hands, you are pulling too hard.

12  If your boy ends up with 2 frog’s legs in his hands, you can share the meal with the chicken.

13  As the frog starts to dislodge from your chicken’s beak, pray that the chicken’s innards don’t follow too.

14  Once chicken and frog are separated, make sure that the frog discovers a new talent for flying (preferably over the garden fence).

15  If the frog’s flying talent remains undiscovered, watch in dismay as your second chicken excitedly scoops it up in her beak.

16  Refer back to point number 1.