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Training your pet chicken to recognise its name

You might have found the most ideal name for your chicken using the Betsy pet chicken naming guide or you might have come up with your own egg-cellent name for your darling hen. Either way, wouldn't it be great if she knew what her name was?

Don't forget, her name should be something that you are happy for your neighbours to hear you shouting at night when she won't come to the coop on a wet winter evening.

Can a pet chicken learn it's own name?

You may be surprised to learn that chickens can be taught to recognise their own names. Chickens do have ears, they're just not external ones. (That would look really odd.)

Sounds are very important to them, they can make over 30 different distinct noises to communicate with each other. So, once they know a certain noise you're making has significance, they will learn it.

Some good reasons to teach your chicken its name

  • You can call an individual hen over, particularly useful if you want to catch her for medications, for transport, to put her in at night or during bad weather.

  • When your chickens learn to come over by their names, you gain a valuable element of trust. They will be comfortable to be picked up and handled more easily—great if you have children too!

  • You will be seen as one of the flock! Not only is this useful in terms of looking after them but it also builds that relationship with your pet that enhances your enjoyment of ownership.

How to teach pet chickens their names

Bribery.

Very simple, like with most pets, food is the fastest way to reward them for a certain behaviour. 

Step 1

Choose a treat that they love. It could be spaghetti, bugs, corn or whatever works for you.

Step 2

Move toward your chosen chicken while repeating her name and try to feed her with the treat on your hand. Failing that, put it on the floor and take a step back, repeating her name all the while.

Do not give the treat to any other chicken that comes over or you risk accidentally training it to someone else's name!

If other chickens do come over, turn and move away before returning to the chicken you are training.

Step 3

Repeat this process with the other chickens.

Don't give up! This type of behavioural conditioning needs lots of repetition. You must try to train them everyday or they'll forget.

Need some pet chicken naming inspiration?

We did an informal naming survey of the chicken owners on facebook and received A LOT of inspiration. We sliced, diced and categorised the names by fun categories that will make you smile. Head here to download the guide.

Do you need holiday boarding for your hens?

Betsy is like Airbnb for chickens. We're busy searching the UK for people willing to look after other people's pet chickens. If you're up for being a Hotel Manager (hosting chickens at your place), cluck here.

If you're up for joining our waitlist to be a customer of Betsy and check your hens into a Chicken Hotel as guests, cluck here

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David20th August, 2021

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