Litter Box Training for Chickens

Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Chickens are easy to care for. They're entertaining and energetic. All chickens need to roam outdoors for exercise and well-being. If you're going to allow a pet chicken to roam indoors, too, you'll both benefit from house-training. You can do so at any age.

Prepare a Litter Box

A chicken's litter box should sit in a single spot in the house at all times. You'll need to clean it frequently to limit risk of disease. Fill the litter box with kitty litter. Make sure other pets do not have access to the chicken's litter box: The smell of feces of other animals can deter your chicken from using the litter box; the chicken might also eat the other animals' feces.

Observe Chicken Behavior

Most chickens exhibit a specific behavior right before they are going to relieve themselves. It is usually subtle. Learn the behavior of your chicken to make litter box training easier. Small signs include rapid twitching of the tail.

Act on the First Sign

As soon as potential bathroom behavior is about to happen, place the chicken in the litter box. Once the chicken has released feces or urine into the box, reward the chicken with a treat. Using treats to reward a chicken for good behavior will cause the chicken to want to repeat the action. Don't clean the litter box immediately afterward; allow the chicken to see the product in the litter box. This will help the chicken understand what goes in the litter.

Replace the Treat With a Clicker

To avoid overfeeding the chicken by providing too many treats, use a clicker. Available at local pet stores, the clicker is a useful tool for training many pets, including chickens. When the chicken is getting the idea of using the litter box, start using the clicker at the same time you provide a treat. Ultimately, the clicker sound will replace the treat, and the chicken will react to the sound of the clicker and naturally go to the litter box to eliminate.

Patiently Repeat the Training Procedure

Repeat all of the training steps until the chicken is fully trained and easily using the litter box without any guidance. Patience is required at all times. Never yell, hit, kick, squeeze or harm the chicken in any way. Time frames for training more than one chicken may vary. Each chicken has his own personality and ability to learn.

Photo Credits

  • Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Author

Based in Miami, Shellie Alyssa has been writing articles since 2011. Her articles have appeared on a variety of popular and informative pet websites including munch.zone. In 2000, she was awarded an editors choice award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry from the International Library of Poetry. She holds a fashion merchandising diploma from Penn Foster College.