Can chickens be potty trained? Can you keep chickens indoors and house train them?
Actually, yes. Chickens can be potty trained. A lot of people do train their chickens not to mess around the home. It takes a little patience, but as you’ll see below it’s perfectly possible to train a house chicken.
Should You Let Your Chickens Inside Your Home?
Raising chickens is fun, addictive, and incredibly rewarding. Just ask anyone who keeps backyard chickens, we have a huge, enthusiastic community!
It’s hard to not let chickens roam into the home for most of us. We miss them when they’re outside all the time.
Some people even have “house chickens”, meaning their chickens spend more time indoors than outdoors.
There is one huge problem though.
Chickens are pooping machines, let’s not play down that fact. They can poop anywhere between 10-20 times a day.
No one wants to have to clean up chicken poop from their carpet, flooring, furniture, and wherever else they poop.
To potty train your chicken – which is perfectly possible as I’ll explain – or use chicken diapers.
If you’re doubting it’s possible, just check out this video of a perfectly well-behaved house trained chicken:
Here’s how you go about potty training a chicken yourself:
Prepare a “Potty” Litter Box
The first step is to prepare a litter box for your chicken to poop in. Some owners actually use a kitty litter box with litter in. While others find using similar materials to their coop bedding is better.
Picking a spot that works for you is usually the difficult part. As you can see from the video above, the person used their bathtub – which is ideal if you can go without using it yourself.
Study Your Chicken’s Behavior
Chickens will often display changes in behavior when they are going to poop. It’s usually something subtle like flicking of their tails, having a little scratch around, or wandering off.
It’s important you start to pick up on these signs so you know when to redirect them to their pooping box. As soon as you think they need the toilet, pick them up, and place them in their box.
Reward Them for Using Their Litter Box
Much like when training any animals, when chickens do something right – such as using their litter box – if you give them a small treat they’ll associate this and repeat the action.
Give them some time in their box to see what they’ve done and become familiar with the process too. Don’t let any other animals get near the box.
Stick With It
Training animals comes down to patience and repetition. I’ve spoken with several owners who have potty trained their chickens, it’s hard to say how long it will take.
Should You Use Chicken Diapers?
Chicken diapers are another option or at least can be used as a training aid or when you can’t be around to move your chicken to their litter box.
They’ve grown in popularity over the years as more and more people living in urban areas start raising chickens, and let them into their homes.
There are also some practical reasons for using chicken diapers. Such as needing to keep a chicken indoors for a while to nurse an injury or separate them from the rest of the flock.
As you can see from the diaper blow available on Amazon, it’s a simple design that wraps around the chicken:
I’ve picked a fancy one here with a bow tie, because, well why not. All chicken diapers are basically the same though, they wrap around the chickens body and collect their poop.
Just as potty training a toddler or any other animal, you have to expect it to take a while and to clean up a few accidents here and there.
If you want to spend time indoors with your chicken minus the mess, it’s perfectly possible. In fact, keeping animals indoors like chickens, pigs, and even goats, is a lot more popular now than it has ever been.
Image credits – Photos by Daniel Tuttle on Unsplash