Animals that are afraid, confused, agitated, frustrated or distressed cannot learn effectively and handlers who are in these states cannot communicate with their animals effectively. So secret number 2 is to stay calm and focussed.
|Chickens will usually do almost anything for a treat!|
Establishing a state of mind where you feel relaxed, confident and fully in control of yourself will convey a sense of calm and safety to your chickens. Steady, deliberate movements and speaking slowly, softly or with a light tone in your voice and minimal eye contact will ensure that they are not surprised, startled or caused to panic.
You may not be able to communicate your wishes or intentions to your chickens right away, or you may not be able to understand what they are trying to communicate to you, but losing your temper, becoming angry and frustrated, or taking anything that your animals do as a personal slight or an act of ungrateful disobedience is not going to help either of you.
If what you are doing isn’t achieving the desired effect then stop doing it! Go back a step to a point where you and your animals are calm and relaxed. If you’re getting uptight or frustrated, take a break, sit back and review the situation until you can see things clearly. Keeping your cool, taking your time and working with your animals not against them, will eventually give both of you what you want. If your chickens become confused or fearful about anything that you ask of them, then reward them for doing something that they know and understand well. This will restore their confidence and get the two of you back on the right footing again.