Chicken about Chickens - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-04-2010, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Chicken about Chickens

Okay, long story short, I have to move my horse to my trainer's barn. There is a sizeable population of chickens roaming free, sometimes in the riding arena. My horse is a tad shy of chickens to put it nicely. Does anyone have any tips on how to introduce him to them so he doesn't have himself a heart attack? He's currently recovering from an illness, so stress is the last thing he needs. I'm thinking approach and retreat would work here, but open to suggestions.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-04-2010, 06:04 PM
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no real help here and i dont know if it is what you are looking for. We have had a total of 21 chickens at our place and at the start Pumpkin wouldn't stand them. if they came near him, he would buck, rear, kick out whatever just to get them away. he still chases the ducks around the paddocks. maybe 1 year, he had finally learnt to live with them.

I really would just leave him (unless you are not comfortable with this), thats what happened with Pumpkin. now the chooks can freely walk between his legs and share his dinner .

Thats my experience, not sure though if it would help your situation. Good luck with your new barn and chicken friends

There is one principle that should never be abandoned, namely, that the rider must first learn to control himself before he can control his horse. This is the basic, most important principle to be preserved in equitation - Alois Podhajsky
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-04-2010, 08:23 PM
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If they roam free, he's probably going to get used to them pretty quickly. Especially if he's in a paddock or small field and they hang around in there. Maybe just give him a few days, watch him and see how he reacts to them while he's at liberty.
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-04-2010, 08:36 PM
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You might to try present a chicken to him to check it out "safely." Grab a chicken and firmly wrap your arm around it's wings, holding the legs with your hand. With your other hand, wrap the chicken's head around to be under it's wing, so now you have a kind of "chicken-ball." Now your horse can safely smell the chicken just as an intro. It's a start, but in the end your horse is just going to need time to get used to them. It'll come.
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-04-2010, 09:08 PM
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My horses are easily spooked by my chickens because my rooster will attack them. They spook at the chickens even if they are in the coop (the coop has an open front and is about 10' away from the top of the arena). I have tried a bunch of things including letting the hens out only to roam with the horses and what not, but what worked best was just holding the horses right in front of the coop and just letting them look. They figured out pretty quickly that theyre just over grown birds.
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-04-2010, 10:15 PM
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I like the "chicken-ball" idea, ha ha. But I do agree that he'll probably get used t them on his own pretty quickly.

Zeus is also afraid of chickens. He doesn't like the clucking.

I give myself very good advice, But I very seldom follow it
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-04-2010, 10:16 PM
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Chicken fry!

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-04-2010, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kevinshorses View Post
Chicken fry!
Sick. Let me guess, they taste like chicken? I sure hope he gets used to them quickly. We have a show in two weeks, and we're nowhere near ready between the weather and him getting sick.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-05-2010, 11:17 AM
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^^ Sick? Huh? Don't you eat chicken? Yum, yum! Though I don't eat chicken balls. When I see balls on a chicken, then I might consider it, but none of mine have ever had any.
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-05-2010, 02:50 PM
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Hmm... I'm no help, but this thread makes me want to get a chicken and see what my girls think of it.

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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