January 17, 2018

All About Jagger

Chris here! Who remembers when the peeps got chicks in the beginning of June? You might remember this photo of my mom and her chick, Jagger.

You might know my mom isn't normal my mom loves postive training and believes every animal can form an intimate bond with a person and has the ability to learn thing. Where do you think I got all my smarts?

Well, my mom socialized Jagger as much as she could and learned the ball of fluff had a thing for sitting on shoulders and fingers. My mom still puts Jagger on her shoulder sometimes and she'll happily lay there for a while.

This little parrot never had to be taught to fluff up when called a pretty bird. She somehow automatically knew to do it and she's been doing it ever since!

Jagger's first trick was ringing a bell my mom clipped in the chicken run. It's her favorite trick and she learned fast with clicker training! She's been doing this since she was a little baby. This bell is meant for parrots, but Jagger doesn't know that!

Next Jagger learned to come when called. She's a speedy gal and she runs in the most adorable way.

Jagger learned the words "step up" and "step down" and the non-verbal cue for it. The sky's the limit when using this trick! Jagger likes jumping on the garbage can full of feed and her waterer best.

Jagger is pretty good at learning the word "back" and the hand motion that goes with it. Eventually my mom wants this to be solid muscle memory for Jags.

Jagger sure can jump! That's another trick she's really good at.

My mom also conditioned Jagger to wearing a harness and leash over the course of many days. She's used to being out on a leash and will walk on it, but nothing can get her to follow mom on it so she doesn't go for long walks or anything. That's what I'm for! My mom does carry Jagger down the road sometimes for a "walk" and she'll sit on mom's shoulder or arm. The horses and donkeys by the road sniff Jags through the fence too.

It's cool to see any animal you're training really tune into their sessions and their relationship with their person. The cup of treats can be right next to Jagger while my mom has some treats in her hand but Jagger won't eat from the cup, she'd rather be focused on mom working for her treats. It's mighty cool when that point in training is reached with any animal.

My mom got a bike basket for Christmas. My mom loves her bike so naturally she got Jagger used to sitting in the basket. Now she loves going for rides in the basket! She's safely restrained with a harness and leash but she never tries to leave the basket. It's quite the sight to see, a girl and her chicken cruising down the road!

What's the secret? There's no complicated answer. When training Jagger, my mom only uses positive reinforcement, she uses clicker training, she uses verbal praise, and she doesn't do anything special to train her. She trains like her she would a dog (aka me). There's no techniques special to "chicken training" only "animal training". Jagger's treats are usually dried corn, dried mealworms, oats, plain cereal, or a mixture of them. Chickens are NOT picky.

When Jagger isn't learning or practicing tricks, riding on mom's shoulder, or sitting in the bike basket, she does normal chicken things. She digs in the dirt, lays eggs, scratches around, and begs for treats with the rest of the flock. (From left to right, top and bottom...Gortimer, Jagger, Violet, Lavender, Emily...not in the photo are Arya and Leia)

Jagger has come a long way and my mom says she's one of the smartest animals she knows.  (Jagger also knows to jump through a hoop but we don't have any photos of that right now!) Jagger trusts my mom so even my mom has to do something that scares her (like the time she had to clean a cut on her head) that doesn't make her more skittish of mom. She definitely trusts her.

Jagger is pretty well-socialized so she isn't afraid of any people for that matter. She tolerates all the attention! My mom loves Jagger and she loves birds but I'm always her best friend and her training partner...I make sure she remembers it! Maybe I'll give Jagger a day on the blog every now and then to show her new tricks and adventures. The sky's the limit with this bird, even though she can barely fly.


  1. that is super great what a special bond you have... the mama had a chicken too as she was a girl, her name was gack and it got the place in the stroller while the dolls slept forgotten somewhere on the ground :O))

  2. That i beyond adorable. Maroon Five would be most proud of little Jagger.


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