Potty Training Chickens

Q: Does anyone know how to potty train a chicken? I might have to take in a chicken. I would keep her indoors, the problem is that I have 2 cats and a dog. I am worried about sanitation. Is there a way I can train the chicken to poop in one area? -A REAL question posted on VegSource.com

A:No, there is no way. You just have to put a diaper on them. I have 2 chickens and they are in their pants most of the day. When I am home they have their diapers on. When I leave they go in the cage. -A REAL answer to that question posted at VegSource.com

SERIOUSLY! And the best part: when the poster asked where to find chicken diapers, someone else answered that the company that makes them named them "Flight Suits"! Hee hee... 

While you try to wrap your brain around chickens in their flight suits....

Like most skills in life, using the toilet, instead of the convenience of a diaper...or floor...is a learned activity. We had a fairly easy experience with Aidan (after that first rocky day or two when we highly considered just leaving him in diapers until puberty) and he was using the toilet like a pro a month before his 3rd birthday. Then came Madeline who, upon our arrival to CA decided she would teach herself. She was a master "pottier" at two and a half, by no effort on our part outside a little chocolate encouragement here and there. 

Then comes Lily. Lily went from thrilled at the prospects of getting an M&M every time she used the toilet to "Yay! Aidan and Mai Jane get M&Ms" but not wanting one herself to not really caring at all about the potty. But because "house training" isn't approved by the AAP (nor is the use of a litter box) we plow forward. 

So yesterday we were waiting for Madeline to finish up dance class when my nose noticed Liam was in need of a new diaper. Having used the last of the wipes without replacing them, I wheeled him and Lily into the restroom to wet some paper towels. Lily, recognizing the great opportunity in front of her (empty restroom, occupied mom, yippee!), jumped out of the stroller and headed into the biggest stall.  I finished changing Liam and took him over to the stall where I found Lily completely nude, clothes scattered on the floor, shoes in the corner and a very dry pull-up right in the middle of it all. She was trying to get up onto the toilet. 

"Do you need to go potty?" I asked, both eyebrows raised.

"Yeah!" she said, bubbling over with enthusiasm. I helped her up and sure enough, after a very short moment she started peeing. 

"Yay!" I cheered. "You did it!" 

Her eyes widened as big as her excited smile and she leaned backward to show me she was still going....and the stream flowed right out, onto the dry diaper, onto her clothes and all over me. Note to self: Please withhold applause until the Flight Suit is back on the chicken!

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