Terry Ryan’s Chicken Camps

You’ve heard of it, wanted to attend, so let’s do it! Come join us for one of Terry Ryan’s amazingly educational (and extremely fun) Chicken Camps!

Kitsap Animal Rescue & Education (KARE) is proud to continue our partnership with Terry Ryan to bring Chicken Camps to you at the Seabeck Conference Center and we are now offering Virtual Chicken Camps!

We are currently offering Virtual Chicken Camps and we are still hoping to hold Beginning Chicken Camp in May 2022 (pending COVID-19 status)! Space is limited, so REGISTER TODAY!

Virtual Chicken Camp

Our Terry Ryan Virtual Chicken Camps have been running successfully since September of 2021. Terry and KARE will be continuing to offer Virtual Chicken Camps along with our live Chicken Camps. We are honored to support Terry and all the participants of the Virtual Chicken Camp.  We hope one of the upcoming time schedules will work for you.

Next Offerings:

  • March 16 – May 4, 2022 2:00 – 3:00 pm
  • June 8 – July 27, 2022 10:00 – 11:00 am
  • August 10 – September 28, 2022 11:00 am – 12:00 noon

How to Register: Email registration@nwkare.org


Classes are 1 hour long for 8 weeks and conducted utilizing the Zoom virtual meeting platform.

Classes are limited to:

  • Ages 12 & up*
  • 8 working participants ($225): You will need continual access to a chicken.  There will be homework!  As soon as you register, you will receive detailed information on how to select and prepare your chicken partner for the course.  During the course, instructions will be given for making simple props from things you have around the house. You will have the opportunity to work with Terry one-on-one during class sessions.
  • 12 auditing participants ($170): You will be involved in class Q&A and people-only exercises that focus on improving your mechanical skills.                 

Other Important Class Details:

  • Classes are taught in English.  If interpretation is needed, please contact us for a private virtual chicken camp. KARE is not responsible for providing an interpreter. This could affect class time and pricing.
  • Each week all participants receive class notes plus supplemental educational documents
  • The training area for each working participant should be in a quiet area free of distractions. The area needs a table of at least 6 feet in length, a computer with a camera (preferably laptop), and a chair. 
  • All chickens used in training need to be hens, no roosters. Each working participant should have a chicken of their own to work with during the camp. The chicken may be from their own flock or borrowed from another flock. During class, the chicken should be kept in a holding area within easy reach of the working table and the computer. Wire dog crates work well for keeping the chickens contained during class when not working with them.
  • CEU credits are available for both working and auditor participants.

In this virtual course, you’ll get the information from Terry’s traditional Chicken Camps which is designed to practice animal training. The methods will involve marker-based positive reinforcement techniques. The goal of the course is to help you be a better trainer of any species, including humans. The course will provide practical application for the principles of classical and operant conditioning. Observation and timing skills are practiced. A foundation of target training and discrimination is followed by teaching the chicken to negotiate a simple, chained obstacle course.

Register by contacting registration@nwkare.org

Spokane’s Fox28 wrote an article about Terry’s Virtual Chicken Camp that you can read here.

*Chickin’ Klickin’ Kids – A very less technical, more hands-on course for children of 7-12 with parental assistance. Dates to be announced.

Check out what past participants have said about Virtual Chicken Camp!

…the workshops were fabulous. I learned so much – as well as using the target sticks and paying more attention to the details I have also been reconsidering my use of chaining. Your instruction was very clear and  watching the others with their hens was really helpful.” – Collette

I loved every bit of it and can’t believe how much I have learned and how much attention I have received during the past 8 weeks of Chicken Camp.” – Kristin

Virtual Chicken Camp is an excellent initiative and Terry Ryan is an amazing teacher. I love Terry’s approach to teaching.” – Anonymous survey response

Great class, thanks for the opportunity. I would be open to taking it again even with another chicken or as an auditor this time.” – Anonymous survey response

This was a bucket list for me and even though it was virtual, the benefit was I got to work with my chickens and slept in my own bed 😉 ” – Anonymous survey response

Virtual Chicken Camp was the affordable option for me! 🙂 I would like to sign up again in the future as a working spot.” – Anonymous survey response

Terry Ryan’s Chicken Camp

Date: May 23 – 27, 2022 OR October 3 – 7, 2022

We’ll practice mechanical skills with special attention to timing and eye-hand coordination.  Lessons include observing and recording behavior, systematic desensitization, capturing a behavior, shaping a behavior, and the use of targets.  Students will work on a discrimination task and train their hen to negotiate obstacles. Effective coaching techniques to aid your training partner will be addressed. No experience is required. CEU credits are available.

Time: Monday – Thursday, 9 am – 4 pm; Friday 9 am – 2 pm
Workshop Check-in: Monday, May 23, 2022, 8:30 – 9 am
Lodging Check-in: 4 pm, Sunday, May 22, 2022

Location: Seabeck Conference Center (13395 Lagoon Dr NW, Seabeck, WA 98380)

Tuition: Workshop tuition includes snacks, lunch, and any workshop materials. Lodging includes your room, breakfast, and dinner for those staying at the conference center. Prices listed below are per person. A 50% deposit is required to reserve your spot.

Early Bird Pricing (before June 1, 2022)

  • Workshop only: $765.00
  • Workshop & Single Occupancy lodging/meals: $1,510.00
  • Workshop & Double Occupancy lodging/meals: $1,260.00 (pp)

Regular Pricing (after June 1, 2022)

  • Workshop only: $825.00
  • Workshop & Single Occupancy lodging/meals: $1,590.00
  • Workshop & Double Occupancy lodging/meals: $1,320.00 (pp)


  1. Please email us to register for Chicken Camp. Space is limited, and registration and a minimum 50% deposit are required.
  2. Once we receive your registration form, you’ll receive an invoice to be paid via credit or debit card. If you prefer to pay by check, please mail it to Kitsap Animal Rescue & Education or KARE at PO BOX 994, Silverdale, WA 98383. Your spot in the workshop is held with receipt of payment. Please read the cancellation policy below.
  3. This workshop is for humans only. For the comfort of the birds, no dogs can be permitted in the building during Chicken Camp.
  4. We are partnering with Seabeck Conference Center for lodging, however, if you are looking for other lodging ideas in Kitsap County or would like more information on the area, visit: http://www.visitkitsap.com/

Cancellation Policy:

If you choose to cancel your registration, please notify us in writing (email or letter). 

  • Cancellations received no later than 90 days before the first day of the camp will receive a full 100% refund of the paid registration fee minus a $50 processing fee.
  • Cancellations received no later than 60 days before the first day of the workshop will receive a refund of 50% of the paid registration fee.
  • NO refunds will be issued for cancellations received less than 60 days before the first day of the workshop. This policy is without exception unless the camp is canceled by KARE.

Listen to what experts have to say!


If you have not attended one of Terry Ryan’s Chicken Camps before, a typical day starts at 9 AM and ends at 4 PM. A 10-minute break will take place approximately every hour. Students will work in pairs, taking turns training their own chickens and coaching their partner.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Mechanical Skills – drills for eye-hand coordination, timing, and observation skills
  • Ethology – consideration of the ethology, physical attributes, and stress issue of the animals
  • Umwelt – how individuals acquire, process and store information differently
  • Selection, identification, and effective marking (use of bridge) of training criteria
  • Reinforcement – rate/schedule/value/delivery/quantity, 80% rule, Premack principle
  • Capturing and Shaping behaviors – general and specifically to target training
  • Criteria Selection and Identification – what do you really want? 
  • Goal Setting
  • Task Analysis, instructional formatting, Training Plans
  • How to Be a Good Coach including TAG teaching exercises
  • Data Collection, keeping records, making a TAGulator
  • Lateral thinking techniques

Meals provided on-site at Seabeck Conference Center. Seabeck Conference Center offers ONLY the following special diet requests: Vegetarian, Vegan, Non-Celiac Gluten Free, Dairy Free or a Combination of these. Seabeck Conference Center is also a nut-free facility but does not guarantee that processed foods have been produced in a nut-free environment. Guests with a variety of food issues are encouraged to bring supplemental food that may be stored in the dining room refrigerator and warmed in the microwave. Morning and afternoon snacks will be provided. Water, soft drinks, tea, and coffee are available all day.

If you are flying into Seattle-Tacoma International airport, you are free to rent a car or take the Bremerton-Kitsap Airporter from the airport to the Silverdale Beach Hotel and we’ll be happy to pick you up and bring you to the Seabeck Conference Center. Just let us know your travel plans!

Why you should train a chicken

Trainers do not have bad (or good!) chicken training habits because it’s not likely they’ve ever trained a chicken before. There is no library full of chicken training books to influence them.  Therefore, our chicken camp students don’t bring the baggage of conflicting advice often taken to dog training workshops. No prior experience is needed for our chicken camps.

Training a chicken is a stretch and a boost to mechanical skills. The average chicken is faster than the average dog, providing the opportunity to improve coordination and timing. Unlike dogs, you will know immediately if you are taking advantage of a chicken or pushing too hard, too fast.  Chickens don’t give their trainers second chances as often as our dogs do. Chickens will freeze or fly away if they don’t like the way they are being trained.

The skills that you learn in this camp can be applied in a wide variety of contexts, including:

  • Professional animal training
  • Training your own pet
  • Veterinary hospitals
  • Schools and other educational situations
  • Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs)
  • Corporate team building

About Terry

Terry Ryan, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP Faculty, President of Legacy Canine, has been a dog training class instructor since 1968. Through Legacy, Terry teaches pet dog classes, writes, presents at national and international seminars and workshops and does consults. Terry has been a domestic and international faculty member of the Karen Pryor Academy since 2008, teaching numerous times a year at locations in Washington and Hawaii. She has been conducting chicken training camps nationally and internationally since 1993 with the intent of helping animal trainers from all disciplines sharpen their skills. Terry has authored over 300 dog training articles, nearly a dozen books and a series of sound desensitization CDs. Read more about Terry.

Legacy, an organization promoting humane dog training, was founded in 1975 by Terry and Bill Ryan. For over four decades Legacy has provided programs designed to nurture mutual understanding and good relationships between dogs and their people. Their motto is, “Catch Them in the Act of Doing Something Good.”

The History of Legacy’s Chicken Training Camps

Legacy has been hosting dog training camps since the 1980’s.  In the beginning the camps had 120 participants, many from overseas. Terry decided that a convenient on-site training model was needed for people flying in and unable to bring their dogs. For several years Legacy campers trained rats in Skinner boxes. By the early 90’s, Ingrid Kang Shallenberger (Sea Life Park) and Terry Ryan began using bantam chickens as training models at Legacy camps. The students rotated several times a day among various instructors and topics. The “other” species section was a popular rotation enjoyed for many years by Legacy campers. In 1994, Terry asked Marian Breland-Bailey and Bob Bailey to share their years of animal training experience with her campers.