Pavlov would have been very happy with Charlie this weekend.
Saturday I spent driving the kids to soccer, then to gymnastics, then back from soccer, then back from gymnastics, then off to get shoes, back to college, and then finally to get some supplies at the store. There wasn’t much time left for being at one with our chicken.
On Sunday, however, my schedule cleared (except for a short trip to a Maple Sugaring tour) and I was able to spend lots of one-on-one time with Charlie.
The instructions that I had read said to watch the bird for her poop-tell. I thought it was when Charlie stretched first one foot out behind her and then another but I quickly found out that this was not a consistent signal. The best thing to do, I figured out was to sit with Charlie and just wait for the blessed event.
I brought Charlie over to a perch (she doesn’t like sitting on my arm – might be because of her feet or it just might be her) and “clicked” and gave her a meal worm each time she settled down and sat on the perch. FYI – apparently meal worms are the crack of the chicken world, Charlie went nuts for them. I then sat with Charlie, paying an inordinate amount of attention to all the activity going on with her bum. Each little twitch got me tremendously excited!
After a bit, Charlie did poop from the perch onto the pad underneath. Like a young mother absolutely fed up with changing dirty diapers, I clapped, clicked, fed her a meal worm, and promised Charlie a new toy for being so good.
I went out to tell the rest of our flock, at which point Charlie got off the perch, walked out behind me and then proceeded to dispose of a new bomb along the way.
So much for our big break-through. *sigh*
Later on, I put Charlie back on the perch and while I managed to get 3 poops from her to land on the pad, I’m not sure she had a clue what was going on.
At the end of the night, Charlie got off her perch and left the room. I had a meal worm left in my hand and just for the heck of it, I clicked my clicker. Sure enough Charlie immediately changed direction and came running back into the room to get at the worm in my outstretched hand. She knew how to get a treat out of me.
At the very least, that chicken sure has me trained.