Sunday, 26 February 2012

Taking a wee break!

If you've been following the blog you'll notice it's been a couple weeks since my last video - I'm currently on a 3 week practicum out of town and Brita is staying with a friend until I come home. I have video footage of her lasted stunt, which is standing on a short pedestal, but it might be a while before I get it up because I'm on wifi internet at the moment and loading takes a long time. Two more weeks before Brita and I get back at it with more learning!

About 10 days ago Brita and I did a presentation to a local 4H group and Brita performed both her Peck a Red Ball and Stand on a Green Platform in front of about 40 people. She hasn't been around that many people since she was a day old and wasn't the least bit concerned!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

The Green Square - A foot target

I wanted Brita to target something else, but with her feet instead of her beak. I chose something a different shape and colour. I started out with a very large one so that the chances of her stepping on it by accident were good. Once I captured the behaviour, I made the square smaller and smaller.

I also tried a new treat - mealworms! I read a study that said coturnix used in operant conditioning studies worked harder and longer for mealworms with less fasting, so I thought I would give them a try. They're a huge hit! Brita's getting good at getting several in one peck, though, so I have to be fast.

I am working on making the green square 3D and gradually increasing the height of it until I can get her to hop onto a little pedestal when the green square is on it.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Brita's Ping Pong Ball

Once Brita was pecking at a red target as reliably as Blondie was, I took her a step further by introducing the target in 3D in the form of a red ping-pong ball. It takes her a minute to make the connection but once she gets it, she really goes for it. I was having a hard time not laughing when the ball went flying off the table a few times. I also tried putting the ball on a stick and holding it in positions she would have to reach for, and she does. Brita was a lot faster to learn to peck the target than Blondie - Brita began to peck when the red circle was still big so I captured that early and just whittled the size of the circle down.

Brita is actually a joy to work with. She is a little calmer than Blondie but a little more serious too. And she likes to cheat. A lot. She also makes it very clear when she thinks she has earned a click and she doesn't get one!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Epic Quail Eggs

Epic doesn't always mean big. Quail eggs are the perfect awesome party snack - they are bite sized, mild-flavoured eggs with the perfect proportion of white and yolk in each mouthful. Marinating them in bay leaf, mustard, pepper and dill-infused salt-and vinegar makes them irresistible! In this video I show each step in making them perfectly. Anyone who keeps quail often has so many eggs they don't know what to do with them - this is the answer!