Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Picky-uppy

Introducing 2x8 week olds to my remaining 2 x8 week old "girls" was straightforward.  No fighting (that will come when they are introduced to the 2 older girls later).  However, it did mean that the 2 established girls forgot all about being hand tame.

It's taken a lot of concentrated and consistent effort to get 3 of them to accept (and actually sput themselves forward for) picking up.   Every day, at least once a day, whatever the weather, I play "picky uppy" with them.

This involves taking something irresistable (like mealworms, or corn on the cob) out to them. They then get gently picked up, are fed a reward, and are put straight back down.  Sasha, the ladyboy araucana, was the quickest to catch on.   Fleur, the new maran,  took a while, but she understands too.   Larna, the appenzeller,  forgets every day, but remembers again after the first successful pickup.    I haven't been able to pick up Fay, the new fayoumi, at all.  The most I can do - and this is some achievement - is get her to eat from my hand.   I need to try and spend some time concentrating on her,  but she really does not like that sort of thing.

While I am at it I've been trying to remind Gloria and Poppy how to fly up on to my outstretched arm.  Both are refusing to be caugt at the moment, so this is the best I can manage. I can understand Poppy's reluctance to be caught and picked up - she's well into moult and probably feeling a bit fragile. Gloria is just being awkward I think.    I've had a lot of success with the arm landings, but they'll ONLY do it when they can see the food in my other hand.  If it's on a nearby shelf, they won't cooperate.

At the allotment, the young evacuees seem really happy.  We have to be extra vigilant  this year because we have 6 boys and only 2 girls. We're going to have to go for an early call just to be on the safe side I think. 




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