Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Good news everyone!*

It turns out I AM smart enough to train a chicken. {Sighs of relief...} In today's sessions the chicken was reliably making almost quarter turns to the right.

The obliging trainee is my favorite chicken, a Light Brahma called Uh-Oh Chicken. She is ideal for training because (1) she is easy to catch and handle, and (2) she loves food. LOVES it. She is the fattest chicken--look! Both of these are breed characteristics, actually: Brahmas are the Labrador Retriever of chickens.

Uh-Oh Chicken works very happily for orzo-sized pieces of apple core. If the pieces are bigger than that it takes her too long to eat them--she must shake them and dash them against the ground and subdue them before sending them down the hatch. I have all the pieces on a little plate, and when Uh-Oh gets clicked, I hold out the plate for her to peck a piece off of. I see from You Tube that people at Chicken Camp have their food reward in a cup, which would probably cut down on the occasional free apple piece flying off the side of the plate. "Buh...wha???" says Uh-Oh Chicken in a Professor Farnsworth voice. "That's not good news at all!!"

*{Professor Farnsworth voice...why is this not on YouTube except in an irritating 30-second montage?}

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