Here is the video of my two birds’ evaluations last Sunday for the chaining workshop. I am just too exhausted to explain much right now, and will be worse tomorrow if I don’t get to sleep soon, so I am going to keep it minimal.
Everyone had to create a behavior chain with both their chickens. Navigating the blue apparatus was mandatory for all, and the most important part. That, of course, is a behavior chain all by itself. In addition we had to train and insert additional behaviors, at least two for each chicken, one on the apparatus, one on the table. Required elements were 1 discrimination (color or shape), 1 cued behavior, and one non-discriminate behavior.
My first bird did a discrimination in which she chose the red apple from a collection of plastic fruit (she knocked it off the platform, which was expected), and a non-discriminate behavior of pulling a toy car. The second bird pulled a toy moose out of its hiding place (I was hoping she would toss it off the platform, but that part of the behavior was not really solid, and she didn’t do it), did a discrimination (knocking the white bowling pin off the platform), and a pecked a target three times with three separate cues.
So, here it is. It’s pretty amazing what you can train a chicken to do in just a few days – and fun when it all works.