November 16th, 2005

Conditioning the clicker day 4 and I gotten a small scissors

YS bowl of dry mash weighed in at 39.0 this morning with a drop of 0.2 gm. Claus bowl was 35.6 or a drop of 0.1 gm. Then YingShiong was weighed as 35.3 grams. That was a bit heavy.

That placed me in a bit of a difficult situation. For health reasons alone, I did not like the thought of YS being too obese considering a shama weight ranged from 28-32 grams. I could have removed all the dry food, YS dry mash and the Claus in the evening. But then, if I started the Click and Treat in the morning and the rest of the day, he would have so much of live food that he might not take the mash. I wanted him to take the mash so his diet would be more balanced than just stuffing himself on two types of insects.

That was why I left those dry food for him to take from in the morning before I woke up. But if he took in too much, he would be less motivated to the C&T.

I selected a few whiteys. At the first C, and my call to him, he flew over and took the whitey. Then at the 2nd C, he looked at me. I guessed as much it would be this scenerio. That was why I wanted him hungry, but not starving and thought 34 gm early in the day would be a nice weight to get YS to.

It was ok that he did not fly to me too. I got up, hold that whitey in my fingers close to my chest and walked over to YS. That was to get him used to very close proximity to my body. To bring that whitey close to his beak, my whole body was swung almost next to him. With his eyes focused on whitey, he tolerated such close proximity to me.

I had grumbled about the size of the treats I gave him yesterday. Another aspect I did not like very much was that after he took the whitey, he would fly into his cage to use his table to soften whitey before swallowing that down. I rather the treats be bite size and so could be easily swallowed where he was instead of going back to his table in the cage.

I even provided another flat stone on table for the use of YS. But he preferred his table in the cage.

Since he showed he like Claus yesterday, I decided to repeat that. I also decided to check out Sinlin mixture as well and provide controls again this time for all three.

Fresh YS dry mix, 2 gm, was weighed into his bowl, and 1.9 gm set aside as control.

1 gm of Claus was weighed and 0.9 gm set aside for control.

2.2 gm of Sinlin was weighed and 2.2 set aside for control.

Sporadically , C&T was done with YS. Sometimes he flew over, sometimes I walked over. But it was clear his heavier weight made him less enthusiastic for the insects treat.

It was really the desire to get bite size treats for him so he would not need to fly to his table each time. After lunch, I went to a pharmacy to get a small surgical scissors, and a few small pill boxes.

After telling you I would not cut the insects into bits, I decided to do just that to obtain smallers pieces to feed him with.

I added some YS dry mash in the pillbox to soak up the icky gooiey yucky oozie stuff. Caught a couple of whiteys and cut each into 3 pieces. Kind of ghastly to see the head still having the mouth parts and the legs on the thorax waving and I shall not talk about the third part. No way I would pick that with my fingers. So I used a small skewer. Sharp as the end was, the parts were too small to pierce easily making the end results even more oozie.

I clicked and offered YS a part. He flew to me, hover and had a close look, and flew back to the cage door. I walked over to him. Instead of gratefully taking from me, he flew into the cage. Only when I stuck my hand inside with the part on toothpick skewer did he then took it very very reluctantly. Even with such small parts, he did not swallow it as I hoped. He took it to his table to bang and bang and inspect and inspect. He spend more time than when the insect was whole.

I thought he needed to get use to it. So another 3 whiteys were cut and offered. A couple of suris too. Kind of ghastly to see the suri with 2 pair of legs still very mobile. The icky bits oozing out were more ghastly.

YS was not amused with this experiment. He loved the suris so much when they were whole, and would swallow that without going to his table. With the smaller bits, he flew back to his cage to bang those parts and closely insepct them before eating.

His normal singing ceased.

I was miserable and so was he.

With icky parts, I just could not use my fingers to hold that and the personal feelings were lost. He disliked those parts to the point he went back to his cage and I had to offer that right under his nose before he took it. The last few attempts, he turned his head and hopped to another perch to avoid those bits. I had to leave that on a perch before he eventually checked that.

So if anyone liked a slightly used scissors and some slightly used pillbox, drop me a line.

I decided to go back to the old style of holding whiteys and suris by hand that he enjoyed.

Just before it got dark, YS was weighed as 36.4 gm

YS mash was weighed with a drop of 0.7 gm with control a drop of 0.5 gm. This came from a fresh packet and presumably more moisture. So it seemd YS ate some.

I was surprised that Claus remained at the same weight. Sinlin weight remained the same as well. I was pleased that YS preferred his mash. If I found YS liked the others more, I was prepared to mix some of that with YS mash to formulate something more to his palate.

We will see how it will be tomorrow morning


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for the wildlife sharing our planet.

Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

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