The Ramp, the Bribe and the Loft-style Apartment

November 9, 2008 § Leave a comment

Well the Loft-style Apartment is finally complete, and we’ve had a trial run at getting the girls to use the ramp. We’d expected Ella and Venus (the two great galoots) to have the most trouble walking up, and possibly Bessie. So we started the lessons with Frida and Lily.

The method we used involved Jo being inside the run with the girls and a small container of mince, and Stewart outside, standing by the balcony at the top of the ramp, also with mince. (Ah, bribery! Is there nothing you can’t do?) Jo would bribe the chicken onto the bottom of the ramp, and then try to lure them further up with more bits of mince. Once they were far enough up to see Stewart, he would take over the bribery and encourage them to come up into the house. 

Frida caught on almost immediately, and Lily not too long after. Lily had to be physically placed on the ramp a couple of times before she worked out what was being asked of her. They both seemed to have a bit of trouble reaching from step to step, but are so athletic that it didn’t seem to matter too much.

Then we tried Bessie and Claire. Oh dear.

Neither of them were at all comfortable. It ended up requiring both of us to be in the run, one on either side of the ramp to alternately block and encourage. When it came time to teach them to walk back down the ramp it became obvious that the treads would have to be put much closer together – Bessie was sliding from one to the next, and Claire flatly refused to even try. So we’ve given up for now, and will add some more rungs during the week. Next weekend can be D-Day.

Sigh!

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