Tonawanda News — Boredom can also be resolved with the use of reinforcers. Changing the quantity or quality of the food will affect the behavior. Food doesn’t have to be the only reinforcer that they receive. Tactile reinforcers, like patting or rub downs, can also work effectively on many domesticated animals.
If you ask your pet to fly or run quickly and they are meandering towards the goal, set them up to succeed. This means preparing your pet and the environment for the ideal learning experience.
While training chickens to run a course, I had placed several four-by-four-inch Astroturf stations on a pathway. Each of the stations were about six feet away from each other and at each station was a reward. Some stations had a sliver of a grape or banana, and others had peas, kernels of corn or mealworms.
In the beginning the chickens were great. They were released from their kennels and followed the stations like connect the dots, at each station eating a tasty tidbit. Then the weather got colder and the oak trees decided to rain on my parade with their acorns.
If you did not know, chickens love to eat acorns. The acorns barely fit inside their mouths, but if a single acorn was present in the yard, the chicken would find it. The other problem with the acorns was the size. Each acorn was so large that just a few of them would fill up the chicken and this would definitely reduce their enthusiasm to follow the designated path.
In the beginning of my thought process, I imagined if I dropped their weights I could increase their motivation to go to the stations and receive the definite rewards, which I had placed, and skip the meandering behavior, which occasionally led to the appetizing acorns. Then I thought that this might lead to them wondering off more, looking for any type of food.