Monday, September 02, 2013

Oh, Rats!

We're back to using the medium-sized rats again.  The owlets were doing pretty well at first, then just slacked off and stopped trying very hard to catch the rats.  Maybe it was the heat, since exerting lots of energy when you're hot isn't so fun, plus they don't eat as much when they're hot.  But for whatever reason, I went in two mornings to retrieve rats that were still running around in the pen so they didn't start digging under steel and getting into the walls again.

But I was too late.  A gray one was already in the wall and has now been seen on the food tray drinking out of the water bowl.  And I watched on video while a white one climbed up the steel in a corner and got up into the wall through the chain link.  Sigh.

Last night I only gave them one piece of gopher and three rats.  They didn't catch any of the rats.  No one looks like they're starving.  So I'll go ahead for a while and offer very little food so they get motivated to learn how to catch rats better.  This is what their parents would naturally do...withhold food to get them motivated to hunt.

Hunting is a natural instinct and just requires practice (which takes motivation.)  So here's to motivating the juveniles to hone their hunting skills!

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