Thanks for the gifts

I shared last month how frustrating package delivery has been. Thank goodness that has been worked through, as today, packages arrived with gifts for the critters! (Last week a couple boxes arrived with snacks for the humans– thanks Betsy!) Such a nice treat. Mocha and Latte were given a chew toy immediately, and look: And we’re now set on goat treats. We use these treats during operant conditioning, for relationship building, and for treatments. Our goats are trained to walkRead more

Wednesday Transition

We’re approaching the time for our weekly transition of staff. Wednesday mornings fly by, and then there is a flurry of activity to prepare for the switch off. We clean and disinfect as we go, but during this transition period, we spend extra time disinfecting everything we can think of. Even the vehicles we drive. (Thanks Janine). For me, I gather up everything I can think I need to continue to work offsite. (Mostly it’s my work bag with aRead more

You Can Train a Goat?

One of the many things animal keepers are tasked with aside from the expected poop scooping and wall scrubbing is operant conditioning (aka “animal training”). Nearly all the animals at the museum have a primary trainer who thinks of new behaviors they’d like that animal to learn, then builds a step-by-step program to shape that behavior, and ultimately implements that program over the course of days to months (depending on the complexity and the animal’s response) until we’re at aRead more

Baby Goat Hair

If you happen to wander through the goat yard when I’m hanging out training the museum’s little goat herd, I will be the first person to show off the ridiculously long hair that grows along Charlie’s spine. I will also be the first to admit that, despite some research, I have no idea why it grows like this, what it’s for, or if it’s just an extra special characteristic of some baby Nigerian Dwarf goats. Two of our three boysRead more