Training,chicks & seizures

I’ve not introduced Chicakdee properly at all, given he was born the day after Tolly’s accident!

Chickadee was one of seven of Bates’ eggs that we put in the incubator. We didn’t know if any were fertile, we had a few temperature fluctuations, so were very much not expecting any to hatch.

I’m on the phone to my dad talking about Toller’s accident (this was when the vet had told us there was most likely one tiny fracture) and my dad casually asks if anything’s happening with the quail eggs…I go look, and see a pip!!!

I squeal with excitement and start talking to the egg, and it rocks backwards and forwards 🙂

Chickadee battled that egg for the next eight hours, and hatched whilst we were very sad and stressed trying to work out whether to amputate Toller’s leg or risk the surgery the vets were pushing!!

He stayed in the ‘bator for 24 hours, and in that time another egg pipped.

The second chick made a real bad job of ‘zipping’ the egg (the line that goes around the top of the pointy end that they pop off to hatch), which I put down to Chickadee who constantly rolled the egg upside-down no matter how many times I righted it!

In the end I had to help Chickie 2 out, but he obviously wasn’t a healthy chick – legs not in the right position and part of the yolk unabsorbed.

Chickie 2 seemed to get a little better, trying to walk and preen a little even as Chickadee was ragging his feathers and pecking at his face XD

However unfortunately he passed in the night, leaving Chickadee as the sole hatchee.

Once it was past the time when an egg could feasibly hatch, we cracked the other five eggs open. Two were unfertile, 2 had stopped developing around the 5/6 day mark, and 1 had a perfectly formed chick in that had just sadly never pipped. So we were really lucky to get Chickadee!

We hastily made a brooder box, we didn’t have anything ready due to the accident!

I grabbed a Mini Duna cage (a 60cm rodent cage) and set the heat lamp up. The red ‘water bowl’ is a bottle cap, for size reference 😉

As the days passed he became very comfortable with my hands, and I used my finger to “peck” at food and show him how to eat. His favourite place to settle was (and still is) my bra, which was the closest thing I could think of to a mother’s wing!!

Chickadee at less than 1 day old

1 day old

Chickadee thrived!

He is vocal, boisterous, and seems very strong and healthy. He loves cuddles and is a real little cutie!


Taken yesterday at 4 days old 🙂

Quail chicks are extremely hard to raise, as they are so small and vulnerable to all sorts of diseases. When they hatch they are about the size of a large bumblebee, and easily fit in a bottle cap.

Rule of thumb is, if a chick hits 8 weeks old they will survive to adult hood…wish us luck!!

Now onto training.

I’ve been working with Charley boy!


The dog who arrived here just knowing sit and, partially, down, now knows 10 tricks!

  1. Sit
  2. Down
  3. Stay
  4. Touch
  5. Thank you (drop)
  6. Pretty (wrap two paws around my hand)
  7. Tall (stand on back legs)
  8. Spin
  9. Leave it
  10. Ah ah (freeze / move away from what you’re doing)

This guy is stupid-smart.

He’s smart to the point where you have to train him different to most other dogs, because his crack-brain will get him frustrated and throwing everything he has at the wall…if you don’t step back and think of another way to show him what to do, you’ll ask for something he knows pretty well (eg touch) but because his brains all fired up he’ll just offer down repeatedly XD

The other day I taught him ‘spin’ in ten minutes. I’m not even exaggerating, he learnt a completely new trick (and luring is new to him, he didn’t have a clue how to follow a treat) in ten minutes!

He is exactly my sort of dog. I love being made to think outside the box 🙂

Yesterday we had a big hike with Sasha that involved going through town. I made her work her arse off in the square because when my partner went into a shop, she was literally the worst ever…it was so bad it was funny! And completely unexpected haha.

He went into a shop and she was pulling on lead at nothing (she has NEVER pulled on lead for no reason, not even at 12 weeks old, the only time she’s ever pulled was to greet dogs). She claimed she had no idea what directional cues or ‘stop’ were. She even claimed she barely knew sit.

In the end I kept her still and made her hold a sit stay for the duration of the time my partner was gone, as it prevented her practicing any bad behaviours and blowing off any cues- it also stopped me getting overly frustrated with constantly trying to reorient her.

As soon as my partner came back she was fine to train again…you little dick Sasha XD

So we did drills in the square. Heel, stop, sit, stay, heel as I jog, directional cues etc. I really like this video apart from one little niggle – her bum is too far out on that return heel to the camera so she’s at an angle. I knew she was doing it at the time and couldn’t figure out why!

She’s never done that before, but next time it happens I’ll be prepared and stop, tell her to get back in position etc.

All in all a really nice walk (although ruined totally at the end by seizure rage!) –  even the bit that could have frustrated me was just funny as it was SO bad XD

Here’s a video of one of my smaller seizures, too. I posted it on my IG and had a lot of comments from other people who have simple partial seizures, or parents whose children did, and it was really nice and supportive…so I’ll post it here too.

In these seizures, the first thing to happen is my eyes will lock.

After that my mind goes fuzzy (I can think, but thinking is slowed and muddled, words get confused etc). Generally my whole body will stop moving and I won’t be able to respond, although if I was doing something as it began (eg walking, eating, even typing), often I will continue…I’ve walked into roads and almost fallen into ditches whilst ‘seizure walking’!!

I can hear and am aware during these seizures, although I won’t always remember what was said or happening afterwards. Sometimes I can even respond;  either vocally (may be very slow, lacking any emotion, and / or jumbled) or I can point at things. I seem to point at myself as a way to let people around me know I’m having a seizure, and will do this if I’m in a room on my own hahaha!

My eyes are the first and last thing to recover during these seizures. Unless I am experiencing a cluster (back to back) I usually bounce back from these seizures quickly. I might have some scrambled speech or difficulty grasping the right words, but that’s it.

If I have a cluster of these seizures, my behaviour will be erratic and it’ll have the effect on me that a bigger seizure would. But spaced out throughout the day, they’re not too bad 🙂


I forgot Tolly’s training video!!

It’s day 6 I think of crate rest, and god love Tolly she is soooo over it.

I’ve been wracking my brain to come up with training games that will use her brain but don’t require her to move AND won’t excite her. So far my staples are leave it (which she is rocking 🙂 ) and holding out a treat then saying her name and marking her for eye contact.

I’ve also discovered that telling her stories keeps her entertained. I use a very animated voice and hand movements, and she watches intently, tail wagging…anything to keep her still and amused!! The stories are completely nonsense but she doesn’t care XD

Her splint fell off last night (which the good vet said might happen) but the vets cancelled our appt today. They seemed fine with her having no splint until our appt on Wednesday now.

Toller’s go fund me…

Fund Toller!


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