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I made a tactical error, is there any recovery?

Discuss the methods and techniques of clicker training, target training and bonding. These are usually the first steps in training a young parrot.

Re: I made a tactical error, is there any recovery?

Postby Michael » Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:21 pm

Try raw (unsalted, unroasted) peanut. I take one nut, break in half and then chip off single bite size pieces with my finger nail. There's no shell and the parrot swallows it whole. I use this when I'm training away from home or in a place I can't have a mess of husks.

You have to understand that many things we might consider punishment end up actually being reinforcing to parrots. Yelling at them sounds like excited vocalization and not punishing to them. Many punishments don't come quickly enough so they are not properly associated with the behavior that is being punished.

Don't forget that parrots basically only punish each other (through biting, lunging, etc) for impeding territory or personal space. They don't punish each other for pooping in the wrong place or playing with something "off limits." They mostly learn behaviors through modeling and positive reinforcement. Example: watch other parrot pull a nut out of a narrow hole, try it and get the nut out. Enjoy the reinforcement of getting it.

With that in mind I think some mild punishment consequences can work. If a parrot is sitting on your hand and bites your skin or watch you shake your hand. You do this every time and consistently. The parrot will learn that biting that is like pushing a shake button and will avoid doing that. If you don't want a parrot landing on your shoulder, you shake it off your shoulder whenever it lands there. It will learn that the shoulder is an unstable place and not go there any more. Basically the reason these kinds of things work is because they are not worth it for the parrot. It can never successfully land or bite there so it's no point in trying any more. However, with something like chewing furniture or going off limits, it is much harder to police this because whenever you don't catch them in the act, they get rewarded for doing it. Also if the undesired behavior goes unpunished every time, it's still worth trying. Eventually the parrot learns not to avoid the behavior but to avoid doing it when you're around to punish it.
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Re: I made a tactical error, is there any recovery?

Postby entrancedbymyGCC » Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:41 pm

That makes some sense.

He doesn't like peanuts either. His food mix contains some seed, some grain and some peanuts in addition to pelleted and extruded bits. He invariably leaves the peanuts behind. Am thinking of putting this mix in a forage box and feeding pellets free choice, but that's a different topic. Am still working on the sunflower seeds. Maybe he will learn to love them...
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Re: I made a tactical error, is there any recovery?

Postby Suzzique » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:29 pm

I have yet to see my birds eat anything and not make a mess. :p

I got some hemp seeds and Alex who has always been nonfood motovated loves them. Woot! Finally! Though they do leave the hull. Still not as big a mess as millit. If he doesn't like peanuts what about almonds or walnunt, pecans (both my guys love peacans).
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