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Parrot acts mean one day and nice the next

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

Parrot acts mean one day and nice the next

Postby Desma » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:51 pm

I am guessing it may be hormonal. Since I have gotten this parrot, she is 8 years old, I have spoiled her and babied her and I talk loving to her and tell her how beautiful she is etc. She steps up on my hand inside the cage. She loves her cage and so far, she don't like to leave it much at all. I have gotten her all kinds of toys to play with as well as lots of colored wooden blocks to chew on. Today she is lunging at me like she wants to bite me and when I close the door, she jumps to the door and acts lke she wants to attack me. She does this with bouts of screaming. I have gotten her one of those covered feeding boxes that eliminates a lot of messiness and she loves to stick her head inside it and talks or scream because she likes how it makes her voice sound. I taught her that. I would put my head inside the cage and speak into the feeding box to show her how it makes it sound. So, she is really smart. When she acts aggressive like she wants to bite me I just leave her alone and go away. It is like later on she will act remorseful and then she will step up on my hand. She gets very upset if I move the toy parrot from away from the cage. It is a toy Rockadoo and I do not turn it on for her anymore. I stopped a long time ago so she would want to interact with me. Before I got her she was in a very small cage besides the cage of her mother and father. I know she misses them very much and that was why is substituted the toy bird which was probably a mistake. I am wondering if it is too late for her to be rehabilitated. I do shower her and take her in the big walk in shower and put her on the floor and use a very slight spray to shower her. She is missed some claws on her right food so using one of the shower perches is out of the question because she cannot hold on good. I was wondering what I can do to soften her or this a hormone thing or a mental thing or both?
Desma
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 13
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Types of Birds Owned: Blue front Amazon
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Re: Parrot acts mean one day and nice the next

Postby Pajarita » Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:42 am

Hmmm, what is her light schedule, daily routine and diet and how long have you had her? You might have told us but I forget...

One thing I can tell you and it's that putting your head or hands inside her cage is a real bad idea, especially this time of the year.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 13884
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
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Flight: Yes

Re: Parrot acts mean one day and nice the next

Postby Desma » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:55 am

I am really aware that I cannot trust her when I put my head inside the cage. I have it protected just in case. She goes to bed at night when we turn off the lights usually around 9pm we retired to the back of the house bedroom to watch Missler teaching dvd's so it is dark in the living room until 7 am usually. I do have artificial light that I turn on above her cage because in the Pacific Northwest, we have lots of rain and cloudiness and not much sun at times especially in the winter, we live up high in the hills next to the Canadian border. When she screams too much, we cover her up and that stops her pretty much immediately and she is smart enough to know why when I show her the cover. I don't like to cover her but this is the only way she will stop screaming. Now that she does not have the toy bird she is talking a lot more. She is a juvenile parrot around 8-10 years old. Her last owner, his wife died and she was in a lot of pain and our parrot will moan like she is dying. It actually sounds really funny once you get used to it. We call her, "the dying parrot". There is another issues that she has. She refused to take treats from my hand and she backs off from me like she is punishing me for taking away her toy parrot lover boy. I am beginning to think that maybe she prefers men over women?
Desma
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 13
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Blue front Amazon
Flight: No

Re: Parrot acts mean one day and nice the next

Postby Pajarita » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:03 pm

You misunderstood the point I was trying to make about your putting your head in her cage but it's not your fault but mine for assuming you knew where i was coming for. Of course I would not want you to get hurt but the issue is that you are being terribly disrespectful of her space. You can put your hand, your head and whatever else you feel like inside your bird's cage if we are talking about a baby (because they are naturally trusting, like any other infant of any species) or a bird that trusts you implicitly and has a deep bond of love with you. But, with rehomed birds, you need to work on that bond and trust and it takes years. Think of it as you in your bedroom - you would not mind your husband or your mother walking into it but you would be upset if a very recent acquaintance pushed his way into it, right? Well, although it's hard for us to understand this, parrots are humans equals when it comes to proper respect and treatment. They don't like somebody they don't trust to invade their privacy and their space.

You did not say what you are feeding her but the schedule you are keeping her is a human one and not a bird one. Birds live on a solar schedule and their endocrine system is governed by the amount and quality of light it receives on a daily basis. For amazons, which are long day breeders, keeping them at 14 hours of light a day (like you are doing) means it's breeding season. See, the thing with birds is that they only produce sexual hormones during breeding season and once it ends, they stop and their sexual organs become dormant and shrink in size. When you keep a long day breeder on a schedule of long days and free-feed it protein food (seeds, nuts, pellets, etc), you end up with a parrot that is in chronic pain (from gonads that are too large) and super aggressive (from the pain and the constant sexual frustration). Amazon hens that are kept at a solar schedule (which requires full exposure to dawn and dusk for it and complete darkness and quiet at night) and fed right (fresh food diet with a small and measured amount of protein food only for dinner) are actually super affectionate during breeding season, much more so than normal, and quite the opposite of aggressive.

And she is most definitely NOT a juvenile, she is an adult which has been sexually mature for years.

A last word of caution, you don't say how long you've had her but if it's less than 3 or 4 months, she is still in her honeymoon period when they are at their best behavior (meaning, they don't bite) so I would strongly urge you to make an effort and get things right (light schedule, diet and respectful treatment) because you do NOT want her getting used to biting you and resenting your actions. Amazons are large, strong birds that have a powerful bite (I have four of them, one of them a BFA female) and one needs to make sure the bird does not resort to aggression to get its point accross (which is what she is doing now when she bites you).
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Location: NE New Jersey
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Flight: Yes

Re: Parrot acts mean one day and nice the next

Postby Desma » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:22 pm

Thanks so much for the information. So you think I should not plug in her light first thing in the morning? I probably should cover her cage at night since there is a bit of light from the wood stove.
I feed her Zupreem vegetable blend and nutraberries and a mix of other parrot blend food. I have offered her fresh fruits and vegetables. She likes apples and fresh carrots. I have tried big leaf lettuce and other stuff but I think it was because she was not raised on a good diet at all possibly. She loves pizza and noodles and other junkie people food that I know would not be good for her in large amounts but I use it at times to butter her up. She will not take food from my hand at all and she has always backed away like she don't like me. Other times, she will happily get on my hand. It varies day to day what mood she is in. Ever since I have taken away her toy Rockadoo, she is very upset with me. I never put it in the cage. I just used to sit it alongside her cage and she behaves like it is a real bird and makes courting noises etc. Right now she is very vocal and making noises and talking. She plays with her stuff and eats really good so I don't think that she is miserable unhappy because the home she was in she had a lot of neglect. The owner had very bad health. He has a a male goffin cockatoo that loves me the death and goes nuts when I go over. He follows me everywhere and lands on me and begs me to rub his head and under his wings etc, so I know I am not completely unattractive to birds. As a matter of fact, his wife told me she wanted me to have him after she passed away but her busband likes him because Fred was his wife's bird and he is attached to him too even though he told me when he first got fred for his wife, Fred would chase him through the house and bite him. Their relationship has gotten better. I know that my bird misses Fred. She constantly says, "hi Fred, hi Fred". He used to land beside her cage and he liked her and she liked him so being around all the other birds I am sure she misses. That is why I made the mistake of substituting the toy bird.
Desma
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 13
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Blue front Amazon
Flight: No

Re: Parrot acts mean one day and nice the next

Postby Pajarita » Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:55 am

You can't have a parrot in the same room as a wood fire. It throws too many particles into the air and she cannot be breathing that, it's messing up her lungs and air sacs something terrible! Birds have a much more advanced, efficient and complex respiratory system than mammals (no diaphragm, rigid lungs and multiple air sacs) but the downside of this is that it's also much more delicate so they can only breathe pure, clean air (you must have heard the expression 'the canary in the coal mine'). You need to get a clean (no fumes, no particles) source of heat for her (there are no two ways about this, I am afraid) and you also need to run a humidifier and an air purifier 24/7 during the cold weather months as well as ventilate every day for a little while (if you don't, you will end up with oxygen poor air). I use the electric heaters that look like a radiator and are filled with oil - they have a thermostat on which you set the temperature you want (mine are at 68 for the day and 65 for the night), a Vicks warm humidifier and a Honeywell tower purifier for a room twice as big as the one they are in (this is also something you need to take into consideration).

You also need to change her diet ASAP. She is eating a real bad diet, my dear. I know that the packages say that it's nutritionally complete or whatever but you need to take into consideration that the pet food industry is completely unregulated (so they can claim anything they want and not be legally liable for the lies) and hugely powerful when it comes to lobbying (you are talking about billions of dollars every year in revenue!) so they have gotten away with murder for many years. Basically, you cannot believe anything they say and need to do your own research. Amazons need to eat a diet of high moisture (hers is not), high fiber (her is not), low protein (hers is not) and low fat (hers is not). She is basically eating exactly the opposite of what is good for her and that does not only affect her health but also her mood. And, in truth, it's not even that difficult to get them to switch because they are actually excellent eaters! This morning, mine got blackberries, cucumber, chicory and chili gloop for breakfast and they all came to me as seed junkies so, if I can do it, you can too - and I promise is not hard at all! The trick is to do it gradually, to time it just right and to eat with them (I don't eat the gloop but I do eat the fruits and some of the veggies with them in the morning). I can help you with the steps, if you are interested and, if you follow them, I can guarantee you that she will end up eating a healthy diet.

And yes, you do need to cover her cage if there is any light reaching her cage at night - and the artificial lights should be turned on once the sun is already all up in the sky (around 8 am this time of the year) and turned off when it's halfway down to the horizon (around 3:30 pm this time of the year).
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 13884
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Parrot acts mean one day and nice the next

Postby Desma » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:23 pm

I am sure with you on the pet food industry. It is really evil what they do to euthanized pets, dogs and cats and they use that as "meat by products", in dog and cat food. We changed out pets diet years ago when we found out about that. Our dogs never have skin conditions and are very healthy as well as I am up on vaccines too that are horrible. They give a small dog the same size vaccine that a large dog gets. I supposed you have seen that investigation into the pet food industry "Dead pets don't like". I was suspicious about the food I have been feeding her. I have been trying to give her fresh fruits and vegetables but she is picky about that. She loves to dip her food in her water so I end up changing her water sometimes six times a day. I have been after my husband for a while about getting an air purifier and humidifier. We don't burn cheap wood. The wood stove has been a blessing when we have bad power outages that can last for days up here. I am aware that parrots cannot have cold temperatures. She is playing right now. She loves to remove one of her metal feeding dishes and carrying it around the cage and put it into her feeder box. It is hilarious to watch. I got a nice big bag of fresh spinach today. I'll try some of that on her too .Since my chickens are not free range, I make sure they get their greens. They would not last a minute up here free ranging. We have way too many predators. Thanks so much for the information. As much as I love animals, I am very new to parrots. Years ago I rescued an eyeless baby opossum that was so tiny, crossing the road. He must have gotten separated from his momma or else she abandoned him because of the birth defect. I knew nothing about oppossums and this was before I could easily get information on a computer. I took him home and made a gruel of mashed kitten chow and fed it to him in a feeding tube. He thrived. I named him Ziggy Piggy and he was one of the sweetest pets I ever had. He went everywhere with me and he got big and huge. Unfortunately, they don't have long life spans. Their organs start to shut down at three years old but he lived to be five which was an accomplishment.
Desma
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 13
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Blue front Amazon
Flight: No

Re: Parrot acts mean one day and nice the next

Postby Pajarita » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:42 am

No spinach, please, and I'll tell you why. Spinach is great for people because of its high iron content (humans need A LOT of iron in their diet) but real bad for birds also because of the high iron content. Birds cannot consume more than 2% iron and anything over that goes right into their livers for storage (the body cannot get rid of it) which causes a disease called hemochromatosis. Humans get this disease too but humans can get blood transfusions to take care of it while birds cannot and end up dead from it (I took in a sun conure that had it from her previous owner feeding her Cheerios -human cereal is VERY bad for birds because of its high iron content). The other problem with spinach is that it's also quite high in oxalic acid which inhibits calcium absorption -always a problem with indoor birds because they cannot produce their own vit D3.

Now, as to how to make her eat a healthy diet... Parrots are born highly altricial and part of their 'growing up' is learning what to eat and what not to eat because they are NOT instinctual feeders (like chickens, for example) so the trick is to establish a 'protocol' that tells her that something new is good to eat. I accomplishe this by my eating it (this goes back to the 'natural' way they learn in the wild, namely, by seeing their parents and other flock members eating) and repeating a mantra (this can be anything you want it to be) which helps them make the connection between 'new' food and 'good' food. With a new bird, I simply put the food there and eat my own piece while repeating the name of the food and it's good - like: "Apple, apple is good, it's good". I don't even offer them a piece of what I am eating, I basically ignore them and just eat whatever in front of them. Then, as the bird begins to trust me more, I offer a piece of my own fruit (but always from the side that I did not bite into because you don't want your mouth bacteria going into the bird - they have no defenses for it). Of course, the fact that I have other birds all eating the same thing helps a lot because 'parrot sees, parrot does'. The other trick is to time it just right and that means very early the am because that's when they are the hungriest (and this time of the year is perfect because the nights are still very long). Parrots are all crepuscular feeders so they are already hard-wired to eat at dawn and dusk and we use that to our benefit by feeding them the healthiest food in the morning. All parrots like seeds so we also use that by feeding them gloop (high moisture, low to no fat, low protein, high fiber). Some people swear by chop but, in my personal experience and for what I have learned in my research, gloop is better because A) it has grains in it (which birds love so it's easier to teach them to eat it) and B) is made with frozen veggies instead of fresh which is more nutritious. Try making a simple gloop out of just whole grains. I use kamut, oat groats, hulled barley, spelt, red and/or black rice and, sometimes, wheat kernels. I used to use lentils and white beans in it but no longer do. Cook them in a lot of water for about 30 minutes (bring it to a boil and reduce heat so it simmers for 20 - 25 - 30 minutes (start by 20 minutes only so the grains will be harder and resemble seeds more). Feed her dinner (whatever protein food you use) at dusk and just enough to fill her crop, taking the leftover out when she falls asleep so there is no food in her cage when she wakes up. Then, wait about an hour after dawn breaks and put the cooked whole grains in her food dish mixing the tiniest bit of seeds into them (serve them warm, it reminds them of their parents feeding them). She might not eat the grains the firs or even the second day but soon you will see something that looks like empty white skins in there and, when you do, wait three days or so to make sure she is consistenly eating the grains and then start adding veggies to it. Start with corn and, when she is eating it, add small peas - wait until she eats them - add diced carrots, and so on and so forth until she is eating a complete gloop. Give her one piece of fruit, one piece of veggie and one leafy green with her gloop. I know that people like to give them choices of different fruits or veggies but, in my personal experience, this doesn't work because the bird ends up eating the same fruit and veggie every day and leaving the rest. Try giving her fresh corn on the cob very lightly steamed (all birds adore corn on the cob). The most difficult thing you will have to convice her to eat are the greens BUT they all love raw broccoli and anything else that is 'crunchy' like celery, the very heart of the romaine lettuce, the stalks of Swiss chard and bok choy so start with those.

You are going to do very well because I can tell, by what you have written, that you are very skeptical of the pet industry, that you do your own research and that you are willing to put work and time into your animals dietary needs. And that's what is needed to feed a parrot a good diet!
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 13884
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Parrot acts mean one day and nice the next

Postby Desma » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:56 am

Thanks for letting me know about the spinach. She does not like it anyhow. I have offered her romaine lettuce and celery lots of times but so far she ignores it. She will have to learn to like what is good for her. You can also be sure that I will NEVER offer her an avocado. I know she likes carrots. She is eating an apple slice right now. She is still angry with me for taking away her toy bird. It has been three days since she has had it by the cage. She lets me know she is not pleased with me about taking it away and still lunges at me but she is just mock biting, not putting any pressure. She is a very super smart bird. She wants to have her own way and boss me around. I did buy her a metal ladder that is 36 inches long and she loves it. She loves to play with toys and hang upside down and sway back and forth. Before she come here, she was being kept in a cage that was the size for a cockatiel. The cage she is in now is huge.
I am familier with oats and groats. I seen black rice in the store yesterday and would have gotten some if I knew. The trouble where we live, it takes us quite some time to drive down the mountains and go shopping. It is much easier to shop online. Do you know of any place online that offers the good parrot food? Thanks so much for the information. I am going to share it with my parrots original owner that lives next door. I am not sure he is aware of the diet. He has lots of birds. I do have an incubator and was thinking of hatching a parrot and hand feeding it but right now, I have my hands full with this girl.
Desma
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 13
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Blue front Amazon
Flight: No

Re: Parrot acts mean one day and nice the next

Postby Pajarita » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:28 am

Oh, no, no, PLEASE don't even consider an incubator parrot! They used to do that years and years ago (there was a place near where I used to live in West New York back in 1992) and have since discontinued the practice even though it was very profitable because the birds all came out dysfunctional! Baby birds need to be incubated by their parents (they can hear their parents and siblings vocalizations from inside the egg) and be born in a nest with siblings (they give each other comfort and physical support) and be fed by their parents (no human can feed a baby parrot the same way the parents do) - that's what nature ordained and she always knows best. I don't even agree with taking the babies out of the nest and hand-feeding them! In reality I don't agree with breeding parrots for the pet trade because the sad truth is that nobody can give them a good home - not me, not you, not Michael, not anybody! But, if it has to be done, at least do co-parenting which is the least cruel system of imprinting them to humans and the healthiest for their psyche.

You can order lots of stuff from Barry's farm in Ohio and I am sure there are lots of other places online that you can use. I used to order most everything from them but now find almost everything I need in my regular supermarket.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 13884
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

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