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17 month old eclectus prefers to sleep on my should at night

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

17 month old eclectus prefers to sleep on my should at night

Postby junon » Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:56 pm

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Last edited by junon on Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
junon
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Re: 17 month old eclectus prefers to sleep on my should at night

Postby Pajarita » Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:35 am

Welcome to the forum and thank you for adopting instead of buying! Now, I am not saying this to scare you or anything but I don't know where you read that all ekkies are sweeties because they are not. As a matter of fact, one of the worst bites I've gotten was from Elsa, a Solomon Island female (she bit the 'web' between my index and middle finger, severing nerves and I had no feeling on half of my middle finger for years), and the very first bird that I heard growling like a dog while coming after me with what I call 'blood in his eye' was a male Red-Sided (and ironically, his name was Romeo :D ) - so, no, not all ekkies are sweet-tempered. I am saying this because it seems to me (and please, correct me if I am wrong) that you do not realize that he is on his honeymoon period and that, eventually, it will end - and when it does, he might bite you. So, please, leave him alone and don't 'push' as you call it. As a matter of fact, rehomed parrots should not be interacted with AT ALL for the first week or two. Parrots are not like dogs or cats, they take their own sweet time to observe and figure things out when in a new home or with a new human so do not ask him to step up or anything. Just spend time with him in the same room, let him come out of his cage on his own, talk, whistle, sing and every now and then offer him a treat (but make sure it's not a protein item - ekkies require a diet VERY low in protein and fat and VERY high in moisture and fiber -longest digestive tract of all parrots!- so pellets are out of the question for them and even low protein food should never be free-fed. You want him to learn that you can be trusted and that you will respect him and his wishes - and that takes time. The honeymoon period is the most important time you can spend with your new rehomed parrot - it is the very foundation of your future relationship with him so respect and space is essential. Think of him as a human - you would not like it if a stranger took familiarities with your body (touching or holding hands, for example) or intruded in your home (do not put your hand inside his cage while he is in it) would you? Well, it's the same with parrots. He is uncertain of his new home and you right now so he is on his best behavior (trying to blend into the woodwork and not call attention to himself) and you do not want him to think that you are taking advantage of his goodwill by pushing him and asking him for things your very short relationship does not give you a right to. It will come but you need to give it time.

Now, as to why he doesn't want to go back into his cage but wants to snooze on your shoulder - he snoozes on your shoulder because he is tired (he is going to bed waaaay too late) and because he likes to lean into a warm body. It's as simple as that. But he should not get used to doing this because he cannot sleep on anybody's shoulder for the rest of his life. For one thing, you are not keeping him to a strict solar schedule (this time of the year, lights should be off at 4 pm, dinner at 4:30 pm and roosting after that) and that is imperative with ekkies because they are HIGHLY hormonal birds and we ALWAYS feed them more protein that they should get (daylight hours and too rich a diet makes them overly hormonal). These birds have a breeding season that lasts up to nine months and have the poorest diet of any parrot in the wild (they consume mostly plant material and very little protein) so owners need to be extra careful with them in terms of light schedule and diet (the wrong diet is what kills them all before their time - you will hardly ever hear of an ekkie older than 25, they all die young - their diet is way too specialized in the wild and we simply cannot reproduce it in captivity). You will get away with the wrong light schedule for now because he is not sexually mature yet (he would not have bred with his previous owner for another 3 years or so) but it will not work forever because once he starts producing sexual hormones, it will not be easy for you (or him). And you need to make sure he is getting the right diet because, if you feed him a 'regular' parrot diet, he will have fatty liver by the time he is 5 or 6 years old. I do not take in ekkies because they are too different from any other parrot both diet-wise and socially (one female needs several males with the males flock with males and females flock with females). They are beautiful birds but too hard to keep healthy... They also have completely different behaviors from other parrot species - for example, they freeze when upset and will not give you any warning or display before biting - and they ALWAYS go for the kill, they do not bluff or warn you at all (the female ekkie was the only bird I've had that killed another bird -and she did not bat an eyelash before, during or after she did it). But you have only one so you can study the species in depth and tailor your husbandry to fit just him.

Parrots are not easy pets to keep and, of all the parrots, the ekkies are the hardest to keep healthy but if you know what you need to do and copy their living conditions in the wild, things will be much easier for you and him. For one thing, he will fall asleep easily and without fidgeting at all once he is kept at a solar schedule because their bodies are programmed to start feeling drowsy and look for the roost once dusk falls so, by the time it's dark, he will be fast asleep.

I hope this helps you and your bird.
Pajarita
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Re: 17 month old eclectus prefers to sleep on my should at night

Postby junon » Sat Feb 01, 2020 5:04 pm

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Last edited by junon on Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
junon
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Gender: This parrot forum member is male
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Number of Birds Owned: 1
Flight: Yes

Re: 17 month old eclectus prefers to sleep on my should at night

Postby Pajarita » Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:24 am

:lol: Don't worry for one second about offending me! I have the thickest skin and have been doing this for a looong time and have gotten all kinds of reactions - from mildly snippy to outright rude. I actually appreciate the arguments... I love to debate.

I am VERY surprised, though, that you have never heard of the honeymoon period! I mean... this is common knowledge in the parrot community. Granted that first timers would not know about it unless they have done research prior adopting but anybody who has done rehoming or adoption knows about it (mind you, I don't agree with hands-off with babies)... I am including two links only because all the other links are not allowed here but there are millions of references to it everywhere:
https://blogpamelaclarkonline.com/tag/h ... h-parrots/
https://birdtricksstore.com/blogs/birdt ... new-parrot

Are there sweet ekkies? Of course there are! I never meant to imply there are not. There are sweet-tempered birds in every species - same as there are mean ones! I was just trying to point out that not all ekkies are nice as you seem to believe, and telling you of my own personal experience with them - and I can assure you that I have no reason to lie about this. Elsa, the SI female, was rehomed to my (then) avian vet tech because she fell in love at first sight with her husband, a mammoth of a man -a stone mason- with a HUGE beard. And Elsa had been raised by a woman so go figure! And Romeo was sent to an ekkie sanctuary because rehoming him would not have worked out as he hated all humanity (never did find out what his background was as he had been brought to a pet place for grooming and abandoned there -they even gave a fake name and phone number) - and, last time I heard, he was doing great there (this was years and years ago).

And I am not telling you 'not to try', I am telling you that it will behoove you to understand what the parrot is going through and what is going through his mind right now and not to ask for anything until he takes the first step to up the relationship a notch (please, read about the honeymoon period). The 'don't ask for anything' during the honeymoon period is what is recommended and what I do because I have found it works like a charm. All my parrots came from somewhere/somebody else and almost all of them had one issue or another (screaming, attacking, etc) why they were given up and they are all doing great, no aggression, no screams, no nothing. This tells me that the method works and that's why I recommend it. But it is up to you.

You might also want to do research on the following:
avian photoperiodism
avian endocrine system
avian reproductive system
this is knowledge that is essential to keeping a parrot healthy and happy.

As to diet, yes, you are 100% correct that most people feed their ekkies pellets and/or seeds. And that's why they all end up with hepatic lipidosis and die young. I posted a story not too long ago with the picture of a 6 year old ekkie that already had the dreaded black spots on its plumage that indicates advanced liver disease - and at only 6 years of age! The oldest ekkie in captivity that I have read or heard about was a wild-caught (infinitely stronger, healthier and hardier than any captive bred) kept in an Australian zoo (which means the same climate as its natural habitat and the same plant material to eat) and he died at 30 years of age. Check it out, you will see that you will find very, very few birds still alive over 25 years of age and all of them have health issues. The truth is that these birds should've never been bred for the pet trade... their diet is too specialized to reproduce in captivity. I don't know if you have read or have heard of one of the first and best known breeders of ekkies, Ms. Laurella Desborough (a HUGE promoter of them as pets - big surprise that the person who promotes is the same person who exploits them for money, right?) but we, rescuers, used to refer to her as Cruella Desborough. Not nice, I know... but we all love birds and thoroughly dislike people who abuse them or exploits them.

Look, I don't mean to rub you the wrong way... I can only tell you what I know about them and hope that, when you find something I say is not what you have heard or read, that you do more research about it. But the right kind of research - meaning, not breeders', birds as pets' or 'fluff' sites but scientific ones: biologists, ornithologists, studies, etc. Places where the information is based on science, fact, tests results and observation done by professional people who have trained about it. The others just give you their opinion and, in most cases, there is an ulterior motive for it...

One more thing I forgot to mention before, be careful with veggies that are high on salicylates, some people believe they have an intolerance to it.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17622
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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