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Indoor free-fliers: what is your home environment?

Discuss indoor freeflight and managing freeflighted birds around the house. How to live with a flighted parrot.

Re: Indoor free-fliers: what is your home environment?

Postby liz » Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:40 pm

My parrots don't really fly. They sort of jump - flap their wings and do a controlled crash. I have cats and dogs in and out of my house with a magnetic dog & cat door. Rambo has never been able to get out so I'm not worried about Myrtle.
My parrots are walkers. They will walk between the cats and dogs that are playing. The most I have ever seen is a cat touch Rambo's tail. She will never touch him again. He puffed up - spread his wings and screamed at her.
Their cages are not closed. They sleep in cardboard bedrooms on top of their cages. I have only had Myrtle a few days and have never closed her cage.
Dogs - cats - birds are all inter species friendly.
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liz
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 7163
Location: Hernando FL
Number of Birds Owned: 10
Types of Birds Owned: DYH Amazon Rambo
BF Amazon Myrtle
Cockatiels: Shadow Tammy Flutter Phoenix Jackie
Andy Impy Louise
Flight: Yes

Re: Indoor free-fliers: what is your home environment?

Postby htop » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:26 am

Ike, my lovebird, is the first pet bird that I have owned. However, my husband and I raised a mourning dove that had fallen from a nest having no feathers until it was an adult. The dove was free-flighted and was allowed from its cage for portions of the day. Due to not being able to teach the dove to eat seed nor pellets, we took him to a rescue center from which he was taken by courier to the "Birdlady" in Austin, Texas who handles rescued birds and had other birds that would to teach him to eat adult bird food.

We now have 2 dogs, a Great Pyrenees and a Parsons Jack Russell and have had other dogs as well. Because of this fact, I never intentionally obtained a pet bird. In July of last year, Ike was given to my husband along with a cage, toys, other accessories and a couple of months supply of food by my brother and sister-in-law who own 2 lovebirds and a cockatiel. They didn't tell me nor my husband about Ike until the day they brought him to live with us. I asked myself, "What in the world were they thinking?" My husband is not good about taking care of things and they think that my husband will clean the cage and all of the necessary things associated with properly taking care of and training a lovebird. Also, he has little patience! Well, I knew what I was in for.

My first worry was the fact that we had dogs. My brother stated that he didn't have Ike clipped because of this fact. Within 3 days Bernie, my Great Pyrenees, and Ike were making nose to beak contact through the cage bars and Bernie began watching after Ike. When I let the dogs out each morning, Bernie would "dog talk" asking me to let Ike go out with him and Mokie, my Jack Russell. Bernie couldn't understand why I let Mokie out of his kennel everyday, but not Ike. When Ike would make a loud call, Bernie would come running to see if he needed help. If I hadn't removed Ike's cage cover yet when the sun was rising, Bernie would "dog talk" and gently push me towards Ike's cage. Mokie would watch Ike, but never appeared to be in his "rat chasing mode". I trust neither dog to be around Ike out of his cage. I trust neither dog to ever be in a position to be able to knock Ike's cage over. My dogs are well trained and very gentle. But, dog's are animals and one never knows when the animal instinct will take over their minds. Mokie is the one of great concern. He likes to chase anything that moves when outside and he can jump very high. I feel sad that Ike can't have free roam all over my house all of the time. This is impossible in my situation for Ike's safety. There is nothing I can do about it except get rid of Ike or get rid of my dogs which I won't do. I didn't bring Ike into my home by choice although I love him to death and committed to making his life as happy as it can be. It wasn't his choice either.

Ike may have been hand-fed as a baby; however, he obviously was not hand-handled much. Although, the pet store salesperson stated that he was 8 weeks old, he appeared to be much older than that. He was not afraid until a hand approached him. He seemed to like people and was happy when visitors came by. Ike remained in his cage until I felt that he was adapted to his new home and caretakers which didn't take long. When I could feed him by hand in his cage and he was willing to step-up on my finger, he was allowed free roam in our bathroom (bird-proofed)at first where he learned to fly, step up on my finger and a training stick, eat from my hand, go to small perches, drink from a glass pie pan, eat broccoli and return to his cage on a training stick. He played on various bird toys that I had hung on the shower curtain rod. Ike and I spent hour upon hour in the the bathroom together each day. My dogs received little attention during this time: however, it was totally necessary for Ike's well being. I wanted to keep him confined to the bathroom a bit longer because although he was not afraid of people, he was not willing to be held or stroked except on his cheeks a little when eating broccoli and millet from my hand. I felt that he needed more trust in me and needed to learn that my hands were not going to hurt him. But, Ike appeared to be too confined in the bathroom and needed more room in which to develop his flying and other skills. He didn't know how to return to his cage by himself and I knew that was going to be a major problem in a larger area. During this time, Ike's cage was right next to my husband's recliner in the living room. My husband was spending most of his time in the recliner due to being unable to walk much because of a foot operation. My husband would occasionally come to the bathroom each day during Ike's free time in there and Ike responded him to at the same level that he responded to me.

Finally, I decided that Ike and I are getting bored in the bathroom. I bird-proofed my large master bedroom. All the crevices along the sides and tops of the dressers and the pier bed are stuffed with bubble wrap(covered with towels) and/or blankets so that Ike can't slip behind them. The ceiling fan knob is removed so that we don't absent-mindedly turn it on. All objects that might harm Ike or Ike might chew on were removed. A long expandable shower curtain rod was attached in front of the huge window that goes almost from the floor to the ceiling. Bird toys were attached to it as well as the top of the window casing. I made large ropes out of dog chew toys and hung them across 2 areas from the ceiling. Many types of baskets were placed around the room with toys, shreddables, food for foraging, etc. A hollowed out coconut hanger made by my brother holds mixed food for foraging and is used as a climbing toy. There is a small perch on my headboard area that he trained to while in the bathroom. Several other hanging perches that I made were hung from the ceiling including wreaths and hoops. A bridge was placed on the top of the armoire as well a small chair that has a small pot in it made out of popsickle sticks that holds food foraging at times. Large baskets were placed on the pier bed top for perching as well as wo old smaller bird cages with a few toys in them for him to explore. On the vanity, containers and a basket hold toys and shreddables, a glass holds large plastic curlers and a drill is held upwards in a glass (Ike slides down it, goes to the top and slides down again). A rope was strung low in front of the vanity and a bell that he can perch on and ring attached to the top of the large medicine cabinet. A 39 inch tall glass stand with a bowl solidly attached on top holds food for foraging. A self-made 4-perch stand made out of a ceramic candle holder sits on top of the bowl and contains play objects (Ike loves to fly to one of the perches and feel the candle holder spin a little as he lands) is positioned on the floor. A tall, free standing bird house and nest with grape vines entwining it which was previously used for decoration in my living room was placed by the window. A narrow table was placed by the window as a cage and basket stand. All furniture surfaces are covered by towels which can used be removed and washed. I cover comforter on the bed with a clean sheet each day.

When I was released and allowed to be free in the master bedroom, he was a very happy little guy and developed amazing flying skills. There is a large mirror above the vanity and at the back of the pier bed in addition on the 36 inch a medicine cabinet. Ike has never run into the mirrors nor window. He immediately chose the cup holder above the vanity as his ultra safe perch and perches there to rest and nap. I think it is because it is darker there being enclosed by 3 walls. His other favorite perches are the one he used in the bathroom which is on my headboard and the curtain rod across the window. It took a few days for him to be brave enough to explore all of the areas. He is a very active, acrobatic bird and loves showing off for us. I am aware that this is not the best setup and that I and my husband have to go into the bedroom and hang out there to be with Ike, but we take the time to do so at the expense of my dogs. I find things to do and watch TV as well. I also train Ike in the bedroom. He is free from about 7:00 until usually 2:30 when he wants to go "home" which is a large portion of each day. In the beginning, I was in the room all day until nightfall because I was having a difficult time re-caging him. He would fly off of the training stick or my finger when right by the small cage door. Now, he has a larger cage with a door that opens widely. He now tells me when he is ready to go back in his cage, flies to the basket by his cage and perches, then freely goes inside after I open the door and attach a piece of millet on a string hanging from the top of the cage. I then take him, caged, back to the living room because he doesn't like being left alone. He appears to be super happy in the living room and plays with all of the toys in his cage, watches and talks to the birds at the bird feeders right outside of the large window next to his cage, watches TV, talks with my husband and chirps almost all of the time until nightfall.

We love Ike and are doing the best we can with the situation we have. All we care about is that he is as happy as he can be in this environment.
Attachments
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Ike on faucet
Ike at mirror1k.jpg (38.74 KiB) Viewed 3555 times
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Ike on rope in sink area
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Area by sink
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Area above armoire
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Window area
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htop
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 12
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Peach-faced lovebird
Flight: Yes

Re: Indoor free-fliers: what is your home environment?

Postby htop » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:37 am

A few more views of Ike's home environment ...
Attachments
Ike shredtoy3f.jpg
Ike hanging from shred toy I made that is attached to an expandable shower curtain in front of the window
Ike shredtoy3f.jpg (113.06 KiB) Viewed 3555 times
ike coconut4f.jpg
Ike on hollowed out coconut shell by window used for foraging (food is inside as well as attached), perching and playing (reed balls are attached to the rope above the coconut)
ike coconut4f.jpg (67.29 KiB) Viewed 3555 times
Ike broc1f.jpg
Ike eating broccoli he found in the nest by the window used for foraging and finding shreddables
Ike broc1f.jpg (80.99 KiB) Viewed 3555 times
ike bedperch5f.jpg
Perch in headboard area in front of large mirror
ike bedperch5f.jpg (59.37 KiB) Viewed 3555 times
Ike stand5f.jpg
Ike on foraging, perch and play stand
Ike stand5f.jpg (33.01 KiB) Viewed 3555 times
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htop
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 12
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Peach-faced lovebird
Flight: Yes

Re: Indoor free-fliers: what is your home environment?

Postby clawnz » Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:06 am

I live with 4 Tiels and 1 Eastern Rosella that are not caged.
I can blow some myths away!
You forever hear my bird flew into the window so I always keep it clipped.
My birds live in an all glass conservatory (over 60 panes of glass) access is by 2 French doors which are sometimes shut sometimes open. These give them access to the kitchen, dinning room and lounge. There are no safety precautions here, yet they are well behaved.
I put this down to that they are well fed and always have things to do in the conservatory.
This includes the very large food cage nest boxes play gym and water feature.
As a rule they spend most nights on the gym. Except Ricky (Eastern Rosella) He has a open cage around close to me in the lounge. He likes to roost there, which is funny, because before he came to live with me he was cage aggressive. He is also an attack parrot. Nick name Rainbow Monster. I maybe the only one who can handle him. There is a You Tube vid of him bathing in my hands.
Search my handle clawinnz.
Back to the birds. I do not give them toys, but do give natural items, like fresh tree tops, bottle Brush, Paperbark Gum, Cherry in flower, Kowhi in flower. Warning! Both these woods are toxic. Only the flowers are not. I also put out fresh vegies and weeds. Sow Thistle Dandelion Silver Beet Kale Fresh grass in seed.
clawnz
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 12
Number of Birds Owned: 5
Types of Birds Owned: Cockatiels Eastern Rosella
Flight: Yes

Re: Indoor free-fliers: what is your home environment?

Postby Fiona&Tweety » Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:04 am

Tweety flies around freely during the day inside. When I go out it comes out in cage with us. Today Tweety joined us kayaking, it seemed very calm and happy.
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Fiona&Tweety
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 9
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Lovebird
Flight: No

Re: Indoor free-fliers: what is your home environment?

Postby pennyandrocky » Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:58 pm

my birds fly back and forth from the man cave with the metal playstand to my living room with a tree stand.both were clipped when i got them,i find it much easier to have flighted birds they're more independent leaving me free to do the daily chores of a stay at home mother who does child care for toy money.penny my greencheek can put himself to bed,he can fly to me wherever i am.if my home was not suited for flight i would just have to live without them. i've said this on other post that my cousin has clipped birds 2 were ripped apart by her dogs because they could not fly away,i have a dog and cat never had a bird eaten.
pennyandmya
pennyandrocky
Amazon
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 915
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: green cheek conure,ducorps cockatoo
Flight: Yes

Re: Indoor free-fliers: what is your home environment?

Postby liz » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:20 pm

I just read my March 10,2011 entry. Myrtle grew her feathers back and has been flying ever since. She makes her rounds from room to room and sometimes flys back and forth between rooms just for the fun of it. Rambo is trying his best to copy her.
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liz
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 7163
Location: Hernando FL
Number of Birds Owned: 10
Types of Birds Owned: DYH Amazon Rambo
BF Amazon Myrtle
Cockatiels: Shadow Tammy Flutter Phoenix Jackie
Andy Impy Louise
Flight: Yes

Re: Indoor free-fliers: what is your home environment?

Postby Sparky » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:20 pm

We have very high sarked ceilings, which is ideal for flying-space for Sparky. He comes out in the morning and evening and any point during the day I shut the doors and put the dog out. (Terrier, bit too interested at the moment)
Sparky is a great flier. He does circuits of the lounge, flies from his cage to anyone with a good looking shoulder, and comes half the time if you call him and offer a forearm.
I don't have any enrichment stuff which I really need to get onto. But he doesn't seem to like any other toys except the bird-balls he came with- he goes manic when I put those out! Starts whistling, talking and going through his repertoire of words. He flings the balls around and chases them. Uses a small ball to bat away any others we roll towards him.
He is such a happy little guy. :)
Jess and Sparky the IRN
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Sparky
Cockatiel
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 81
Location: New Zealand
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Indian Ringneck.
Flight: Yes

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