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Uh-Oh! The new guy isn't flighted and my flighted bird HATE

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Uh-Oh! The new guy isn't flighted and my flighted bird HATE

Postby patti » Sat Apr 23, 2016 6:28 pm

Soon I will post a formal introduction on the boards for Paulie, but first I wanted to run this by everyone on the board for input on how I am managing the introduction between the "new guy" Paulie (clipped) and my Lily (flighted). I live in a loft, so i can't close any doors. It's all one space. I want to get through the introduction period, however long it takes, without clipping Lily... though I recognize that doing so would immediately solve all of the below problems. But I would rather not.

Paulie is peachy perfect Paulie. He is a 20yo male Blue Crown Conure, given up by his previous owner. What little I know about him I will post later in the introductions forum. For now, I'll just say he was given up to a bird store, which clipped his wings when they got him. Before that he was fully flighted. He's got enough muscle tone to suggest he did fly. But now he drops like a paperweight.

Lily....she's perfect too. But difficult! Lily is my 3yo presumptively male Jenday. Like Snoopy, she is a WWI Flying Ace with all sorts of flashy maneuvers. She's acrobatic and energetic. She's 3. It's april. She has a dominant personality. And she LOVES me and super protective of her attachment to me. She is so incredibly jealous of Paulie that she hasn't yet noticed that he is willing to let her be the dominant one.

From my experiment with her nemesis Mr. Stuffed Elephant, I predict it may take her up to 6 mo. to fully accept pAULIE and longer than that to be friends. With that said, it has been 6 days and I have already seen improvement.

Day 1-3. I am information gathering and trying to figure out what to do with the daily routine. During that time Lily flies over to attack Paulie several times. He ends up on the ground (thud!). Each time she doesn't bite him but just flies and hovers over him with her feet in his face - i think she is just trying to scare him and it is working because he totally freaks out. If he didn't move she would eventually bite him. She only lunged and bit once, and that time just got a couple feathers. I eventually learn that it is impossible to protect Paulie unless he is on my hand or shoulder, which upsets Lily even more, because THAT IS HER SPACE! He gets really intimidated, on top of all of the anxiety-provoking experiences of being given up, the quarantine, the move, etc. I am also worried about him hurting himself with a fall (thud!), so I absolutely must protect him closely when Lily is out. When they are both out, my first priority is protecting paulie and my second priority is helping lily accept him.

Day 3-6. I start setting up a new daily rountine, outlined below, which i think does the best job of lowering Paulie's anxiety and Lily's jealousy. During this time I sucessfully train Lily that attacking Paulie is bad behavior, by putting her in her cage for quiet time after she attacks or attempts to attack. But it doesn't keep her from doing it. Instead, she attacks Paulie, immediately flies right to the topmost brach of the tree perch (where she never goes), then when I yell "NO!" she knows the routine and just flies right into her cage (which she never does) and fluffs and steams in there, waiting for me to come over and shut the door. Temper tantrum anyone? Paulie starts to adjust to his new surroundings a bit during this time, which helps me to figure out how he is feeling in any given moment. Usually, he is anxious. If not that, he is complacently bored and lonely. I think he is used to feeling bored and lonely. Occasionally, he is happy (he likes fresh food and music).

The routine:

Dawn: both birds out for an hour. cages are open, and the birds get up on their own. Paulie is downstairs and crawls out to his cagetop when he wakes. Lily sleeps upstairs right next to my bed, and then crawls/flies onto me and nibbles to wake me up at dawn. We go downstairs and I scoop up Paulie first thing to hold him. I must give them my full attention when they are both out, and I must be hold Paulie close or I can't protect him from Lily. I am able to dispel most of Lily's aggression by giving her my full attention and lots of head scratches when she starts to get jealous, and by teaching her how to share various things (like a banana) with Paulie. Lily gets more treats/junkfood than she normally would. But her intolerance builds until she has to follow through with her aggression and then its immediate cage time for her.

While home during the day I alternate having Lily out: When Lily is in her cage I put her behind a large curtain so Paulie can't see her. Paulie is noticeably more calm when she;s gone. (FYI, paulie liked Lily alot until she started attacking him). I leave him alone unless he seems to want to step up or head scratches, so that he can adjust to his new surroundings and calm down from this ordeal we are putting him through. He has three different places he likes to perch and begs when he wants to move between them, and I oblige him.

I take Lily out of her cage every other hour, for an hour. When she is out she gets my full attention, and I wheel Paulie behind a large curtian. I can't keep him in his cage when she is out because the cage he came with is too small for him. So he is out sitting on top of the cage where he is most comfortable, and if Lily can't see him she tends to stay away. And Lily can pretend things were just like they were before he came, because she can't see him. If she flies behind the curtain, I immediately go and get her.

Returning home: I let them both out and watch them closely like at dawn, for at least 1/2 hour. Then back to alternating who is out.

Dusk: Like dawn, I have them both out while I get them ready for bed. They are side by side on their table perches eating. I watch them closely just like at dawn, and I must give them 100% of my attention at this time. Lily is able to eat next to Paulie without having a jealousy tantrum. Her attacks seem to happen mostly during the morning time - before the midday nap. Nighttime she is noticeably less aggressive. Paulie eventually begs for his cage when he is ready to sleep. Lily's bedtime routine is that she crawls in and out of my shirt until eventually settling down.

So that seems to be the best I have come up with. Sound like a good routine? Anyone have any thoughts as to how long I have to keep this up before I can have them both out at the same time during the day? It almost doubles the amount of "home time" i need in a day, so it will be much much easier when Lily can learn to play nice.
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patti
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Re: Uh-Oh! The new guy isn't flighted and my flighted bird HATE

Postby liz » Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:59 am

Myrtle believes I should only be owned by her and is jealous of any attention I give Rambo. She has gotten better. If she hears me ask Rambo if he wants help when I have him step up she will go along with it. I have to be careful not to show too much attention to Rambo while she is watching.
I have added the enrichment of being outside when I am caring for the outside pets. I put the little cage down near him and he climbs in. She wants to go out but is afraid of being closed in so only watches from the door. Rambo has learned to come to me when she is taking a nap and I spend a lot of time with him that way.
These two are so much like my kids. Charles waits for my attention but Rachel demands it. It has always been that way and I am using the same methods for my birds that I did with my kids.
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Re: Uh-Oh! The new guy isn't flighted and my flighted bird HATE

Postby Pajarita » Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:08 pm

I have successfully introduced adult birds to one another but I don't do it the way you are doing it. I start by putting the cages close to one another but not close enough that they can put their beak through the bars and bite the other bird (after quarantine, of course!) and letting them out at different times supervising that the 'old' bird does not go over to the cage of the 'new' one. I teach them the "GO HOME!" command which means 'Fly -or walk- over to your own cage' - the sequence is: "NO! BAD BIRD! That's not your place - GO HOME!" and praise and reward when they do but I also teach them the "I am watching you!" to make them stop BEFORE they actually perch on the other cage (this command actually requires that the bird disobeys it at the beginning so they make the connection between the warning and the 'bad action' that should not follow it). This 'sharing of space' makes them familiar with the other bird without the constant confrontation that would, inevitably, happen when an old bird gets the competition of a new one (I believe that avoided behaviors are better than correcting bad ones)

Once the old bird no longer 'bothers' the new bird (it hardly ever happens that the new bird bothers the old bird) , I start letting them out together at noon (this is their natural rest time and when they are less energetic). I start with a few minutes and gradually (I play it by ear by watching how they react to it) increase the time until I see that there are no more problems. This requires very close supervision so no other chores should be done at the time because, again, the trick is to nip the confrontation in the bud.

I don't like clipping birds for any other reason than a medical one and I would particularly not recommend clipping your 'old' bird which has been fully flighted for long because, smart cookies that they are, you don't want Lilly thinking that she is now deprived (punished?) because of the new bird and resenting it for the rest of their lives.

The way I do it might take quite a while but it has worked for me. I am now working on a female Senegal accepting a female GCC which she dislikes because she spends hours on me -something she considers only she should be able to do and no other birdy. She has already accepted a male Senegal and a female redbelly (using this same method) but although they ride my shoulders, they also fly here and there and are not Velcro birdies like the GCC (four days that they are out together and even perching both on me without an incident :danicing: )
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Re: Uh-Oh! The new guy isn't flighted and my flighted bird HATE

Postby patti » Sun Apr 24, 2016 2:55 pm

Good point about the noon-time lull. I will switch their first "out together" time to around this time instead of the morning, starting tomorrow. If I just let Paulie sleep behind the curtain and give Lily the first hour of the day out, it can easily be arranged.

Today at noon I tried some "out together" and they successfully played in close proximity for 15 minutes without a problem! I did it after Lily just finished one of her crazy fits of darting about, which meant that she had worked off some of her energy.

For Lily, her command is "Are you being a good bird?" said with a warning tone. And she knows that, whatever she is thinking about or starting to do... she needs to stop. If she stops I reward her. She was MUCH better at stopping herself at noon than she was this morning.

This 'sharing of space' makes them familiar with the other bird without the constant confrontation that would, inevitably, happen when an old bird gets the competition of a new one (I believe that avoided behaviors are better than correcting bad ones)


I will try to figure out how to do this....
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Re: Uh-Oh! The new guy isn't flighted and my flighted bird HATE

Postby Wolf » Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:27 pm

I normally begin introductions by placing their cages near each other, but not so close as to cause any negative reaction, I just want them to be able to see and talk to each other and them every few days I move the cages closer until they are next to each other but not close enough that they can reach each other. I also give them out of cage time but not together at first, then I start bring them out together, usually I do this by letting first one bird out for a while and let it fly around and what ever they normally do and then as it draw close to the time to switch the birds so that the other one gets time out as well I bring the second bird out while the first one is still out. Just like any other way that one could try, this also require that I be on high alert to keep any bad behaviors from starting. I reward both birds for the time that they spend out together without incidence. If there are more than two or three attempts to attack or intimidate the other bird then I put the offending bird back in their cage. If this happens to be the second bird whose turn it is to be out, then I come back after a short time and switch the birds.
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Re: Uh-Oh! The new guy isn't flighted and my flighted bird HATE

Postby patti » Sun May 01, 2016 6:31 pm

Thanks for all of the advice everyone. Overall I am very happy to report that they are getting along great for the short time they have been together. I can now have them out together and do chores and stuff (with one eye on them at all times) because it is now pretty easy for me to predict when Lily is about to boil over. I am really surprised at how quickly Lily learned about the consequences of her behavior, and how quickly she was able to control herself. What a smart cookie!

Now it is on to phase two of operation Paulie: making him the happiest bird in the world!
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patti
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Re: Uh-Oh! The new guy isn't flighted and my flighted bird HATE

Postby Wolf » Mon May 02, 2016 7:24 am

How are you going to manage that, ie. making Paulie the happiest bird in the world if you have made Lily the happiest bird in the world. :lol: :lol: :lol:

And you can't have the title of the best little bird in the whole world because Mimi, my YNA has already laid claim to that one as she regularly informs me.
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Re: Uh-Oh! The new guy isn't flighted and my flighted bird HATE

Postby seagoatdeb » Mon May 02, 2016 7:12 pm

Wolf,,,,,noooo....my Gaugie is the happiest bird in the world.....lol...but i am glad to have a lot of happy birdies in the world.

I agree with not clipping at all.....With a parrot that has not been clipped the only clip i would ever do is a modest clip and that would not even them up.....The poor guy is dropping like a stone, so they over clipped him....

Your way sounds just fine, and of course with you there to see how they react, most often your own way is best, but you have also been offered two other good methods by Wolf and Pajarita, and I have nothing better than what they offered there.

They will not be on anything close to an equal footing with one so serverly clipped, so you can only really have them out with supervison untill the poor guy moults. You are doing very well with Paulie, and any special attention or interesting toys could pick up his mood, it is hard to be fuly flighted and then suddenly severly clipped so he is feeling he cant defend himself well. What you will likely find is that even if they get used to each other quickly and get along, that when Paulie moults and becomes flighted they will have to adjust again.
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Re: Uh-Oh! The new guy isn't flighted and my flighted bird HATE

Postby patti » Fri May 06, 2016 10:58 pm

And you can't have the title of the best little bird in the whole world because Mimi, my YNA has already laid claim to that one as she regularly informs me.


Ha ha ha !!!

Yeah, I can't wait until Paulie starts molting. I have felt so bad for him... the last few weeks have been so terrible and, yes, he has been feeling very vulnerable. Lily has just made that so much worse for him. Lily is in the middle of a molt right now... but so far Paulie has only lost one stumpy little butt feather. Fingers crossed that when he molts it will start with wings.

I can't believe how well they are getting along. Crazy how it can be complete pandemonium one week and then just 2-3 weeks later they are actually contemplating being friends! I have gotten practiced preening one bird with one hand and the other with the other hand, (drinking coffee with a third hand, and always keeping a fourth hand free to stop any potential fighting). A couple times they have been surprised to find the "other" bird right next to them but then went right back to enjoying head scratches knowing the other guy was right next to them. When they are getting lots of love they feel comfortable when they might otherwise feel threatened. A friend told me that I had to model good flock behavior for them... teach them how to be a member of the flock. Never thought of it that way. You know, like Ghandi said... "be the change you want to be." So I am trying to create that and it is working!
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patti
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Re: Uh-Oh! The new guy isn't flighted and my flighted bird HATE

Postby Wolf » Sat May 07, 2016 7:02 am

A friend told me that I had to model good flock behavior for them... teach them how to be a member of the flock. Never thought of it that way. You know, like Ghandi said... "be the change you want to be." So I am trying to create that and it is working!

That is very good advice.
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