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Putting Polly on the Burner

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Putting Polly on the Burner

Postby Michael » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Since we were talking about the perceived threat of a flighted parrot landing on a stove in another thread, I wanted to bring up something that I did and wondered what others think about this or have done.

Both of my parrots have landed on the cold stove once or twice so it makes me very well aware of the chance of it happening when the stove is actually on.

Since Kili is very well trained and already bonded to me, I wasn't worried about this hurting our relationship. I put a pot of water to boil on the stove. When it reached the stage that it was hot to the touch but not unbearable or burning, I put Kili on the brim of it. She sat for a few seconds and realized it was hot and flew back to her perch. I continued doing this a couple more times until she would pretty much fly off before her feet even touched the hot metal.

Essentially I am using positive punishment for going on the stove. I want her to be fearful of it. This does not mean that I leave her out while cooking but I am pretty confident that she wouldn't fly onto the stove ever again. At this stage I will even leave her out at the point where there is a pot on the stove and it is warm (hot enough to hurt but not cause damage) but if there is anything dangerously hot, I definitely put her away. However, I do take her to other people's houses, she has escaped her cage in the past, etc. So I feel that it is important to undergo such training.

Luckily touching the hot stove is an auto punishment, so I don't need to do anything. The punishment comes from being on the pot and then it feels too hot, so the aversion develops to the pot. Of course it is important to reiterate my strong bond to the parrot because it means she learned that the pot is bad and not me. I wouldn't do this with Truman at this stage because he may just become fearful of me thinking that I am going to try to be mean to him and put him on the pot again. So I am by no means suggesting that anyone does this but I'd like to see what others think about exposing your parrot to real life risks in moderation to teach them to avoid it when it can be lethal? A vaccination of reality I suppose?
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Re: Putting Polly on the Burner

Postby ptuga72 » Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:59 pm

I think for happy, well adjusted and strongly bonded birds this is really a great way of going about it. You're introducing a natural consequence before the consequence is a lethal one.
Many have forgotten this truth, but you must not forget it.
You remain responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.
-Antoine de Saint Exupery
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Re: Putting Polly on the Burner

Postby lzver » Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:47 am

I don't really agree ... too much risk in my mind.

It's simple around here. The birds are never out of their cages when I'm cooking in the kitchen.
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Re: Putting Polly on the Burner

Postby pchela » Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:05 pm

Yeah, the thought of putting them on a hot surface to teach them a lesson doesn't seem right to me. I would never stick a toddlers hand on a hot stove to teach them it's hot. So, I guess I don't agree with this method. It seems a bit cruel.
"I bet the sparrow looks at the parrot and thinks, yes, you can talk, but LISTEN TO YOURSELF!" ~ Jack Handy ~ Deep Thoughts
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Re: Putting Polly on the Burner

Postby Azure Hanyo » Sat Sep 25, 2010 2:35 pm

pchela wrote:Yeah, the thought of putting them on a hot surface to teach them a lesson doesn't seem right to me. I would never stick a toddlers hand on a hot stove to teach them it's hot. So, I guess I don't agree with this method. It seems a bit cruel.


I agree completely. I just don't let any of my fids out when I am cooking, just as I do not allow my *human* babies in the kitchen either.
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Re: Putting Polly on the Burner

Postby Titanius » Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:03 pm

I think it works for you because you and Kili have that kind of bond. I think for me my birds would probably become fearful like Truman.

When my birds fly they get so pumped up with adrenaline even if they didn't mean to they sometimes don't land where they want to be perfectly. Especially on objects that look "perchable" but really aren't. Also I don't trust who ever is cooking to be aware of two birds zooming around the place. For me I just like to leave good well alone and keep them in the cage when anyone is cooking which is a small fraction of time compared to how long they are usually allowed to be out the rest of the day.
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