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Our CAG is flighted! & Question about over-exertion

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

Our CAG is flighted! & Question about over-exertion

Postby k9shrink » Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:40 am

Hi all,

Thanks to the great info on this forum topic, our Congo African Grey started flying yesterday.

Despite having all her feathers, after years of falling like a rock and getting many minor injuries, she was convinced she couldn't fly.

Another factor is that even though I'm home all day and she's always out of her cage, she is super lazy and doesn't really play with toys. She just sits in one spot all day long other than a minute or two of clicker training. Since we got here, she has gone from 380 g to 424 g--she's definitely pudgy. (She eats Feeding Feathers mash, Harrison's, and a few seeds, nut pieces and yogurt). That's one reason I've been desperate for her to fly--so she can burn off some of those clicker-training treat calories.

I started yesterday using the two perch method on this forum, and moving them apart until she had to flap once to cross. After a few minutes, she was flying about 18 inches. Today, we worked up from 6" to about 3 feet. But it takes TONS of encouragement, food bribes waved in the air, etc. to get her to launch off the perch. After about ten practices, I quit for the day, not wanting her to be too tired and fall or not make it to the second perch.

How can I tell how much is too much when we're practicing? Should I keep going until she's panting? Until she refuses? Quit after just one or two short "hops"? How much should I expect from a bit fat bird that hasn't flown in 3 years? I had expected she could pretty much fly a mile right off the bat. In fact, will she only be able to fly a few feet a day at first? Or is she just jerking me around trying to hold out for the big bribes? :-) In the first week would it be realistic to expect her to be able to fly around the whole apartment in flighted recalls, or is that months in the future?

Thanks,

Sharon
:gray:
Last edited by k9shrink on Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
k9shrink
Lovebird
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 44
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Congo African Grey
Flight: Yes

Re: Clover is flighted! & Question about over-exertion

Postby sidech » Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:40 pm

I have no idea but wanted to congratulate you for your great work with your grey !

Keep up the good work.
User avatar
sidech
Poicephalus
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 487
Location: Greater Montreal (Québec)
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Red Sided Eclectus
Flight: Yes

Re: Clover is flighted! & Question about over-exertion

Postby Michael » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:54 pm

Yeah, you cannot expect a newly flighted parrot to have the strength to make any sort of major flights. Imagine someone who has had their leg in a cast even for just a few months returning to walking. It doesn't happen immediately because the unused muscles atrophy.

I would definitely suggest NOT to overexert your parrot in the first few days because if flying becomes too tiring, the parrot will be more reluctant to do it. Start with a few and short ones in early days but expand distance and frequency gradually in coming days. Always set higher goals than previously, even if it is just another inch. You need to help your parrot build its muscles back up.

Keep it fun, be patient, and your parrot will be flying long recalls in no time.
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Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6203
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: Clover is flighted! & Question about over-exertion

Postby Jenny » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:36 pm

Thanks for sharing the success story Sharon. I think it's really cool to read about stuff like this. & the work in progress aspect, along w/questions like yours, help me to learn the practicalities of teaching a bird to fly (that is, should I ever have one that starts out clipped!).

Here's to a more lean/stronger/healthier year for Clover! :thumbsup:
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Jenny
Poicephalus
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 271
Location: Austin, TX
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: cockatiel
white-capped pionus
Flight: Yes

Re: Clover is flighted! & Question about over-exertion

Postby k9shrink » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:27 pm

Thanks for the feedback, guys. We've continued practicing, and she still isn't confident enough to go much more than 4'. But she's doing it faster than before, and doesn't require as much encouragement. We'll keep working on it.

Sharon and Clover :gray:
User avatar
k9shrink
Lovebird
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 44
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Congo African Grey
Flight: Yes


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