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How to leave?

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How to leave?

Postby Rick » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:59 am

Just looking for advice on the best practice when leaving in the morning for work, or any other time you have to leave your bird that helps minimise anxiety/stress/sadness. I mean how you should act at these times not ideas for keeping him busy like scavenging toys.

Whenever I leave my senegal will give several loud calls that are pretty heartbreaking but he does seem to now associate me putting the lead on my dog to mean "I won't be too long" and he is quiet at these times. I tell him the same thing every time I will be back soon so he can at least mentally prepare himself for the routine and will know I am coming back, but every morning he gets so excited to see me and then I have to go and it makes me sad to disappoint him, is it better to take him out for a short time in the morning or leave him in his house and not let him get too worked up before leaving? It seems that the latter works best but I always greet him as soon as I get up and change his water etc. I suppose he will just learn the routine in time but if there's anything I can do to help that would be good.
Rick
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Re: How to leave?

Postby liz » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:51 am

I use "I will be right back" when I go to the "I will be back later so no wild parties". Myrtle answered me with "I will" the last time I said it.

When I first got Rainbow and he was still on the dining room table, I put my purse on my shoulder. Rainbow asked "whatcha doing". I said "I am leaving you" . He responded with "good bye".

They accept my absents and are able to understand how long I will be gone. When I left the for 3 days I told them "I have to go and you have to be nice to Rachel". They under stood but voiced their opinion on it.

They are like kids. Myrtle is like a 2 year old and Rainbow is like a 5 year old.
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Re: How to leave?

Postby Rick » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:21 am

That sounds amazing, parrot communicating is really fascinating I saw an interesting study recently where they documented (for the first time) wild baby parrots being given and then learning and repeating their own names, they then learn all the individual names of members in the flock when they fledge. It's really incredible so I don't doubt they learn a great deal of phrases as long as they are linked to an event consistently.
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Re: How to leave?

Postby Pajarita » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:04 pm

Well, the thing with all parrots, and particularly with babies, is that they feel scared and confused when they are alone as nature never meant for an altricial infant to be on its own so no matter how you approach your leaving, it will still be pretty distressing to a parrot - even an adult one. Parrots evolve to be born, live their entire lives and die surrounded by their large extended family. These are not domesticated animals so their needs are exactly the same as the wild ones and, in truth, being pets is not the best situation for them no matter how hard we try. But things are as they are and all we can do is try to minimize the stress of captivity and, the best thing for that is strict and never changing routines. Following a strict daily routine and saying the same thing every time gives them a sense of control over their lives which, in turn, reduces stress. So, if you are going to go out for a little while, do say that you are coming right back or whatever phrase you use BUT, if you are going away for the entire day, use a different phrase so he knows what to expect.

I don't train my birds in the sense of having sessions, giving them rewards, etc. I teach them by always doing and saying the same exact thing every time and you would be surprised how incredibly effective a training tool this is! I hardly ever go out and, when I do, I always do it at a time when they are used to being caged so as not to 'cheat' them of their out of cage time but, when I do go out, I always say the same thing to all of them and, although what I say was originally meant for my dogs, the birds learned that, when I say this, it means that I will be out of the house for a while. Parrots are highly intelligent and learn very fast when a phrase precedes or follows an action. I am going to give you an example: my male redbelly, Davy, knows what 'Come here!' means but he hardly ever says it himself UNLESS it's dinner time for the cats. My cats eat dinner on my dining room table and I call them by going 'BSSSBBBSSSSBBBBSSS Come here!' but the 'come here' is said in a mewling kind of sing song and it sounds more like 'comeeer'. Well, as soon as I come out of the kitchen with the tray holding all the cats dishes and barely start going 'BSSSSBSSSSS' Dave goes: "COMEER COMEEER" and doesn't stop until all the cats are on the table. I did not teach him that but he learned it on his own by hearing me say it every night and seeing the same action taking place immediately after. What I can't figure out is how he knows if all the cats are eating or not because it's actually pretty dark when I feed the cats dinner this time of the year and, as far as I know, he should not be able to count them.

So, I would recommend you use one phrase for when you are coming back soon and another for when you are going to be out all day. I would leave a radio on with the volume low and, right before I leave, give him a treat [I would use a nut - like half an almond, for example] so, although he will learn that the phrase means you won't be there -which he will not like- he will also learn that he will get a goodie which, will distract him while you actually walk out.
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Re: How to leave?

Postby Rick » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:34 pm

That's great I am doing the right thing then as I do use two different phrases.
I have a radio idea by the way that I hope works well, essentially I want to have a radio he can turn on or off himself from inside his cage by flicking a lever. The only reason is I wondered if it would make it a fun game and give him control if for some reason he didn't want it on. Might be a bit anthropomorphic but if I was forced to listen to something constantly I would get annoyed eventually and either way I can't see the harm.
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Re: How to leave?

Postby seagoatdeb » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:11 am

I just say have to go bye bye. When i come home Sunny is calling for me when he hears me and Gaugan makes strange noises that almost sound like crying. When Doug comes home Gagaun always says, Dougies home. But neither of them seem to mind when he leaves, they are always focused on me, so I try to make sure I never forget to say bye bye. When i am going for a long time, i usually bring a bag so i let them see it so they know it will be longer. Gaugan knows if its a suitcase i am going for a while.
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Re: How to leave?

Postby Pajarita » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:08 am

Rick wrote:That's great I am doing the right thing then as I do use two different phrases.
I have a radio idea by the way that I hope works well, essentially I want to have a radio he can turn on or off himself from inside his cage by flicking a lever. The only reason is I wondered if it would make it a fun game and give him control if for some reason he didn't want it on. Might be a bit anthropomorphic but if I was forced to listen to something constantly I would get annoyed eventually and either way I can't see the harm.



Hmmm, I would not do the radio lever thing if I were you. It will end up chewed up and most likely broken before you can even teach the bird to use it. I listen to records, tapes and CDs early in the morning and I put the volume quite loud because I usually sing along but, once I put the birds back in their cages for their breakfast, I put the radio on with a low volume and in a soft rock station which is what I have on the rest of the day until I turn off the overhead lights for the birds in the afternoon. The music is not always the same and there are commercial, news, call-ins, etc so it's not as if they were listening to a single song in a loop. My birds all seem to enjoy having music in the background - Mami Zon actually asks for it by going: "Tralala? Tralala?" and she has very clear preferences as to what kind of music she likes: tangos first, and American country second.
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Re: How to leave?

Postby liz » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:24 am

Rainbow was raised like a kid and knows the words that she uses. I had never had contact with anything larger than a cockatiel but had to take him before he was sold. My friend got pregnant after being married for 11 years and she cleaned house of all her critter. She did not get to sell them. I knew very little but knew that Rainbow was a real personality.
She said many words the first week she was with me and one of them was "help". She yelled "HELP, C'MERE, HURRY HURRY ,CATCH HIM, PUT HIM OUT" when an unknown cat got in the house through the pet door.

I use "I'm going to the mail box and will be right back." I leave the big door open so they can watch me from the storm door. I also use "I am going to Chuck's and will be back in a little while". They understand. They understand when I have a suitcase and tell them "You be good and listen to Rachel" and get clingy. It takes a while to get out the door with them hanging on me. Rainbow understands and he will accept her as his #1 while I am gone. Myrtle treats Rachel like a sister who need to be kept in control. She does not listen to Rachel when I am here but will be nice to here when Rachel is all she has.
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