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In desperate need of help

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In desperate need of help

Postby Adam » Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:58 am

I am at my wits end with my goffins cockatoo Rosie... We have had her for over 4 years and she screams for a solid 3 hours a day and for an hour at 7pm, then she will scream for random bits of time all throughout the night into the next day. Im just so done... I have permanent hearing damage from dealing with her constant yelling and screaming. I live about 50 meters away and my neighbors have came knocking asking what the screaming was. I've tried everything. New food, toys, cage, place, location, attention, wings clipped, non clipped, Outdoor time, you name it. I just cant take the screaming anymore. Its only got worse over the years and its to the point where we don't even enjoy being home cause all we hear is screaming. For instance everytime I head upstairs she violently attacks one of her toys in the cage and screams for 10 minutes. When I leave the house she does the same thing. I have no clue why this is happening but god I just want it to be quiet. She is a rescue bird who has been through multiple homes and is about 11-12 years old. I really dont want to re home her but its been years now with no improvement to her condition or mental state. I fear I have no choice...
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 1
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Green cheek conure, Goffins cockatoo
Flight: No

Re: In desperate need of help

Postby Pajarita » Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:38 am

Welcome to the forum and I am sorry you are going through this. There is a good reason why cockatoos are the number one 'given up' birds and it's that keeping them healthy and happy is very hard. And, when they are not happy, they scream. I think all the toos i've had were given up because of their screams... BUT although it will take a long time, there is a way of correcting this undesirable behavior because they all do it for the same reason, they are overly hormonal and very, very needy. So, if you are willing and able to give them what they want and wait long enough for them to stop the bad habit, it can be fixed.

The trick is to get their endocrine system back to normal by keeping them to a strict solar schedule with full exposure to dawn and dusk, not to free-feed them protein food, to put them on a never changing schedule of daily routines and to spend a lot of hours with them. It sounds quite difficult, doesn't it? And it is if you have a normal lifestyle - meaning full time work, family, etc. but when there is a will, there is a way and it does work. I can guarantee you it does because I've 'cured' a number of them. Freddie Too took 10 months of screaming before he stopped but he did and became a perfect bird - and Linus was never a big screamer, he was instead a real bad plucker but he is now allowing some of his feathers to grow -more every year that goes by.

The strict solar schedule with full exposure to dawn and dusk is because all birds are photoperiodic - a long word that means that their bodies (the endocrine system, specifically) determine what time of the year it is from the number of hours there is daylight. Think of it like a stop watch that is turned on by dawn and turned off by dusk. The number of hours in between these two events tells their body if itś time to breed, time to molt, etc (photo meaning light and period meaning the annual seasons). For this to work, the bird cannot be exposed to any artificial light before the sun is up in the sky or after the sun is halfway down to the horizon in the afternoon (this is because it is the different light that happens at twilight that triggers the effect). Protein food cannot be free-fed becasue food availability is a sexual hormone production trigger as birds evolved to breed when conditions are good and that means plenty of rich food (itś also bad for their livers and kidneys) so they should get chop, mash or gloop with raw produce in the morning and protein food only for dinner. As to the amount of time they need to be with people... well, they need A LOT as they bond very deeply with their humans (or mates) and need to be with them to feel safe and happy. Entertainment or distractions are also recommended... they need to have a lot of chewing material (Linus goes through wood and hard cardboard like there is no tomorrow - you should see the piles of confetti and wood chips I sweep every morning from the floor of the birdroom) and they are great at playing games or figuring things out so foraging toys, tunnels, wheels, etc work well with them.

Linus Too does not require a lot of my time any longer because he lives cage free in a room with other birds and he has bonded with a female African Gray so he has company, freedom and distractions all the time -which works great for me because I don't have to be there for him all the time.

Let me know what you want me to elaborate on or if you have any questions.
Norwegian Blue
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15050
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: In desperate need of help

Postby GreenWing » Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:26 pm

Brilliant answer from Pajarita. It's absolutely true that birds are very keen to the sun. It's a no brainer when you think about it, unless the bird species is nocturnal (like owls) birds sleep after the sunset and are awake at sunrise. The natural "clock" of birds is based on the sun.

Hang in there, please try the solar schedule, I really do think it's the answer to Rosie's screaming.
African Grey
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 1145
Location: Portlandia, United States
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Congo African Grey ♥
Flight: Yes

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