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That evil bird!

Chat about general parrot care and parrot owner lifestyle. Bird psychology, activities, trimming, clipping, breeding etc.

That evil bird!

Postby cstone01 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:48 am

I think this morning has been the most frustrated and honestly angry I have ever been with our bird. I know I just need to calm down about it but I guess I’ll vent here. I don’t work and our alexandrine is almost always with me. He is EXTREMELY flighted and very agile but that’s okay as if I’m paying attention to him he usually doesn't get in too much trouble. I’ve known him to make a mess for attention but not throw fits before.

Nearly every morning I get him up with me and then when I shower he sits on a perch in there and he sings and gets attention and showers are one of his favorite things, this morning I was meeting a girlfriend from college and needed to move fast so I left him on his stand when I went to shower.

He really did not like that I left him out. So he managed to fly into the bathroom (through an impossibly small door crack) and then he took my makeup compacts and dropped them into the shower. Right now I’m pretty sure it was genuinely in malice. Our house is pretty bird proof, there is nothing he can really tare EXCEPT my make up. He is always in the bathroom watching me put it on but it’s one thing I don’t let him touch or explore. So he is dumping my makeup into a running shower, flying tight circles around the tiny room. He ruined at least 300$ with of the luxury’s I have because they make me happy.

I think I’m just frustrated with him and mad that I let anything in my life make me cry over makeup. Maybe I’ll get a feather or two taken off each wing today. I’ve never felt like I couldn’t control him before today but if my life had depended on it I don’t think I could have gotten him to stop. It went on realistically for at least 8 minutes it felt like an hour. I was just desperately chasing\ trying to calm him/ trying to bribe him. Maybe in a few hours I will feel differently about it. I usually have the makeup bag in the cabinet so he can’t get it, it’s been a forbidden prize in the past.i guess I’m too attached to my pretty high end makeup and he is more important but I’m actually so upset.

He is never used to being alone or ignored, maybe that’s part of the problem. It’s all replaceable in the end. I’ve always had flighted birds but he is without comparison the most agile. He banks and can practically hover. He doesn’t do anything he doesn’t want to, before this all he has ever done with that skill is steal measuring cups and make me play fetch. Maybe a very light clip would help with an attitude adjustment, I still want him flighted but maybe it would help.
cstone01
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 19
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Alexandrine
Flight: No

Re: That evil bird!

Postby Pajarita » Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:57 am

Ahhhh, yes, the expensive destruction... I am afraid is part of living with a parrot because, although it seems like something done to spite us, in reality, the chewing, wasting food, dropping things on the floor (or the shower), etc. are all natural behaviors, it's only that, in the wild, it doesn't matter but it's a completely different story in a human home. I've never been very attached to things and have a natural tendency to be lenient (with animals, children and old people - NOT adults!) but I have to hear my husband complain ALL THE TIME! I am talking 3 laptops (they chew the wires and the keyboards), countless draperies and blinds (they blinds don't last more than three or four months in my house), paintings and anything else that is hanged on a wall, tables, chairs, sofas, etc. and don't even get me started on moldings! We have slowly but surely learned to cover or hide everything and, in my husband's case not so slowly but just as surely, learn that if you want to have a good, long-term relationship with them, you will go through these things. It's no use fighting them because, even when we think that we have EVERYTHING covered, we don't. They always manage to find something.

Please reconsider clipping him. For one thing, I seriously doubt it will stop him from finding something to mess up and, for another, the only thing you will do is upset him and make him very unhappy - which is NOT good for him or you. They are VERY smart and they know very well who does what to them - and they are forgiving but they do not forget. Personally, whenever I am in a situation like yours (and, believe me when I tell you that even after 27 years of living with parrots, they still manage to find something to destroy that I missed), I put it down to a life-with-the-parrots lesson.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15541
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: That evil bird!

Postby cstone01 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:25 pm

Is it ever effective or appropriate to take just a few feathers? So he is still flighted or would that just make him less confident? I know we want him flighted but I think it may be easier if he couldn’t out maneuver me so well... if that’s still damaging to me I obviously will not do it.

I’m over what he tore up. I think I was 1/2 upset just because I let it upset me. I’m usually hard to frazzle and not attached to things but I knew I had let a bird and ruined makeup get me crying and that’s not the kind of person I endeavor to be.
cstone01
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 19
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Alexandrine
Flight: No

Re: That evil bird!

Postby Pajarita » Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:21 am

Well, as you must know by now, there are different opinions as to clipping a bird but what I have noticed is that, lately, very few people clip while, years ago, almost everybody did. The truth of the matter is that is never really effective in keeping them safe -which is the most used argument. A severe clip (which is the only one that actually prevents them from flying at all) is very unhealthy from a physical and an emotional point of view. A moderate clip -which is what you suggest- still gets them lost easily and it's actually very dangerous because they can glide (horizontal or slightly downward flight) but they cannot take off without difficulty so they are pretty much sitting ducks to danger or predators. And it's frustrating to the bird. But, given enough time (and I am talking seconds, actually), they can take off so, in reality, it's not going to prevent him from getting into anything because it does not impair their ability to maneuver (this is done with the tail feathers and that's why they are called 'rectrices' -the feminine, plural form of rector, meaning one who directs) so it won't work for your purposes. But what it might do is depress him. We have a member here who clipped his GCC so she would not get hurt by his gray and she started plucking. Once she regained flight, she stopped.

I've never agreed with handicapping an animal just so I can control it. I think that, if I cannot do it without it, I am the one that needs 'work' (something my husband would agree with 100% :lol: ) but I did clip the sum total of one single bird of all the birds I've kept (hundreds - I used to run a rescue) and in all the years I've kept them (over 50 if I count canaries). I did it out of sheer desperation with a male senegal that hated me with a passion and had been attacking me (he lived cage-free in the birdroom) relentlessly for years several times a day. It had gotten so bad that I actually dreaded going into the birdroom! So I clipped him. And I regretted it immediately. This self-assured, out-going, happy bird turned into a depressed one that hid for three whole days. And it did not curb his antipathy against me in the slightest so I had done a bad turn to the poor bird for nothing - made me feel like a complete heel.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15541
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: That evil bird!

Postby cstone01 » Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:25 pm

Okay, thanks for the information. I we will leave him completely Unclipped.

I have one other question if it is not too much trouble. When we first got him he was cage aggressive, he would not step up from inside of his cage and we had to wait until he climbed to the stand on top to pick him up. I read online somewhere (possibly here) That it was best to just let his cage be his territory and let him climb out on his own if he was territorial so I stoped trying.

About 2 months ago we boarded him for 4 days and while he was there he was never let out of the cage (durring the day here it is always open unless we go out to the store ect. When we got home I had him closed in to reorganize his stand and noticed he looked very eager to come out so I tied let him step up from inside and he did. Ever since then he will very easily step up even from his night roosting perch in the morning.

Is it okay to ask him to step up from inside if he is happy to do this now or should I avaid this to let it be his space?

Thanks again for you time and your obvious effort on all of your replies.
cstone01
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 19
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Alexandrine
Flight: No

Re: That evil bird!

Postby Pajarita » Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:44 am

Well, I never ask them to step up from inside their cage but it's not as if it's BAD to do it as long as the bird is willing, it's that I always try to give them the most possible situations where they can choose what to do and what not to do and this is an easy one. Parrots don't live in hierarchical societies, there are no leader, no alphas, nobody to follow or obey and, although they live in flock, they all make decisions independently. Captivity takes away virtually all of their individual choices... they cannot choose where to live, what to eat, where to go, when to fly, etc - sheesh, they can't even choose their own mates! And I believe that this very unnatural, very restricted, very un-independent life takes an emotional toll on them because it's like living in a jail. So, although I keep VERY strict schedules and routines with them, I also allow them quite a bit of choices because they are out almost all day long so they can fly wherever they want, play with whatever they want, eat wherever they prefer, make friends with whichever birdy they choose AND come out of their cage if and when they feel like it (I have three birds -Sweetpea, Epuish and Isis- that take their time and wait for all the others to be out and perching -they always fly around a bit before they settle down in one spot- before they leave their cage). I even allow them to choose where their cage will be placed and, if they show they don't like it where it is, I change it. I think that, although these choices are small ones, they all add up to give them not real independence but a feeling, a semblance of one. And I think that benefits them in the long run.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15541
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: That evil bird!

Postby cstone01 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:39 pm

I have one on there quick question, sorry for the bothersome repetitiveness... I just read in another question you wrote “My parrots never eat anything meant for human consumption. Not a single thing! I used to give them organic graham crackers made with sugar cane juice but I no longer do - just in case.”

For the last couple of months I have been buying a chopped organic salad mix that is triple washed. It is kale, cabbage and korobi along with a few other vegetables from an organic health store near me. It is a salad kit I eat almost every day for lunch and before I add the dressing, goat cheese and chicken I have been giving Hephaestion a handful of it in his bowl. I have seen some other people say it is hard to get them to eat greens but he absolutely loves the cabbage and the kale and anything crunchy. Is this bad because it is packaged for humans? It has all the farms where it was grown ect and all organic so I thought it was okay and I could be lazy and have us eat the same thing. I could call the sources as it is a small company and verify things but it is a good amount of his fresh veggie produce. I guess I thought I could diversify daily veggies like that. Should I avoid? It is pretty pricey per day for both of us (close to $10) so I’m sure I could buy kale ect at a close price and chop for us but it was just easier.

He also gets the gloop and fruit and carrots every day but the veggies may be 1/5 of his food a day right now.
cstone01
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 19
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Alexandrine
Flight: No

Re: That evil bird!

Postby Pajarita » Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:56 am

No, something like that is fine. When I say 'people food', I mean things like crackers, instant mashed potatoes, pasta cooked with salt or made of white flour and stuff like that. What you are feeding is a chop of sorts... I would not feed it every day because kale is very high in sorbitol, an indigestible sugar (I can only eat a teensy tiny bit of it every now and then), so, although my birds like it, they only get it once every two weeks or so.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15541
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: That evil bird!

Postby cstone01 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:36 pm

Okay, thank you so much for all of the information!
cstone01
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 19
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Alexandrine
Flight: No


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