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Attacking or playing?

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Attacking or playing?

Postby CaketheParrot » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:53 pm

Cake only plays with his foraging ball when I’m there. And he’ll just kind of attack it. Which still might be his attempt to get the food out just cause the ball is fairly new and he’s not so experienced yet. But like, only when I come? Does he want it gone or is he using it right? idk anymore
Thanks and love from Cake :gray:
CaketheParrot
Lovebird
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 46
Location: NJ
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: African Gray, Finch, Canary
Flight: Yes

Re: Attacking or playing?

Postby Pajarita » Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:30 am

Without being there to observe an entire day of the bird's life, it's hard to say BUT, usually, when a parrot attacks a toy in front of a human, it's redirecting aggression.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17510
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: Attacking or playing?

Postby CaketheParrot » Sun Jun 07, 2020 3:11 pm

Do you mean aggression toward that person? Is he mad at me for something? Or do you mean this is a healthy outlet and we should continue providing the ball to him?
Thanks and love from Cake :gray:
CaketheParrot
Lovebird
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 46
Location: NJ
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: African Gray, Finch, Canary
Flight: Yes

Re: Attacking or playing?

Postby Pajarita » Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:11 am

Well, I wouldn't call it 'healthy'... I mean, parrots are not naturally aggressive so if the bird is acting up, there is something that is causing it so although having an 'outlet' for the aggression could be considered 'healthy' in the sense that it provides some sort of relief to the bird, aggression itself is not healthy for it because it is not natural to the species.

Is it possible that it's spending too much time in its cage? Grays need A LOT of out-of-cage time (at least, 5 to 6 hours a day - and that means during the day, not in the evening or at night) and A LOT of one-on-one (at least, 3 to 4 hours a day). Grays are not hard to keep happy as long as the husbandry is correct (diet, light schedule, etc), the household is not a busy one and you allow them freedom and give them constant company - all they want is to either be on your shoulder or be able to fly close to where you are and check out what you are doing. They are very curious birds but they don't show it the same way other parrots do -like cockatoos that like to investigate or zons that like to roam on their own- they mostly like to see what you are doing and take part in it in some measure -mine loves to watch me brush my teeth while perching on my shoulder and 'helps' me by grabbing the end of the brush with her foot while she leans over to look at what is going on my mouth :lol:. It's a little thing but, for some reason, it makes her day (she even kisses my cheek after I am done :D)
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17510
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: Attacking or playing?

Postby CaketheParrot » Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:34 am

Our one-on-one time isn’t ideal, but we’ve been working on increasing the one-on-one time. We’ve always spent at least an hour with him before, and after some research because of some bad behavior, we increased it to like two or three and fully intend to continue increasing until it reaches or exceeds four hours a day. Once school ends, that’ll definitely get a lot better, too. As for time out of the cage. ok so the things is. It’s kind of a long story. His family has been raised domestically for generations, and I guess the breeder didn’t really give them what they need because Cake and multiple ancestors have been unable to fly due to lack of exercise and practice. My uncle believes whatever genes are required for strong wings have slowly been fading (not to the point of pain or anything Cake seems fine with his wings, but he doesn’t know how to fly is all). We provide him with ladders to climb down and he’s tried, but he can’t quite figure it out. If he is spooked and flaps off his cage he can climb up the ladder, but the way the ladder and cage are designed, there’s a small gap that I have no doubt he can easily reach, but he’s a tad nervous to reach for it. And he’s very slow to trust. After we’ve had him since before I was born and he won’t step up for anyone, so we can’t bring him out that way. He does come out to stand on top of his cage and climbs the outside of it all the time, though idk if that counts. That story about brushing your teeth is the cutest! I wish Cake would step up for us. I’m hoping if we keep bonding he’ll step up eventually and we can finally get him out of that cage more often
Thanks and love from Cake :gray:
CaketheParrot
Lovebird
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 46
Location: NJ
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: African Gray, Finch, Canary
Flight: Yes

Re: Attacking or playing?

Postby Pajarita » Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:05 am

No, I don't think that his inability to fly has anything to do with genes inherited from previous generations - what you are talking about here is evolution and it doesn't happen in a few generations, it takes thousands and thousands of years for genes to change that way. The reason why he doesn't fly is that he was never allowed to when a baby and now his muscles are atrophied and his tendons shrunk.

But you answered your own question: yes, what he does is redirected aggression and the reason is that he spends what too much time in his cage AND that he doesn't have anybody of its own: no human, no bird. Please don't take this the wrong way but your bird does not have a good life and you need to speed up the process because this 'gradual increasing' of the out-of-cage and the one-on-one time is not fast enough. You acknowledge that it is 'not ideal' but that is a understatement. It has gone way beyond 'not ideal', it's plain BAD and it has been BAD for many years. I am sorry if I hurt your feelings but please understand that the only reason I post here is because I love birds. I like people too and I always try to help anybody who needs it but I am not here to make people feel good, I am here to help birds and your bird needs help. Now, what you need to do is jump into the care he needs with both feet, so to speak, and allow him freedom all day long (the bird doesn't even fly, why keep him in a cage?) and keep him company for many hours as well as interaction as of today. He's been waiting for many years to get what he needs and he needs it yesterday.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17510
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: Attacking or playing?

Postby CaketheParrot » Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:30 am

Thanks for your continued advice! I definitely am not hurt by your trying to help (okay fine, I’m a little butthurt, but that’s my own problem) and I really appreciate it!

I didn’t know it was that bad! It was clearly not good but I did not realize the extent! Do you have any suggestions for how else we can get him out of the cage?

You said why even keep him in the cage: a) the door’s always open, though that’s not the point just my defensiveness surging up again sorry and b) what do you recommend we move him to?

About the muscle atrophy: is this dangerous? It sounds kinda dangerous. If it’s dangerous how can we help him rebuild his muscles?

eeek I hope this goes well
Thanks and love from Cake :gray:
CaketheParrot
Lovebird
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 46
Location: NJ
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: African Gray, Finch, Canary
Flight: Yes

Re: Attacking or playing?

Postby Pajarita » Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:15 am

Thank you for understanding! That is very mature of you.

No flight is bad but not so much because of the wing atrophy per se but because flight is the only exercise available to birds -it's the way nature made them- so birds that don't fly tend to gain too much weight and have cardiovascular problems. But the greatest problem is that because nature never considered that a bird would be deprived of flight, she made it so flight is necessary for a healthy respiratory system. See, birds have lungs like we do but they are not like ours, they are not as flexible and they don't have a diaphragm to push the air in and out of the lungs, they use muscles instead - and the lungs are connected to air sacs that are placed in pairs all connecting to each other so, when a bird takes a breath, the air goes into the lungs and the air that was in the lungs already moves into the first pair of air sacs which, in turn, moves the air it had into the second pair of air sacs and so on and so forth until it comes out again when the bird exhales (they are not like mammals that exhale the same air they have just inhaled). This is needed because birds need much more oxygen than we do (because of flight and their super fast metabolism) so their respiratory system is much more efficient than ours is with the air sacs allowing for more oxygen absorption than just a pair of lungs. Problem is, exquisitely efficient machines are also VERY delicate and one single wrench into the whole thing screws everything up. See, there is a pair of air sacs (its called the 'posterior') that is only inflated and deflated by the movement of the same muscles that move the wings up and down in flight. No flight = no complete inflation/deflation of the posterior pair of air sacs = partial atrophy of the same pair of air sacs. One could say: "Well, the bird doesn't fly so it doesn't need ALL that oxygen and although it is sad that it cannot, it's not such a big thing" But it is because rule of thumb says that any organ that is even partially atrophied is more prone to infection. Bodies and organs evolved so their function and elimination of 'bad' stuff is linked. When it comes to respiratory issues, it means that the lungs (and, in the case of birds, the air sacs) have to be used as nature intended for them to be used so they remain 'clean' enough of pathogens to prevent disease. We clean our lungs through mucus (phlegm) that acts as a sticky broom for all the impurities we breathe in - when we cough is to get rid of the excess of this mucus that has been produced because of the presence of a pathogen. So, when a bird does not breathe as it's supposed to, you end up with a bird that is prone to respiratory infections. And birds cannot cough so it stays there.

Now, there are ways you can exercise Cake's wings so as to improve things but you need for him to be able to perch on your hand and trust you completely - and you do not have that... yet. So, the first order of business is to make him more comfortable (so he would not be mad at humans for neglecting him), to gain his trust and teach him to step up. Javi Caique came to me not being able to fly because he had been kept clipped as a baby and, once he grew and was not able to fly well, his owner did not realize this was not a good thing. He will never be a good flier but he can now fly horizontally without losing altitude for about 12 ft - and although this doesn't sound like much, it is a great improvement for him. I achieved this by exercising his wings daily. I would make him step to my hand and raising my hand all the way up, I would bring it down real fast and hard which made him flap his wings furiously because he 'felt' he was falling. I would do this every single day for about 5 minutes two or three times a day. It's slow going but it does strengthen the muscles and stretch out the tendons. I admit I haven't done this lately and I do have to start again... And, if it is any consolation, the new quakers I got need to exercise the same way and they also do not trust me or even know how to step up to a hand or a stick so I am going to have to start from square one, too - just as you would have to do with Cake.

I already replied to what you can do to make him more comfortable on the thread you started about what to do with his cage.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17510
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: Attacking or playing?

Postby CaketheParrot » Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:05 pm

Thanks! Will try working in his wings and trust and all that. While I try to build up trust I’m going to try treating on the rare occasion he flaps his wings in case that helps him want to flap more and build up some muscle. You’ve written so much to help, thank you so much!!
Thanks and love from Cake :gray:
CaketheParrot
Lovebird
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 46
Location: NJ
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: African Gray, Finch, Canary
Flight: Yes

Re: Attacking or playing?

Postby banuvatt » Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:19 pm

If you check out Michael's videos(The Parrot Wizard) his red and green-winged macaw had the same issue I believe. He guessed that she was unable to fly probably because she was clipped before she was weaned. Now I believe if your parrot(or your uncle's parrot more exactly) is in the same situation which is highly likely. He could have the chance of flying.

Just to let you know parrots are not domesticated even though they have been kept as pets for so long. Domesticated birds that are unable to fly like poultry have been owned for several thousands of years. Birds typically lose their flight through this because of the lack of predators and their basic needs are met. This is through selective breeding since having animals it is more desirable for them to be tame or docile this is both true whether for pets or livestock.

The ring-necked dove is an example of this they are described as poor flyers since they can only fly for short distances and have been kept as pets for a few thousands of years. But, then again they are plenty of domestic pigeon breeds that can fly well. That's because well they were bred to fly.
banuvatt
Cockatiel
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 78
Number of Birds Owned: 0
Types of Birds Owned: I don't own any birds currently.
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