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Play gyms . .

Bird rooms, aviaries, cages, foraging trees, play gyms, and stands. Discuss your parrot's locations and perches.

Play gyms . .

Postby PatrickAlan » Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:26 am

I own a Senegal Parrot. She is in a spacious cage, however, I would really like to have a play gym available for her so she can spend more 'out-of-the-cage' time during the day. My only fear is that she is not going to remain on the play gym - instead, she is going to climb down and want to be on me, or she will fly down to be on me. So I'm wondering if a play gym is worth purchasing at all. Do any members here have play gyms for their Sennies or other parrots ?
PatrickAlan
Lovebird
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 30
Location: Southern New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: 2 Male Gouldian Finches, and 1 Senegal Parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: Play gyms . .

Postby Pajarita » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:36 am

I don't. I find them pretty useless, actually, and nothing more than one of those gimmicks they sell for parrots that don't really work. Let me explain my position. In my personal experience, fully flighted, healthy parrots that love their owners want to be ON THEM as much as possible but, even on the occasions when they don't, they are never confined to one single spot that, on top of everything else, is low to the ground. My parrots almost always choose a high spot to chill out or take a little snooze - places like the top of a door, a curtain rod, the top of the bookshelf, the kitchen cabinets, etc. My male redbelly has taken to perching on one of the arms of the dining room chandelier, for example. They would never just perch on something on top of a table, it's way too open and too vulnerable a place. I would guess that the only birds that actually perch on these things and stay on them are the ones that, for some reason or another, cannot fly.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 13526
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: Play gyms . .

Postby PatrickAlan » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:46 pm

Hiya Bea. I knew you would reply. LOL. Well, 'JoJo' enjoys being out, but she enjoys being on ME, and as we both know, she has bit my ear on more than one occasion that caused me great injury. She is not content to be on my finger or my hand. She desire to climb up to my shoulder. So, I was hoping that with a play gym, she could be out of her cage, on a play gym, and play with her toys, munch, eat and enjoy being out. With that being said, I do have a new Puppy in the house - 'JoJo' hates the new puppy. So when she is out of her cage, the Puppy can not be in the room. I just know that I would prefer that JoJo not want to spend time on my body, as I'm tired of being bitten. She has an open-top type of cage, which you can open up and place a rod across the opening at the top. But JoJo will still climb down, slide down the cage and attempt to be on me. It seems this is a cycle I can not break. Any thoughts ?
PatrickAlan
Lovebird
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 30
Location: Southern New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: 2 Male Gouldian Finches, and 1 Senegal Parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: Play gyms . .

Postby Pajarita » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:10 am

Hi, Patrick! Of course I would answer you! I don't know what to tell you, Patrick... I really do not know why she is still biting your ears. This is usually part of a phase they have while growing up but they do outgrow it. Now, if I remember correctly, JoJo is still very young [she is a bit over a year now, right?] and still not a fully sexually developed adult but she should be getting noticeably better on this and I don't know why she hasn't. I have a 'new' bird that I picked up from Miami in late October/early November and he came with the bad habit of nipping real hard many times in a row and real quick [think of a woodpecker but instead of pecking wood, he 'pecks' people :lol: ]. During the short honeymoon, he did not do it but, as soon as it was over, he started and he did it VERY often! Every time he got startled or annoyed, the woodpecker came out! But, every time he did it, I would go OWWW! [loud but not screaming] and tell him "NO! No bite! Gentle... gentle" and praised him when he stopped [which he always did because he got taken out of 'the zone' by my loud OWWW]. It took a few weeks of many daily peckings and OWWWs but they slowed down and, now, he hasn't done it in over a week or so. He also did not allow me to preen his pinnies -and he had a lot of them in his head and cheeks- but I have been able to do it for a short time each day in the last few days.

I don't have the magic bullet when it comes to undesirable behaviors in parrots but, if I had to tell anybody in few words what I think works with them is: persistence, consistency, patience and, unfortunately for us, develop a high resistance to pain or, at the very least, eliminate fear from the equation because I think that, as much as we should always avoid getting bit, the trick is not to avoid it by not interacting properly with them because you then create a situation where the parrot is going to be unhappy and resentful. Parrots need A LOT of closeness. I don't think there are any studies done on this but I bet that, if they did, they would find that they need VERY high levels of oxytocin. For the people who are not aware of this, oxytocin is also called the 'lactation' hormone and the 'love' hormone because of its high levels found when mothers breastfeed and during sexual intercourse but, in reality, it's released with any form of physical or emotional 'loving' interaction -the mere action of holding hands or hugging causes the levels to spike up. And it's found in birds, too! They did a study on finches and found that it makes birds take good care of their babies but finches are not known for constant loving interaction with one another like parrots are so, if you ask me [and this is one of my 'off the wall' theory -meaning I have NO scientific study or basis for this opinion], I would say that as naturally loving as parrots are, they must need a whole lot of it all the time to feel good! And part of this is having their body touching yours because this is something that parrots do ALL THE TIME with their parents, siblings and, once they become adults and find a mate, with their mates. So, what I would do if I were in your shoes and I had a bird that is prone to bite my ears is wear something like ear muffs, a hat or a hair band that would cover my ears and keep on insisting that she needs to be gentle and not bite. Because, personally, I don't think that you can 'teach' a parrot not to need the closeness and I've never had a single bird that did not want to be on my shoulder...
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 13526
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: Play gyms . .

Postby PatrickAlan » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:17 pm

Hiya Bea, you are correct, JoJo turned 1-year old on December 3rd. I sit next to her cage in the bedroom most days as I work on my computer, and I talk to her, she mutters and tweets back to me. I have toys in her cage to play with, some she likes, others she doesn't. But she gets bored with them, so I think she likes to be out of her cage, and likes being on me - so I think you are right, I need to wear ear muffs, provided they don't frighten her. She does like to be out and scratched and rubbed. It's funny, because JoJo is very fond of my room-mate, she just loves him. When he leaves the room, she screams her head off. He rubs her belly and head thru the cage bars. She just loves it.
As long as he is in the room, you don't hear a peep out of her. This morning, with me in the room, all she did was Scream and Scream and Scream. Of course the dogs coming into the room she absolutely hates. I don't know why, but she dislikes my 2 dogs. But I remember the owner of the Bird Store where I purchased her from, she told me that JoJo was a snuggler and loved to be cuddled. Perhaps I just have not been doing that enough, for fear of being bitten. Also, she will infact Bite me when I attempt to put her back in the cage - so obviously she prefers to be out of her cage as much as possible. Normally, I will keep the door open so she can freely come and go. I never reach into her cage to get her to come out. She really doesn't like that. I guess her cage is her home and she doesn't like it to be invaded. LOL.
Also, unfortunately, I just lost one of my Male Gouldian Finches. I was heartbroken. He was gorgeous. So now I'm going to be getting a new Male Gouldian Finch so that "Fred" has company.
In the end, I think I will try and keep JoJo out of her cage more interacting with me (and wearing my ear muffs).
Thanks, Bea !
PatrickAlan
Lovebird
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 30
Location: Southern New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: 2 Male Gouldian Finches, and 1 Senegal Parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: Play gyms . .

Postby Navre » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:40 am

Be careful about letting the roommate rub her belly. This will cause problems. Head and neck, only.
Navre
African Grey
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 1781
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Turquoise Green Cheek Conure
Timneh African Grey
Hooded Parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: Play gyms . .

Postby Pajarita » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:37 am

Yes, John [Navre] is correct. She likes the belly rubs because their belly is an erogenous zone so NO belly rubs - not ever!

And you are correct. She wants to be out and on you. This is not only JoJo, mind you, all the senegals I've had were the same. They are little birds but they are 100 percent companion birds and bond very deeply to their humans so your preventing her from reaching you is not the way to go - she is still a baby now but she will grow up and will resent the fact that she is not getting what she needs [and she'll blame you, too].

And don't worry for one second if she is afraid of the ear muffs! It's good if she is because she will stay away from them - and your ears! With parrots, as it is with any other animal, including humans, most things are a matter of habit and once the habit is broken, life is good :D The trick is to break them out of the habit without creating a bigger problem.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 13526
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: Play gyms . .

Postby PatrickAlan » Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:25 pm

JoJo's tabletop play gym arrived. After putting it together, I placed on top of the mantle, on the end closest to the Dining Room, so she would be close to us while we had dinner. Needless to say, she was not impressed, and did not wish to stay on the play gym, so she flew off and onto my room-mates hand. Drats. Oh well, I thought it would be a good idea, but with a parrot who can fly, I should have known that she would not stay on the play-gym. I will let my room-mate know "No More Belly Rubs"!
PatrickAlan
Lovebird
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 30
Location: Southern New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: 2 Male Gouldian Finches, and 1 Senegal Parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: Play gyms . .

Postby Michael » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:32 pm

PatrickAlan wrote:I own a Senegal Parrot. She is in a spacious cage, however, I would really like to have a play gym available for her so she can spend more 'out-of-the-cage' time during the day. My only fear is that she is not going to remain on the play gym - instead, she is going to climb down and want to be on me, or she will fly down to be on me. So I'm wondering if a play gym is worth purchasing at all. Do any members here have play gyms for their Sennies or other parrots ?


I make, use, and sell NU Perch parrot trees and stands because I think it's one of the best things for parrots. A huge mistake people make is not providing enough suitable places for the birds to go so they just go everywhere, make a mess, and frustrate the owner. My birds almost exclusively roam between their bird stands and people in my home. They almost never land on furniture or any place that isn't specifically intended for them.

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It's a combination of things to accomplish this. It takes a time, effort, and money or ingenuity to do. You can't just buy expensive bird stands and expect the bird to stay put on them but neither can you spend a lot of effort but not have the right stands either. You have to actively train, play with, and encourage the bird to be on bird stands. Make it REALLY AWESOME for the bird to be on the bird places and just ordinary being anywhere else. You can't punish them for landing on those places because then the bird will just get scared of you or become a generally phobic bird. But if you make it way better to be on bird stands and neutral everywhere else, the bird will fly to the stands themselves.

It takes more effort to teach a bird to go on a bunch of different looking places and distinguish them from unapproved places. This is where my NU Perch line of bird stands comes in. I make the same kind of perches for the cage, training perch, tabletop perch, tree stand, window perch, and scale. No matter where your bird goes, it recognizes the NU Perches as being a safe comfortable place to go. Since it starts with the cage NU Perches, the bird is already familiar and not scared when you add each new stand from the line.

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Using Parrot Training Perches gets the bird to be rewarded and happy being on the perch on a regular basis. While the bird might not necessarily be trained on other stands, because it has a good experience on a similar kind of wood, it will be more interested in spending time on other similar perches. So even when entering a different room with some different kinds of perches, the birds immediately know they can go there. Like for example a Window NU Perch or a tabletop.

After developing these habits with effort over time, now we can have the birds out for hours and they don't go anywhere that isn't meant for them. They have the freedom and ability to move about as they wish, but they have been guided to prefer the bird stands that make my life easier. So even when the birds are sitting on us, we'll send them back to a stand or they'll fly back on their own to poop. Really helps with minimizing the mess because they know only to poop on their stands.

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My tree is more than just a big perch stand, it's a platform for customizing your own parrot's experience. The perches twist in and can be arranged in different ways most suited to your parrot. If it always poops on a certain perch, just take it out and put it somewhere else. There are abundant places to hang toys and even swings. My Senegal loves all shapes of rope swings so the tree stand allows me to hang her swings without making holes in the ceiling or having mess on the floor.

By having similar perches (although vastly different stands that hold them) in different rooms, we can take the birds around the house and they always know where they should go. My wife spends hours with them while folding laundry or doing whatever and they can stay on their perch just hanging out and not bother her.

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The perches are a big part of it but it's also about the overall method for keeping parrots as pets. The schedule, feeding, routine, training, and lifestyle in general also play a major role. Having the right bird stands just helps make it all work as planned!

Anyone interested can browse my collection of NU Perch Trees and Tabletop Stands:
http://ParrotWizard.com/Trees

Training Perch Stands:
http://parrotwizard.com/Training_Perches

NU Perches for Cage:
http://ParrotWizard.com/Perches

Book:
http://ParrotWizard.com/Book
User avatar
Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6160
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: Play gyms . .

Postby Navre » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:19 am

That medium is probably exactly what I need.
Navre
African Grey
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 1781
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Turquoise Green Cheek Conure
Timneh African Grey
Hooded Parrot
Flight: Yes


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