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A parrot in need of learning to relax again!

Discuss the methods and techniques of clicker training, target training and bonding. These are usually the first steps in training a young parrot.

A parrot in need of learning to relax again!

Postby teacups992 » Thu May 09, 2019 8:59 pm

Hello! First time typing here, I'm not a native English speaker so please be understanding of any typos!
I own a African Grey parrot, male, 4 years old, had him since a small hatchling, spend time around people being spoiled and all, and overall really cuddly and nice! But also after a year we had this big party in the house and of course, I kept him away from the crowd of people (he was in different part of the house in closed room) but, people being people let themselves in the room where he was, despite me telling them not to do that because he's sleeping, constantly grabbing him and passing around like a toy (they were just amazed of seeing a parrot). Needless to say that petrified my parrot which caused it also to bite me that night for the first time ever, and sadly since then to even now there would be these waves of aggression.
Things he would do is fly to me or others and bite their ears, bite fingers when the opportunity, or just sneak up to you to bite really hard, especially if you get up and turn your back at him he'll seek the opportunity to fly at your neck to bite.
It's been 3 years since the incident and I still regret that I didnt kept a better eye as I should because he is refusing to even get out of the cage now,and I feel it might be my fault because I couldnt really figure it out what was the reason for sudden aggression for months, so there would just be half a day of him being sweet and other half just being angry at me. When hes in cage hes very talkative and lets me pet him and demands scratches and love and hugs but also for some reason tends to use that just to attack me and others in the house. He tends to let me snuggle with him to this day but also the same doesnt matter flying into my face to fight. We used to do the stepping up training but stopped because there wasnt any good time for him to be willing to do it...So we just stopped with any type of training because he seemed more suspicious of my intention whenever I said 'step up'.
I just wonder is there any type of training I can do? He had great first year and all just got smashed in one night and I just want to help him be the little explorer guy he was, now he just refuses to leave his cage. I love him to death but the day is spend him not doing much but just talking and singing from his cage because before he would go around the place, flying and walking and just being interested in toys. I work from home as a freelancer so I have all day for him.

I'm very desperate so any help is appreciated, thank you for reading!
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 1
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: African Grey
Flight: Yes

Re: A parrot in need of learning to relax again!

Postby Pajarita » Fri May 10, 2019 9:51 am

Welcome to the forum and I am sorry your poor bird is having such a hard time of things. Now, I am sure you already know exactly what happened but, just in case, let me explain. A CAG, at one year of age is still a very young 'child' parrot and he had a TERRIBLE experience. Any parrot would have been scared and scarred from it but it's 1,000 times worse for a gray because they are not only naturally high-strung birds, they absolutely cannot stand upheaval, especially in the middle of the night! Imagine an autistic child being kidnapped and treated roughly by strangers and you will get a pretty good idea of what this experience did to him.

Now, what he needs most of all is nothing more than a HUGE amount of patience and impeccable husbandry. He needs to be let out to fly (is he clipped? because, if he is, you NEED to let his wings grow as this is making things much worse) by uncovering his cage and opening the door at dawn (I don't know where you are but, in USA, this time of the year, it means around 5:15 am) without turning on any artificial light (this needs to be done only when the sun is already completely out in the sky). Don't worry if he doesn't come out, you just keep on uncovering his cage and opening the door at dawn regardless. Then he needs his breakfast which should never be protein food. You can feed gloop, chop or mash but, for a Gray, i would not consider mash or chop because they have no protein at all and grays need a bit of protein in their breakfast. This and raw produce is what he should get for all day picking. The door to his cage should never be closed during the day unless you need to run an errand (which I suggest you do around noon when they all take their mid-day rest) because he needs to see that he can come out whenever he wants.

Do not insist on his stepping up. Do not ask him to do anything. Just spend time with him quietly (no busy household for him, no children, no dogs, no nothing that can make him anxious), you can talk, whistle, sing, dance for him and, every now and then, offer him a treat.

Now, this is the advice that it's given for a rehomed bird to get used to its new human whom it doesn't trust but, in your case, you will need to use it because I am afraid that you have to go back to square one with him and put in A LOT of work and patience to undo the trauma and make him forgive you (he blames you for it). And, I hate to say this, but it might not even work. I had to rehome a gray myself because, after living years with us very happily, she also suffer a trauma (it wasn't us or other people, it was another bird that did it) and never forgave us for it (it was my fault because I did not realize it at the time and insisted she continued in a situation where she was not happy). But, I am happy to report that she is very happy in her new home so it all worked out at the end.
Norwegian Blue
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17431
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

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