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adopted goffin

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adopted goffin

Postby Feathergirl » Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:42 pm

I adopted a goffin --- named Clicker. The only background I have is that the cockatoo was purchased by a couple that thought you could get a parrot, and just look at in the cage. He is not clipped, but never developed the ability to fly. I have tried to allow Clicker to set the pace with training, but after months of attempts, Clicker will not allow me to touch him or step up. I do not know if he was handfed. I have experience with handfeeding and weaning goffins. I have tried numerous techniques. I have tried to earn his trust, but he will not respond to any of my attempts, and is not interested in any treats.... any suggestions ? I have an african grey that is affectionate, so I was hoping Clicker would see how I interact with the grey and get a hint !
Feathergirl
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 2
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: african grey, goffin cockatoo
Flight: Yes

Re: adopted goffin

Postby Pajarita » Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:51 am

Hi, Feathergirl and Clicker, welcome to the forum! I don't know how many months you have been trying or what, exactly, you did or did not do so it's hard to figure out what to tell you to improve your particular situation. But, generally speaking (all my birds are rehomes or adoptions and some came to me quite old already), the only rule you need to follow with rehomed birds is to leave them alone for the first couple of months and simply follow the bird's lead. You talk about 'training', many attempts, different techniques all without any success but the only time this happens is when you are not doing things right. I don't mean to criticize you or blame you, I am simply stating a fact. Training always works if it's done correctly - the trick is to know what is the 'correct' way of doing things and the incorrect one. Rehomed birds should never be 'trained' until the bird has bonded with its new human so maybe your training did not work because you tried to do it before the bird had any trust in you and no technique or number of attempts will make any difference. These are highly intelligent birds that make their own conclusions - dogs are easy, even cats are easy, parrots are not because they reason like people do so you need to treat them the same way you would treat a human being. You see, with rehomed birds, you need to earn their trust, it doesn't just happen, even handfed birds need to be 'won over' once they are adults. Babies are super easy, they trust anybody but that is because they are babies and have no power of their own but once a bird becomes an adult, it knows it has the power of -if nothing else- decision on what to do and what not to do and captivity is real hard on them because they get so little choices. So, go back to square one: at dawn, just open the door of the cage and allow the bird to come out on its own (never put your hand inside the cage and ask him to step up), put some branches on the sides and top of the cage so the bird can climb up (birds should always have a perch -branch- where they can sit at the same level of the human's eyes when the human is standing up). Clean the cage, serve it breakfast and talk, whistle, sing, dance (they love it when we sing and dance in front of them) to it and, every now and then, offer it a high value item - and, if it doesn't take it from your fingers, leave it where the bird can reach it. This is not a reward, it's a gift from you to him to show that you want to be its friend. Do not ask it to step up or anything - you would not like it if a stranger took familiarities with you, would you? Stepping on a human's hand, especially for a bird that cannot fly away, implies trusting the human implicitly and it's akin to us getting in a car with somebody - you would do it without a problem with somebody you trust but not with somebody you don't. Well, it's the same thing with a parrot. If they trust and love us, we can do pretty much anything to or with them but if they don't trust us, asking for something that implies trust in us is pushy and an imposition and creates distrust (why is this person asking me to do this?). See, the thing is that parrots , in general, and cockatoos in particular ALWAYS want to be on us so if you show the bird that you can be trusted, it will, eventually, take the first step to make the relationship more intimate. Mind you, this can take months and months because, for all we know, you are not even starting at Zero but at Minus something. Parrots, like people, make up their minds about people pretty fast and, if you don't do things right from the very beginning, you need to make them forget what they did not like BEFORE you can start adding to the positive side. That's why the honeymoon period is so important and why the bird should never be made to feel that you are not respecting it. And parrots that have been neglected or abused take even longer because the trust they had in the breeder that fed them was 'broken' by the people who did not treat it right. But the good news is that cockatoos are VERY affectionate birds that need closeness as much as they need food so, with them, is easier than with other species (amazons or senegals are MUCH harder to convince).

Try to find things the bird enjoys -like baths, for example, all cockatoos love to bathe; dancing while clapping your hands to the rhythm and bobbing your head up and down (kind of like The Beatles - I sing: She loves you YEAH YEAH YEAH to my Linus Too and nod hard on every YEAH - he LOVES it and does the same thing), sometimes they like soft songs like lullabies (Linus Too asks for his by softly going Aaaaah aaaaaah aaaaaah kind of like humming the song); playing Peekaboo by covering your face with a towel and popping up for the PEEKABOO! from different sides; throwing a ball for it to go after on the floor - that kind of thing. Always have A LOT of stuff for it to chew (it relieves stress), never scold it when it chews something it should not (simple divert its attention to something else), give it a little treat (the high value item) every now and then and praise praise praise when it takes it from your fingers.

Now, as to the high value item... it's always a high protein food and it doesn't work if you free-feed it protein food -which is also unhealthy for them so it should never be done. Put three different nuts in front of it and see which one it takes first several times (days) in a row, then use that nut as one of another selection of three different ones and see which one is consistently chosen, this will become his special treat and reward for when you start training it (Linus Too love peanuts in the shell but I only use them as a special treat, the 'normal' high value item is an unsalted, roasted pistachio in the shell) and should only be given for a reason (a token of your friendship, a reward and even as a bribe -as when you want it to go back into its cage).

Cockatoos are not really hard birds to please as long as one has the hours and hours it takes every single day to keep them happy... The right diet (very high moisture and fiber and the right amount of protein and fat reserved for dinner), a strict solar schedule (with full exposure to dawn and dusk) and a never-changing daily routine (this is VERY important!) with patience, persistence, consistency and lots of hours of one-on-one always do the trick. Even screamers stop screaming and pluckers, while they might never be completely plumaged, get better.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17636
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: adopted goffin

Postby Feathergirl » Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:46 pm

I appreciate your thorough response. I have essentially followed all the kind tips you provided. This is one tough cookie. I think I am pretty good at reading Clicker's body language and never force anything -- especially when he makes it clear he is not interested. I have had him approx 9 months. He was pretty well plucked when I got him, and had no experience with toys and what you could do with them. After a lot of experimentation I have found he loves wood, so I keep a good wood supply. Some feathers have come in , but I don't think all will recover. I guess --- just more time ? I love him despite not really getting any affection back... ONE good sign -- when I took him to avian vet for first time -- he was naturally -- not happy -- but when he panicked -- he did choose me to have him step up off the floor... ty again for taking time to respond ....
Feathergirl
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 2
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: african grey, goffin cockatoo
Flight: Yes

Re: adopted goffin

Postby Pajarita » Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:07 am

Ah, well, pluckers will pluck. I've had some success with pluckers but not with all. My Linus Too plucks but he also barbers and overpreens something terrible so the only feathers he has are all broken and sticking out every which way. After years of the right diet, living cage-free with other parrots, a strict solar schedule, etc. he looks better... but not by much. It's a compulsion that has become so ingrained in him that I doubt he would be able to stop plucking ever no matter what I do or don't do. No matter, he is healthy and happy and that is what's important. I wish I could find a female for him to love... I think he would get better if he had a love of his own because, right now, he is obsessed with Sophie Gray who likes him but not too close (he is constantly following her around and screams when he cannot reach her -she flies very well while he doesn't at all). He is going to be coming out of the parrot room and put in a cage in the living room (we are remodeling the room) and we will see how he does with the change (and how long my husband puts up with the inevitable destruction he will wreck in the living room :lol:).

Have you tried using a high value item to get him to come onto your hand? This usually works if you have the patience to do it slowly and gradually... It took me months to get Linus to step up to my arm (hands are a bit too unstable for some of them) but he did learn and learned to like it so well that I now have to bribe him to step down :lol:
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17636
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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