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merlin

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About merlin

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  1. Sorry to reprise an old thread, but I was just wondering if anyone had any further thoughts about ways to persuade Lulu, our African Grey, to tolerate my ten year old daughter. We did fix the sleep/routine issue and Lulu now enjoys 12-14 hours uninterrupted sleep every night and is out of her cage for at least six hours daily. She seems very well settled into our routines now and is a very happy bird and very affectionate towards both me and my husband. Her behaviour towards my daughter is getting worse, however, and she has now taken to dive bombing my daughter whenever she's in the same room as her. Emily (daughter) is being remarkably patient for a ten year old (!!) but I'd so love for them to get on better. We've tried regular quiet time with Emily and Lulu alone together in a small room, offering treats etc but that's not working either. Half the time Lulu will take the treat, but otherwise behave aggressively; the other half of the time she'll just bite Emily without even taking the treat. Since my daughter is home educated she's around with us at home a lot during normal days, so it's not as if the two can be kept separated, if you see what I mean - plus in any case Emily loves Lulu to bits and would very much like to bond better with her (it's not just me wanting the two babies to get on, lol). If anyone has any further suggestions or has experienced similar themselves, I'd be pleased to hear about it. Thank you.
  2. I have the exact same cage, patience, for my young African Grey. For the first couple of weeks, she did indeed only use the highest part of it, and I worried myself silly that we had effectively confined her to a tiny (part of the) cage and wondered what to do about it as we couldn't afford a new cage. I'm delighted to report that after that initial hiccup, Lulu now uses and enjoys every inch of her cage and in fact spends most of her time in the bottom half, only climbing up to the top to roost or occasionally to play. The secret for us was to cover the grille with newspaper and put lots of foot toys in a basket for her at the bottom. She must have been uncomfy standing on the grille, but once the newspaper went down over it she was fine and has never looked back. They are nice big cages and imo (now I can say so, lol, didn't think so initially) well worth the money. Good luck!
  3. Thank you MadMudMob for your reply. We do have a reasonable sized travel cage that we could use as a night cage and we do have a spare room to place it in - Lulu hates the travel cage, though, so that could be a problem. For a week or so, we'll try to stay out of the living room altogether from 9pm - 9am and see if that makes any difference. We don't have to watch TV late at night, lol, I'm sure we can live without that - we'd thought it was OK as Lulu seems to relish the late night cuddle time. But I do appreciate it may be making her over-tired. Although why would that make her aggressive only to one member of the family (who isn't even around during the late night period) and still loving to the other two (us, who are doing the disturbing, as it were), as opposed to grumpy/irritable with all three? When she's out of her cage, she seems very lively and happy and plays happily with her toys inside the cage too. Not questioning that you may well be right regarding the disturbed sleep, just trying to learn.
  4. Sorry for adding another post, but I just had two further thoughts. a) Could Lulu be jealous of Emily? Does she see my daughter as a rival for the attention of myself and my husband? If that's possible, what would we do about that? Lulu gets plenty of attention from everyone when she's in her cage, we're always chatting to her etc so it's not as if we ignore her in favour of my daughter when she's in there. Could Lulu be over-tired? Roughly, our days go like this: around 9am Lulu comes out of her cage and has some breakfast; some time between then and 10 she goes downstairs to the dining room with me and Emily. We work in there, amid lots of playing with Lulu, until around 2pm, including lunch for us and Lulu. Lulu then comes back upstairs into her cage for a couple of hours rest and is more or less left alone until around 4pm when Emily and I have finished work downstairs. Then, typically, one or more of us in the living room with her, sometimes in and sometimes out of her cage, until around 7pm. Then the lights go off and Lulu's left in peace until around 11pm. Sometime around then, hubby and I might watch an hour of TV, during which time Lulu comes out (if she wants to) and is snuggled into a duvet with one of us, before going back in around midnight and staying in peace until 9-ish the next morning. Most of her aggression towards Emily seems to be between 4 and 7-ish....could it be that she's still tired and thinks Emily will disturb her (bearing in mind that she doesn't seem bothered when me or hubby are in the room at that time, only with Emily). Sorry for the extra post, but I can't stop worrying about this so I wanted to add the extra thoughts I'd had.
  5. Ten days on it seems I was a bit premature in saying things were getting better with Lulu and my daughter, so I'm back seeking further advice Although we did see an improvement for a few days, things have now taken a turn much worse than they were to start with. Half an hour ago, Lulu flew at my daughter's face aggressively, having spent the previous hour or so fluffing up all her feathers and running at Emily every time she was near the cage. The running at her when Lulu's in the cage has been going on for a few days now, although this is the first time she's tried to attack while outside the cage. We'd tried having Emily be the one to let her out etc but she just bit a hole in Emily's jumper when she went to let her out. In rooms other than where the cage is, Lulu "tolerates" Emily, just about, to a greater or lesser extend depending on the day. She will very occasionally fly to her arm for a sip of fruit juice and bites not *quite* as much as before. She will happily take treats from Emily. In the room with her cage, though, she's getting much worse. She's also becoming aggressive towards me when I try to get her down from the top of her cage, although she's affectionate to me and my husband (especially hubby!) the rest of the time. Unfortunately, we don't have a room we can take Lulu to to try to train her as such, since everywhere has somewhere high she can just fly off to, even the bathroom. This might sound silly, but do you think her particular dislike of my daughter could have anything to do with the fact that Emily wears glasses (we parents don't)? Would that be frightening Lulu? But then why only in the room with the cage? Clearly she's being territorial about her cage, but since it's in our main living room (which is quite small) there's not a lot we can do about Emily being near the cage and obviously it's heartbreaking to be attacked by a much loved and wanted pet
  6. Thanks for your reply, pippy900. Wonderful clips! Our dining room table is in a kind of wonky triangle formation with Lulu's playstand, ceiling swing and bungee rope thingy, and I always leave lots of toys on it and sometimes place her on it and play with the toys hoping she'll join in. She doesn't. She hotfoots it to the back of a dining room chair to perch and watches, but doesn't seem to like to stand on flat surfaces. Perhaps curiosity will overcome her soon. The table top stand is a good idea, I might have a look at getting one of those. I was wondering about ways to encourage her to use more of her actual big playstand too, since there are times when we need to move that to a room where she doesn't have the bungee and ceiling swing as an option - her cage is in our sitting room, but she spends most of the day with us in the dining room (where my daughter and I are, mostly, during the day, because we home educate and that's our "education area", so to speak) so that's where the swing and rope etc are. When she comes out of her cage in the sitting room, she's happy perching on the cage and the top of the playstand, but it seems a shame that she doesn't enjoy the rest of the perches on the stand.
  7. merlin

    HOMEMADE TOY IDEAS

    Thanks MadMudMob - I did think it might be unsuitable. This forum is a wonderful resource to have access to
  8. Do your parrots use and play on all the perches on your playstands? Lulu only wants to sit on the top and can't be tempted down to the others. We have a parrot tower thingy, but no matter how many toys we put on it or tempts we try, she only clambers straight up again. Also, do your parrots use the flat bases of play stands/play on tables/flat surfaces? I'd love to persuade Lulu to play somewhere flat occasionally if only so she doesn't constantly drop her toys (and not come down to fetch them, but sit looking helpless, lol).
  9. merlin

    HOMEMADE TOY IDEAS

    We have a supply of plain, untreated cardboard coasters, bought ages ago for arts and crafts we never got round to doing - a few of those threaded along a rope with some knots and chunky wooden beads kept Lulu happy for hours this afternoon. Can I ask a question? My daughter has a stock of gold and silver foil covers (off chocolate coins) - are these safe for parrots to play with? If so, I reckon a bunch of those strung together would be much enjoyed too, but I'm not sure whether they're a) safe to chew in a toxic sense and/or safe in the sense that foil sometimes has quite sharp edges? If these are OK, I suppose foil cups that apple pies and things come in would be OK too? (Not that we eat many of those....ahem!)
  10. Wow - that sounds like an incredibly simple idea/solution.....that I would never have thought of! [added - you know how it is when you get so wrapped up in a problem!] Thank you for the suggestion, I might give that a go. I'd still hang toys in the tower etc for her to play with, but if she has to cling to the bars to do so....yes, I can see how that might work. I guess she might get upset if she can't perch up the top (?) but there's no harm in trying.
  11. Just thought I'd let you know that yesterday and today we made great progress with Lulu and my daughter. They spent several hours together yesterday in my daughter's room and today Lulu flew to Emily's arm for the first time and will step onto her arm (not hand) now too. Mind you, I think the reason for the first landing was simply because they were alone at the time in a strange (to Lulu) room and there was nowhere else suitable to land, lol. Emily's the only one who gives Lulu grapes now, which also helps since she goes silly for half a grape! Thank you for all the advice. Things are looking up. (Well, in that department anyway, although now I'm worried about Lulu's cage...posted elsewhere about that.)
  12. I wish I'd seen this thread before we bought Lulu's cage :cry: We bought a cage identical to the first one because the dimensions were nice and large and it seemed like a good price. It *is* large....but sure enough, Lulu stays mostly in the tower part of it, only really venturing down to the lower part to get to a food bowl. Unfortunately, we're on a tight budget and won't be able to afford a new cage for several months. She has plenty of out of cage time and seems happy enough up in the upper part, but of course I feel rotten. :cry: I've searched for tips for encouraging parrots down to the bottom halves of their cages, but I can't find a thread about it; could someone point me in the right direction? I've put some of her favourite toys down there, but she's not fussed. She won't set foot on the cage floor at all, not even for much loved foot toys. Presumably even if we had a different style cage she'd still want to spend most of her time near the top of it, although obviously (hindsight being such a lovely thing) she would have more room to move about *at the top* in a different style.
  13. Thank you very much for your replies We're still trying to work out what Lulu's absolute favourite treat is; she likes everything ever so, ever so much lol! But we'll keep back a couple of her favourites for Emily to hand feed her. Tomorrow, we'll have a go at popping Lulu into Emily's bedroom after we've tried birdproofing it. I think leaving them alone to get on with it is probably a very good idea. Since she's only been with us a week and we've never had birds before (lots of other animals, but no birds) I guess we're all finding our feet, including both Lulu and Emily. I do feel very privileged that Lulu seems to be bonding well with me, but I feel sad for Emily too. We'll give it plenty of time and I'll try out these ideas - thank you
  14. Hello We're the happy new owners of a baby CAG who has been with us for just a week but seems to be settling in very well indeed. I've been lurking here for ages and have learnt a great deal, but this is my first post - my apologies if I should have posted somewhere else instead. Lulu happily flies to my hand for a play and a cuddle, but she seems to have taken quite some dislike to my ten year old daughter (our only child). Emily (my daughter) is a quiet and responsible ten year old, and she's normally very good with animals. As far as I can tell, she's done nothing to upset or frighten Lulu, but Lulu lunges at Emily and bites her whenever she tries to pet Lulu or when she holds her hand out for Lulu to step up out of her cage. Lulu will just about tolerate Emily touching her, but only when she's on my lap (the parrot, not the daughter!) and even then she tries hard to move away from my daughter. Emily's been reading a lot about parrots and understands that she will probably have to take a lot of time to get Lulu comfortable with her, but I know she's upset because she was so looking forward to having Lulu with us. I've been reading the information topics here about Gentling and so on, and we're going to try having Emily be the one to clean out Lulu's cage and to replace her food bowls etc, and just spend lots of non-confrontational time in the room with her without necessarily trying to interact, but I'm a little bit concerned that Lulu won't even come onto Emily's hand to come out of her cage, even when she's clearly desperate to come out. I was just wondering what experiences anyone can share with a parrot taking longer to get used to a child (even a quiet, relatively grown up one) than to the adults in the house, or easy techniques the child can use to help forge a better relationship with the parrot, beyond obviously being kind and gentle and patient. I know it's very early days and we have years to get it right - just don't want to get my two "babies" off on the wrong foot with one another!
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