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sparkkwing

Fed up of saying no!

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:cry: I have had a horrible day with Willow today, and got really near to loosing my temper. Which has left both of us feeling bad. (Well me anyway) :oops:

 

Just how many times do these 'intelligent' creatures have to be told 'NO'! She has this thing about the top of my head and it doesn't matter how often I remove her, back she goes - often waiting till both of my hands are occupied and therefore not free to stop or remove her. I can understand landing there if in a bit of a tizzy - but I can see her eyeing it up before taking off, or climbing on - its calculated! Also she sqwarks and grumbles when removed yet again.! Has this just become a silly game to her?

 

Also I cannot go into the kitchen without the cries of an oh so hungry baby bird who will DIE if she doesn't eat soon - regardless of when she last ate/food infront of her. If the spread on offer isn't good enough she literally stomps into the kitchen to see what there is to steal, and every day she is reducing the type of foods she will eat - to home cooked mash and whatever I am eating - fed from a spoon preferably. Caught her with her head stuffed into the remains of my tomato soup earlier! Loved it!

 

She has not touched her good quality mix (including DD) in her cage despite me having taken her to it to remind her its there several times. She also hates her cage, which is enormous, and flings herself at the bars when put in there for any reason, apart from at night when she is tired.

 

I dare say I have spoilt her the four or so weeks she has been here, but have been consistant with removing her from my head. And she used to eat everything, but not now. ](*,) ](*,) ](*,)

 

So am in need of words of parroty wisdom - PLEASE! [-o<

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First of all to help with the head problem. I have to admit it does sound like she has turned it into a game. What I would do is make myself a pointed cardboard hat, the witches type. I would keep it on my head when around her, because it is so slippery and pointed she won't be able to land, so she should soon tire of the head and look for a more comfortable place to land.

 

The food and cage issue needs to be addressed. Try to set her some clear cage periods throughout the day and evening. With the food offer her whatever you have for fresh/pulses/soaked etc first in the morning and don't put any seed in at that time. Let her have around an hour in her cage to eat some of it. After that time you can add her seed. Try not to give in and spoon feed her during the day but save that for the evening so she has every oppertunity to feed herself during the day.

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Guest Jane Doe

I think the food issue goes back to the breeders selling her too young, I don't think she was fully weaned, I'd go so far as to say she was force weaned. I know it varys but not many African Greys would be fully weaned by 12 weeks, more usual would be 14 weeks, maybe longer. It makes me wonder if you should get some handrearing food and finish the handrearing until she is weaned. The issue with this is if you haven't done this before you could put her in danger of making the feed up incorrectly. You'd really need to contact the breeder or find out if there is a breeder near you that is willing to show you what to do.

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Guest Gwydhyel

I absolutely will not allow Summer to use my head as a landing or perching point - much as she would like to. She still tries it on sometimes (less and less now) but I have a "three strikes and you're out" rule. If she persists - usually because she is feeling very determined to get her own way - I just keep putting her back on her cage.

 

She has defined "out of her cage" times, and although I love her company I will not have her deciding the rules.

 

Of course it is good to have as much freedom as possible, but I firmly believe that as with any pet they have to have boundaries and acceptable behaviours to have a happy life. Willow probably understands perfectly that you don't want her to do it, buy she will continue to push the boundaries because that's what intelligent creatures do!

 

It's natural to want to spoil a baby parrot, puppy, whatever, at the beginning, but as you are finding now, it comes back to haunt you if you always give in. You need to keep calm, be consistent, and things will get better.

 

I would put her in her cage when you are eating, if you really can't stop her diving into your food and not eating her own food. Time for some tough love!

 

The idea of the hat is great! I use my hand to stop Summer trying to fly to me every time I am trying to do something where it is not sensible for her to be with me. She has to circle round and fly back to her cage. To make up for denying her sometimes, I make a point of calling her to me when I am ready. She does understand that she can't always have what she wants,but that she will still get cuddle time etc.

 

I hope this helps.

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Everyones ideas and opinions regarding training and bringing up a young parrot are infinately different and most are all good, solid methods that work.

The only advice I can offer you Sparkkwing is that whatever you try, try it calmly, fuss free, and without drama. Parrots are 100% drama queens, they absolutely love it! Never forget that Willow is a bird and let her/him be a bird when she wants to.

It is my belief that one of the worst mistakes an owner can make with their bird is to make a big deal of the bad times, which, in the worst case scenario is a sure way to unwanted imprinted behavioral problems. This is not the birds fault, it happens due to an owner over-dramatising an incident of bad/naughty/unwanted behavior and the confused bird mistakenly turning the incident into a game or a way to get attention.

 

Divertion tactics = the parrot owners best tool for correcting unwanted behavior.

 

Ironicly, you have given yourself the best possible advice with your topic subject of "Fed up saying No". The secret of a well behaved parrot is to keep "No" situations to a minimum.

 

Good luck. The good times will allways outweigh the not so good everytime.

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Thanks for the comments and suggestions everyone -

 

Threeladdies - will be constructing hat tomorrow - shame it's too late for Halloween :lol:

 

Jane - I was wondering the same things. Willow is the first baby they have hand-reared and in all fairness, they did tell me she had a 'fixation' with the sound of spoons in bowls (and kettles and microwaves now). She was also the only baby as the other eggs did not hatch. They did say she was eating well and certainly did not suggest giving her anymore h/r formula. She seems 'desperate' to be spoon fed first thing in the morning (not exactly first thing, about 08.30 when I am up/home after a night shift, and again about 6pm. She was supplementing this with parrot mix, fruits/veg etc at first, but hardly seems to now. She has a little porridge in the morning usually and a mixed veg concoction pm. Occasionally, she has had a bit of scrambled egg, and adored it - as she does cheese, but I know they should not have this on a daily basis.

 

She is very reluctant to touch anything in her cage, or even accept it through the bars. Nor has she shown any interest in toys placed in there, or foody treats. She really struggles not to be put back in there during the day, but seems ok at night.

 

Gwydhyel - you're right - I need to keep persevering with 'the house rules' - with a silly hat on. :shock:

 

Cheersm8 - several good points there. Realise I wasn't feeling too special yesterday, which I am sure she picked up on, and I guess it is still early days and problems will come and go - trouble is I am all too aware that us humans can cause the problems in the first place - and I am too soft and too anxious! :oops:

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Guest Jane Doe

She is associating the kettle boiling, sound of spoons etc with having formula made up, it's not a fixation as they said she just thinks she's going to get a feed, it's a clear sign that she isn't ready to give up formula. Is there anyone on this forum that could teach you to make up the feed? If not I'd recommend having a chat with the breeders, get them to show you.

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