Posted By: katiebird

disipline? - 05/04/05 05:01 PM

I have seen on here several remarks that your birds need disapline. i hate to sound dumb, but exactly what do you mean? I am concerned because here I am, with this awesome bird, and she has chewed up alot of my things, screams if I am on the phone, ect. I have always figured, if she chews something, like my new bedroom set, it was my fault, and i have always thought they are supposed to scream. I thought it would be mean to try to make her stop. Now if she gets carried away, i put her back in her cage, and somtimes will cover it ubtil she calms down. Unfortunatly, i have always let her sit on my shoulder, and now i am told this is bad. but after three years, should i stop this? she has never done anything bad whi8le on my shoulder. now, she is three though and I am reading horror stories about breeding season, and sexual maturity. she has never bit me. every one tells me she will someday. but I guess I can't imagine it. I am causious around other birds, but definatly have no guard up concerning her. So, what I need is advice. when i got her, I knew nothing about birds. But I loved her and we have loved our way through these years, I got her as a baby, and I don't think she knows how to be a bird either. bird books that are recomended by experienced bird owners who don't want to break their spirit.
Posted By: angie

Re: disipline? - 05/04/05 05:19 PM

Hi Katiebird....
This is a very good question to ask....and like parenting children, I am sure that many of us have differant discapline routines with our birds. Angel has destroyed a long long list of items, mostly my husbands and mostly computer related, other than phones, remotes and sunglasses that we shouldn't have left laying around. She tests the water on a regular basis....even though I know that she understands the word No, it is almost as if she has to see what she can get away with because she will grab the one thing in the room that she knows she shouldn't have and run with it.....When this happens I firmly tell her no and get down on her level so I am not towering over her. My husband and I practice the same discaplinary skills with our parrots....all of them are equal and all treated the same. They all get into things....Eulie has destroyed my bathroom cabinets, and that was my fault for allowing her in there....Peaches hasn't destroyed anything yet, but that is mainly because he hasn't ventured around the house on his own yet. As far as allowing birds on your shoulder....Angel is allowed on mine. I have been able to read her moods so far and can tell when she starts getting crabby. Peaches must have been a shoulder bird because he won't perch just on your arm....he will lunge for your ear as a grip to get onto your shoulder. Today he took a nice chunk out of my arm. But, once again this is my fault. Peaches hasn't been here long enough for us to gain his trust, so I realize that I have to be more cautious when moving him from his play stand to the bird room. I am sure that you will find many differant answers here, the things that I never do with my birds is squirt with a water bottle, yell, or lock them down in their cages for their wild instincts.
Posted By: Nikki's Mom

Re: disipline? - 05/04/05 05:51 PM

As for the shoulder I would try to start to break the bird from it just to be safe nikki was 10 yrs old when I got him and it was something I started with when I got him so it was not that heard.

As for discapline in this house the word no is used and they stop untell they think I am not looking :rolleyes: I have used time outs very little and its only when they try to attack someone or the dog. It is a very short time out and is more for them to calm down.

If something gets chewed up it is our fault this is just all part of living with the birds.
Posted By: Julz

Re: disipline? - 05/04/05 06:01 PM

Discipline does not mean SMACKING your bird but correcting inappropriate behaviors with "Time-Outs".

Unfortunatly, TOOS love wood! To keep her from chewing your wood provide here own chewing wood! I bought 2 x 4's (untreated) and cut them in odd type shapes and drill holes and loop them together with 100% cotton rope!

As far as shoulder sitting it is a risk! I do allow Babe-Zee up there on occasion. When we are in public as he feels safer away from the public. I also allow it when doing household chores such as dishes and laundry! But other then those instances, I do not allow it and I do not allow him to go on other peoples shoulders.

I believe birds know they are birds! It is us HUMANS that try to treat them as humans!

Your TOO is a wild animal regardless if you got it as a baby, its instincts are there! You should ALWAYS have your guard up!

Yeah Yeah Yeah he is a sweet lil birdie now but eventually YES your bird might bite! And from what I have heard there is alot gonna go on with your feathered friend during its puberty!

As long as your bird knows his place in your "flock" that you are the head bird, then he will be fine!

IMO the birds "spirit" has already been broke when he was breed by humans and "hand-fed" by humans and NOT ALLOWED to live in the wild and NOT raised by his feathered mommy!

All you are able to do now is to make sure his life is as comfy as possible! His spirit is a "CAPTIVE" animal now! Kind of like being on house arrest for the rest of your life!
Posted By: King Les

Re: disipline? - 05/04/05 06:37 PM

The only thing I do for discipline with Les is say "no"...

"no Bite"
"no chew"
"no chase the dog"

I'm with angie, I don't lock up or spray, or do anything like that to my bird.

He's so darn smart! If I say 'no bite mommy' he'll put his beak on me while looking up to me with his eyes as if he's going to bite me again but he doesn' little stinker!

I have a beautiful 150 year old farm table that managed to survive 150 years until it met Les!!

Anything that gets chewed is my fault.

I do not take a heavy handed approach with my animals nor with my human children (and they're all wonderful).

As far as sitting on my shoulder, I know it can be dangerous but I do let Les. However, I'm trying to discourage Les from wanting to sit on my shoulder close to my face not for safety reasons but rather because it's a bond thing. Les is very bonded with me (which is why he likes sitting close to my face) and for his sake I need him to be bonded with the other members of my family. It's hard though because I love Les so much and I like it when he's close to me smile
Posted By: angie

Re: disipline? - 05/04/05 06:43 PM

King Les,
I can so relate!! We have an antique pecan table that has been in my hubby's family for a long time....well, it was in perfect shape until it met Eulie!!! Now there is a new addition on the corner of the table!!! He just laughed it off and said it adds charactor!!
Angie wink
Posted By: King Les

Re: disipline? - 05/04/05 07:04 PM

OMG angie!! Besides my 150 yr old farm table, Les chewed to splinters the original knobs off my 100 yr old armoire and took a chunk out of the decorative molding on top of the armoire and chewed the buttons off of my Great great grandmother's lounge chair and totally chewed up the top of my favorite antique desk chair AND has destroyed MANY strands of vintage necklaces and earrings.

I told my husband that I'm going to be re-decorating the house in 70's retro CHROME!!!LOL!!!!
Posted By: katiebird

Re: disipline? - 05/04/05 07:23 PM

Thanks, for the info, Since I have had katie, my relatives think I have lost my mind. I resent them coming here and expecting me to hide my bird, because she is noisy. They don't understand that I HAVE to spend an hour cage cleaning every day. That I must give her some time. I live in branson, so i am a hotel for my relatives. or I was until Katie came. I have told them they are welcome to visit, but this is Katie's home. so, if the noise is too much, Branson is full of hotels. If she screamed all the time, I'd worry I was doing something wrong. But she will scream if she is excited, or wants attention. about 10 minutes a couple times a day is average. If I have alot of company, she does scream more often. But the problem has pretty much gone away, because I just don't have the company I used to! Still, I know I am new to this, and if I am supposed to do something towards disapline, I want to know. I tried a spray bottle once, and she just lifted her wing so I could spray there too!
Posted By: Julz

Re: disipline? - 05/04/05 07:50 PM

tried a spray bottle once, and she just lifted her wing so I could spray there too!
Would you like to be sprayed with water just for being a human??????


You cannot SPRAY them for doing what they do in the wild! If your worried about the birds "spirit" then allow them to be a bird and scream! Making sure it is not PAIN screaming or "I am am sick" scream! They scream to make contact with their flockmates! since you are your birds flockmate call back!
Posted By: scoutkj

Re: disipline? - 05/04/05 11:28 PM

Hi KatieBird,
I ignore behaviors I don't want to encourage, or I will use a Time-Out (depends on the behavior- for example, I ignore screams, I put biters in a time-out).
I think discipline might not be the word you want to use, but I don't want to pick apart your choice of words either- I am just saying that I always think "training". How can I train my bird to behave in these ways, rather than "He did this, I am angry, how do I punish him". I just believe that punishment will aggravate things and will antagonize your bird, while positive reinforcement and training work wonders. I started out by punishing my birds, before I knew better. Now I am being 100% honest when I say that punishment does not work, not long-term, and it does not make for a good relationship with a wild animal who does not rationalize that punishment came as a result of his actions. Wild animals only know that suddenly, you have turned on them, you are to be feared, you are a threat, etc etc. You want to entice them to behave in a certain way based on reward or by withholding something not necessary to survival (for example, giving them a time-out is a form of withholding, as is ignoring attempts to get your attention by screaming). I am not suggesting you withhold food, etc, but I am sure you do know what I mean...

I have changed so much in the way I work with my birds. There was a time I laddered them, and now I would never do that. There was a time I had to be "flock leader" and now I never think that way. I follow Steve Martin's methods. If you're interested in them, email me at and I'd be happy to send you links.
Posted By: ayres with a 2

Re: disipline? - 05/05/05 03:34 AM

I found this site the first time I heard Raven scream...I came running back downstairs thinking something happened to him in his cage! I had no clue what to do..our grey has never made a non-human sound (other than that of a crow and a blue jay, and cats and I don't even know what they sound like in the wild, which seems so sad to me. I have a Jenday Conure that screams, and I don't even notice anymore! I never let on that I heard it, and she barely even bothers anymore, except when she's glad to see me or the kids. With Raven, after 1 week, he goes from a loud scream to a quiet chirping...I ignore the scream, reward the chirp or the hello,and now he screams a lot less.As far as when he nips me, I tell him no, firmly but quietly, and give him a dirty look...he coos,almost like he's saying sorry.
Posted By: Heidi528

Re: disipline? - 05/05/05 04:57 AM

Hi! New here - today - and this is my first post. My baby is Pompadour, who is a 9 yr old MSC Cockatoo. I've had him a bit over a year; owner #3. His last owner loved him, but had no time.

I guess I break all the rules. "Pompie" has a very large cage, and enjoys it. He has a bird gym in the kitchen so he can keep me company when I'm cooking. Other than that, when I'm home, he's on me. My shoulder. If I'm at the computer he either plays on my shoulder, the back of the chair, or sits in my lap and has his wing pits scratched. If we watch tv, he sits in my lap and I preen his feathers and scratch the wingpits. If he wants to play in or on his cage when I'm home he does it with the door open. But if he wants to sit on my shoulder for hours, I let him. He has bitten me once since I've known him, and that was the day I met him. I have lots of other animals, and they run the house. I discipline Pompadour by telling him "No". I never put him back in his cage if he's bad - I don't want him to think of his cage as punishment. It's his "room", not his prison cell. Spraying him? Constantly! He asks me to spray him; he loves it. He also begs to come into the shower with me as often as possible. He has a shower perch, but prefers my shoulder there as well. Maybe he's strange, as he's never hurt me getting a grip, even when wet. He seems to know just how much pressure is enough. I file his nails every few days to keep them from being sharp, and he enjoys that. He lays on his back in my lap while I do his nails. If I don't give a nail enough attention, in his opinion, he grabs the file and holds his hand out to have the nail done again. I joke that I can do anything to this bird, and he lets me. We have a bond and trust. He knows I won't hurt him, I know he won't hurt me. He even loves it when I hang him by one leg! If I haven't done that for a while he'll grab a hold of one finger and dangle himself upside down until I get the hint.

He eats dinner with us, as does Chica, my daughters Umbrella Cockatoo. (We've had her a year, she's almost 3. My daughter is 11.) We have towels on the back of our chairs to protect the chairs, and the birds walk down our arms to poke around the dinner plates. Occasionally they'll just stroll around the table to see who has what and sample what they see.

So I don't follow almost any of the discipline rules I read about. Shoulders are for birds. Cages are for sleeping and playing, not being punished. Spraying is for fun, not for being bad. And they are happy, well adjusted birds! What am I doing wrong?
Posted By: katiebird

Re: disipline? - 05/05/05 05:41 AM

I like you Heidi! My daughter was laughing today at me , thinking back when I first got Katie. She has an umbrella, but lives five hours from me. She came to see my new family member. Every time we'd try to talk Katie would scream. This is when my daughter tells me, "I've heard that if they scream too much, you can give them a spray with a spray bottle and they will stop" Totally unsure of this, or anything else I 'd done with her so far. I get out the only spray bottle I have, ( a mister ) I spray once, she looks at me and lifts up her wing for me to do it again! So, that was my spray bottle experience. It seldom bothers me for her to scream, as long as I believe i have met her needs. She does get jealous for attention if i have company.Most of the time she screams is when she hears the garage door open when I come home from work. Or if the dogs are excited and barking, she starts out screaming, and ends up barking. Anyway, I know I have broken every rule there is. It sounds to me that screaming is okay, at least in moderation. sitting on your shoulder it sounds is at your own risk from the post I have read. I do plan to phase that out gradually. I can't recall in three years ever being mad at her. even when she destroyed a piece of my bedroom suite. It was my fault, and I don't know why, I just can't be mad at her. So, that is why I was concerned about disapline. I thought maybe i was missing something. She could very well out live me, and I want her to be a likable bird to others also. She does like my daughter very much, and it is she who would take her in the event of my death.
Posted By: King Les

Re: disipline? - 05/05/05 01:35 PM

Hey, I like Heidi also! Welcome to the board Heidi.

Katie your spray bird/wing up story was funny smile
Posted By: scoutkj

Re: disipline? - 05/05/05 02:39 PM

Oh, yes, I love to hear stories like that! smile

I do want to say (for the benefit of people who do have issues with their birds to resolve) that not all birds will be like Heidi's or some of my birds or another person's birds...

It would be nice if we could all leave our birds out of their cages at all times (like I do with my Citrons and CAG and like Heidi does with her birds) but this is just not possible for some people.

There are some birds who will not, even after a year, let anyone file their nails and who will not ever want to lay on their backs.

You are not a failure as a parent to your bird if your bird doesn't want handling, plucks, destroys your home if you leave the room for one second (requires that you cage him when you leave), etc etc.

We have birds that we allow on our shoulder, and we have birds that we know better than to allow to do this.

We have birds to whom we give full body petting (including under the wings, etc) and look away when they display sexual behavior, and we have one bird whose sexual appetite we keep tight reins on.

We give our birds as much as we can, some require more of something, and some require less. It is up to us to find a balance with our birds- they live with us, we have to be able to live with them as well. It's a sad fact of keeping birds in captivity- there are adjustments that they make as well, so that we can take care of them. Do not be discouraged by the stories some of us are able to tell. All birds are different, all situations are different, and while we should all be happy for people who are able to live so harmoniously with their birds, it should not be taken as a failure on your part if you do not have such a setup at home.

Posted By: Magenta

Re: disipline? - 05/05/05 03:13 PM

I agree with most of what you said, Scout, but I do have to point out that if your bird is plucking, and they did not have a history of plucking with previous owners, then there is something making them unhappy. Plucking shouldn't be treated as normal, and some might read your entry and think, "Oh ok so it isn't a big deal that mine plucks." If your bird is plucking, consult your avian vet or others at this board that may have the same issue. No one will yell at you because your bird is plucking, to tell you the truth it doesn't mean you are a bad parent because they are plucking, but you need to find the root of the problem so that you can get them to stop. You wouldn't want your human children cutting themselves and it is basically the same thing with plucking (just to clarify, Scout, I am not saying that you implied that it wasn't a big deal if a bird plucks, just the way I read your entry made me think that it needed clarification).

Other than that, Toos do have their own personalities much like children. The way you "discipline" one child may not work with another. I think most agree that you should not hit or throw things at your bird. I wouldn't recommend spraying them because you may have problems when you go to "bath" them (soak them down, I try to do this 2 times a month to my u2).
Posted By: scoutkj

Re: disipline? - 05/05/05 04:46 PM

Thank you, Magenta.

I certainly would not want people to read my post as saying, "Plucking is no big deal, ignore it if it happens".

I do want to use this as a chance to say that sometimes even under the best care, birds in captivity sometimes pluck, and we cannot figure out why or how to stop it without the use of collars, etc. I feel that too many people are quick to criticise, to assume that a plucked bird is a neglected bird, and that anyone who cares for a plucked bird (as Dr Pepperberg does/has) is a terrible person, should not own a bird, must be causing it, etc etc, and I am saddened by that attitude. It is wrong to generalize that way. We don't know why birds pluck. We may have an idea of why they pluck under certain circumstances, but we don't know for sure that we are right.

It reminds me of a good joke with a good lesson. Ever heard about the scientist and the frog?

The scientist says to the frog, "Jump, frog, jump!" When the frog jumps 15 feet, the scientist makes a note: "With four legs, frog jumps 20 feet."

The scientist then removes one of the frog's legs and says, "Jump frog, jump!" The frog jumps 15 feet. The scientist makes a note: "Frog jumps 15 feet with three legs."

The scientist then removes a second leg and says, "Jump, frog, jump!" The frog jumps 10 feet, and the scientist makes note that with two legs, the frog jumps 10 feet.

After a third leg is removed, upon the command to jump, the frog only jumps 5 feet, and the scientist makes note of this.

Finally, the scientist removes the last remaining leg and says, "Jump, frog, jump!" When the frog doesn't move, the scientist writes, "With no legs, frog is deaf."

This is what I think we do all the time with our birds. We do not know enough, and we can easily come to the wrong, but seemingly "logical" conclusions.

We should not condemn people for trying to care for plucking birds, assuming they are doing their very best and have covered the ground we are most familiar with (gone to the vet, tried showering their birds, food adjustments, etc etc).

This was the point I was trying to make. smile
Posted By: Magenta

Re: disipline? - 05/05/05 05:17 PM

Of course not (good joke by the way!). I think most of the members on this board that have pluckers, obtained them from a shelter or a rescue or saved them by other means from a place that didn't care for them properly. And even if a member did have the Too since it was a baby and it plucks, they should not be critisized as long as they are giving the bird the best and proper care.
Posted By: Nikki's Mom

Re: disipline? - 05/05/05 06:45 PM

I wouldn't recommend spraying them because you may have problems when you go to "bath" them
I have to tell you what I know about this my tiels love to be sprayed and I had them when before I got Nikki. Nikki would go nuts when he seen it. We started to have trouble with Nikki biting my Hubby one day I walk in and seen him spraying Nikki. (Yes Hubby was in BIG trouble) I ended up hiding the spray bottle and with in a week Nikki quit biting Hubby. I called the people that had Nikki before me and the said this had been done all his life mad Nikki hates water.
Posted By: flowerchild

Re: disipline? - 05/06/05 08:32 PM

guess you've found the ideal way to keep the visiting to a minimum. my sentiment exactly-this is their home! if you don't like it, don't visit.
most of my family really enjoy my birds, they visit in their homes sometimes, but those who don't like them certainly aren't welcome here.
Posted By: matilda

Re: disipline? - 05/10/05 03:53 PM

katiebird wink good post just wish that everyone really reads the full post. i don't use a spray bottle with capone, he likes his bath and i would not want to to make him fear water. also where i got him he hated spary bottles so i have never used one or plan to use one on him. also if we think and relate to our birds as prey animals we can maybe not do bad things out of mistakes. birds are prey animals and we a meat eaters. we are predators. if we can change our behaviors to match what birds do we can have more success. also laugh wink hiedi, nice to mret you. sounds lke you have a great repore with your birds. i had fun reading these posts. laugh
© 2018 Real Cockatoo Facts!