Screaming and hyperexcitability with guests

Posted By: Dewey's Slave

Screaming and hyperexcitability with guests - 12/20/16 07:33 AM

Background - I am 7 weeks new to Dewey whom I've learned is 21 years old, not 9 as I first thought. She's had no flight, tail, back or breast feathers most of her life...crest feathers are in negotiations. We are together most of each day, Dewey for an hour or more outside the cage, part of that on my lap. She is eating Harrison's High Potency pellets plus fruits, veggies, bird bread etc. The food that her previous owner (her only other owner) gave me was probably Kaytee. It smelled rancid and was full of some kind of gnats.

The behavioral issue I need help with is that she gets hyper-excited when guests visit. She bobs, raises her crest, flaps her wings, and if I set her down outside the cage she rushes to the person to nuzzle and chew on their shirt. This afternoon I sat down with her and a friend on the couch and Dewey "flew" off my lap, hitting the floor with a thud, something she has never done since her arrival. In the cage, she imitates the conversation, including laughs. She eventually starts screaming and doesn't stop unless you include her in the festivities. Giving her twenty things to eat and shred provides only seconds of relief. There is no option to move her to another room to calm her.

Too much stimulation? Not enough? Jealousy? Thrilled to have a guest for once? Do I need more visitors? Fewer? Therapy?

She will be living with another person soon, though I'll still be involved in her life - my objective was to get her out of a bad situation and into one that is better than I can provide long-term. Her new mom has a husband and friends. How can we help Dewey to feel at ease with strangers?
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: Screaming and hyperexcitability with guests - 12/20/16 02:29 PM

If Dewey has only lived with one family her entire life I would imagine that she is grieving her loss. Is there any way that she can move in with the new owners now?
Have you tried having your guest visit with Dewey first? Maybe if you bring the guest in and introduce them to Dewey while she is in her cage she'll feel more comfortable with them?
It also sounds like she is hormonal right now with the nuzzling. Try to not snuggle, touch/petting below the neck, increase darkness to simulate winter and decrease the amounts/variety of the treats, fruits and vegetables for a few weeks.
Good luck and I hope Dewey gets settled soon in her new life.
Posted By: Dewey's Slave

Re: Screaming and hyperexcitability with guests - 12/20/16 07:29 PM

Her new owners should be ready for her just after the holidays when things settle a bit. I too am concerned that another transition will be difficult.

I will give Dewey time to acclimate to the new person in the room next time. Do you have any thoughts as to how to manage non-stop screaming when she feels left out of the conversation?

Hormones seem tricky...I want to ease her grief over the loss of her old home with attention and a good diet but see how the balance quickly tips. I'd already increased the darkness to 13 hours and stopped touching below the head, but will definitely try your suggestion to decrease the variety and amount of fruits and veggies for a while.

She is lucky to have such a dedicated 'too community to help...thank you.
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: Screaming and hyperexcitability with guests - 12/21/16 02:10 PM

As far as being a part of the conversation, Cassie is there sitting with us. Sometimes she may have to be in her small cage but others she's out with me depending on the situation. When she is or thinks that she is part of the group her yelling is very minimal. Over the years she has watched the body language of people and now imitates it. So during a conversation her head bobs, nods and shakes, shoulders go up and down, feet will wave in the air or shuffle. It's funny to watch her she's so animated while doing it. I occasionally will say something directed to her to help include her. If she begins to get too loud I will tell her shhh or inside voice and she's learned to keep the noise down. If she continues to be loud I bring her to her large cage and tell her it's time for her to watch her tv shows.
None of this is an overnight happening, it's taken years of trial and error with her. Every day is not a good one either, there are days that she is very loud.
Posted By: Dewey's Slave

Re: Screaming and hyperexcitability with guests - 12/24/16 07:54 PM

The challenge seems to be knowing what 'normal' is under different circumstances for an individual bird. Also what is enough but not too much. Thanks for helping to manage expectations.

She was 6-12 feet from the conversations but wanted to be central. This is a great acid test for a potential love interest. grin
Posted By: RB2sMom

Re: Screaming and hyperexcitability with guests - 12/30/16 05:19 PM

We stick to established routines with our RB2s...they have learned to know what is permitted and what is not. They also know what is permitted in certain parts of the house like by their cage, playgym, on the porch, etc. They get time out and "bad bird" and go back in their cage if there is a problem. Otherwise lots of praise and "good bird" when they do the right thing. Funny though, Harry will tell on Hannah and start scolding her if she tries to do something sneaky.
Posted By: Dewey's Slave

Re: Screaming and hyperexcitability with guests - 02/02/17 08:56 PM

Dewey went to her new home at the Tajmahal yesterday! She seemed full of nervous adrenalyn with appetite, playing and talking. I stayed with her for a few hours to ease the transition and will go back for a little while today and from time to time after that.

I gave her new mom a scale, but didn't know what to tell her regarding the normal variationin weight. Dewey has averaged around 520 grams. I saw somewhere on this board that even a few grams variation is cause for concern, but her weight varies by +/- 10 grams (weighed once/week after breakfast). Thoughts?

Also, I see so much about fatty liver disease. Right now she gets Harrison's mash and about 20 different kinds of fruits, vegetables and nuts. Is a walnut and an almond (for example) per day too much or not enough?
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: Screaming and hyperexcitability with guests - 02/03/17 02:33 AM

+/- 10 grams is not cause for concern. Once it goes beyond that it's time to monitor a little more closely. The nuts is individual per bird.
I give Cassie 3 almonds per day, along with about two tablespoons of seeds. She doesn't eat it all so I don't worry. Cassie also has full blood panels done yearly at the vets. For 12 years the vet has monitored her weight and diet. Cassie is a very active girl burning off a good deal of calories per day.
Posted By: Dewey's Slave

Re: Screaming and hyperexcitability with guests - 02/04/17 12:03 AM

That is helpful, thank you!
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