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#225946 - 10/05/10 05:58 PM Re: im adopting a bird, and im brand spankin new! [Re: EchosMom]  
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I GOT HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is sooo sweet and cool! First off, the cage he came with has missing pieces, and was covered in crap...it took us 4 hours to clean it, and then an additional 3 hours to build stuff so that it would be safe for him. But now he is in there, he has already started to play with his toy! Even when he is in the cage he will slowly lower his head to let me scratch him. he hasnt ate any of his pellets that i gave him last night, but he did eat about 6 nuts, i have been giving him those when i walk into his room. other than the usuall peeps and "hellos" he hasnt screamed or anything! i do have one question though, sometimes when i walk in there, he kind of makes a sound like he is saying ...shhhhhhhh, or like blowing air out his beak. is that hissing? he doesnt sway when he does it, just the noise. He really was not happy going into a cage (he has spent the last 4 months on a garage railing) I think it bothers him that he is in a cage. I could not get my camera to work, but tonight after school i will try again. People he is beautiful! He wont accept any more nuts from me inside his cage, and even turned down a cracker. so do you think he is still adjusting? Also he is shivering when i come in...is that nervousnes or him being cold?

Last edited by hotpod; 10/05/10 06:04 PM.
#225951 - 10/05/10 07:17 PM Re: im adopting a bird, and im brand spankin new! [Re: hotpod]  
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He is definitely still adjusting. I recently took in a foster bird, so was able to reacquaint myself personally with how slow adjustments can take.

Your main goal right now is to make him feel secure and let him know you're not threatening. He needs to watch the goings-on at your house and learn the ropes before he starts to feel more comfortable and assert his true personality.

Some parrots acclimate rather quickly, while it takes others weeks or months. My foster bird didn't make any noises or come off of his safe perch in our presence for at least 2 weeks, and it was over a month until he said a word.

As for the noise he makes when you walk in the room, it's hard to say without witnessing it and the other things going on that provoke it. Do you kind of sneak up on him? It may be a scared reaction as he is a prey animal and all of a sudden you are there! You can try announcing your presence before he sees you so he knows you're coming in to see if that helps.

What is the temperature in the room where he is in? If it's normal room temperature, it's unlikely that he's cold.

I didn't reread this entire thread, so not sure if this has been recommended already, but you'll want to get him an appointment with an avian vet ASAP. Parrots are experts at hiding illnesses and this guy didn't have the best start in life, so you'll want to get him checked out and make sure he didn't pick anything up living unsupervised in the garage.

Good luck as you embark on your relationship!

#225953 - 10/05/10 07:58 PM Re: im adopting a bird, and im brand spankin new! [Re: Beeps]  
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In general, birds don't shiver if cold...they fluff up. The shivering is in relation to him being fearful. The 'sssssssss' and shivering if a fear response. Let him get used to his new digs and see what happens.

Before and when entering his room start talking to him. Remember Toos are flock animals and if they can't see you they will call to you...so call to him. I talk to my flock from all around the house and even when I'm outside near their window. The neighbors think I'm nuts until I tell them about the birds.

#225956 - 10/05/10 08:55 PM Re: im adopting a bird, and im brand spankin new! [Re: Elliott]  
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lol LOL elliott that was hilarious about the neighbors. Ok i already talk to my animals randomly, lol so that wont be hard. I love my conversations with my animals, they are always so meaningful. I dont think im sneaking up on him. he is in a room, but i can imagine the door just opening, even though i do it slowly would be an issue, ill try calling him through the door next time to give him a warning, I just checked on him. lol he has already shreded a part of his toy! lol im so excited. Also he ate a nut that was in his food bowl, so i know he started to explore the cage when i was not there. I will give him more space to adjust, what do you all think? leave the door open? or for a couple more days leave it closed to make it nice and quiet? As for the avian vet, he has an appt, in 3 weeks, the doctor didnt want to stress him out more by me taking him in this week, she said he had been through enough already and to give him some more time to get used to me before putting him through more traveling and an appt so closed to when he came home with me. I feel like such a nerd. lol i tell all my friend...OMG he pooped! im so excited! ahhhh its good to know that i can tell you humans about it. lol and you and your flock will do a happy dance with me!

#225982 - 10/06/10 06:07 PM Re: im adopting a bird, and im brand spankin new! [Re: hotpod]  
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ok i have another question, he just kind of...called out this morning like a, HEY good morning!... I know this is normal, but how long do i wait after he has screamed for attention to go in there so that i dont reinforce that calling out to me is ok? 1 minute? with dogs its 3 ful seconds preferably 5, so does anyone know how long it is for a bird?

Oh and also...how long do i leave him alone in the cage? when can i strart working on stepping up?

Last edited by hotpod; 10/06/10 06:36 PM.
#225987 - 10/06/10 08:04 PM Re: im adopting a bird, and im brand spankin new! [Re: hotpod]  
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Re: screaming: some screaming is to be expected; some toos will do a daily morning/evening scream fest. You can't expect to eliminate all screaming.

That disclaimer aside, instead of waiting for silence, what you want to do is wait until he makes an appropriate sound -- so that he learns that screaming doesn't work, but a whistle, or "hello!", or whatever he does, will work to get him attention. You want to teach him an acceptable way to communicate with you. You can certainly wait until he's calmed down and quiet to go to him after a scream (I don't think there's a hard and fast rule about how many seconds to wait; I just make sure my birds have calmed down before I go to them after a scream) but also find a noise he makes that you will always respond to so that he doesn't have to resort to screaming.

Also, remember that they are flock animals and in the wild, a lone too is likely a dead too soon. When I first get up, or come home from work, (any time I'm seeing them again for the first time in an hour or so), I do the rounds and greet everyone, even if they can't get out of their cage yet. It reinforces our flock bond. If you approach and greet him in the morning, you may be able to prevent him from screaming for attention.

Re: when to start working on step up, etc. Once again, no hard and fast rules (when you're working with parrots, who are such individuals and ridiculously intelligent, that's often the case).

Do you know if he already knows how to step up? What body language does he offer when you go to his cage? Does he seem afraid, or does he seem interested in coming out?

I've had birds who were stepping up out of their cage the day we took them home (though these were usually birds who already knew us from the rescue) and I've had birds who preferred to stay in their cage for a few days - week or more before they felt ready to come out.

As long as he's not visibly scared (it doesn't sound like he is), you can try and see what happens. I'd make sure it's at a time when you have time to spend with him and won't be rushed in case it becomes difficult to get him to go back in his cage, since he isn't used to being in one.

#225990 - 10/06/10 08:55 PM Re: im adopting a bird, and im brand spankin new! [Re: Beeps]  
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fantastic advice...thank you so much beeps! so helpful, when i open his little door by his favorite perch, he moves all the way to the end, which is closest to the door that is open and me standing by it, and then he usually starts trying to step off into the air wanting to come to me, I have been waiting to do step up simply becuase the guy who had him before, did no training. therefore, im in the process right now of him getting used to taking things from me to eat, when i handed him an apple he just looked at it and tried to get the apple to pet him, then i took a bite and then he slowly beaked the apple and walked away from it, I didnt push it, so i put it into his treat bowl, and about 10 minutes later i checked on him, lol he was munching away. right now i want to tell you what im seeing here, Turk (the U2 is in his cage, napping on one foot, with my yorkie at my right foot, and my jack russell on the my left. everyone is asleep. LOL its making me tired! anyway thank you so much for all the advice, maybe tonight when i have a crap load of free time i can start working on getting him to come out and then being able to get him back in his cage for the night. I just need to find his favorite treats so that he will respond to that.

#225991 - 10/06/10 09:23 PM Re: im adopting a bird, and im brand spankin new! [Re: hotpod]  
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Originally Posted By: hotpod
when i open his little door by his favorite perch, he moves all the way to the end, which is closest to the door that is open and me standing by it, and then he usually starts trying to step off into the air wanting to come to me, I have been waiting to do step up simply becuase the guy who had him before, did no training.


It sounds like he knows how to step up, which is great! And he's communicating to you through his body language that's what he wants to do! Parrots have long memories, and if they knew how to do something in the past, they usually can remember it again quickly. Even if the guy who had him before you didn't have him step up, he might have learned it in his past. (My macaw was kept for 6 years in his cage in a backroom with sporadic human contact -- never coming out. He remembered how to step up.)

Definitely look for favorite foods to work with him on training, but it doesn't have to be food. To these incredibly social creatures, head pets can be just as reinforcing and rewarding as a nut. He's been lacking that bond for so long, it might be better than food for him!

#226003 - 10/07/10 02:16 PM Re: im adopting a bird, and im brand spankin new! [Re: Beeps]  
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This is probably a silly warning, but just in case you hadnt thought of it yourself....when you do bring your little one out of his cage, please make sure the dogs are locked out of that room. You never know how the dogs might react if your baby starts to flap his wings or flys down. Personally we always keep our dog separated from the birds at all times. He is either crated, outside or in another part of the house with baby gates in place.


Deborah
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#226011 - 10/07/10 05:23 PM Re: im adopting a bird, and im brand spankin new! [Re: FeatheredAngels]  
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Thanks for the warning FeatheredAngels, yes i had planned on that. im trying to take everything in little baby steps. im trying to set him up for as much success as possible. this morning im trying to get near his cage, but he is hissing at me from the door, so im backing off untill he doesnt see me as a threat. yesterday we made some progress, but it seems today that he isnt quite ready for me to sit in the room with him yet to read to him or talk to him or play. but i will take little tiny baby steps and see what happens. I just figured out what food he likes last night. I came home to find all his pellets all of the floor, then when i switched to a different all natural pellet, he didnt even wait till i left the room to come down and have 7 pieces right there in front of me! i was so excited, but im still worried that he wont eat anything else! like no apples, dried fruits, veggies, or nuts...he must be still adjusting, he has had quite a cultural shock.

#226074 - 10/09/10 11:57 PM Re: im adopting a bird, and im brand spankin new! [Re: hotpod]  
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Just jumping in on the food.. Pellets-only isn't the most ideal diet, but if it's a good pellet it will be fine (Harrisons is my vets favourite). Keep offering other food, but don't be too worried if pellets are the only thing being eaten for now.

You could also try cooked food instead of raw, like bird bread. One thing my cockatiels really like is 1 hard-boiled egg sliced up mixed with cooked brown rice, broccoli and three types of peppers. It's certainly not an every day food (bit starchy I think?), but it's nice once and a while.

Try making up cooked dishes like that and he might like them (just watch out for toxic foods). It might be too soon to go all out as he is still very uncomfortable, but it's something to thing about for the future. I believe the main mytoos site has some good bean mixes and whatnot to try.

Sorry if this was mentioned before, didn't read all the way back!

#226079 - 10/10/10 04:55 AM Re: im adopting a bird, and im brand spankin new! [Re: Cidsa]  
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cidsa, no it wasnt mentioned at all, great resources for me to try out! Just to give everyone an update, he felt comfortable enough today to come out of his cage, he is still scared crapless of anything i try to give him to step up on, but he loved being on top of his cage, lol he was throwing his crest up and was talking 90 to nothing! it took everything i had to keep up with the little chatter box. lol lol. anyway, we had some great trust building exercises today, and i found out he is totally motivated by me petting him just behind his head. I try to give him food, and he throws it to the ground and promptly bends his head down farther so that i get the message. I did get him some edible parrot cookies with walnuts on a rope for him to play with, in one day....it was all gone, LOL i guess he liked it, he is eating his pellets still, i tried an apple, but i think once he is comfortable enough on a perch and i can move him around, he will start perking up with the eating other stuff...keep in mind that on monday will make it a week that he has been here. also i had a question, can cockatoos be itchy? it seems like all of a sudden he starts scratching everywhere, its not preening, becuase i see a big difference in the way he acts as if he is itching all over, I have noticed, his feet and beak are scaly and they look really really dry, I figured once we get the step up on to anything, I can focus on taking him to the bathtub so he can play in the water, but...like i said earlier, baby steps, So can all this dry skin make him itchy? he is itching everywhere and it seems he is scratching at it so hard that some down feathers are starting to come out, I saw a few brand new feathers and he leaves those alone, its just he is scratching, wings, tail, chest, belly, feet, and rubs his beak on the perch. I cant wait till i can move him around on a stick or something! i think it will make his quality of life so much better. right? also...just to conform my research, to fix dry feet and beak, give more frequent baths?

Last edited by hotpod; 10/10/10 05:00 AM.
#226084 - 10/10/10 04:55 PM Re: im adopting a bird, and im brand spankin new! [Re: hotpod]  
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Toos get very itchy. In the wild they take showers in the rain constantly, so bathing is very important. It is definitely something that you will need to do slowly first though. If done too quickly it could frighten him and that can set you back a long way. You have a great deal of other things to focus on first. For future reference though, when we first got Ozzy (our Too) he was terrified of water. The way we got him use to it was by starting out with a large pan of water placed on top of his cage with some toys in it for him to play with. Then we played with the toys also making lots of happy sounds and being excited. Slowly we began to get our hands wet and then rub the water on him. This all took a couple of weeks of trying over and over. We made daily trips to the bathroom .... just to visit and see the water running in the shower. Again this took a great deal of time and many many trips to the bathroom. We placed a perch in the bathroom and then would shower ourselves making lots of happy sounds so that he would want to join us, and also asking Ozzy to step up every once in awhile. Finally he accepted our arm to step up on one day, and has enjoyed showering with us ever since. We never force him to shower though, on days that he doesn't want to step up on his own. You will also need to do this early in the day and your home must be very warm so he doesn't get chilled. This will give him all day to dry off.

However like I said previously, this all should wait until you have him more comfortable with you and a great deal of trust built up. You will also need him to willing to step up on a stick or hand in order to take him into the shower with you.


Deborah
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#226098 - 10/10/10 07:51 PM Re: im adopting a bird, and im brand spankin new! [Re: FeatheredAngels]  
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great examples featheredangels...you have no idea what these examples do for me. it helps soooooooooo much...your right though and i had thought of that, he needs to be able to step up. hopefully we will do better today with our training session, and he will get more trust in me. i just need to keep doing little baby steps. thank you so much everyone for all your help if you have anything else to add please do! im all for advice. Ill keep everyone updated on our progress.

#226103 - 10/10/10 10:36 PM Re: im adopting a bird, and im brand spankin new! [Re: hotpod]  
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One of the greatest things you can do for your baby, is learn about Applied Behavior. WE have a whole thread devoted to just that. Applied Behavior - Case Studies
There are articles posted in there that I encourage everyone who owns a bird of any size to read and memorize. This teaching has literally changed my view of life, not only for my birds but also in dealing with people. This is one of my favorites The bird and the bank account
Truly though those articles are like our Birdie Bible now. Life with your baby will be so much more, once you begin to build trust and understand him.


Deborah
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#226112 - 10/11/10 02:00 PM Re: im adopting a bird, and im brand spankin new! [Re: FeatheredAngels]  
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I have not been around much lately but just had to add "you rock hotpod"!!!!! I am so happy for and proud of you :-) If everyone sought out and took advice like you do, so many of these sweet feathered angels would live wonderful lives :-)
Often times, being itchy and the flakey beak could be due to nutritional issues too. Has he been checked for skin problems? There are many out there such as mites. Hopefully, it is just needing to bath :-)
Tania


Flock is Nina (U2), Tootsie (U2), Baby (LSC), Ruke (TAG),& Birdie (T2),
#226117 - 10/11/10 07:28 PM Re: im adopting a bird, and im brand spankin new! [Re: Rukesmom]  
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FeatheredAngels...so last night when i read your post about the ABA....i read so many posts, that when i looked up it was 4 am!!! lol Its interesting how it is very similar to what i teach my clients for dog training as in only use positive reinforcement, but VERY different in that you always give your parrot a choice in any situation. typically when a human demands something of a dog, they are expected to comply. LOL not with a bird!!! That has taken me some getting used to, i try my hardest, i let down the drawbridge door and ask him to come out for head scratches, and when he decides he wants to, he climbs on out. And he already is starting to go where i want him (im also using a clicker to train him) We have our training session here in a little bit, im excited to see what he has progressed in doing. everyday is like a little treasure of behavior for him, in my head im like..."so little guy, what are you going to impress me with today?" but always choices...its taking a lot of brain power on my behalf to always offer a choice so that i dont hurt any trust that we are building

Rukesmom, Thank you so much for the compliment!!! that means a lot to me and it gives me more juice to keep going in little baby steps in training and understanding, ill just keep asking for advice and as long as you and other amazing people on this forum are out there to give me examples and great resources for me to research, i think he will come around and be able to enjoy life for once. as for the itchy thing, lol everything you listed could possibly be the main issue, he does not care for variety in his diet, but im slowly persuading him, that an apple, or grape, or broccolli here and there is good for him, he is slowly, (just like a kid) tasting everything. sometiems he throws it on the ground, sometimes he nibbles, then throws it on the ground, so I just keep trying in making his diet better, He cant live on only pellets and nuts. But maybe me and you can hold our fingers crossed that it is just a bath, *sigh* i sure hope it is.

#226545 - 10/31/10 07:47 AM Re: im adopting a bird, and im brand spankin new! [Re: hotpod]  
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Ok so its time for an update. The baby is doing great. He is eating a lot more these days. He still hates everything other than his pellets and walnuts. However i have found out, that the already shelled walnuts in the baking section are the easiest treats for me to train with, and he thinks he cant live without them...yay! with that being said, our training is actually progressing, he gets a piece of walnut for everything good he does, whether that is staying calm during our morning mist shower or just learning to actually step on to his playstand. He still refuses to step up onto a perch, however i wheel his playstand to the edge of his cage and he walks out on to it...mainly to get to the end of the perch stand (there is a bowl on the far end full of assorted nuts that he loves). he gets a crap load of treats for staying on it, we havent tried moving the stand while he is on it yet, but he just started trusting me enough and the playstand for only a week, i figure i should not rush it.

So i started noticing that several feathers where in the bottom of the cage, and he had been very itchy, well i get this supplement to spray on him to help with the itching and it has actually worked!!!! but then i noticed all the feathers, my heart sank i thought....he is plucking like he did in the other homes. however the more i looked at the feathers the more i noticed that one of them was actually from the top of his head. Which i thought was weird. then i read up on how to preen a bird; so i tried it, and OMG he fell in love with me all over again, come to find out, his whole head needed to have been preened. that flaky stuff fell off everywhere, he looked like a totally different bird. anyway, i was rubbing his neck on day and he reached up to try and bite me, which he never had done that, now i rememberd that some of you warned me that when they do that to check for blood feathers, so i carefully lifted up his neck feathers and found 5 new blood feathers!!! YAY he is growing new feathers! As of today i have counted 10 new blood feathers! and he has stopped scratching...is he molting? His feathers has stopped coming out but now he just likes for me to preen him. but there are new feathers popping up everywhere...is this a good thing?? Is there anything i can do to make him more comfortable? thanks everyone, please i need as much advice as you can spare...thanks again!

#226547 - 10/31/10 11:02 AM Re: im adopting a bird, and im brand spankin new! [Re: hotpod]  
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He's molting. Showers and baths for the molting help.
You're going to want to be careful on the numbers of nuts you are giving him. Nuts are very high in fat and can cause fatty liver disease. That being said to get him to eat other foods have you tried eating food in front of him. Cassie is very picky and not motivated by food. With her if I introduce something new to her I will eat it first and make a big deal over it. I also act like it's only mine and no one else can have it. If she can't have something it makes her want it even more, just like a toddler. Sitting at the kitchen table with a bowl of rice and bean mix or veggies and she'll want to dive into my plate. I've also used veggies and greens to make toys for her cage and play stand. Kale, collards and romaine tie real easy to the cage bars and make great shredding toys. It took a while for her to realize that it's also food. Skewers are great for hanging carrots, broccoli, ears of corn and fruit.
It's great to hear that he is becoming comfortable with you.
Keep up the good work.
Nancy


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#226573 - 11/01/10 04:16 PM Re: im adopting a bird, and im brand spankin new! [Re: BE2Cassie]  
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Just wanted to add a little commentary on the molting. At the rescue where I volunteer, we've frequently seen that parrots coming from a bad diet go through a pretty heavy molt 1-2 months after coming to us and getting on a good diet. It's hard work growing new feathers, and they need adequate nutrition to do so. I hope you took a before picture, because after his molt, his feathers should be in a much better condition!

Preening him/helping him with his pin feathers can be a great bonding tool, as you've found out. And good job recognizing his nip as a warning and further investigating why that happened instead of just continuing on which might have resulted in a real bite.

Thanks for the update!

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