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#22342 - 05/13/07 01:15 AM How do we tell the bird "NO!" ?  
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JeffH Offline
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Since these birds have the same intelligence and behavior levels as a 2yr old human baby, how do we tell them "NO!"? Like, if they try to nibble furniture, how do we discipline them not to? And if they have caused damage, how do we tell them "BAD BIRD!" ?

I know these are sensitive creatures, just like humans are. So what is the best way to teach them right from wrong? And (I'm just asking) do we ever SPANK these birds? My family has spanked their dogs & cats in the past, but do you ever spank a cockatoo?


Don't own one yet, but I'm learning how to.
#22343 - 05/13/07 01:40 AM Re: How do we tell the bird "NO!" ?  
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Chewing is what birds do. They don't care if it's your dresser or a toy. It's all the same to them. What you can do is supervise as you would with a child. If you see the bird going for something that you don't want chewed, distract him or move him somewhere else where there is something he can have. Prevent unwanted destruction. Nani tries to chew my necklaces all the time. He knows I always catch him and stop him but he still tries. So I won't wear necklaces aroung him anymore. As far as spanking, I hope that your joking. The same goes for dogs and cats. You don't hit your animals. It's abusive and besides that they don't know why the hell you just whacked them. All it does is create fear and that is the last thing you want to do. There are better positive methods for training dogs and cats. But when it comes to chewing for birds, that's a natural behavior.

#22344 - 05/13/07 02:07 AM Re: How do we tell the bird "NO!" ?  
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JeffH Offline
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Thanks NaniToo! I don't own a 'too just yet (and have no other pets either), but am trying to learn more about them and how to handle them right.

As far as spanking animals, I had a feeling that was wrong. The reason I've seen that around me is because I live in OKLAHOMA! angry


Don't own one yet, but I'm learning how to.
#22345 - 05/13/07 03:11 AM Re: How do we tell the bird "NO!" ?  
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We are not going to discuss animal or human abuse here. Keep the topic tight. I suggest you do a search for "positive reinforcement" and "behavioral training" in the Behavior Forum and you might also do a web search on the same topics. These training methods are well established in most animal communities and in Dale Carnegie courses for humans. They work, there is considerable information available here and elsewhere.

#22346 - 05/13/07 03:13 AM Re: How do we tell the bird "NO!" ?  
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I don't know why the still do it. But people unlike animals, know what they did that was wrong. And they know where it is coming from. But that's a really tender subject so I won't saym ore, not that I know anything else for that matter. lol


look to your birds for love
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little foot Cockatiels
#22347 - 05/13/07 03:16 AM Re: How do we tell the bird "NO!" ?  
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JeffH-
it might help you understand a bit more if you do some reading on marker training or clicker training. It works on all positive reinforcement. There is a book I have been meaning to read called Don't Shoot the Dog!, it was recommended to read before I took an online parrot class. I hate suggesting something I haven't read or done first hand, but maybe someone else here has read it. My bird, Katie, would eat the house if I didn't watch her, it wouldn't be her fault, but mine for not watching her. Same goes for a dog. If it messes in the house, or chews something up it shouldn't, it is your fault because you were not watching. You don't want to hurt your pet and have it fear you, you want it just to love and respect you.

#22348 - 05/14/07 02:19 AM Re: How do we tell the bird "NO!" ?  
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A bird should never be hit or spanked. Some birds do respond to different trainimg methods.

My cockatoo and grey pretty much understand positive reinforcement. In other words, if they are good, good things come, but the macaw really only understands what a a stern bite does when I am displeased with her. Even though I was told macaws love drama, when I didnt react at all. She was out of control. Now that I let her know in a very firm voice and I turn away, She is learning it is unacceptable. I will be posting tonight about my latest macaw bite and the blood poisoning that incurred with this

#22349 - 05/14/07 03:45 PM Re: How do we tell the bird "NO!" ?  
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One way to keep them from chewing on furniture is to supervise them when they are out as we always do when they are in the house and not on the screened porch. When they chew on something they aren't supposed to we just pick them up and put them on the playstand or cage top and then if they stay there we say "good parrot" and pet them and give them verbal reinforcement. They have learned what is their and our territories. Harry even scolds Hannah by saying "Hannnnnnah!!!" in a scolding way when she sneaks down to the floor or tries to fly to the cabinets to nest. If they continue to try to go somewhere they should not, they get a "time out" back in their cage. This has worked pretty well for us.


Susanne
Our flock: 2 RB2s
Our herd & rescue: turtles, tortoises, other reptiles
#22350 - 05/14/07 08:18 PM Re: How do we tell the bird "NO!" ?  
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I definitely agree with positive reinforcement. A bird is similar to having a very young child (for 50-80ish years eek ). It's our responsibility to supervise them closely when they are not in their cages to make sure they don't get hurt, other "flock members" don't get hurt, and so all our stuff doesn't get chewed up! This can be a full time job! BTW birds have a strange way of remembering things...especially threats (punishment). Wrongly administered punishment can scar the bird for a long time. They have enough phobias as it is when you reward them for doing the "right" thing! We need to think like a bird laugh


Gail
#22351 - 05/14/07 09:42 PM Re: How do we tell the bird "NO!" ?  
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You all have such good, productive attitudes toward ethical treatment toward birds. I certainly hope you are the same way with your children and relatives! (joke) smile

It's all quite simple. A 'too will live for many years, but will always be a 2yr old child to you. Thus, you must acept the behaviopr as such and deal with it. Human babies go through the "terrible twos" for only 18 months, but with a 'too, the "terrible twos" last all its life!

Hence, I can see why you all show that so many people give up their 'toos and take them to a "bird pound". That's so sad, but if you can't handle being a parent (or are not ready to be one), then you should not become one! Being a bad, neglectful parent is wrong whether you are doing it to a bird, a dog, or even a human. frown


Don't own one yet, but I'm learning how to.
#22352 - 07/05/07 07:44 AM Re: How do we tell the bird "NO!" ?  
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JeffH Offline
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I've been reading a lot more about 'toos and other parrots, and also visited some of them in pet stores. I can't believe that even a full-adult M2 weighs only 1 or 2lbs, and of course, all birds have hollow skeletons so that they can fly. A 'too is very fragile, and that's just the physical! frown

You all are right, you must never hit these birds, not even with a fly swatter as you never know how you will hurt (or injure) them! Well, don't worry, for I've done no such thing. I still don't have my 'too yet, but know to be gentle and compassionate with it, just like a baby. smile

I guess I should apologize to all of you as that question seemed so dumb, but at least I did the right thing and researched it first. I hate to think of any 'too who has been abused by those who don't know better. frown

"Please, don't give animals as presents!" ~ PETA


Don't own one yet, but I'm learning how to.
#22353 - 07/05/07 10:58 PM Re: How do we tell the bird "NO!" ?  
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smile

Even if you went so far as to try and ' spank '
a cockatoo with the usual device for dogs, the
almighty rolled up newspaper, it wouldn't do
any good. . .

The bird would see it as a game and would
probably enjoy it. He / she would then turn
your newspaper into confetti. . . . smile

There is no such thing as negative discipline
with a bird. You can't yell at them, you
can't get excited when they do something you
don't like, you're somewhat limited in options.
Any of the above is a reaction and they'll
quickly learn that ' chew object X and I get a
reaction '.

The most you CAN do would be to put them into
their cage for a few minutes each time they
do something you don't like. Of course, this
doesn't work if they WANT to go back into the
cage. . . . *shrug*

You basically have to supervise them at all
times when they are outside of their cage.
If they're about to get into trouble, try
and distract or focus their attention on
something else. It's about your only option
really.

#22354 - 07/05/07 11:45 PM Re: How do we tell the bird "NO!" ?  
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I don't think you'll ever teach the concept of "bad bird" - to a bird, they just don't think like that. Parrots do what they do. Like others have said, distraction and close supervision work best. There are two things with Rose that we insist she do when asked - step up and no biting. This is for her safety and ours, not because we're trying to show the bird who's boss - we all know ROSE is the boss! When she nips, she's told no biting. If she tries it again, she goes back in the cage for ten minutes, with no attention given. Nips have become very, very infrequent. Sometimes I can tell she's thinking about it, like when she's on my hand about to be put into her cage, and she doesn't feel like going. She'll get that look in her eye, and the beak will start to open, but then she'll think better of it.

Of course never, ever hit your bird or yell at your bird. Totally counterproductive, and will only make the bird fear and dislike you.

#22355 - 07/06/07 12:03 AM Re: How do we tell the bird "NO!" ?  
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Quote:
Parrots do what they do.
And that's where positive reinforcement comes into play...to get them to WANT to do what it is we would like for them to do.


Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~

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#22356 - 07/06/07 04:01 PM Re: How do we tell the bird "NO!" ?  
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as the old Sunday School song did NOT say <img border="0" alt="[laughing]" title="" src="graemlins/laugh[1].gif" />


Jody
#22357 - 07/06/07 07:22 PM Re: How do we tell the bird "NO!" ?  
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I've had my U2 since she was a baby. I guess maybe I lucked out with her. I can tell her no and she will stop to a certain degree. She pauses anyway and usually will redirect. From a young age I would tell her that she would be put in her cage if she didn't stop. Something like, "Syndney NO! Are you ready to go back in your house?" OR I ask her if she's getting tired and put her up as soon as she doesn't stop what ever she's doing that I can't let her do. I really believe that when they get tired they need to be put up so they can nap. Just like a child. They can't behave if they aren't at their best.

Noone else in my house can handle her like I do. I'm mom. If she gets carried away and starts nipping I can tell her to be easy and she will. However, I have gotten bit several times over the years, so you really need to learn to read your bird. AS good as she is if she's been out for quite awhile and needs to potty she will get aggressive with me so I put her in her cage to go.

Anyone that would hit a bird is just making the problem worse. Not only would they have no idea why they are being hit, it would destroy the bond between them and the bird.

They are two year olds forever.... They need limits and love. I've never spanked my children either.

Take care

#22358 - 07/07/07 09:16 AM Re: How do we tell the bird "NO!" ?  
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JeffH Offline
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I have a PetSmart flyer that says one thing to watch for is if your parrot is sitting at the bottom of its cage.

Does this behavior indicate sickness or sadness? Does it mean that it's begging? Or suffering from depression? Is this a VERY bad sign? And what's the best way to cure it?


Don't own one yet, but I'm learning how to.
#22359 - 07/07/07 01:31 PM Re: How do we tell the bird "NO!" ?  
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I use two methods to "spank" 2 of the birds. First, there is NO physical contact whatsoever.

First works with the U2. If Kyu is doing something I don't want her to do, I give her a look the kills. I purse my lips, narrow my eyes, and stare at her. She will stop what she is doing.

Second works for the Scarlet. If Sysko is trying to nip or is biting, I whisper to him saying "Don't bite me". When I whisper he has to pay close attention to me.

#22360 - 07/07/07 05:14 PM Re: How do we tell the bird "NO!" ?  
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JeffH, birds normally want to be up high. They will perch on the highest perch to sleep at night. If they are huddling on the bottom of their cage then, yes I would take that to be a diffent sign that something is not right.

You would want to get them to a vet asap. I would think sickness before loneliness. I think the bird would act out in a different way if it were depressed or lonely.

Sitting on the bottom of the cage could indicate that it is too weak to sit properly on its perch, and has to sit at the bottom.

Take care,

Kathy

#22361 - 07/07/07 07:51 PM Re: How do we tell the bird "NO!" ?  
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I agree with Elliott. In addition to body language I think cockatoos, and probably most parrots, communicate very quickly and efficiently with eye contact. It takes time to know a bird well enough, and them you, but our cockatoo uses eye signals very well. An evil eye followed by turning your back to the bird will be taken very seriously over time.

There is nothing worse for a flock animal like a parrot that to be left alone because they are never alone in nature. That is the reason you should always use a phrase like "be right back" to leave the bird and then use occasional contact calls so the bird knows that the flock is in the area. I have used a stern look, turned around and left the room but am always sure to begin contact calls soon after because I am convinced that the sudden departure under less than friendly conditions is traumatic to the bird. The idea is to express displeasure and then resume normal flock relationships. It works over time.

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