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#210434 - 10/12/09 06:10 AM Re: Functional Analysis - September 20, 2009 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Hi Bev, Sorry I've been out of town and computer limited. I have a somewhat goofey question. I have been traveling with my flock and while we were visiting my hubby decided to view these pages and now tells me that I am spoiling the birds and rewarding unwanted behavior. I love that Kernal is a clown and the fact that he is a velcro bird doesn't bother me I feel honored. Here's the story.
I let all the birds out while I'm home when it's time for Kernal to go in he doesn't want to. Sometimes I have to pry his feet off the cage.
While visiting I learned that if he has his last snack of the evening while on me he will go in with much less resistence. So I've been using this to get him in at other times, giving him a snack while he sits on me then I can place him in the cage while he is eating it. Am I screwing up?
My original goal was to get Kernal to push the dump truck. He did but then chewed the wooden wheels off. Cracked me up. Thanks Deb

#210436 - 10/12/09 06:26 AM Re: Functional Analysis - September 20, 2009 [Re: FunnyFarm]  
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What unwanted behaviour does your husband think you are reinforcing?

Does he go in the cage willingly when he gets his snack on your? What does "much less resistance" look like. Can you explain that to me so I can "see" it?

And you probably reinforced the chewing up of the wheels by laughing at him, right? LOL I've done that many times.

Usually when a bird does not want to step up to go to bed there is an attention tank deficit. I went through this same thing with my grey except she started to bite me. That was a few years ago and she now steps up for a few kind words and a pine nut or two. When I see hesitation in her, I know I'm not spending enough time with her and I don't mean lots of time. Like 10 minutes or so.

I used to have to pry Zazu's feet off Sally's cage but now I just tell her how beautiful she is, sing a song, dance a little and she will step up. The reward for Zazu is either a head scratch or a pine nut. She chooses which one.

Bev


Owner: DebRan Bird Toys
#210437 - 10/12/09 06:29 AM Re: Functional Analysis - September 20, 2009 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Erin, can you start spending 1/2 hour with her before you put her in the cage. Play some games, dance/sing, even target train her.

As I told Deb, the refusal to go in the cage can mean you aren't spending enough time with me or her attention tank is low. Does the cage have lots of interesting things to do? You could also put a treat bowl in there and put several of her favourite treats (small pieces or a nut she likes)in a bowl so there is a reward for going in there.

Do this for one week and let me know how it goes. You could even try 15 minutes of one-on-one time. Make it special though.

Bev


Owner: DebRan Bird Toys
#210441 - 10/12/09 07:26 AM Re: Functional Analysis - September 20, 2009 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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I will certainly give it a shot. I had been thinking that since she is out with me from the time I get up until the time I leave that that was enough, but like you said, maybe more direct rather than passive interaction with her will do the trick.


We are owned by Keesha (U2), Missy (M2), & Chloe (African Red-Bellied)
#210451 - 10/12/09 10:42 PM Re: Functional Analysis - September 20, 2009 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Hi Bev
What unwanted behaviour does your husband think you are reinforcing? "Kernal wanting to hang out and be with me" I find this adorable and love it. This to me is the ultimate complement.

No he doesn't always go willingly in at night. Often I have to pick him off of my shirt.
I don't know about the attention tank being low. If he was with me much more he woould be an appendage. Our (typical) schedule
Wake up about 8 AM
make warm breakfast of oatmeal, fruit & a veggie (water and pellets are available 24/7)
BB is always on top of his cage but Gretta and Kernal sleep in another room so I go say good morning and open the cages, Kernal climbs right on me and gretta runs to the back. I wheel Gretta's cage out into the kitchen feed the dog & birds and I have my coffee everybody yells and jumps and are happy then they nap. Gretta comes out for breakfast and play and cuddle time with Kernal then she goes in for a nap and he comes to me. We just go through the day together. The only time I don't allow him on me is going outside in the open. We play talk fix lunch which is a non cooked meal whatever house work needs doing he helps like vacuming and doing dishes.
we have snacks through out the day he comes and goes as he pleases but never going into a cage. Dinner and play time come then around 8:30 (time varies on their mood) Kernal will go to the top of Gretta's cage and yell untill either the lights are out and everybody goes to bed or he gets put in his room. He doesn't bite but will open his beak at me like to threaten but I just talk nice to him. Then act like I am opening a package he'll fly to me (note: this is the time that I call and snap my fingers and he will land as requested I figured I may as well try something)he gets his reward/snack something differnt than shared with Gretta then either he will go in his cage when I go over and lean or he will run around on me. When he will NOT step up at this time he will roll his head to one side chatters (open and closes) his beak but no noise rubs his head on me and digs his feet in. I have had to take my shirt off to get him in at times.
Much less resistance is he just walks on in the cage with snack in beak. he doesn't screach or anything once in the cage as long as it's bed time. Seems he just doesn't like to be in a cage. He isn't always very active when out some days are slower and he just sits on me other days he's like a jumping bean on coffee all over me and agitating anyone who comes near. I'm telling you I just love this guy too much.
Sorry to ramble did I give a clear picture? Beside the fact hubbs is a nut job. Thanks Deb

#210482 - 10/13/09 03:28 AM Re: Functional Analysis - September 20, 2009 [Re: FunnyFarm]  
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Actually Deb it is not a good thing for him to be with you all the time and it sounds like he is. What you want is Kernal to step up willingly to go into his cage, right? I think teaching him to be a bit more independent would be a good thing for him, Deb even though I know you love having him on you. This bird might believe you belong to him. Can your husband take him off you?

How old is Kernal and how long have you had him?

Bev


Owner: DebRan Bird Toys
#210486 - 10/13/09 04:18 AM Re: Functional Analysis - September 20, 2009 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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I believe that I got him end of april, he & Gretta came from an abusive second home after the original owner died. I was told they are both 25 years old and have been together forever. Anyone can handel him, he is extremely tolerant yet clearly displays his like or dislike of something by hacking with his beak if it's someone he doesn't want to go to. In a room of people he will go from person to person and sit on their knee or shoulder, arm of the chair where ever they want him as long as they give him scratches on his head, not in a flighty way but calmly work the room.
My husband and most others can come sit with me or take him from me if they are more interesting at the time. Matter of fact when hubbs picks him up often he will roll ove in his hand like to be swaddeled like a baby. He adores men but is starting to choose me over others now and single me out of the house of people.
When he is on me he doesn't like other animals on me I can pet the dogs or other birds & they can sit next to me or on my feet but can not climb on me.
He seems to use me for his "HEY WHAT YA DOING" buddy. Today I am back home in DE it is just 3 parrots the dog & myself. Kernal has only been on me maybe 1/2 hour today but it has been cloudy & he has been napping allot today. Also when his attention tank is low he does a baby cry just one or 2 until you ask what's wrong then he'll fly to you. This only happened maybe 8 times since I've had him and they were days he was on lock down most of the day till late afternoon.

I have to ask a real BAD question do you realy think this is bad?

He seems like a dream bird after living with the others I have taken in in years past. And after reading stories here if I could make a shopping list there is really nothing I could add to it that I would like in a bird. He's extremely social, very tolerant easy to entertain and always hangs with me. But if I am spoiling him by spending to much time with him then I gotta back off. Up until now he will tolerate extended times in his cage when needed without any show of disapproval like when we are outside doing yard work they will call to me or BB will Hey Hell-o Deb Deb I answer and they are good until something startles them or an abrupt change like truck passing by.
Kernal is very attracted to my nephew who is the appointed gardian and director of all my creatures after my passing. We have everything set up for that and he even spends special alone time with Gretta on visits.
AWWWWWWW if I could just see the future and freeze frame the good stuff. Help me I'm soooooo confused.
I thought getting them their own coffee cups (warm juice diluted with water) and dishes for sitting at the table eatting was a good thing (you know boundries your dish my dish).They get so excited over morning juice.
So okay I guess I gotta learn to encourage him to be off of me more. That I can do but then what about the tank thing won't he feel rejected?
Thanks for you patience in trying this out with me. Deb

#210503 - 10/13/09 03:04 PM Re: Functional Analysis - September 20, 2009 [Re: FunnyFarm]  
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Deb, the thing I am concerned with is over-bonding. You really haven't had him that long although he does seem like a wonderful bird. I have no problem with your birds eating with you, mine eat with me. I have special routines with my birds too (their juice is in the evening) but as I tell Zazu all the time, I'm not a bus and I don't want her riding around on my shoulder whenever she feels like it. LOL My concern is how much time he spends on you and that after spending all that time with you, he still will not step up willingly to go into his cage.

This is not about doing something bad to him Deb, it's about letting him be a bird sometimes.

I know you love him, that is very clear but he needs to learn to play by himself.

Why was he on lock-down?

This is the sentence that bothers me more than anything "he is starting to choose me more over others".

And what will you do when he starts to defend you as his territory?

We need to nip just this one particular behaviour of him being on you all the time in the bud and teach him to step up to go into his cage when you want him to not when he wants to, OK?

Bev


Owner: DebRan Bird Toys
#210512 - 10/13/09 05:12 PM Re: Functional Analysis - September 20, 2009 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Bev, Do you think that the bonding of he & Gretta could be a part of this? The people that left him said that he & Gretta can share a cage (3x3x2) but he will steal her food. When I picked the birds up they were each in a seperate small cage with a cup of seed for any size bird (small cheap seeds).
I gave them instsant freedom when they got here found out their habbits like the wood chewing, nesting on & on. Set up a room for them and made it safe.
Around June my Dad who is 80 started to have strokes so it was off to MD for several weeks. My family is there and everyone is an animal person mostly due to me having animals come show up at my home there needing a bath and a meal maybe some meds and someone falls in love & takes them home. Picture is lots of assorted animals around. When I would go to the hospital for my Pop. Kernal and all the others would be locked in their perspective cages, dog room, rabbit hutch whatever. I use the term lock down for any period over say 3-4 hours (that's a long time alone if you are a social creature)with the exception of sleep time. It's a term picked up from working in a controlled enviroment with teens. My family understands that if I say 'in their cage or box" that they are there by choice but if I say I got them on "lock down" family and a few close friends will offer to stop in and check out all of them while I'm away.
I too am worried of over bonding, but back to the start When Kernal is out he sits on Gretta's cage not his. She spends lots more time inside then out by choice. I must seperate them when I am not around (seperate cages next to each other) He doesn't take her food. He eats like a pig out of both or all 3 dishes what he wants. Will peck or nip at her and the one time I left them out in the bird room together she had 4 plucked spots that bled one on each side of her chest and one on each of her wings. Since adding a 3rd dish Gretta has started her change in behavior, she no longer hangs on the side waiting for him to finish nor does she grab a piece of food and run. Now they do ring around the food dishes. She so reminds me of an over dominated wife. No offence ment to anyone but I have been working with and observing behaviors and patterns for years and so odd how some behaviors are common in many species. Anyway he seems to have chosen me as a saftey factor more than me being his only person. First choice is the top of Grettas cage then me then a high spot an example is when Macy a 110 pound shepherd came in. Unless food is involved Gretta is always first choice and he will spread wings and crouch with open mouth and hiss if I approach her cage to quick or mistakenly bring my hand from above.
He will not step up he will run to the top of his cage and hold on. He actually leaves his position and goes to his cage but not in. I allow him to sleep on her cage when we are in DE since they have their own room but cannot allow this when we travel.
So no matter what I need his co-operation with stepping up. I'm hoping that I'm not ignoreing something because I am concerned about the bonding I just figured since Gretta was in the picture surely he wouldn't be a bigot ya think??
He will play alone an example I took a set of wooden spoons tied with jute strung around knobs, looped through things after a day he had undone all I left it sit 2 days later he's climbing up the colum trying to wrap the jute and 1 spoon around the cabinet knob this occupied him for a good part of the afternoon.
I had myself convinced that hubby was just jelous since he's the one who has taken all the bites through the years and now we have a cling on. And that Kernal was a stick on because we haven't been very settled as a flock since I've had them we have had to travel several times and I am the one staple in their life. I always show up with food and drink for them even when Ive been gone awhile.
I can keep him off of me when we are in DE as they are most comfortable here. But I hate to always push him away (put him on a play stand ) what if he stops liking me. It hasn't been long enough for me to sop up all the feather tickles and snuggles my Zon is to manly to do. My amazon is bonded with me only and this is an issue with others because he speaks so well and sounds so cute but has in the past chased people out of the house and is known as killer. That I don't want to live through again.
Okay Proffessor (said with LOVE) what do ya think......total wack job??

#210516 - 10/13/09 05:28 PM Re: Functional Analysis - September 20, 2009 [Re: FunnyFarm]  
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No, you are the one who has to live with the decisions you make. If you are happy with the way he is, then that's that. If the only behaviour you want to see more of is the step-up for going into his cage, that's what we will work on.

Now what are his favourite foods?

Bev


Owner: DebRan Bird Toys
#210519 - 10/13/09 06:52 PM Re: Functional Analysis - September 20, 2009 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Bev his favorite is anything that doesn't move fast enough to get eatten.. fresh oranges, warm drinks and pasta.
I gave ya a long story knowing that you could look not through rosie glasses like I am. Kind of asking if it sounds like I am letting things go to far in your opinion.
Non of us are here forever and after hearing and seeing what folks go through trying to help these poor guys I want to make it as easy as possible on all parties involved. I know BB will have a hard time his only saving grace will be his independence unless he gets better at being social (LOL).And he has been around my nephew since nephew was born so there is mutual respect.
From the tone of your last post I will try to limit my entertaining and cuddeling of him so much. It's just so darn nice feels like after years of churning butter finaly a little taste of sweet on my crust ya know. Thank you Bev.

#210520 - 10/13/09 07:04 PM Re: Functional Analysis - September 20, 2009 [Re: FunnyFarm]  
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Zazu and Nikki would be grafted to my body if I allowed them. Gypsy and Sally like to be with me but not on me, although Sally does occasionally like to be on my shoulder when I am on the computer. This is an earned privilege at my house. You have only had this bird for 6 months. I really, really believe that teaching him some independence is a good thing - for you and for him. OK from the sounds of it, not so much you. LOL How many homes has he had and why did he lose his home/s?

Now how about saving some of his favourite things and putting them in his cage at bedtime so he has something to look forward to when he goes in there. You have to remember though the special treat must be removed from his regular diet and he only gets it when you get the behaviour you want.

Bev


Owner: DebRan Bird Toys
#210521 - 10/13/09 07:48 PM Re: Functional Analysis - September 20, 2009 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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I am their 3rd home that I know of. Man & wife original owners for 25 years wife passed man was busy with horses several months later feels bad and gives Gretta and Kernal to a man (60)and wife (23) with the understanding if they can't keep them they go back home. 2nd lady winds up on crack pipe sells everything husband gets mad kicks her out. 1 bird put into a cooler and sat on by 3 year old child and suffocated, 1 kitten also gets killed. Budgie to be set free, dog taken to out of town rescue?? 2cnd cat set free, wife & husband reunite move to georgia leaving the lanlord (my parents) thousands of dollars in damages and back rent. Kernal & Gretta were with them from Nov until end of April when they came with me. They were the first to go that way if she used her cell the husband knew she was not home due to the screaming of the birds so through my Mom she called me and I went to get them. They gave me a bad report that they bite and scream all the time even offered to give me the little girls squirt bottle. Wife had to keep hers for the other animals. I didn't plan on keeping them just fostering until they were acceptible pets or someone had the heart for them.
My routine is after observation give the bird limited freedom in supervised room watch reactions and leave them be so as not to overwhelm usually within 48 hours I can get a feel as to how needy or scared the bird (animal)is.
Well from day 1 Kernal being so outward and Gretta shaking like a leaf in the wind I fell in love. I actualy had a home lined up for them before I got them but I can't let these 2 go it's like even with gretta being so scared I can read her so easy it's like we all just fit together.
As for screaming and bitting I have not experienced that side of them. Also because they are so sweet and understand some verbal request I know somebody really loved these 2 and took time with them. You can't toss somebody's kids to the wolves. If I place their name infront of a request they acknowledge (may not do the request but react some how). At night I put my arm on the side of the cage and stand behind it ask Gretta please go to bed now and 8 times out of 10 she goes on first request wich is great because she won't let me touch her or come to me yet.
I'm scared someone hand reared these 2 and seeing how Gretta was with drawn I'd hate for Kernal to feel pushed away. He'd probaly get mean and pick himself. It's so hard to undo.
Putting special treats in his cage is a time he will sit there and out wait me honestly over an hour one night. As soon as I move to shut the door he runs out. He streched so far one night trying not to go in the cage he fell other times he goes all around like he's trying to break in so he can have the food and not be shut in. If I take him on my finger and put the dish and him in at the same time he does all he can to stay out including put his head in the door. I have tried 4 diff cages and 3 carriers he reacts the same to all of them .
What is the best approach in your opinion? I haven't given him oranges or warm juice for 2 weeks now so they will be of valu when we start.

#210522 - 10/13/09 08:20 PM Re: Functional Analysis - September 20, 2009 [Re: FunnyFarm]  
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I think you will have to shape this behaviour. First of all, you need to start bedtime early by 1/2 hour. Put his treats in there and don't shut the door. Let him come back out. Barb H has a DVD on training this very thing. I think it would be worthwhile for you to get it. I'm not sure which DVD it is but I have all of them so will look when I get home and let you know.

When he does go in to get the treat, you be sitting away from there. Praise him when he goes in but don't shut the door on him. He needs to learn that it's not a bad place to be.

Bev


Owner: DebRan Bird Toys
#210524 - 10/13/09 08:28 PM Re: Functional Analysis - September 20, 2009 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Okay easy enough and I am not rushing but will I shut him in tonight or leave him out. What do I do after he gets the treat and comes out send him after another or just put him in?

#210525 - 10/13/09 08:29 PM Re: Functional Analysis - September 20, 2009 [Re: FunnyFarm]  
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Gosh Bev I wasn't thinking "bad place" just he didn't like it. Duhh for me Thanks.

#210527 - 10/13/09 08:53 PM Re: Functional Analysis - September 20, 2009 [Re: FunnyFarm]  
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Deb, you could start during the day. Put all his favourite foods (spread them out) in the cage during the day, that way he has to go in and get them of his own free will and then gets to come out. Is the cage covered? Does he ever spend any time in the cage he sleeps in during the day?

Does he need to be shut in the cage at night for his safety? Or can he sleep on the cage OK?

Bev


Owner: DebRan Bird Toys
#210531 - 10/13/09 11:30 PM Re: Functional Analysis - September 20, 2009 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Hey Bev,
So tommorrow I'll start by cleaning the cage and then add a few of his favorites through out the day. Just take tonight as normal for now.
None of my birds sleep with a cover. Kernal can sleep on his cage safely as long as it's in his room. I won't let him stay out in the rest of the place in case I sleep late he would chew through the wall (already has 2 times). He spends zero time in any cage unless forced. He is well behaved in a cage if he doesn't hear food going on. I thought cocker spaniels were food motivated Oh my goodness. Or if he is in a room with no humans. He doesn't have a prefered toy I have baskets full he will chew wood but it seems like his toys are beneath him. If his cage is in the center or near the hub of activity then he will yell to get out.
I had stopped putting food other than pellets and water in their cages in their room due to ants at the beach in the summer. YUCK

#210555 - 10/14/09 06:04 AM Re: Functional Analysis - September 20, 2009 [Re: FunnyFarm]  
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I am going to jump in here and add my own personal experience with my U2, Alex and share what I believe to be the mistakes that I made with him, and how I have had to work to correct those mistakes, not for my well-being, but for his.

First a little of Alex's history. He was in his former home for all his life - about 20 years. At some point in time his caretaker (Joe) became overwhelmed and eventually was classified as a hoarder. Joe's other birds (all locked away in a separate room) were seized by local authorities but because of Joe's attachment to Alex, he was allowed to remain in the home, under the supervision of the AWC. The caretaker passed away and Alex was left in the residence alone until discovered by a family member. Alex was believed to be cage bound and aggressive, but I welcomed him here with open arms.

Within a few days of arriving here, he proved to be anything but cage bound and aggressive. He was (and remains) my snuggle bug. I wanted nothing more than to kiss all the "boo-boos" away and my maternal/nuturing instincts went into over-drive. He stayed on me, for hours on end, perfectly content to just sit in my lap, up against my chest, or on the arm of my chair. Never having had a snuggly cockatoo, I wallowed in the affection and failed to teach him independence.

About 6 months later, I began to reap what I had sewn - over bonding. Alex wasn't happy unless he was on me, and God forbid if I left his vision of sight. Even a quick trip to the bathroom or kitchen resulted in screaming. Then, aggression to the other members of the family began to manifest. If my girls, or even one of the other birds came near me, Alex had a problem with it. He does not lash out at them, but rather at me. "If you can't bite the one you want - bite the one you're with". Two years later, he still does sometimes. I do not allow my youngest girl to interact w/the birds unsupervised, but if I am home, my 19 y/o cannot handle Alex. If I am not home, he is fine with her. I have been bitten more times that I can count because Alex feels the need to protect his chosen one (me) from others. I have to be very careful if Alex is sitting with me (to this day) because if he sees anyone as an intrusion, someone is going to be bitten - and the majority of times it is me. As far as Alex is concerned, I belong to him. And that is not healthy.

It took me a while to realize the error of my ways, and it is now taking even longer to correct those errors. Believe me when I say that how ever well intended and unintentional, over-bonding is not good for the bird or their caretaker. I have learned from the mistakes I made with Alex and correcting them, is a process - just as changing any behavior is.

When I adopted Noelle last year (whose history is even worse than Alex's) I knew that no matter how much I wanted to right all the wrongs by holding her endlessly and magically make everything better, more than anything she needed to learn how to be a bird, not an appendage of me. She is trusting, loving yet, beautifully independent.

Our birds need to feel secure, loved and protected. But they also need to learn how to be birds.



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 ~~~

Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress
#210563 - 10/14/09 03:48 PM Re: Functional Analysis - September 20, 2009 [Re: EchosMom]  
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DE
Okay I admit I was hiding behind the fact that he already had a bonded "mate so to speak" Gretta and wouldn't attach so closely to me. But since EM used some of my exact words well ya'll just whipped me with a wet noodle. I will be sure to establish a "proper Bird relationship"
Seriously Thank you for your input EM. I tend to rationalize to eternity but with 2 respected opinions I stand corrected.
I will be making changes now. Like I said I don't wish to make it hard for the future humans of these guys.

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