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#214835 - 01/09/10 02:22 PM Elliot, citron, back to handling 101  
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Carolcitrons Offline
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Bev, here I am! Just wanted to establish the topic, and I hope to be able to check back this afternoon.
Thanks again!!!
Carol

#214838 - 01/09/10 03:14 PM Re: Elliot, citron, back to handling 101 [Re: Carolcitrons]  
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When I opened Angel and Elliot's cages this AM, they were quick to "get busy". This year is the most I've seen them actually mating. Then they had some toast, and then I went in and sat on the floor to see how Elliot would be and if I thought I might get him to go to work with me. He climbed onto my lap,; he seemed cautious; I was definitely nervous. I didn't let him on my arm. I scatched his head a tiny bit; he wasn't digging it as much as usual. Then he was pinching my pants a liitle so I shifted him calmly off my lap. Now, I'm afraid I'm setting myself up for another bite if I try to put him in his carrier. I might put it on the floor with an almond and see if he goes in. If not, should I be leaving the two together unattended while I go to work? I think not. What to do, what to do? When I get home, I will reread the rules of the APA case work. I hope I'm doing this right so far as far as posting goes.
Carol

#214866 - 01/09/10 11:09 PM Re: Elliot, citron, back to handling 101 [Re: Carolcitrons]  
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Carol, what will you do if they produce an egg?

Don't worry, the only question you have to answer right now is exactly what do you want Elliot to do? What would you consider the target problem behaviour. Think about this.

If there is any chance you will get bitten, I would not handle him. Can you take Angel to work and leave Elliot home in his cage? Remember this would just be temporary. How long are you gone?

Bev


Owner: DebRan Bird Toys
#214871 - 01/09/10 11:46 PM Re: Elliot, citron, back to handling 101 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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I did decide to leave Elliot at home, but he was out of his cage. I took Angel to work. My BF was home most of the day. He does not have any relationship with my toos but will feed them if I need to be away for a day or two. I had tried putting the carrier on the floor and showed him that I put an almond in it. He was curious but did not go in. So, he stayed in his room, and was OK when I got home.
As soon as Angel and Elliot reunite these last couple days, they get into the mating mode. I am not sure where I fit in here, as far as if the toos will see me as a neutral flock member, or some sort of interfering spoiler, when I separate them. If I allow them to do what's natural, I fear they will become less manageable. I know what is best for them is to let them be birds as much as possible AND to teach them desirable behaviors as well.
I feel like I am in a fairly unique situation, having a bonded pair of birds that want to breed but I DO NOT want that. seems like most people have a bird or flock that are not bonded in this way, except maybe to their chosen person. So, I guess I have two concerns here but they are hard to separate. One, working with ABA principles with both birds as individuals, and two, how to juggle a bonded pair which I don't want to breed. I understand the ABA method intellectually. Practicing it will be a good challenge, but somewhat scary for me when it comes to handling Elliot.
Egg, you ask? I've been advised in the past (elsewhere) that I should let them do their thing, and if an egg appears, either addle the egg by shaking it and let her sit, or replace with a wooden egg. I will not let an egg hatch under my care. I couldn't handle all that. This is a huge source of stress and anxiety for me.
What do I want Elliot to do, realistically, with all previous discussion in mind? Hmmmm.....I want him to be OK with going in his cage at night and in the carrier in the morning. I can't help saying what I DON"T want (not PR, I know): hurting Angel, biting me, and destroying the walls and floor even when he has loads of toys. Maybe more time with him teaching him would be a productive distraction for him but with his raging hormones, I'm a bit doubtful.
I look forward to hearing what you have to say about how ABA can be used in my particular situation with my mating pair.
Carol

#214873 - 01/10/10 12:00 AM Re: Elliot, citron, back to handling 101 [Re: Carolcitrons]  
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That is good that you will NOT let an egg hatch because there are too many cockatoos in captivity as it is, we don't need more and we are an anti-breeding web site.

Now having said that, there is not a chance that you will get them to stop mating because they are driven by what nature intended them to do, nor should you try to stop it as long as baby cockatoos will not be an issue.

We need to start off with one problem behaviour, Carol. Is it going into the carrier, biting, going into his cage. Not doing something is not a behaviour. It's a dead man's behaviour as in a dead man can do it.

Why do you think he will hurt Angel? Has there been a problem? You will not be able to stop him from destroying walls or floors so the best thing is to not allow him access to those especially during this time.

Please read the article "Antecedent Change" and tell me what you think.

Bev


Owner: DebRan Bird Toys
#214875 - 01/10/10 12:08 AM Re: Elliot, citron, back to handling 101 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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I have a bonded pair of wildcaught Goffin's. They have been together for over 3 years now and while they do mate, no eggs have ever been produced. Whether this is attributed to the fact that they have no suitable nesting spot or not, I don't know, but I am thankful. As long as you are schooled in preventing any eggs from hatching, you are pretty good shape in that respect.

IMO, separating a bonded pair is cruel and unusual punishment. As said, there are ways to prevent a fertilized egg from hatching.


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
#214876 - 01/10/10 12:11 AM Re: Elliot, citron, back to handling 101 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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How do I remove access to the walls and floors, when I can't get him into his cage? He easily climbs around the bird room wherever he wants. And I don't want him to be locked up in the cage and be bored and frustrated. He is used to being out and having interaction with Angel. I don't care about my walls and floors as much as him chewing on a toxic material such as the vinyl flooring.
He has never hurt Angel but he harrasses her by pulling her tail sideways or rarely pulling on her crest. She gets mad at him and flies to the floor and climbs to another spot. Yet she is receptive to mating. (I guess she wants him to be more gentle)I've heard the horror tories about male toos in captivity mutilating or killing the females. I don't expect it but it is in the back of my mind.

How do I allow them to mate and not allow access to the areas he chews??? I have tried tying boards to his cage and playgym since he seems to prefer fixed wood over the hanging toy type. He's chewed those but is on a mission to get to all the molding.
I don't mean to sound negative, but I am overwhelmed and feel inadequate here. I need a suggestion about one positive thing I can do over the next couple days that is proactive. Or, do I leave them alone and just care for their feeding and cleaning needs until the hormones fade?

Bev, I read the antecedent change article. Good stuff. I can't block his access to the walls and floor but tomorrow I'm going to try offering him some cut branches from outside; beech is safe, I believe? Tonight he did work on the molding until I showed him a wooden duck toy I got at Goodwill (natural, unfinished) and now he's workin' on the ducky.
I'm going to try to get my mind off of this for a couple hours now. Boy, do I need a neck massage!

Last edited by Janny; 01/10/10 01:56 AM. Reason: combined all 3 posts into one...please do try to edit your posts together so that there is not back to back posting. Itis easily done using our edit feature beside the reply button.
#214881 - 01/10/10 12:52 AM Re: Elliot, citron, back to handling 101 [Re: Carolcitrons]  
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The one positive thing Carol is that you are here looking for help. I promise you it will get easier even though it may not seem like it now. What he is going through right now should settle down shortly. My Zazu is a buzz saw right now.

Can you handle Angel really well? Put her into his cage, leaving the food door open and then ask her to step up to come out the food door. This is only if there is no chance he will hurt her.

Also one positive thing you can do is offer favourite food treats without expecting anything in return but in order for these to have value they must be removed from his regular diet.

I've felt the same way as you, Carol. Once you know what you are doing, it's gets better. Much, much better but there no quick fixes. It takes time, patience and ABA. We are the ABA posse!!! LOL

Bev
You could put a piece of acrylic up on the wall so he can't chew it. I've done that with the fridge so Zazu can't get at the gasket.

Does he have any favourite treats? Games?


Owner: DebRan Bird Toys
#214890 - 01/10/10 02:18 AM Re: Elliot, citron, back to handling 101 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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I need to do some reward trials and see what motivates him besides the usual. Treats for him are whole almonds in the shell or half a walnut on occasion. His "snack" of a tblsp of seed mix is the bribe I use to get him in the cage every night. But he watches me and if he goes in for the snack, and I go to close the cage, he sometimes hurries out. Tonight he went in and I entered the room to close him in and I talked to him a bit so he wouldn't asociate me closing the cage with no more attention, which is how it has been in the past. Cage=no Angel and no attention.
No brainer! He's always calculating and I'm always trying to manipulate.
I know I can try lots of new ways of doing things and interacting. I just feel totally overwhelmed, and right now apprehensive about doing step up- haven't done it in a couple days now. He does respond to animated praise and dialogue. I wish I could be more animated and expressive. I'm sure I should be taking anti depressants, but I fall through the cracks in the healthcare system with no insurance and being self employed. Off topic, I know, but this is where I'm at. I greatly appreciate the help; you're so generous to share your time and insights.
To be fully open here, if I may, I have agonized at times about rehoming A&E, but I fear so much that they could end up in the wrong hands. I continue to do my best, mostly out of a sense of responsiblilty. If the perfect person came along who could do better than I have, I would be ready to let them go, knowing that I would grieve and worry about them adjusting. I hope I am not going to be judged too harshly for admitting my feelings of burn out and inadequacy.

#214891 - 01/10/10 02:22 AM Re: Elliot, citron, back to handling 101 [Re: Carolcitrons]  
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I would love to hear more from Echo's mom about her Goffin pair and how she is able to safely handle them, and whether they have bonded with her. Do they ever see her as a threat to their pairing? Maybe I should post that on the other thread, not on ABA, sorry!

#214892 - 01/10/10 03:16 AM Re: Elliot, citron, back to handling 101 [Re: Carolcitrons]  
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Hi Carol. I would love to share more with you about my G2's and will (on the other thread) before the end of the night. I can tell that it's not going to be a short reply, so I want to gather my thoughts. smile


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
#214955 - 01/11/10 12:15 AM Re: Elliot, citron, back to handling 101 [Re: EchosMom]  
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Bev, I hope I have not offended you or anyone with my somewhat negative thoughts in previous posts. I am very interested in trying some ABA work with my toos (and dogs for that matter). I took some time to decompress and get out in the fresh air today and feel more calm. Elliot and Angel had a pretty quiet day today, excepr for their usual AM roll call, and I expect to hear the dusk call to roost momentarily. I provided plenty of boards tied to the cage for Elliot to releve his nesting urges. I did a step up with him today for the first time in a few days. He really wanted to come to me, accordint to his posture. I used my left hand for a change (change antecedent, right?) and I was almost suprised he stepped up for my left hand. I gave him some head scratches and kept it brief, because when he starts nibbling or pinching my shirt I get a little nervous. I'm thinking that until I see the mating and nesting(wood chewing) slow down, I'm not going to pressure myself to put him in the carrier to go to work. Some days, he may stay home with or without Angel. As the hormones subside (assuming they will!), i will spend more time ding some structured teaching, which will be all new to me with a bird. I've certainly done PR training with my dogs. So I hope you still are interested in coaching me with the ABA. If you want to know a specific task/problem behavior as you said earlier, I'd love to be able to place Elliot in his cage safely for times when they will be unattended. I have not been able to do this for months now for fear of being bitten............
I just ahad to run downstairs to see what the squawking was; I think Elliot was harassing Angel. I think I should put her in a cage; she seems bothered by him. Early bedtime isn't a bad idea anyway. So, I hope to hear from you!
Carol

Sorry about all those typos! I just offered the birds their seed snack and they both went in their cages right away. So rather than hurrying in to close Elliot's door before he hurries out, I walked in slowly and talked to him for a few seconds by the door of the cage and then closed it and talked sweetly to him a little more. We made kissy noises to eachother, and after snack time it will be an early lights out. Interesting that both Angel and Elliot still act as if they want/need to be held and petted by me, even though they are in high gear as a bonded pair at this time. I read the article about natural flock structure, and I feel pretty good about how at least my toos are content within our flock.
Carol

Last edited by EchosMom; 01/11/10 01:01 AM. Reason: combined back to back post
#214970 - 01/11/10 05:37 AM Re: Elliot, citron, back to handling 101 [Re: Carolcitrons]  
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Carol, I'm sorry I would have answered sooner but I've been cooking all day for some friends. They have a family member in the Intensive Care Unit and are practically living there so I helped them out by making turkey chili, meat loaf, scalloped potatoes, cut up broccoli ready to steam and then made a broccoli crunch salad. Sometimes I may take awhile to answer but I would never ignore you and if you said something that offended me, I would talk to you about it.

This will take time Carol. Why don't you read the thread on doing a Functional Analysis and tell me what you think. There is some good stuff there. I think there were actually two different ones, at different times.

So getting Elliot to go in the carrier willingly is the behaviour we are working on? Are you sure? Think about this. What is the problem behavour, going in the carrier or biting?

Bev

We all have bad days, Carol and sometimes Zazu pushes me to the edge of insanity or at least it feels like it. LOL Today she unrolled two complete rolls of toilet paper and chewed all the rubber off my new toothbrush. She is like a buzz saw on steroids. LOL But she is also the one that makes me laugh and gets me through the roughest times and she cannot help the internal demons that drive her.

As long as you do your part, things will change for the better, I guarantee it. Applied Behavioural Analysis is a wonderful thing.

Bev


Owner: DebRan Bird Toys
#215020 - 01/12/10 01:33 AM Re: Elliot, citron, back to handling 101 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Bev, thank you for the pep talk. I was feeling a little calmer today and thought maybe I'm overeacting to the situation. BUT, now I feel the situation is getting more urgent. Please read my other two posts on the other forum where I explain that Elliot has escalated his aggression toward Angel. I need to find a safe solution to prevent this from ever happening. Elliot has never been a "bitey" bird but his winter the hormones seem to be so much stronger and I feel it is beyond what I can handle, even with trying ABA. An attack on Angel can happen in a second and it would be too late. I wasn't in the room and there was no chaos or any disruption that would have made him do that to her. She must have just refused an overture from him. I don't usually pray per se, but I think I'm going to tonight. I have tried to be the best guardian I could for them, and let them be birds as much as possible, but I can't let him hurt her.


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