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#216408 - 02/05/10 01:56 AM OPHELIA  
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I am still not sure what species O is but is about 11 years old.

I re-read the stickys and searched the forum and noticed I had posted before about O:
http://www.mytoos.com/forum/ubbthreads.p...true#Post208039

Suffice to say that my reinforcement has not been entirely consistent.

Lets use a few examples as a place to start. A typiclal weekday: O comes out of his sleep cage in the am and goes into his regular cage. I have set up the cage for the day: reset all his toys, put up some raffia, favorite foods, etc...I talk to him and rub his head a bit then I go to get ready for work.

Now, not always but sometimes after about 30-45 mins he will start to honk like a french horn. If ignored the honks become a call ("Ee-hah")and then screaming...if my son is home sleeping I am concerned about the noise but if not I just let him go...how should I handle it

Here is another...you come home at the end of the day, open the door and are immediatly greeted with rapid fire screaming. "AAWW AAWW AAWW AAWW AAWW" The dogs are waiting for you, dinner needs to be made but the assault is relentless...how should I handle it?

Yet another. Its a weekend and you are home. You have things to do around the house and O starts honking...I know where this is going...so I try to distract him (change his tone to pleasent speach alla' Alex) ) and take him out of cage. Leave him on the cage: he screams. Put him on the tree: he screams. The only way he stops is to have him on your shoulder, rub his head and neck etc...But you cant get your chores done with him all over you...how should I handle it?

Last edited by GregM; 02/05/10 02:05 AM.
#216409 - 02/05/10 02:05 AM Re: OPHELIA [Re: GregM]  
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Greg, when I walk in the door, my birds greet me. Gypsy will sing but Zazu will start to scream if I take too long. This does not happen every night, just occasionally because she has learned that I will come over to them after I've done what I need to do like hanging up my clothes as I've just come from the gym. I've never reinforced the screaming and she knows it gets her nothing. Now as soon as she stops, I walk over to her cage and let her out.

You have to understand, these animals were designed to move. To fly hundreds of miles every day to find food and we have them locked in a cage that no matter how big, will never be big enough. So what now. We need to set up the environment so that O succeeds.

Every night after I put them to bed, I set up their cages with things to shred/wood pieces/food to find, etc. There are lots of foraging toys out there. Have you seen that foraging DVD by Dr. Scott Echols.

Let me read over your previous posts and I think we will tackle this differently. I need to set you up to succeed. OK?

Bev

Last edited by ZazuSally; 02/05/10 02:06 AM. Reason: added something

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#216410 - 02/05/10 02:09 AM Re: OPHELIA [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Originally Posted By: ZazuSally
Let me read over your previous posts and I think we will tackle this differently. I need to set you up to succeed. OK?Bev


I am all ears...

#216442 - 02/05/10 03:21 PM Re: OPHELIA [Re: GregM]  
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Greg, I would like you to document exactly what your routine is when you get home from work and I need to know everything, OK. I will do the same this weekend. I want people to understand you don't have to have these birds attached to your body 24/7 but they do have requirements that need to be met.

Bev


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#216452 - 02/05/10 06:12 PM Re: OPHELIA [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Originally Posted By: ZazuSally
Greg, I would like you to document exactly what your routine is when you get home from work and I need to know everything, OK. I will do the same this weekend. I want people to understand you don't have to have these birds attached to your body 24/7 but they do have requirements that need to be met. Bev


OK, I got up around 6 and Buddi had breakfast with me in the kitchen. O was still in sleep cage. I set up cages for day and took O out around 6:45 am...pet him and talked to him a bit and then put in cage. He ate and played and had a short minor outburst but was content while I got ready.

About 7:45 on my way out the door I gave them some fresh apple and banana and O a few oysterettes...I know, empty calories...but he was apparantly raised on crackers and they are his favorite so I give him a few daily. I left the house and it was uneventful with both busying themselves...

Now today my wife wil be first home...O will greet her with rapid fire screaming and she will largly ignore O...but here is my question:

If O is screaming to come out and you ignore him are you reinforcing screaming or that he will not get out of the cage by screaming?

In other words, do you need to get him to stop and then let him out for him to realize that screaming will not get him out of the cage?

What if you do not have the time to let him out of the cage? For example, you are running in and then grabbing something and running out...then what?

#216453 - 02/05/10 06:32 PM Re: OPHELIA [Re: GregM]  
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You said "In other words, do you need to get him to stop and then let him out for him to realize that screaming will not get him out of the cage?"

Bev said: BINGO, Greg, BINGO!!!! Quiet gets him out of the cage or talking or singing. Replace the screaming with an acceptable form of communication.

Sometimes a couple of minutes is all it takes, Greg. It can't be about us all the time when we are the caregivers of these animals. As long as he is not screaming, take him out and have a little dance/song session and put him back in the cage with favourite treats, something really, really special to him.

Timing is crucial. You don't want to keep reinforcing the screaming. So even if he is quiet for 3 seconds, (any acceptable sound or quiet is a building block although I would rather an acceptable vocalization over quiet because you can get him to do that) you can reinforce the hell out of that and build on it. 3 seconds becomes 20 seconds, then 30 seconds, then 1 minute and so on and so on. Make sense?


Bev

Last edited by ZazuSally; 02/05/10 06:34 PM.

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#216461 - 02/05/10 08:19 PM Re: OPHELIA [Re: ZazuSally]  
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I have a question relating to this situation. When me or my wife first come home, we ALWAYS take the bird out regardless of behavior (unless she's sleeping), talk, play and greet for 5 or 10 minutes and then set her to play with a treat. If a flockmember, Ophelia, screams when the wife comes home, is she not asking to be recognized for the absence? This seems a very different situation from using contact calls when everyone is home all day.

If you are working in "approximations", just tell me to mind my own business! grin

#216463 - 02/05/10 08:39 PM Re: OPHELIA [Re: Charlie]  
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Charlie, I too let my birds out after the minute or so it takes me to hang up my clothes. They are out then until bedtime at 9 pm. I would not open Zazu's door if she were screaming though, I would let the other bird's out first and would not let her out while she was screaming.

You are the bird's world. You've been gone all day. They are extremely social animals. When you walk in that door, to them you are the most important person in their whole world and you need to honour that. Some people do, lots don't and you end up with screaming, behavioural issues. Are there days that I wished I didn't have to deal with them, you betcha but they don't understand that I had a bad day. On those days, I have to get over myself. They are a part of my life and as such consideration MUST be given to their needs if we are to live peacefully. I give, I get. Does that make sense or am I rambling? LOL

Bev


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#216466 - 02/05/10 08:54 PM Re: OPHELIA [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Originally Posted By: Bev
they don't understand that I had a bad day. On those days, I have to get over myself. They are a part of my life and as such consideration MUST be given to their needs if we are to live peacefully.


Yes, it is one of the most valuable lessons my bird has taught me. I do get to leave my house, and I don't even have wings. I get to go wherever I choose and talk to whomever I choose, whenever I choose. They have so few choices and only we can make that up to them.

Sorry for rambling and hijacking the thread but I definitely think these are considerations worth looking at with a boisterous cockatoo. Understanding the nature increases the effectiveness of the ABA tools.

#216472 - 02/05/10 09:20 PM Re: OPHELIA [Re: Charlie]  
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Very well said, Charlie. No these are things that I'm sure Greg can relate to. It helps people see things that normally we don't take into consideration such as what is in it for my bird.

Bev


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#216492 - 02/06/10 01:38 AM Re: OPHELIA [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Originally Posted By: ZazuSally
You are the bird's world. You've been gone all day. They are extremely social animals. When you walk in that door, to them you are the most important person in their whole world and you need to honour that. Bev


That is also inciteful...I guess I am just spoiled by Buddi...never screams when you come in the door...

O must know we are talking about him as he was an angel tonite...walked in, a squak or 3 and I taked nice and he stopped...took him out and put him on tree and he was quiet...ate broccoli and sweet potato on the tree and then a chicken bone in cage with door open...afer came out and was on the tree during dinner...not a peep...then was an angel while I cleaned up cages...now on my lap as I type...

We played our game of cat and mouse for a bath and I let him win...he really does not like to bath but it is essential to control his powder down as he has no feathering and is the dustiest bird ever...I have to trick him onto my hand. get my thumb on his foot, and then get to the sink fast and spray with mister...he is always anticiapting it and I wonder how much of a source of stress this is for him...

Amyway, tomoorrow will be a big test...we will be snowed in all day...the morning will be like usual...eventually he will start honking, then Eh-hah...you know what is coming...so I wiil head it off...take them out...play for a whle, feed them then put back in cage so I can go out and shovel...and then he will scream...what do I do then...I cant have him out all day...when he starts again what do I do?

#216496 - 02/06/10 02:01 AM Re: OPHELIA [Re: GregM]  
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Greg, can you not take him in the shower with you. I do with my birds all the time. I usually take two in at a time.

What kind of chores are you doing that he can't be in the same room with you? On a playstand.

Give him some attention before he starts yelling. Spend 10 minutes playing a game that he likes.

Can you put him on a stand so he can see you shovelling although when I go open the balcony door, Zazu will yell her head off and this is because she is in charge of security. It's a tough job and somebody has to do it. LOL

Sounds like you have a good plan, you need to intercept before it escalates.

Bev


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#216497 - 02/06/10 02:06 AM Re: OPHELIA [Re: GregM]  
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Originally Posted By: GregM
I have to trick him onto my hand. get my thumb on his foot, and then get to the sink fast and spray with mister...he is always anticiapting it and I wonder how much of a source of stress this is for him...


GregM are you "pinning" the toes? Are you trying to control him from leaving you if he chose too?Pinning toes is not a good idea and it takes choices away from them and if this can be avoided it really should be.

If this is about showering vaccums running can intrigue them into wanting to shower or bath in their water dishes...this is how I got our CAG into showering.I would wait until he started to dunk in his water and I would then mist him and he now is in love with misting. It is about timing and allowing some choice and getting them interested in things.I can take some of mine in the shower with me as well and they really love that because they are doing something with you as well.


Jan

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#216498 - 02/06/10 02:19 AM Re: OPHELIA [Re: Janny]  
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Originally Posted By: Janny
GregM are you "pinning" the toes? Are you trying to control him from leaving you if he chose too?Pinning toes is not a good idea and it takes choices away from them and if this can be avoided it really should be.


Yes, of course...I can usually pin both feet firmly amd then hold long enough to bath...I could try to shower, though it would be difficult as I do not have a stand for him...

Buddi used to dread it also but has come to tolerate it...sometimes he actually enjoys it and leans way back and spreads his wings...but he has to be in the mood...I do not have to pin him...O always struggles but does not bite...

I will be outside shoveling so cannot take him out with me...I do have a stand I can use to try bringing him in the other room if screaming...but if the answer to his screaming is to keep me busy all day amusing him then who is training who?

I want another Buddi...put him in the cage, cool; take him out of the cage, cool. He NEVER screams for attention...he will vocalize but not for attention...he is capapble of amusing himself with just about anything I put in the cage... he spoiled me...

#216499 - 02/06/10 02:22 AM Re: OPHELIA [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Originally Posted By: ZazuSally
What kind of chores are you doing that he can't be in the same room with you? On a playstand.
Bev


What if he is on the stand and still screams? He is usually not content unless you are with him and rubbing his head/neck.

#216500 - 02/06/10 02:45 AM Re: OPHELIA [Re: GregM]  
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That's because you have reinforced it. My birds don't want to be on me when I'm doing chores (which I should be doing now BTW LOL). I talk to them, sing to them, occasionally go up and scratch a head, grab a tail in a playful manner. Greg, there are shower stands you can buy and they aren't that much. I will send you the link.

He can be like Buddi, you just have to stop reinforcing the wrong behaviours and reinforce the hell out of the wanted ones. Rome wasn't built in a day, Greg. You are one of those people who want things yesterday, right? LOL

Bev


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#216503 - 02/06/10 02:56 AM Re: OPHELIA [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Originally Posted By: ZazuSally
You are one of those people who want things yesterday, right? LOL Bev


Actually, the day before that... smile

#216505 - 02/06/10 03:12 AM Re: OPHELIA [Re: GregM]  
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Greg, remember what happened to me when I pinned Echo's toes???

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v232/Echosmom/th023.jpg

You never know when that one day is going to come, when exception is going to be taken and you are delivered a nasty bite. I took her choice away, and that particular day, she put me in my place.

When I'm doing chores, my birds don't want on me either. I do the same as Bev, talk, sing and carry on with them (and playfully scold them for making such a mess all the time - LOL!) Same when I work at home - which is more often than not again. I can sit at my desk for the better of 8 hours and not once do I have an interruption. I chat with them all day, pass out snacks, etc. and occassionally someone will come to visit me for a minute or two, and when that does happen, I take a short break. That surely didn't happen over night, but I have one group of happy, non-velcro cockatoos because I don't reinforce the behaviors I don't want to see.

You were very lucky to get such an independent bird as Buddi is. But it is unfair of you to compare the two of them. But what you can do is teach O. Just as he didn't learn these behaviors overnight, he won't learn new ones either. But it is possible...I have living proof right here.

When I first got Echo (my first 'Too) she was a baby and totally dependent on me. I reinforced for that, and she really believed that she had to be on me - ALL THE TIME! I couldn't even go tinkle in peace. If I put her in her cage - OMG!!!! - she thought she would surely die. I learned the errors of my ways and once I got ABA under my belt, she's a completely different bird. You can do the same. You have to be willing to "put in" to "get back".


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#216513 - 02/06/10 06:04 AM Re: OPHELIA [Re: EchosMom]  
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Quote:
put back in cage so I can go out and shovel...and then he will scream...what do I do then

If you set the play stand up in front of a window that has a view to where you will be shoveling... O might enjoy watching you smile I do this with Simon - he watches me shovel & ducks out of sight occasionally so I call out & the Too head pops up "I'm not doing anything...." uh huh... It takes a bit longer to finish but is a lot more fun smile If I've moved away from his sight line & he lets loose with a scream I'll appear & wave but don't go back in until I'm done. He rarely screams incessantly during this activity - trust me when he IS in the mood to make my ears bleed he is rather talented at it. Perhaps try it with Ophelia on a safely located perch she may enjoy this smile

#216515 - 02/06/10 06:09 AM Re: OPHELIA [Re: Liisa B]  
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You know what I have to appologize for yet again coming in on this specific forum for ABA...I keep forgetting to see what forum things are posted in before responding....

I will be more careful next time not to jump in and confuse this forum anymore.Sorry guys!If you want me to remove my posts let me know and I will.


Jan

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