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#9477 - 07/16/03 05:49 PM Totally devatated  
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 11
Barbara Offline
New Member
Barbara  Offline
New Member

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 11
France
I've had to return Tikka, my MSC, to her "minder" Serge. I brought her home last week with lots of new feathers and the wounds on her neck much improved. I asked advice on here and tried very hard to follow the "ignore the unwanted behaviour" advice. It is very difficult to follow that when the bird starts to scratch and nibble her neck wounds but I persisted until today when she was doing it almost to the exclusion of anything else. She wasn't eating anything other than peanuts and spent time out of her cage "glued" to me but still scratching and nibbling. I tried to interest her in foods she used to love but they were thrown to the floor. She woudln't allow my husband near her as she thought that he was trying to put Aloe Vera on her back!
She's going to visit the vet next week - the earliest appointment we could get - but I don't know what will happen after that.
Perhaps Dr Mike could answer a question posed by Serge after reading a translation of his reply to my "Separation Anxiety" post. If she remains with him, where she is out of "her" flock, for 2 or 3 months is the behaviour likely to start again if we bring her home?
TIA
Barbara shocked

#9478 - 07/16/03 09:19 PM Re: Totally devatated  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 489
joemadness Offline
Member
joemadness  Offline
Member

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 489
South Florida
I am sorry to hear of your situation. I also have a MSC2, named Ruby. She is 10-months-old. As far as the food throwing goes, that is a 2 being 2, to a degree. If you feed veggies or fruit, you can use a skewer, and hang it from the top of the cage, or the side of a perch. I can not offer any advice for other dilemma. At what age did the negative behaviors start?

#9479 - 07/16/03 10:14 PM Re: Totally devatated  
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 474
Dr. Mike Offline
Member
Dr. Mike  Offline
Member

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 474
New Jersey
Hi Barbara

You have already answered your own question.

Yes she will.

You said that after she was with Serge for a time, the behaviors stopped or reduced. Then after going home, she started back up again. Cockatoos have a long memory. She will keep going back to the same behavior pattern again as long as you allow it.

How are you doing with the behavior modification protocol? Ignoring the inappropriate behavior is only the first part of the treatment necessary. Read on. You will find that to only ignore the inappropriate would not be fair. You must also teach her what behaviors are appropriate. And furthermore, teach her that you will elicit these appropriate behaviors and reward her for them on a regular, consistant, and scheduled basis. only then will she begin to realize that the inappropriate behaviors no longer work and that the appropriate ones do, and that these appropriate ones are under your control, not hers. Think of her as a small child who is throwing temper tantrums to have her own way. What would you think of a mom who gave that child her way whenever she had a tantrum? Not much, I bet. I'm sure it would at least be obvious to you that this child will never stop the tantrums as long as they result in her getting her own way, right?

The protocol I outlined is very specific and detailed. It is not a quick fix. This protocol will take time to show results and only your dedication and consistancy will allow success. I even suggested that you consider doing this protocol at Serge's house, where she has demonstrated a reduction in the inapproriate behaviors.

You must not try to ignore these behaviors. You must just do it!!! Even if that means you get up and leave the house when you see them!!!

If you don't, she is at risk of intensifying them to a point where she will inflict fatal wounds to herself. I have seen this too often to have any doubt about it.

The more you respond to them, the more completely she will have controlled you and the more intensly she will display them!

You have proven this by observing the reduction in behavior when she lives at Serge's.

Dr. Mike smile

#9480 - 07/21/03 04:55 AM Re: Totally devatated  
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 49
Ginger Offline
Member
Ginger  Offline
Member

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 49
Dallas/Ft. Worth area, Texas
Hello Barbara,

I'm so sorry your too is self-destructive. I was watching a program on PBS the other day about animals - whether they have feelings and can think. Well, duh! Anyway, one segment involved an M2 named Tasha that was plucking and biting. The vet (he is on the staff of a vet school) gave the owner Prozac for the plucking. I don't know if this is something new or an accepted practice. I haven't noticed any posts about using medication to stop self-mutilating toos. But, if it works it beats watching your too destroy herself. Whatever you do, good luck and don't give up on your too.

Ginger&Eden

#9481 - 07/26/03 08:53 PM Re: Totally devatated  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 55
oliver Offline
Member
oliver  Offline
Member

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 55
Georgia
we all love our toos, and yes sometimes is just so hard not to give in, but remember the saying about tough love? well you need to reinforce it to make all things work.

My M2 plucked himself silly when i had to leave for a couple of months and when i came back he had nothing left but feathers he can't reach.

I cried but blame myself for leaving him. But it's been three months now and all routine are back to normal and he is back to geing pretty. all expose skin is now covered in feathers though he still will cut his feathers on his chest, i think it's just something he got use to doing, and i try to ignore her when i see her doing it. hard as it is, i just look the other way. And it is working. I still look at the bottom of the cage for any sign of plucking and so far all is going well except for a few chewing of her feathers every now and then. I think she is just testing me and making sure that i don't give her a positive reinforcement on this behavior. When i see her playing with her toys i would always come to her cage and talk to her or give her a scratch that they all love and enjoy. But any bad behavior that she shows, i just look the other way (sometimes i just want to tell her to stop it) but we know any kind of acknowledgement is good anknowledgement to them. So just be tough and hang in there.

I know how it feels to see your beloved companion all chewed up and really there is nothing that we can do that would not be drastic and streesful to them. trust me i thought of putting a colar on her when i got her back. but decided after a lot of research and a trip to the vet. i opt to do it the hard way. a lot of patient and tough love.

good luck and i hope this would encourage you to continue the effort, it's worth it at the end.


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