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Last Post 11-04-2014 3:10 PM by  Helen W
how do you spend time with your bird?
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Julia
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10-04-2014 2:14 PM

    I have spend so long trying to work out how to entertain Archie when I am not around that I am now wondering how to spend time WITH him!

    He has gone back to plucking again over the last few days and I am wondering why and thought maybe he need more entertainment but don't know how.

    Bearing in mind this is a bird that is scared of anything new this is how I spend time with him so far: he gets a shower in the sink, I sing songs with him (Adams family song and Toot Sweets are his favourite that he can join in with), I made a fantastic gym but it is now in the shed as he hated it. He comes on the sofa for a little head scratch and will go upside down and we have done clicker training but it seems to make him angry now. I expected that he would play with a ball or want to interact in other ways but I am wondering how? Most of the time he just sits on his T-stand and talks but I want to show him that there are more exciting things than that! I had to stop him climbing the curtains because he decided it was the best place to show me how many feathers he can pluck out....I do not understand this new behaviour?

    What do you do?

    Julia

    Helen W
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    10-04-2014 4:13 PM
    His new feather plucking may be hormonal or may be related to weather changes or any number of other things. Most of all, don't let him see it bothers you. Could it be he's doing it because he sees it gets your attention.

    As for spending time with him, our 2 have their lively moments but do like to sit and ponder for a fair amount of time of the day.They do like to sing and dance but all 3 of us are pretty tuneless. When Charlie first came to us (plucked), he didn't really seem to like us (me in particular) but I used to sit alongside him and read to him. Not looking him in the eye but reading calmly (or sometimes excitedly.) I used to read Winnie the Pooh, but I think I could have read him my shopping list and he wouldn't have minded.

    It seems to me that if Archie is sitting on his stand and talking then he's happy and may not need much more. I think CAGs can be a bit lazy sometimes. (I know our two will avoid walking or climbing if they can do.)

    I think the favourite pastime of our two is shredding boxes, newspapers and sheets of cardboard. They seem to enjoy watching me cleaning up the debris afterwards too!
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    Julia
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    11-04-2014 2:07 AM
    Helen, I know the feeling of not being liked by your bird. Archie behaves sometimes as if he is really just tolerating me. The funny thing is that every time my partner (who won't touch him since he was bitten) goes in or out of the room, he flaps like mad and wants to be near him!
    He seems to vascillatate between indifference and the desire to puff up and regurgitate which of course I try to gently discourage.

    So do Charlie and Joey sit on stands in the evening with you or are they in a cage?
    Archie is very interested in paper things too, but only when thy have treats inside! I did find that giving him a toilet roll with the paper still on it was a huge success however. I tied string around it to make it harder for him to tear apart.
    The other things he has started to do is get very aggressive where food is concerned and will lunge at me if I am trying to put peas in a hanging bowl he has near his stand. (He will only eat vegetables out of the cage! I think he doesn't like making a mess in his cage because we won't poo in there either!)
    I believe they are meant to be territorial if you take food away but surely not if I am giving it?
    Has Charlie got all his feathers now or does he go back and forth?
    Julia
    Helen W
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    11-04-2014 3:10 PM
    Our 2 spend all day out on their stand, around their boxes or on their java tree. Pete (my husband) is home all day and although he doesn't stay in the same room with the boys all day, he does nip in and out during the day.

    Both birds are wing clipped (since Charlie had a dangerous habit of hanging from and chewing the ceiling light cables.) They can flutter down but not gain height. However, as I said, they are both generally fairly lazy. They spend the day shredding paper, destroying cardboard within the big box they have ('their 'bungalow'), singing, dancing, chasing each other round and snoozing.

    In the evening when I'm home form work we move their stand into the other room and they sit on their stand behind us both at our computers. The main thing is to make sure that we stick to the routine and then they know what to expect when.

    Both of ours would love Pete to fuss over them but he won't pick Joey up after he had a few nasty bites. They now love me too, Pete just has to make sure he's consistent with the way he treats them and they know what to expect.

    Charlie's feathers are pretty much there all the time now (he occasionally snips one or two) but they did come and go for a long time. Again, the main thing is not letting them know it bothers you and don't give them attention for it. Greys can be very quick to learn what gives them attention.

    Some birds can be very cage territorial and fussy about keeping their cage clean. Our two often don't poo in their cage either. They come out in the morning for their first poo, stay out all day and go to bed at 9pm regularly. They usually don't go all night until they're up and about in the morning.

    As for changing food, if you can do it when he's out if at all possible. It saves having to battle with him and doesn't reinforce his aggression.
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