Baby macaw need little help please

Samin Alakozay

Regular Member
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Hi guys, it’s me again

need some help

so since I’ve had my little macaw I have been putting harness on her and slowly taking her for walks bit by bit…. Yday she bit me when I was adjusting the loose strap and todsy she attempted to take my finger off. Any tips on what I can do?

also is sunlight bad for macaws/ can they not seen properly ?

her room has a lot of sunlight and at times if I move when sun is in her eyes she jumps and gets scared or goes in for a bite if I go to stroke her however no sun no bite

on a positive note I had to leave around 3.30 and Leftaudio of birds chirping away when I got back aprons 6pm she was in her cage sleeping! I’m so proud she went to her cage to sleep!! <3

thanks guys!
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
Ok the sun and your bird, well to start with the sun is not bad for your bird but I do think that your bird was a little startled by your movement towards it and the sudden shadow also reinforced her to lunge, to avoid this reaction let your bird know you are coming by gently talking as you go to approach. you may have to think that your bird may not of noticed you and may of been startled, She could of been resting or even enjoying the sun coming in. a reaction like this was most likely caused by her natural instinct to protect her self

Ok with the harness, Some thing may of upset her, did you have any difficulty in taking it off last time you used it? or even putting it on her this time? Could you of caught a pin feather or accidently caught a feather in-between the harness and your finger ? you will need her to be relaxed when the harness is being put on and if she shows signs of not being comfortable then stop. spend the next few days building her trust up with you again and if that dose not relax her enough to put the harness back on her you may have to start the training from the beginning again.

I am thinking she may of lost a little trust in you so you will need to build that trust up again @Roz have you any opinions that may help Samin
 
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DizzyBlue

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Sunshine through a window is not the same as direct sunshine. During summer time being in direct sunlight indoors can be dangerous due to over heating as birds don't sweat.
Direct sunshine outside is good for a bird they can see properly because their eyes are different to ours they need certain wave lengths of light to see. Plus they get vitamin D3 from the sun which all of us need.
Sunshine inside the house is different the window pane blocks out the wave length that birds need to see it also stops vitamin D3 coming through.
This time of year it's cold and yucky outside
Just because you want to go out doesn't mean your bird does. If you're bird isn't enjoying the experience and your not reading it's body language then yes your going to get told and the more you force the stronger the reaction. Not all birds take to a harness.
Other things to consider ....
Your baby doesn't like that harness or your not putting it on correctly or It's ruffling feathers (ruffled feathers can hurt they are anchored in the skin) or It's naturally trying out boundaries. List is huge you'd have to see to know why the reaction is happening.
 
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Roz

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Agree that the bird cannot see you properly with the sun in her eyes (just as humans can't), so will jump/lunge/bite as a startle reaction to a hand, etc. suddenly there.

Again as suggested, make sure you haven't touched a pin feather, etc. that causes her pain with the harness. Did she bite when you were doing exactly the same thing on both occasions? Try moving much slower and reinforce her relaxed body language for each step so that it is a good experience for her. What are you using as reinforcement? Does she like a head skritch? Or a treat? Or praise? For example, if she is fine with you putting the harness over her head, do that slowly and gently, then reinforce her relaxed body language with something that works for her... a head skritch/praise/treat/something else?, then move on to the next stage, again reinforce her relaxed body language, and so on until the end.

Never try to push her faster/further than she is comfortable with or it will result in a bite. If you are stuck at one point, break down what you are trying to do into smaller steps and reinforce the behaviour you want to see from her.
 

Samin Alakozay

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Registered
Hi all!!

thank you for the help!
I did exactly that very slow and peanut to reward/ distract her

now I have another slight problem…. Before she didn’t want to come or sit on my shoulder now she doesn’t want to come off my shoulder

as soon as put down she runs and climbs up like batman

when I try to remove her from my shoulder it’s resulting in bites now…
Whilst she’s on my shoulder she’s also bitten my mole which started to bleed little bit the bite wasn’t aggressive more out of curiosity

when she doesn’t want to come off shoulder do I use peanut to lure her out? But the she will never come off unless there is peanut there

or do I put her in her cage for a 10min time out?
Thanks guys
 

Roz

Elected Forum Trainer
Regular Member
Good job re the harness!

Right now it is reinforcing to be on your shoulder. Try to make being somewhere else more reinforcing. You may have to do this by playing with a toy with her to start with since your presence is reinforcing. Or hide a nut in the toy so it’s extra reinforcing to play with it.

A proper time out (ie completely withdrawing reinforcement) is frustrating for the bird. Try not to use it if you can use positive reinforcement instead. If you do have to put her back into her cage then make sure she’s got lots to do in there.
 

Samin Alakozay

Regular Member
Registered
hi all

so sorry i keep coming back -

i should really stop asking for help before i try something haha!

while i wrote the question i decided to do some target training and honestly it went AMAZING!!!

today i went to clean her cage as i had to leave for work -so i wanted to make sure her food and water and cage is all clean ect she managed to run up my shoulder like batman! had no choice-

i decided to do some target training 7in attempts to train her and get her off me so i can go to work (mrs is at home with her today but as sleeping)

she would touch the stick whilst being on my hand but go no further - i held the training stick just beyond reach so she would have to step off my hand and i could see her going for bites out of frustration as she knew once she comes off she wont be coming back on -


another important question: weather room temp? currently i dont have a heater on in that room but the windows are closed - i have seen her "shivering" sometimes but not sure if thats due to the cold or something else!

should i get a oil heater to keep the room warm? how warm does the room need to be?

thanks again guys!
 
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Roz

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That's great re the target training! :applaudit: When you aren't rushing out try generalizing the behaviour, ie. get her to target from all different places. On your hand, off your hand, on top of her cage, in her cage, on the stand etc.

With my birds, their incentive to go back inside their cages is when I put in their breakfast bowls. Then I make sure to stay around them for a while (usually I eat my breakfast with them) so that it is not a case of putting them in their cages and immediately disappearing. You just have to work out what is reinforcing enough for the bird to go back inside.

Hoping someone else will offer advice about heat. Sometimes birds shiver because of excitement or fear or even to dry their feathers after a shower. Cold temperatures would be more of a worry if she had feather destructive behaviour or was elderly and arthritic. Keeping her out of drafts is more important than the cold. Interestingly I recently read somewhere (sorry, I can't remember where) that female animals feel the cold more than males. Personally I like to keep my birds warmish and I got an oil heater plus I have the central heating on through the day for them. I have the oil heater near Chico's cage at night on low (central heating off then) because he is elderly and arthritic. Bear in mind that added heat will dry out the skin and feathers so showers/misting/bathing is important.
 

Samin Alakozay

Regular Member
Registered
@Michael Reynolds @Roz thank you both for helping so much !!

the harness training is going really well! She actually puts her head through knowing a peanut is coming her way haha but taking it off is little problematic much much better though

target training has been slow because sunflower seeds is currently part of her diet so she looses internet after 2-3 tries

What iam worried about is her behaviour today… while I was cleaning her room and changing her water ect she decided to wonder into the living room and looked like she lost control. Would attempt to bite anyone close to her for no reason

after giving her space she didn’t calm down I took her to her Room and yes I got bitten but she instantly calmed down … can see the video and please advice (link below)



With her running to my shoulder I have Been holding her feet and after 2-3 seconds of trying to fly up or climb up she gives up and sits on my Lap
also she’s demanding rubs under her wings I’m worried of hormonal problems
Thanks guys!
 
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Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
She is too young to be hormonal, so i think its more comforting but I will advice not to stoke under the wings when she reaches six, as this is when they start practicing for being mature at the age of seven. I think she is looking Quite frustrated in not being able to fly. the tail being spread out is a sign of her anger. If she lifts both wings as well while you approach then step back and let her calm down as this is a sign she may bite.
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
Now looking at the video she seems to be in control of her movements and she maybe reacting to the reflection in the chrome or the small glimmers of sun hitting the floor and on her, It is possible she is just entertaining her self but also being frustrated not able to get the lift from her wings. let see what Roz thinks
 

Roz

Elected Forum Trainer
Regular Member
That's great the harness training is going so well. You could also reinforce relaxed body language when taking the harness off with a peanut too. You can gradually break the peanut into smaller pieces so that you can reinforce more behaviour from her. Are there any other nuts she likes? Peanuts are the least healthy because they can contain afflatoxins as they grow underground. Have you tried walnuts, almonds, cashews, pine nuts, pecans, brazils? All these can be gradually broken down into small pieces for training, although the pine nuts are pretty small to start with.

I wouldn't rub under her wings because, as you have rightly said, of future hormonal problems when she is mature. If she is lifting her wings, why not put it on cue (add a visual, or spoken cue, like "eagle wings!" at the same time as the wing lifting) and reinforce with a piece of nut? Gradually move the cue in front of the behaviour so that it becomes a proper cue. So in the proper order it eventually becomes:
"Eagle wings" → Macaw lifts wings → Treat.
There's the first trick you have taught her!

Re the video: I think she is trying to fly/exercise but can't because of her clipped wings. I see no aggression in her body language - no puffed head feathers, can't really see if her eyes are pinning. Personally I think her tail is spread because she is trying to fly or maybe it was excitement? Who knows. But you now know not to touch her when she's behaving that way. Let her calm down, then pick her up. You may want to get around to teaching her to step up on a hand held perch exactly for these occasions, if you haven't got time to let her calm down before picking her up. I see no problem with her behaving this way - it's exercise - she'll need those muscles to fly when those wing feathers grow in.
 

JackAndRob

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Staff member
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Did you manage to find a name for your Macaw? Not sure from this thread.

When she is on the floor and you are standing quite close to her so you will be towering above her. This may make her nervous. I would be tempted to give her some space and sit on the floor or in a low seat. Sitting lower makes you less threatening and more approachable. Keep talking to her while she burns off that excess energy. From what you have previously said, you are forming a good relationship with her, so she may come to you once she has got her crazy moment out of her system.
 

Samin Alakozay

Regular Member
Registered
@Michael Reynolds @Roz @JackAndRob
Hi all! Once again thank you for all your detailed replies it’s made my journey so much better

I have changed her diet from seeds and nuts into mainly Harrison’s pellets… goal is to phase out nuts completely and use as treats only

Her name officially is “honey” I call her boo boo must of the time so honey boo boo seemed just right

this is what her room likes looks currently
(See attached photo)

please anything I can change or do to make it better for her please let me know

Harness training has become really easy we do a daily routine and I take her one a little walk indoors as outside is too cold she gets 3 peanuts 1 for the head 1 for the walk and 1 when I take it off

target training is a little slow (currently using sunflower seeds) she loses interest after a few tries will try other nuts just cautious as I don’t want togive her any problems with all these nuts

I have attached 2 videos - it’s little sunny today and her behaviour seems a little off again… her grooming is a little aggressive not sure if this is caused by the heater I leave by her cage for the night (picture attached )


I have attached 2 videos from today… it’s sunny again and she’s acting weird if it’s not too much trouble please can I ask for a quick view?





She does seem irritated not sure why

once again thank youguys

at this rate I have to send Xmas gifts to all of you haha

And here is my highlight with her…

8A426A05-199D-4054-AA6B-9E126DAAF9E2.jpeg
 

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