Desperate - may need to give Gerry away

GerryFero

Regular Member
Registered
I have 4 amazons, trust me I know what screaming is.

Spraying the bird in the face is absolutely not the thing to be doing and is not going to help you in the long run, it's going to have the opposite effect as the bird will become fearful of you and potentially aggressive.

You have had this bird for 7 years, so that's 7 years worth of behaviour you need to reshape. It's not an overnight thing to do. It is going to take a long time and right now you need to have patience, a lot of it! You need to be willing to put in the time and effort it takes, you will have bad days - we all have bad days, but you will also have good days and overtime those good days will outweigh the bad.

Your bird is not unintelligent, you just haven't learnt each others language yet. Instead of punishing them for screaming have you tried rewarding them for the behaviour you do want? It doesn't have to be a treat or a toy, it can be a verbal praise, maybe a noise they really like to hear. You need to learn what it is that motives him and use that to help shape his behaviour.

Even if you get someone in to help you train him, a big chunk of that is actually training you and your partner on how to read him, how to interact with him and how to help him understand what it is you want from him. There is no quick fix to this, training is something you need to do everyday and is constant. You need to be putting the effort in daily and be consistent with what you're doing. You don't need to totally leave the room, just turn your back on him and ignore him that way till he is quiet or gives a noise you prefer and then reward him. It will take time but he will get there.
Thank you so much. I feel your words really got me. I am so upset and I crying right now. Honestly, it is hard. Maybe I am being stupid, but I feel so desperate as my life is no longer mine and the only time I am happy is when he goes to sleep at night.
I try to train everyday but unfortunately I work long hours and then sometimes, I ill admit, all I want is to relax a moment between the million chores of life.

Thank you again, your words made me feel understood.

4??? Gosh, I don't know how you cope.
 

Zoe220615

Regular Member
Id be scared of the spray bottle if it got shoved in my face everytime i shouted. His an amazon there loud i have one he only does it for attention or letting me no he wants more food or water. Anyone who owns an amazon will no just how loud they are.
 

Tonifrax

Guest
When my grey does something he shouldn't I dont say no to him because it does absolutely nothing. In fact he says "no!" when hes bad because a previous owner must have told him off. If hes chewing the sofa I usually find something for him to do, a toy, some paper to shred instead which he loves, ill grab my clicker and do some training with him. He is quite a pest with trying to get at the carpet. He tries to chew it and rip it up and at times it can be difficult to get him to stop. I either move him or i put down paper and he shreds that instead and then we are both happy... Maybe not the hoover though 😂 you need to try channel his energy into something else.

Have you tried teaching him to step up? My grey doesnt step up onto hands. Arms yes but if i put a hand towards him he will go for it. He never used to let me touch him so all the training i have done was hands off. He waves, turns around, plays fetch, dances on command, will reply hello when i knock 3 times on the door, will put his wings up, can put coloured rings onto the right pegs, was putting a ball under one of two bowls and having him try find it. Theres a lot you can do without actually touching them.

My grey has seperation anxiery. Hates when i leave him. Sometimes refuses to step off of me. If i go out for long periods of time i can come home to a small pile of feathers in the cage. However, if im constantly poking in and out of the living room i think whatever effect it is supposed to have will wear off especially if you are in and out quite frequently. Im not saying it doesnt work but if he is screaming constantly then i imagine youre in and out quite a lot and it may get lost in translation. I just mean that doing this has distrupted your day. If you have chores just do what you have to do and if he is well behave then heavily reinforce it with a treat that he really likes. Reinforce good behaviour when you see it.
 

Tonifrax

Guest

Some training i did with my bird. Recall to me obviously isnt hand off but teaching him to fly between perches was hands off and something you could do. I target trained him to do that. The rest of the stuff is hands off too 🙂
 

GerryFero

Regular Member
Registered
When my grey does something he shouldn't I dont say no to him because it does absolutely nothing. In fact he says "no!" when hes bad because a previous owner must have told him off. If hes chewing the sofa I usually find something for him to do, a toy, some paper to shred instead which he loves, ill grab my clicker and do some training with him. He is quite a pest with trying to get at the carpet. He tries to chew it and rip it up and at times it can be difficult to get him to stop. I either move him or i put down paper and he shreds that instead and then we are both happy... Maybe not the hoover though 😂 you need to try channel his energy into something else.

Have you tried teaching him to step up? My grey doesnt step up onto hands. Arms yes but if i put a hand towards him he will go for it. He never used to let me touch him so all the training i have done was hands off. He waves, turns around, plays fetch, dances on command, will reply hello when i knock 3 times on the door, will put his wings up, can put coloured rings onto the right pegs, was putting a ball under one of two bowls and having him try find it. Theres a lot you can do without actually touching them.

My grey has seperation anxiery. Hates when i leave him. Sometimes refuses to step off of me. If i go out for long periods of time i can come home to a small pile of feathers in the cage. However, if im constantly poking in and out of the living room i think whatever effect it is supposed to have will wear off especially if you are in and out quite frequently. Im not saying it doesnt work but if he is screaming constantly then i imagine youre in and out quite a lot and it may get lost in translation. I just mean that doing this has distrupted your day. If you have chores just do what you have to do and if he is well behave then heavily reinforce it with a treat that he really likes. Reinforce good behaviour when you see it.
Ohhh, I am so impressed by all the tricks you taught him! It may be a silly question, but is there some videos or step by step guides on teaching these in a semi-feral parrot? The video I watched always have parrots that are cuddly bears. I am on the spectrum, so following guidelines works best for me, I am not good at "improvising" :)
Thanks for your words. I feel very bad and like this is all my faults, although I tried so it is not the product of neglect :(
 

GerryFero

Regular Member
Registered
If your life is being affected that badly by his behaviour that you don't really enjoy having him around then I would look into having someone Foster him for a while. Is there anyone close to you who could look after him for a bit to give you a break? Do you have a friend or relative who would be willing to take him on?

That would give you time and space to clear your head and really think about what you want out of this. There is no shame in realising that a parrot isn't the right fit for your family and lifestyle. It is like having a toddler for the next 40-60 years, one that screams, destroys things, makes a mess and costs you money.

What you don't want to do is end up in situation where you keep a hold of him and just start to resent having him around as he will pick up on that, they are incredibly intelligent not just mentally but emotionally and if senses you are always stressed with him around he will act up more as it will start to affect him.

If you foster him and realise that actually you want to keep him then you must be prepared to give it 100%.
If you realise that actually you prefer it without him around then start to look into somewhere to rehome him to permanently. But make sure you really check out the person you rehome to and that they are genuine and understand what they are taking on, amazons are not easy birds for the unprepared, they can make fantastic pets but they can also be hormonal nightmares who will absolutely test you.
The thing is if I could chose to never have taken him, I would. I have no doubt that I would not want to have taken him. But now he has been in my life I am also attached to him, so is my husband and it's hard to let go.
We have no family or friends that would take him as they all hate his noise levels. My in-laws take him in when we are on holiday, but I doubt they enjoy having him.
About giving 100%, that's so sad as I did give 100% and yet the situation is rubbish :( I would feel less bad if I did not give 100%, at least I could say I could have tried harder.

How much time a day do you spend training your bird(s)? I just want to check I did right on this front.
 

Roz

Elected Forum Trainer
Regular Member
Hi all, Thank you so much for your support and kind words so far. I was going to open a new thread, but since the topic is still the same I think it makes more sense for me to write here. In the last two days Gerry had been better. Today I took him upstairs as I was going to iron. He started to scream non-stop (obviously), I must have walked out of the room 20 times, waited for him to stop, then walk back in. Nothing, he never got the slightest hint of why I was walking out.
After an hour of solid screaming and me starting losing it and thinking I wanted to kill him, I started to use a spray bottle to his face every time he started. It seemed to have worked although obviously tomorrow he will start screaming again. I know this is punishing and I don't think it's a nice solution, but God it worked, for once one thing made him stop for a minute.
One thing I noticed is that he seemed aggravated by me ironing, the clothe movement or something seemed to make him stressed out. A couple of times he jumped on my head, but it was not the nice "I want to perch on you or preen on you" that he does at times, he bit my head, which made me honestly hate him so much. Note: the jumping on my head was before I started using the spray bottle, so it was not caused by me using it.
Do you know why the ironing may have aggravated him and do you know if using a spray bottle consistently could be a good option? I never used it before but today I decided enough was enough.
Just going to pick up on what you said here. :) Interesting about him being aggravated by your ironing. This is information. It wasn't successful so I wouldn't try it again. Bobbie (Red-lored Amazon) really doesn't like cloths/kitchen towels/tissues waved near her. She also becomes aggressive. So I just make sure never to have anything like that in my hands when I go close to her. But it was good that you tried.

When doesn't he scream? What is he doing then? What are you doing? What was different/successful in the two "good" days you just had with him? See if you can build on those times. As has been said there will be good and bad days. He's been screaming like this for a long time, so it's going to take time to learn to do something different.

I started to use a spray bottle to his face every time he started... for once one thing made him stop for a minute.
As you noted, punishment usually only works short term, because it is not teaching the bird what to do instead. Plus you are going to be associated with the punishment, so trust levels will fall. There are other side effects to punishment which are, depending on the character of the bird, increased aggression, or increased fear to the point of phobia. If you can catch a "good" behaviour much better to reinforce that instead.

If he doesn't like showers, try pointing the spray bottle into the air on a very fine mist setting and letting the mist fall gently back down on him. Gradually as he accepts that, you can start spraying him gently directly. Having the vacuum cleaner running in the background often gets a bird in the mood for a shower. It certainly works for Bobbie and Kobe here.

As well as trick training, why not teach him to play on his own by praising/encouraging any movement towards a toy or other object that might be interesting for him. If he learns to play with toys on his own, it is something to do instead of screaming. You could teach him to destroy toys rather than rip your sofa to shreds. Re the sofa, try covering the areas he chews with towels/drying up cloths as either a protector or deterrent. I have towels over my book shelves and cupboard tops. My sofa is covered in a throw with added kitchen towels along the back and arms.

Thinking of his chewing, has he got natural perches in his cage that he could chew? Maybe apple branches or willow if you have access to them. Maybe give him an empty food dish full of chewable foot toys. All my birds love these. Here are some ideas:

Most toys you buy for parrots are made of hard wood and so difficult to destroy. Try stringing some easily destroyed materials together, like cardboard, pinewood, balsa wood, leather pieces etc. There are lots of toy ideas on the Natural Bird Company above and they sell toy parts which is useful.

With Ollie (Orange-winged Amazon) who was afraid of toys, I started off with budgie sized easily destroyed toys I made myself - plain to start with, then I gradually made bigger toys and began to add colour. It is important that they are rediculously easy to destroy at the beginning to get them going. Then you can gradually add harder materials, but never too hard that they lose interest.
 

DizzyBlue

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Some posts have been taken from view from this thread so it concentrates on training information.
@Meral this thread maybe of better assistance for you
 
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