New rehomed Umbrella cockatoo

NicoleP

Registered
Hi all,

You may not remember me but I introduced my lesser sulphur crested Too, Henry in 2017. I wanted to ask some advice after adopting a U2 today.

I wanted to expand the flock this month and it seemed there was a 23 year old U2 Casper that needed rehoming for £500. I had more experience than any of the other candidates and thought I was up to the challenge. He used to live with an elderly gentleman for most of his life and the last year was spent with a young lady who had to give him up due to respiratory issues.

My partner and I picked him up today. Casper was of course very upset to leave his owner but we initially seemed to have a rapport. He was happy if I scratched him a lot and talked to him. He did not seem to have any boundaries, or experienced being caged for set periods (unlike Henry) hopping on any surface and instantly leaping onto shoulders of myself and family members.

To me this was very disconcerting as if Henry does this he is bound to go for either ears or glasses. Sure enough Casper did, and when I put my hands up to stop him he bit very hard.

He also seems to be running towards my partner who doesn't have much experience as I do, so I feel uncomfortable letting Casper go to him and jump on his shoulders. Casper seems to sense that I am going to stop him from going to my partner and then jumps on to my shoulder to commence either biting or trying to remove my glasses and then bite.

He came with a massive cage so he is currently spending time in that with his food and toys and music/radio when we are busy.

My plan was to keep him caged until he feels more secure in the new house and keep talking to him, feeding him, playing with him etc. Just giving him time I guess.

Could you advise if this is the right approach and do you have any advise about what to do re my partner?

It seems the previous lady didn't have any males around the house so she couldn't advise on that.

Henry had his own set of challenges but they were different and I wanted to make sure I was doing the best for Casper in his new home.

Would greatly appreciate advice/a plan especially re running to shoulders, biting, my partner, setting boundaries etc

Thank you.
 

dianaT

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
I remember your LSC called Henry my late LSC was also called Henry!

Good on you for taking on Casper albeit with issues that need to be sorted.

Lets link in @Roz for advice on this and I am sure other members will be along to help advise too.

Can we have photos of them as we do love photos :thumbsup:
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
-Hi its good you have taken on Casper, love the u2's I had one living with me for a while and these are very complex birds that can easy just like one person. Roz will be along for training advice but I will say that you need others for teaching him as well to allow him to get o trust each of you. they can get jealous and this can lead to bites not only to a person he dislikes but he may turn his frustration on you.

Sharing the activities you do together will allow him to accept others around you, he may still have a favourite but it should not turn into attacks or bites. I do suggest stick training until your bird can be trusted, having a LS2 you may already have a idea on how quick these birds can move and how crafty they can be.

I think £500 is a good price to pay and he looks in great condition.
 

Roz

Regular Member
Hi Nicole! That's great you were able to give Casper a home. Take it day by day but I would agree to keep him caged for now.

If he gets on your shoulders and ends up biting then you are only teaching him to bite, which you don't want! So if you cage him for now, he is unable to do this - you are changing the antecedent in behavioural terms which is the kindest and easiest way to change a behaviour.

Whilst he is caged, why not teach him to target through the bars? That would build a great rapport between you and also teach him the concept of if (you to this) then (you get this... a treat perhaps), which is the base of any force free training. Your partner can easily do the same. Roy here, once posted this video which is superb to teach you how:


Once he gets this, then you can use the same concept to teach him step up... or anything else! Plus if he's doing something he shouldn't out of the cage, you can just present the target and ask him to walk/fly over to touch it, and reinforce highly. Win win!
 

NicoleP

Registered
Thanks Roz, that is extremely good advice. He did try that today once and it worked to a point. He is just stunned I think that his world has changed and I can see that in his expression.

After the bites yesterday I unfortunately seem to be reacting instinctively when he puts his beak in a rushed motion when I hold his feet that he sticks out of the bars - I pull my hand away quickly which he has noticed. Will try not to reinforce that.

Is there any other training he might take to, while being caged at this point? Just trying to maximise what I can do with him.

He shreds wood and cardboard well though so he is keeping somewhat busy.

Many thanks all.
 

plumsmum

Regular Member
Congrats hun on taking a U2, sincerely hope that you will have positive results from the training advice given. Cockatoos are sentient and intelligent and I am sure he is feeling the loss of his previous homes. Make the most of your honeymoon period to set new boundaries gently. One thing you can try with both of your boys is learning, yes learning! Have you heard of the reading parrots, have a look on FB for Ellie the Goffins. This I feel could give in cage educational stimulation? Hun most reasons for giving up a parrot are bunkum so take the reason with a pinch of salt. You have experience with Henry and I am sure it will put you in good stead with Casper. Remember that no one day is ever the same with parrots and a bad one can and does completely turn around. Take care and be sensible though! :)
 

NicoleP

Registered
Thanks all and thanks plumsmum. He seemed to be a lot calmer today, he is shredding a lot of cardboard at the bottom left area of his cage (a possible nest?). He seems to have learned to go 'up' when I tell him 'up' whilst he is roaming around the bottom. He may have learned that in his previous homes but he does do it about 3/4 of the times I've asked him to do it. He seems to like being told he is a good boy after :) I've tried with a seed treat as a reward but he is quite naughty, he sees digestive biscuits as a treat and rushes to dunk a bit in his water.

When he was hanging out in the floor of his cage (it's huge btw it's the rainforest santos dome top), he seemed very calm and hopefully less anxious. He let me open the cage door and pet his head and neck without rushing to come out.

I know there is a honeymoon period with him (Henry's was like 3 weeks) so we'll see how it goes. One day at a time.
 
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