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RE: New here and need help with my grey

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Posted by: PHIggysbirds at Sun Mar 2 17:59:32 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by PHIggysbirds ]  
   

Well, I can give one suggestion but it may not work and you may not like it. In extreme cases many bird behaviorists will suggest the toweling method for taming birds. Basically you towel the bird as you already do to carry into the bathroom. But instead of just taking him into a different room and letting him out of the towel take him into a room with you, leaving him in the towel. Keep him secure in the towel all except for the head. Then spend time talking and stroking his head (be careful not to have the chest too tight as I am sure you already know). Be very consistent with this doing it every day for 15 minutes or twice a day if you can fit it in. Gradually work with loosening the towel over the wings and body over time until he is just very loose in the towel. If he is calm during this try with only the towel laying loose over his body, then with no towel. The towel both protects you from bites but also can make the bird feel more secure during your time together.

Also I know it is one of the "usual" methods but have you tried targeting? Basically using a toy or dowel rod as a target item for him to bite while you are working with him. It gives him a way to let out his aggression or fear without biting you. He gets to bite a certain item and even gets a reward for it. If this works you can start doing the target less and less until you are no longer using it all in effect training the "attack" out of him.

We have only had this problem with one of the rescue/sanctuary birds and that was a wild caught amazon. The toweling method worked well with him. We have also had two macaws in that were bonded from a year old and were already 15 when they arrived. In their case we do not separate them, as the male will not eat and gets more aggressive without the female but they have come around to stick training and taking food by hand (not snapping, gently taking) by using the target method. It took over a year with them as they were used to no human companionship and only each other (they had poor care with no toys, no interaction, were only checked on 2-3 times a week and lived in filth). They are doing well with their training but being bonded and with their earlier care they will never be a "pet" for most people and in fact the female has medical issues which keep them from going to a new home as well. We have used the target method on several birds with good results but the toweling method we haven't had to resort to except in the one instance.

Just keep patient, you are already working well with this problem. If you haven't try targeting, or If possible try the toweling training to see how it works but do not expect it to go quickly and if all else fails you may have to accept that this bird has had too many problems with humans to trust them and may do better in an aviary setting instead of as a hands on feathered friend.


   

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>> Next Message:  RE: New here and need help with my grey - Romeo_Julian, Sun Mar 2 22:10:39 2008

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