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RE: Amazon Behaviour Problems

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Posted by: PHIggysbirds at Sat May 2 22:45:45 2009  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by PHIggysbirds ]  

1. He likes to interrupt. When we talk to each other from across the house he will start to talk loudly and interrupt us where we are unable to hear each other.

I am guessing at some point in his life (even if not recently) he has been rewarded for interrupting. This reward could be anything from coming in to see him, to hollering "stop that" to about anything that gets him attention. If it has been rewarded in the past even inadvertently it can be harder to change the behavior. Make sure he is rewarded for good behavior. An exercise you might try is this. Have a partner (spouse, friend, sibling, etc) that will stand in the bird room with you and converse. It will definitely take more than one try. While in the same room as the bird start a conversation that does not include the bird. When he starts interrupting do not talk to him or stop your conversation continue talking in the same level of voice do not get louder if possible maybe go a bit quieter. Even if you are not having an actual conversation continue to "talk" to each other in general (I know may sound or feel a bit stupid ) When your bird quits talking to hear you or see what is going on then reward him for being quiet. Then go back to your conversation. Again if he starts interrupting keep the conversation going until he quiets for a few seconds (or minutes) then reward him. Do not take the conversation into the other room or stop the conversation or try to go louder than him. Just continue the conversation even if it is basically reading to each other from a book LOL. Just something that you both participate in speech without the bird. Reward for quiet. After working on this for a bit one day if he is being good reward him and go one with normal routine. Try again later in the day or the next day until he seems to try being quiet for a reward instead of interrupting for a reward. It will take time but it does definitely work.

2. I'd like to know how to make him stop pooping on me!

This can be harder but again it can be done. Start watching for signs before he poops. Many will shake their tail feathers or back up a few steps etc. When you find what his "sign" is and notice this hold him immediately over papers (whether at the cage, over a trash can or just papers on the floor next to you. Make sure it is somewhere near and where you don't have to run across the house to find a spot. When he poops use one certain word you don't use constantly around him maybe the word "poop" or "paper" or "go" any one word or small phrase that you can be consistent with using at this time and won't be using much otherwise. If he goes when over the paper reward him. Rewards can of course be a small treat, praise or head scritches whichever seems to work best for both you and him. With time and consistency he will learn to go on command (although don't expect him to hold it for a long time, most birds have to go every 15-20 minutes) and can be returned to the cage or over newspapers at intervals to allow him to poop instead of going on you. Until then their are several other products that can be used to keep your clothes clean even when he does go on you instead of on the papers.

3. He likes to start screaming early in the morning... usually when we first wake up. It doesn't sound like just normal screaming. It reminds me of the scream he lets out when he's out of food and is telling me he's hungry. I guess it's kind of an attention scream.

Again this is a lot like the interrupting. At some point and time he has been rewarded for this. He is using it in place of a flock call that many other birds do. He has learned his "flock" will come at this call and so uses it to get his flock gathered around for "breakfast" and to greet the day. Birds do need to be allowed a release when they are allowed to scream at some point and time. To calm it again, try not to reward it. If possible don't go in to see him until the scream has stopped. Then when he has quieted you can go in, greet him, give him a treat or his breakfast. More than likely he is hearing you start to get around in the morning or has been able to learn when the usual wake-up is and is just trying to join in on his own. This isn't necessarily a bad thing but yes can be annoying. You could maybe give him a morning thing to do to curb this. Maybe a radio set on a timer in his room that comes on to play music for a bit of a "scream or dance" time. Or if that is not acceptable wait for the quiet then reward. If you can't allow the scream time in the morning try to set aside a time sometime during the day to make noise. Turn on the radio dance around, let him holler. Try teaching him to make noise on command or with music and it can help curb the screaming at other times.

Good luck! Hope this helps.


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