I love my flock, overall a quiet bunch even though they can be noisy at times, it’s not an everyday thing or an all the time thing… Then I added to my flock.
I have never had to actually train any of my parrots to be quiet until now. It sucks because I can’t introduce her into the same room as the rest of the birds until she learns how to be a little less noisier.
She makes noise all day long until I turn her lights off. I know she’s lonely and wants to be included but I also have to be mindful of what her vocals may teach the others. So I said if I can get her to realize that she will only get my attention when the noise levels diminishes then I can move her to be around the other parrots.
So I came up with a game plan:
Goal -Quiet for an hour straight
First day: I waited and timed how long between screams was she quiet for? 11 seconds (That’s not very long).
Aim – If she can make it to 15 secs of silence I would click, enter the room, give her a treat and talk to her for a bit. Once she finishes the treat, I would leave the room and wait for 16 secs, 17 secs, 18 secs, 20 secs then 25 secs, 30, 35,40, 45, 50, 55 and then 1 minute.
It was a success!!
Second day: I waited for 15 secs again then 20, 25, 30 and 1 minute. Once we got to the 1 min mark, I started waiting for 1 min and 15 secs, 1 min and 30 secs, 1 min and 45 secs, 2 mins. Went to 2 mins and 30 secs, 3 mins then 4 mins and 5 mins. It was a successful day!!!
Third day: No quiet session training
Fourth day: I waited for 5 mins – it didn’t come after a hour of waiting. Then I waited for 4 – nope then 3, nope and finally 2. Click, entered the room and gave a treat. However she didn’t stop making noise after that, I think she was panicking that I was going to leave her alone always… I’m not sure. So I went back to 30 seconds of silence hoping to progress fairly quickly back to 5 minutes at least. Even 30 seconds was a struggle so I reverted back to 15 seconds. I did 5 sets of 15 seconds then I did 5 sets of 30 seconds, at this point the other parrots were getting noisier in response to her so having her remain quiet was definitely becoming a harder task but I know you have to be persistant when it comes to these types of things.
I know where I went wrong in this and it was missing the 3rd day. But I’m not giving up and I won’t miss another day hahaha. It’s weird because she is so smart so I assumed after the first few repetitions she would remember and we would pick up where we left off, I guess not. What I should have done was just start back at 5 seconds and jump every 5 instead of doing the 5 sets of the same time frame and jumping to 15 sec intervals… At this point we were a hour and a half into her 2 hour focus time and she only made it to 45 seconds of quiet once. Definitely unfortunate but it is, what it is…. Tonight before dinner time will be another attempt. I usually only do this once a day but to make up for yesterday I will attempt it again later tonight. She won’t get any personal one on one time in this session it looks like but hopefully later tonight will be a better session. With 15 minutes left of her 2 hour focus time she finally started progressing! I did the 5 sets of 45 seconds, 3 sets of 1 minute and then I was able to start jumping after 1 set on each timeframe. We went to 1 minute and 15 seconds then 2 minutes, 2 minutes and 30 seconds! I wanted to be at 10 minutes today but by the time we were moving on to the 3 minute mark we ran out of time in the session so the goal will be to get there tonight. If we only make it to 5 minutes, I will still be happy.
After a week I’ve trying to teach her how to be quiet I was unsuccessful making it to a hour straight, so just like any other training method I had to re-think my approach. I took a leap of faith and wondered if my current parrots could teach her how to be quiet. So, I took a chance and moved her close to the other parrots, she still goes on her rampage of noise BUT it’s only in the morning and afternoon now. Definitely decreased in frequency. She still is the only nosy one in my flock and no other parrot has copied her. My philosophy is: they see that her noise is not benefitting her (getting her any extra attention or reinforcement) so there is no point in copying her actions. Unfortunately none of them have chosen to tell me so I can only speculate at this point but it’s been months and I haven’t heard anyone mimic her.