The Test -Chapter 4 – Week one and week two update

Video

Week one was pretty straight forward, I just made sure my “parrids” ( get it??! Parrot kids – PARR from parrots and IDS from kids lol… My new word – I’m going to have to start an index if I keep this up.) knew everything they needed to and were ready to start the The Parrot Wizard’s Guide to Well-Behaved Parrots

wizard

The Parrot Wizard’s Guide to Well-Behaved Parrots

Chapter 4 is called “Taming and Training”. He covers the different type of punishment and reinforcement terms he will be using. He has sections on Motivation, Food Management, Clicker Conditioning, Target Training, Step up,  Touch/Grab, Towelling and Turning on Back. I refused to look at Chapter 5 until I spent at least 2 weeks in Chapter four. I also want to say before doing all of this it is important to have done some trust building exercises because I feel that makes or breaks your relationship with your parrots.

Day one (Saturday November 5):
         Today, I weighed and monitored my parrids making sure I watched how much they ate in a serving, how much they didn’t eat etc. I implemented the first two sections: Motivation and food management. I did absolutely no training with them as I wanted to follow the book as close as possible and not fall back into my old habits of training. So a pretty boring day.

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Ringo on our scale

Day Two (Sunday November 6):
          Today was clicker conditioning day, making sure all my parrids especially my focus subjects knew what a clicker was. I took them out in the morning, did 10 minutes of clicker training and then put them back in their cages for them to enjoy their breakfast. I did a second training session in the evening before bed. All the parrids already knew the clicker but some became stronger trainees after this. Maybe it is just my mind playing tricks on me but I think by spending the time to really make them understand what a clicker’s purpose is, did in fact help me with training Marlee. Everyone else I didn’t see a difference as they were properly introduced to the clicker. I think with Marlee, I must have missed a step because I believe she never truly understood the sound of the clicker. Also with Ringo, (Even though he isn’t part of the focus subjects) I was still using the clicker far away from him as he was afraid of the sound, I now can use the clicker right by him. So call me crazy but I think by really taking the time to introduce the clicker versus just starting to train with it, makes a difference. Check out the video below of how to properly clicker train your parrot which can technically work for any animal that can be trained.

Day Three and day four (Monday November 7 & Tuesday November  8):
   
     Today was target training day, my parrids also already know target training so it was another easy task for me to do.  I did two 10 minute sessions a day. Day three I focused on doing target training inside of the cage. Day four was target training outside the cage. All parrots were very successful as expected. For those who don’t know what target training is. It is a “Chopstick”, clicker and a treat. You put the stick some where, the parrot moves towards it and touches it, you click and give the treat. If your parrot doesn’t know target training, you put the stick right in front of them and wait until they touch it. Do that a few times and slowly move the stick further and further out of their reach until they have to actually move to touch it.


Day Five and day six (Wednesday November 9 and Thursday November 10):
       “Step up”, “Step up”, “Step up”. I tried to follow all his instructions but I have to admit for the parrots that already knew step up, I had to kind of just go over my previous step up sessions. What he says in the book makes sense though because there are times that I go to step up a parrot and it moves away from me. He recommends to teach your parrots to step up by targeting – I think that’s a great idea however I was having a difficult time with it. I did what worked for me and all my parrots were successful except… I found that Marlee is actually afraid of hands so I had to revert back to trust building exercises and target training her inside of her cage. Piper is afraid of perches, so I slowly been introducing him to different perches. I couldn’t do step up by targeting so I taught step up the only way I know how by simply asking the parrot to step up on different perches.

Day 7 (Friday November 11):
            I read over the sections of touch/grab, towelling and turning on back. I was already familiar with towelling as it is something I do every now and then with Grayson, my african grey. The touch/grab method is going to need more time for me to grasp the concept and the turning on back, some of my parrids already do however it wasn’t taught to them as he describes it so I will also have to work with them on this. Basically my training session on Friday was simply just going over target training and stepping up. This concluded my 1st week of trying to train my parrids off of The Parrot Wizard’s Guide to Well-Behaved Parrots

Conclusion: So far, so good. He covers the basics which is important to be successful in the training process and he is teaching things that will help with the basics that parrots are exposed to such as vet visits, grooming etc… If you teach your parrot towelling that eliminates the fear of when the vet wraps them in a towel. If you teach touch/grab that eliminates the fear of when they have to be grabbed out of their carrier and held for the vet. If you teach turning on back, that eliminates the stress of when the vet is checking them out and grooming them. Step up helps you be able to transport your parrot whenever you want. Target training is just a basic method needed to continue the training process in my eyes anyways. Clicker training is the perfect “bridge” to let a parrot know they did an excellent job and will be rewarded for it.    

Week Two:

Day 8 ( Saturday November 12) – Day 14 (Friday November 18):
        This week I continued doing target training in and out of the cage. I continued teaching step up however not by the book standards but by my way of teaching it, getting them used to hands and different perches. I really focused on trying to teach touch/grab, towelling and turning on back however I only got to do touch/grab and even that I didn’t finish. Hovering your hand over a parrot’s head is something that we are taught from the very beginning not to do, as it is like a predator for them but this is exactly what touch/grab is telling you to do. I was able to touch some of the parrids but Piper and Marlee are not that strong in stepping up with different perches and especially Marlee who doesn’t like hands – I didn’t even bother to attempt this with them. So the only test subject that was exposed to this was Grayson and I’m now really close with my hand over him however I started off really far away but I’m still not touching him. I also did this with Nyx, my black-capped conure who I can touch on her head and back with my hand hovering over her. He does tell you in the book that these methods are taming methods and may take a while before you are able to reap the benefits so as of Saturday November 19, I will be reading chapter 5 and moving on while continuing to work on “taming” my parrids more.

Update (Thursday November 30th, 2017: This was started November of 2016 and then I  had stopped implementing it well I started this process all over and I can hover my hand over Piper and Purrain (irn) but did a good distance away. Towelling, I might try teaching it the way I taught it to Grayson as The Wizard’s way seems as though it would take longer. Turning on back – I am only able to do with Nyx (even though she is not one of the test subjects.)

Parenting Parrots!

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I don’t deserve to be in JAIL!!

Aside

So imagine this…

You are born, taking care of, SOLD and moved to a new home. You will probably be experiencing some anxiety, nervousness, excitement all while being scared. You get to your new location and BAM they put you in a four wall room with bars, never to release you again…. What will happen to you?

Let’s break this down for a second, first you are born. Whether it is in a hospital, in your home or wherever, point being a birth has  to happen. This is the same for parrots and humans.

 

Next, you are taking care of by a parent who feeds you. Maybe this is by breast milk, formula or some sort of supplement, but you need to receive nourishment to survive. This is the same for parrots and humans.


Now the part you are probably wondering about is being “sold”. For some of us this never happens, we get to grow up with our parents and move out when we mature and can handle our own. So we will never know the feeling of our “parents” giving us away however some people do experience this via adoption or abandonment. I know when I was growing up, finding babies in dumpsters or staircases was a topic on the news. Parrot mothers may give up on their offspring also for whatever reason, they will stop feeding them, caring for them or just kill them. Now unfortunately within the human species, we also have mothers and fathers who kill their children. All in all, I rather be sold, if I can’t be loved. But the type of “selling” that I know of is either trafficking or when colored people were being sold as slaves. Again, if parrots are born in captivity then they will also be sold to a new owner.

 

After being sold comes the transition process of moving to a new home. Whether it is a voluntary move or an involuntary move, the fact is, there is a move. So kids who have been adopted, baby parrots that are sold and people who kill are moved to their new homes. Now for a child who has been adopted, we pray that they are going to a place that is comfortable, welcoming and wonderful overall. For a baby parrot we pray for the same. For the people who have forgotten their purpose to provide and protect their children, we pray that they get the help they need and live out the rest of their lives behind bars. The issue I present here, is a parrot being moved to a new home to live out its life behind bars. It did not commit murder, it did not lie, steal or do anything that should cause it to be incarcerated, so why should it have to deal with this punishment? Those parrots are screaming “I don’t deserve to be in Jail!”

My understanding of the reasons of incarceration is to rehabilitate the prisoner to eventually be able to transition back into society as a new model citizen. Why would an innocent baby parrot have to be exposed to the same faith?

 

Maybe its lack of knowledge on the owner’s part but ignorance is not acceptable. Maybe the parrot is displaying behavioral issues, does that mean if you have a child who has a disorder, would it be safe to say they would be exposed to the same type of confinement? NO, it is not okay!!

If humans can go “crazy” by being stuck in a 4 wall room day in and day out. Why wouldn’t a parrot who has the intellectual level of a toddler suffer the same faith?? I know sometimes we don’t think of these things, we just think “hey, they would be cute to have”. Not thinking about the work, effort, time or the parrot’s value of life.

galahs

 

A parrot’s cage is their home just like your house is your home. You clean it, cook, eat, sleep and play in your house, well a parrot does the same thing in its house. Do you need to leave your house to visit friends, buy groceries or just need time out of the house?? Well, your parrot needs the same thing. Do you re-arrange your house from time to time? Well, your parrot needs the same thing.

If you neglect the parrot’s home, it can get sick just like you can get sick from an untidy place. If you never leave the confinements of your house, chances are you will suffer from a mental breakdown. Your parrot can go through the same issues. Feather plucking and screaming are  just a few ways that an isolated parrot may release its frustrations.

So many comparisons between human and parrots. We all have similarities, so humans don’t want to grow up in jail….Therefore your parrot does not deserve to be in jail!

 

 

 

Do unto others as you would like them to do onto you.

Please do not neglect and leave your parrots in cages all day. Their intellectual level may surprise you. That is why here at Parenting Parrots, we urge you to think of your parrot as your toddler because you and your parrot will have a better relationship and life together just by thinking of this simple thing: “I’m a parent to a toddler just in parrot form”.

 (None of the pictures in this post belonged to me)

Parenting Parrots!