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Suggestions please!

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BugsBirds
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:24 pm

Suggestions please!

Post by BugsBirds » Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:01 pm

Hello everyone. I am in desperate need of some help.

I have a male IRN who will be 2 years old in March. Let me first explain my situation and then his bad behavior. I live in a 2 bedroom upstairs apartment. I have neighbors on 3 sides and neighbors below me. My kitchen and living room is combined in one big room. My bird, Giji, has a large sized cage in the corner of the living room. Every morning at 6:30 am my husband gets up to go to work. This is when it starts...

As soon as my husband is awake, Giji starts screaming. It goes from 6:30 till 8:30 or sometimes 9 am. It's not normal wake up happy screeches. It's CONSTANT. It's like he doesn't take a breath. Sometimes he will start up again in the afternoon and go for another hour straight. We've tried:

- uncovering the cage and greeting him at 6:30 am
- covering the cage without saying a word to him in the afternoon if he starts up again
- COMPLETELY ignoring him, no eye contact, nothing
- talking to him and praising him when he isn't squawking constantly
- new toys and things to shred

His screaming makes my ears ring. I am 5 months pregnant and so being woken up every morning is wearing me down. Most mornings I wake up early and put earplugs in so I can sleep another hour or two. I don't understand his screaming. The thing is, Giji loves my husband. I don't think the screaming has anything to do with an intolerance of my husband or I. Giji is protective of him and will talk mostly to him. Giji will talk to me as well and is nice to me but gets really excited and talks up a storm when my husband gets home. But he's a different bird in the morning.

We feed Giji Roudybush and give him fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains everyday. He is let out of the cage everyday and we even take him outside. He gets along with our dog and talks to him. It seems like we've tried everything. If it doesn't stop and we get a complaint, we will have to rehome Giji but they'll only give us 5 days to do it if that happens. I can't bare the thought of him living somewhere else. I worry also that he'll wake our son up if this isn't resolved within 4 months. Preferably much sooner!

The constant screaming started a few days after we had to rehome our female IRN. We got a female a year ago not realizing that she'd mature faster than him and that she would likely kill him if we didn't separate them by spring. We can't get another bird to keep him company. With a new baby coming, we have plenty to deal with right now. We have Giji and a little cocker spaniel.

I was thinking of making some play stands to put in other rooms so he can be around us when we watch movies or are in the other room. Would this help?

Do you think maybe he just wants a companion bird friend? Should we put a stuffed bird in the cage or would that make it worse? I will try anything!
WHAT DO I DO???!!! :shock:

sanjays mummi
Posts: 2054
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:07 pm
Location: Bedfordshire UK

Re: Suggestions please!

Post by sanjays mummi » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:34 am

I wonder if you haven't already sussed the problem?, he may indeed be missing his companion and focussing on his human flock. You could get a same sex partner, and keep them in separate cages side by side for a while, before carefully introducing them to each other. Alternatively you could step up foraging to keep the little grey cells busy. All birds have a vocal session, usually AM and PM, but covering up usually fools them into sleepy mode. I hope you find a solution soon.

Jen&Bug
Posts: 98
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:02 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Suggestions please!

Post by Jen&Bug » Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:08 am

I wonder if you haven't already sussed the problem
I agree, you seem to have figured out the cause, but the cure is harder. Here are a few thoughts:

Your immediate problem seems to be your neighbours. Rehoming Giji would be extremely traumatic for everyone, especially Giji, so you might want to assure your neighbours that you're doing everything you can to solve the problem and that it's a temporary situation. Be confident and convincing - you will solve this!

Do you have somewhere you can board Giji for a while? A change of scenery can do wonders for unsettled behaviour. We're lucky in Melbourne to have a wonderful boarding service, so maybe call your vet and see if they know any. That way, the neighbours will calm down and you'll have some headspace to get some sleep and think it through. It might cost a little but it could be worth it.

It does sound like Giji is missing his mate, so you'll have to weigh up whether the hassle of gaining another bird is greater or lesser than the hassle of managing a lonely Giji in the longer term. When baby comes, will you have more time or less time to spend with Giji? It's ok to say that you'll have less time for Giji (being a human mum is important, after all!), but if so you'll need to decide how best to keep Giji happy (and yourself sane). If you do get another bird, make sure you get advice about compatibility and introduce them gradually, as suggested. If you don't, your ideas about introducing play stands so Giji can be more involved in family life sound like a good idea.

Smaller-scale solutions might include getting a mirror; or maybe training Giji to use another sound to call you. This trick has really helped with my sun conure, who used to squawk like crazy when we woke up. He had another, quieter noise he would sometimes make, like 'ark'. We would wait for him to go 'ark', and then call to him, or go into his room and make a fuss of him. It meant enduring a lot of squawking while he figured it out, but now in the morning we wake up to sound of 'ark', 'ark?', 'ARK!' rather than full-volume sun conure screeching.

We also live in a two-bedroom open-plan apartment, so I have plenty of sympathy for how nerve-jangling a screeching parrot can be in a small space. Take a deep breath and keep problem-solving...something will work.

MissK
Posts: 3006
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:46 pm
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.

Re: Suggestions please!

Post by MissK » Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:51 pm

Sorry about that.
-MissK
Last edited by MissK on Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
-MissK

BugsBirds
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:24 pm

Re: Suggestions please!

Post by BugsBirds » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:41 pm

Thank you for your insight, everyone. First of all, I never said Giji is bothering the neighbors. We haven't had a complaint yet. It is nerve racking to realize we could get a complaint and then will be forced to re-home him. But as of right now, we haven't had a complaint.

I realize the risks of having a baby/child around a squawking parrot. We have considered finding him a new home for this reason but are hoping we will not have to do that. My husband just built a play stand that we can move around. Hopefully this will help a little.

I do have a friend that could possibly take Giji for awhile. He's never been to her house. There aren't any boarding services where I live. It's a small desert town. Should I try leaving him at my friends for awhile?

:arrow: I have a new idea. The cage he is in is the one we housed him and our female bird in.
Do you think getting him a new cage that has no association with any bird will help dramatically? I just thought of that and I think it might help a lot but would love to hear some opinions on it.

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ellieelectrons
Posts: 2703
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:17 am
Location: Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Re: Suggestions please!

Post by ellieelectrons » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:50 pm

I think disruption is probably a good thing - so redecorating his existing cage or, ideally, getting a new one could help. Repositioning it in the house is a good idea too. Our birds have several out of cage play areas/perches - so I can recommend that. If you haven't already, increasing foraging may also help (make it so that 90% of their food comes from foraging see viewtopic.php?f=2&t=11701&p=69400 and viewtopic.php?f=4&t=13466).

You can also try getting something for him to snuggle up to in his cage. I know you've said you've given him new toys but there are all sorts of different toys at there that suit different birds. You might like to check out D'Arezzo & Shannon-Nunn's 11 different parrot-toy categories. Someone has blogged about them here: http://lafebercares.com/what-to-chew-today/

Our birds will sometimes go a bit crazy with screaming too... and it really does get on your nerves... but it's not (thankfully) first thing in the morning. What does your husband do when he first gets up in the morning? Does he interact with your bird at all? I'd be interested to know if he varies his morning routine whether it changes your bird's behaviour (eg. if he is currently interacting with him first thing does not interacting help or if he isn't currently interacting with him first thing, would interacting with him (eg. give him a sunflower seed) help?) I believe that there are always triggers for these behaviours and if we can figure out the trigger, we can do something about it. However, discovering the trigger can be hard as humans don't really do bird-think very well. I'm terrible at it!

Previous ideas of rewarding more acceptable noises are good too. When my Janey wants my attention, she knows to do the quietest chirp, and that will get me to come to her.

I try to ignore the unacceptable noises. However, if I do need to try to stop it verbally, I try to just use one word (eg. "No" or "stop") because if I burst into a long tirade that might reinforce their behaviour. My husband however tends towards the tirade which I think is more likely to reinforce the behaviour - which may be why we can't eradicate it?

Here are some more links that might help:
http://goodbirdinc.blogspot.com.au/2008 ... g-for.html
http://goodbirdinc.blogspot.com.au/2012 ... blems.html
http://goodbirdinc.blogspot.com.au/2011 ... ounds.html

Best wishes.

Ellie.

MCLOV1N
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:11 am

Re: Suggestions please!

Post by MCLOV1N » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:09 pm

hi, sorry to hear about your sticky situation. I am in No way an expert but it sounds to me that Giji has become rather attached to your partner and knows he is going to disappear for the day so to try and gain attention and stop him from going starts with the screaming. have you tried getting your partner to take a back seat approach and allow Giji to become more attached to you?

the refurbished/new cage sounds like a good idea.

if you are thinking of a companion for Giji might I suggest a red rump parakeet as Sonny my IRN gets on really well with Stevie my red rump. and they only took a week to get use to each other before I put them both in the same cage. may also be worth noting I'm pretty sure both my birds are male.

one last thing if you do get desperate, maybe a cardboard cut out of your partner to put next to the cage? could be a little creepy for your partner though. Lol.

good luck and please keep us updated as I would love to know how you sort the issue.

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ellieelectrons
Posts: 2703
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:17 am
Location: Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Re: Suggestions please!

Post by ellieelectrons » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:55 pm

Given what MCLOV1N has said, perhaps you could also consider having a tape recording of your husband talking to your bird and playing it back quietly? It may role him up further, but it might be worth a try?

Ellie.

MissK
Posts: 3006
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:46 pm
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.

Re: Suggestions please!

Post by MissK » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:49 am

Best wishes
Last edited by MissK on Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
-MissK

sanjays mummi
Posts: 2054
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:07 pm
Location: Bedfordshire UK

Re: Suggestions please!

Post by sanjays mummi » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:47 am

I definitely think a partner would help. Gigi will have someone to preoccupy him, and wean him away from your husband.

BugsBirds
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:24 pm

Re: Suggestions please!

Post by BugsBirds » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:12 pm

Thank you for all the replies! This helps. We're going to have his cage re-powdercoated black. It is cream in color right now. Black will match our home decor better anyway.

I like several ideas that have been mentioned. I do have a budgie cage. Maybe it will be worth it to have one. Giji was around a friends budgie for several months while we were bird sitting and they actually played together on the same play stand quite well. If I got a young one, maybe Giji will accept him. Recording some more acceptable noises to play for him while we're away is a good idea. May try these two ideas for now and see how things go.

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