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Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and crannies

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krystal
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Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and crannies

Post by krystal » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:17 pm

Hi,

I have a female IRN named Dory, and I know this is probably a nesting behavior. Dory is obsessed with flying down to the floor and hiding underneath the edges of the cupboard or trying to investigate the dark space between the dishwasher and the counter. She even started chewing on the counter to try and make it bigger I guess. Anyways, we have cats and she can't always be on the floor. Plus it is annoying to have her on your shoulder and then fly off to the kitchen every 2 minutes.

How can I get Dory to stop this behavior? I don't want to build a nest box, because I don't want her laying eggs. (even as I am typing this she flew away to the kitchen and I had to go chase her. Extremely frustrating).

I have sort of taught the cats to stay away from her, but you still can't trust them.

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Skyes_crew
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Re: Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and cran

Post by Skyes_crew » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:34 pm

I believe her birds were near the floor because they were looking for nesting spots and ringnecks are cavity nesters. She was looking for advice on how to curb nesting behavior.

My biggest concern though, for me anyway, is why you are using a net for your ringnecks? Chasing a bird around for an hour to tire them out and then punishing them by caging them for a day seems a bit harsh. Is there no way you can train them? You should gain your birds trust, not teach them to fear you. Just my two cents.
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InTheAir
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Re: Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and cran

Post by InTheAir » Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:31 am

Rritoch; When our bird is being a pain we say 'come' and hold out our hand. He flies down, we give him a treat and put him in his cage. It takes about 30 seconds. If you don't like them landing on you it is fairly straightforward to teach them to go to the cage using positive reinforcement. http://Www.goodbirdinc.com is a good place to start learning about this.

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Re: Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and cran

Post by MissK » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:32 am

What about the mighty, mighty Peanut?
-MissK

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Skyes_crew
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Re: Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and cran

Post by Skyes_crew » Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:11 pm

If you withhold a favorite food from their everyday diet it becomes a treat. If you use that treat to lure them back to the cage it becomes a training tool. They soon begin to associate going back to the cage with that treat.

Their are ways to discourage nesting behaviors in females that live alone without a male present. It is dangerous to encourage nesting behavior in stand alone females. It could lead to chronic laying and egg binding.
I am owned by my birds...and I wouldn't have it any other way :D

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Skyes_crew
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Re: Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and cran

Post by Skyes_crew » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:48 am

What were the hens parents???

If the parent were 1.0 green X 0.1 Ino she could be a pure green. But the chances of her having pure parents are pretty slim so she's probably split to something.

Also with the current pair you have sitting, is the green male pure or split to blue? If he's split to blue you could get blue males this time around. It would be 50% male and female blue and 50% male and female green split to blue
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Skyes_crew
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Re: Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and cran

Post by Skyes_crew » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:03 am

The parents are equipped to keep the chicks warm enough on their own. They don't need a heat lamp. Take that thing out of there before you harm the chick and the other two eggs!!
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InTheAir
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Re: Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and cran

Post by InTheAir » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:28 pm

ritoch:
You may found this article very helpful and enlightening.
http://www.behaviorworks.org/files/arti ... 202002.pdf
Dr Susan Friedman makes a very clear explanation of why force is counter productive and completely unnecessary.

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InTheAir
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Re: Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and cran

Post by InTheAir » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:03 pm

I would not be so quick to discount the leaders of the field of animal training.
I have met cowboys who think you have to hobble a horse to train it. I have never hobbled a horse and I have trained around 8 horses to be ridden on my own, without ever being bucked off by any of them. I worked with knowledgeable, modern trainers before that.
It is true that force and learned helplessness in not necessary when working with animals. It is scientific fact. You can choose to ignore it if you like, but it doesn't disprove facts.
Last edited by InTheAir on Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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InTheAir
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Re: Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and cran

Post by InTheAir » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:31 pm

[quote="rritoch"]@Skyes-crew

"If you withhold a favorite food from their everyday diet it becomes a treat" -- Thanks for the tip. I've never heard that before but it is worth trying. ] <-- this is probably part of the reason you have not had success with operant conditioning.

Btw to have a good understanding of working with positive reinforcement you need to know which is the subjects favourite rewards. If you have not found a desired reward the whole attempt will not work.
It does work if it is executed correctly.

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ellieelectrons
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Re: Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and cran

Post by ellieelectrons » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:16 pm

Hi Krystal

Your thread got a bit hi-jacked on the nesting behaviour! How are you going with your bird? I have similar problems. I don't think there is an easy solution to it. I have same problems with my girl. What I'm working on at the moment is:
1) making areas I don't want her to nest unappealing. She developed a liking for under our brand new leather couch. I put objects near it that scare her. At the moment it's a suitcase and a mop. Once she gets over her fear of it, I replace it with another object. When I say scare, I mean things that she is wary of.

2) giving her an open nest in her cage. I don't want her laying eggs, and I don't know if she will or not this season. However, I got a HUGE stainless steel container that I could mount to the side of her cage and she takes an interest in it but I don't think she's 100% happy with it. I think it's not big/dark enough. I have found, though, that after putting this in her behaviour has become a tiny bit less aggressive and urgent when she is out of the cage.

I have also tried moving them into a small room at the back of our house so that I could just let them out in there. Whilst it worked, I didn't like the fact that they were so "out of sight, out of mind" back there, so I've moved them back now. Our next house will have a lot more doors!

The open nest has been an interesting trial. I've only been doing it for a week or so, but I'm surprised how much it has mellowed her. She's not exactly the same bird she was before nesting kicked in, but she is much easier to deal with.

Good luck!

Ellie.

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Re: Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and cran

Post by MissK » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:25 pm

Hi rritoch,

Not like it's a contest, but I can match your 30 years with animals, and many of your animals as well, plus a few different ones. I mention it for the one and only reason of letting you know you're not the only one here with some broad, long term experience. I'm not interested in any chest beating or shouting. There are people here who have you and me beat by decades.

I think the take-home point here is that there is always more to learn, and only a fool would shut his mind to the potential offered by learning. Certain things are still true, and you can still get results with force. The "new" methods, however, which are really just applied compassion and logic, bring so much more to the table.

Example 1: This week I trained my dog to lie still on the floor to a completely new cue- me looking down at her over the top of my glasses. Granted, she already knew how to lie on the floor, but she has never had a silent cue given by the face for anything. And she learned it while I was reading just one thread on this forum. Remembered it 24 hours later and gave instant compliance. She did this for fewer than five sugar snap edible pod peas. I should mention that her arthritis makes this uncomfortable for her. Try that with force.

Example 2: Same dog, ten years earlier - I trained her to crawl like GI Joe on a vocal command using dog treats during less than an hour. I was sick as a dog, myself, and remained lying flat on the floor for most of the training time. She still does it to this day, with no treats at all, just a few times a year. Try that with force.

Example 3: My mature Ringneck, unapproachable and certainly untouchable, was taking himself back to his cage and putting himself away for just a few seeds two months after I brought him home. It would have been sooner if I had not wasted two months catching him in a towel. I see you're still chasing birds with a net.......
-MissK

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ellieelectrons
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Re: Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and cran

Post by ellieelectrons » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:13 pm

I agree that you can achieve things with force... but it is so much nicer to achieve them with cooperation from your animal. I like the "new" training methods. They have worked for me in many areas, although I still have problems implementing some... but I figure I've got decades to figure it out. :)

Ellie.

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Re: Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and cran

Post by MissK » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:21 pm

Ellie,

I like your open nest idea, kind of a compromise between you and Janey.

Krystal,

I apologize for allowing myself to get distracted off your problem. I have just a male Ringneck, so no experience with what you're facing. The boy does like to feed stuff, however. I'm not sure if you noticed, but in another thread I'm exploring manipulating day length to remove the light cues to strong hormonal behaviour. I think it's under the "unhappy birdie" title, but not positive. I'm hoping we can all pull together to learn how to gently manage this Ringneck feature.
-MissK

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ellieelectrons
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Re: Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and cran

Post by ellieelectrons » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:33 pm

MissK

I "like" the open nest idea too. I've been surprised at her moderate change in behaviour. Although I'm not basing it on anything I've researched thoroughly. The idea came from a very quick suggestion from Pamela Clark at the Step Up workshop I went to and the replacing eggs video that Skyes_Crew posted me. So, I have no idea what it is supposed to achieve or whether it will work. I don't know if it will prevent laying. Pamela Clark suggested it was more favourable than giving a proper nest box. Contacting my avian vet over Facebook, they said they didn't recommend giving any form of nest and suggested I come in for a "behavioural consultation" which I admit I didn't do. (Our avian vet is a 1-hour drive away and very expensive. I take them once a year for a wellness check and would definitely take them if they were sick.)

Therefore I am hesitant to recommend the open nest... but I will see how it goes.

Ellie.

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Re: Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and cran

Post by MissK » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:43 pm

Maybe I'm a bad birdie mommy, but I would not be taking Rocky to a vet over his regurgitation hobby, either. Possibly just to make sure he wasn't suffering from it physically, as in starving. As far as I'm concerned, it's the expression of a frustrated natural drive. It's not a medical problem, but an interspecies social one, stemming 100% from our insistence on keeping these birds in our homes.

I can't suggest that anyone else go monkeying around with their bird lights, either. We have to discuss these things, though, to flush out anyone who might be doing the same thing, so we can learn from each other's experiences.
-MissK

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ellieelectrons
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Re: Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and cran

Post by ellieelectrons » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:35 pm

Thanks for that list. I've tried/done just about everything on that list with possibly the exception of separating the birds, full spectrum light and hormone injections. I will see what my vet thinks about separating them for a time. Charlie gets very anxious when separated from Janey. I had thought that separating them might also cause Janey to turn her mating instincts towards me or, more likely, my hubby. It may be too late for that this year anyway. Keeping them away from nesting places is very difficult in our house and I've gone to great pains to try to do it. It doesn't stop the anxiety associated with looking for the nesting place.

Ellie.

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InTheAir
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Re: Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and cran

Post by InTheAir » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:20 am

Ritich: I am not a know it all, thank you very much. I wish I was, then I wouldn't have to spend so much time learning.
I am pointing out to you that operant conditioning is a very valid training technique. It can not be dismissed as an opinion.

Using positive reinforcement is something I have been learning a lot about and it is great.
Missk has given us some brilliant examples of what she has achieved using positive techniques. I am not the only person on here that has had great success with the methods.

It is amazing what can be achieved without forcing an animal. I personally think they learn faster with this technique also.

I did not see any use of force recommended in that link you posted, btw.

I did notice on another thread an experienced breeder did give the same advice as your avian vet to you. There may be something in it.

Regards,
Claire

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InTheAir
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Re: Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and cran

Post by InTheAir » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:07 am

I think you have misunderstood the term "positive reinforcement". Your first example is what is known as "negative reinforcement" this is where you get the animal to perform an action based on the animals desire to avoid a situation/stimulus it dislikes. Your rainbows dislike the net experience more than they dislike their cage.
Here is a link to definitions of different training terms by a renowned trainer. http://www.goodbirdinc.com/parrot-train ... ology.html

I don't think our Irn is at all stubborn, we have learned how to communicate with him in a way he not only understands but actually enjoys. When I want him to learn a new trick he just about shouts "hooray" and gets impatient to get started. Both my boyfriend and I have used positive techniques to convince him to want to go in his cage and not to eat the cornices on our house.

If you feel you want to use force and coercion to achieve anything with your birds I can't stop you. All I can do is to try to educate people about great alternatives, provide them with links to easy to understand articles by professionals so that they can build great relationships with their birds like I have.
I think it is much more fun to have a bird that flies to me or the object I point to then to chase it with a net. ... Now that our bird is conditioned to think that there will be nice food in his cage, all we have to do is touch a food dish and he will fly over and climb in himself. He has never seen a net in his life.

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Re: Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and cran

Post by Skyes_crew » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:58 am

Both positive and negative reinforcement will give you a similar outcome, but not the same desired result. While InTheAir's bird is being trained with positive reinforcement he remains calm and confident and she earns his respect. Therefore he freely trusts her and lands on her often. He often seeks her out to spend time with and socialize with her. A bird that is trained with negative reinforcement is often skittish and sensitive to movement and sound. He has a lack of trust in humans. He avoids contact with them unless forced to submit. I would rather have my birds seek me out in comfort than cower from me and submit in fear.
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MissK
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Re: Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and cran

Post by MissK » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:00 am

He has never seen a net in his life.
Oh wow. :idea:

Suddenly I think I have some insight on how Rocky reacts to sticks. I bet he *has* seen a net in his past!
-MissK

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Skyes_crew
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Re: Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and cran

Post by Skyes_crew » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:42 am

I think at this point this may be a cultural Difference. As Ellie has pointed out previously, this is an international forum. And as such there are people with different methods of doing things from around the world. Lets just all agree to disagree. :)
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ellieelectrons
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Re: Obsessed with being on the floor and dark nooks and cran

Post by ellieelectrons » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:31 pm

Agreed Skye's Crew. Thanks. I think I'll lock this thread too.

I've seen here in Australia a marked change in bird husbandry techniques over the last 20 years. Things that were common practice in the 80s would now be deemed cruel by today's standards. (Oh dear, I've just realised that makes it 30 years, not 20 years! Am I really that old? lol) I am glad things have changed and there is more information available, unfortunately, along with a lot of misinformation.

Ellie.

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