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need some advice

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Deosil
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:26 am

need some advice

Post by Deosil » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:09 am

Hi there, like I said in the intros page I am brand new to IRN ownership, all my experience has been cockatiels.

I work a zero hour contract meaning I can be called on to work a shift at any time, any day.

What can I give my 8 year old female to keep her from getting bored when I am out? She has a toy in her cage, I don't think she's really that interested in it tbh, I find her pacing round the top of the cage, constantly going round in circles, she isn't tame and never has been, the walking round in cirlces is really concerning me, I don't want her to damage her beak, she freaks out with new toys and is terrified of them, she doesn't mind parrot treat sticks but less than 10 minutes and she has destroyed the thing and I am not giving her one every single day!

She accepts food through the bars so I'm part way there to making friends with her but I just need something to help her boredom problem both when I'm out and when I'm home as I can't get near her, she does come out of the cage and flies around but I obviously can't leave her out when I'm not there to supervise her.

I think she would really enjoy ripping things up, she isn't keen on leafy veg and just ignores it but she tries to get to the paper in the bottom of the cage (its protected by a grate) so is there anything other than veg she can get to rip up?

Hope you guys can help.

zentoucan
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:45 pm

Re: need some advice

Post by zentoucan » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:06 am

Hello Deosil
you need to address the boredom problem ASAP as it could lead to other behaviour problems such as feather plucking.
put the toys in view of the bird outside the cage. it will take a couple of days for the bird to become use to the toy.
then hang the toy on the outside of the cage. when the bird becomes use to the toy hanging outside the cage, move it inside the cage.
also look on the internet for training methods to socialize the bird. try corncob on a fruit and vegie stick and hang it next to a perch. make foraging toys, you can also find these on the internet. birds spend about 80% of their time foraging, so foraging toy are great for treating boredom.

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InTheAir
Posts: 2040
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:24 pm

Re: need some advice

Post by InTheAir » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:22 am

Hi,

My slightly tame bird likes things like balsa wood, yucca, branches with bark and twigs to destroy. I have been introducing easy to solve foraging toys and she is sort of playing with them now.
Our other bird loves his foraging toys best.

Here is similar post that has been answered in depth already.
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=16446&hilit=foraging

Regards,
Claire :?:

Deosil
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:26 am

Re: need some advice

Post by Deosil » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:34 am

Thanks to both of you, I shall try her with different things, I used the method of showing toys to my cokatiels, they just seemed to take to them quicker (but its probably unfair of me to compair the ringneck to the cockatiels so I shant give up)

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

Re: need some advice

Post by MissK » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:03 pm

Hi Deosil,

I know how it is to see the bird either has no interest in or is afraid of toys. My male bird came to me at ten years of age, mostly unaware of himself as a bird, and not entirely comfortable with me. Helping him rehabilitate himself, seeing him come into his birthright as a Ringneck and learn how to live in my home with me, the other birds, and the dogs, --- it has been incredibly rewarding for me. Congratulations on bringing home your mature Ringeck. It sounds like she kinda needed you.

My very first thought is that if she enjoys ripping paper you should give her paper to rip. My second thought is, what is this parrot stick she likes and how come she cannot have a lot of them? In order to help her right here, right now, you could do worse than to play to her strengths.

One thing that seems to make a difference to my bird is size. He will be more willing to investigate a smaller item than a big, possibly scary one. He definitely benefits from watching other birds (here, Budgies) model behaviours such as eating specific foods and braving certain human contact. He also seems to get a lot out of quiet face-to-face chats we have through the bars of the cage. We do a lot of interacting with my hands and arms (sometimes head and shoulders) inside the cage. It seems there are fewer distractions working in there. Other folks might use a play stand, but with a flighted bird, there may be an initial "learning to stay put" curve. When he's out of the cage he generally does his own thing unless I am showing off my birdie treats. :wink:

If your bird has no interest in toys, keep trying. It took Rocky about six months with me to splinter his first block of wood. It was a small block, about an inch cube. Ranechild's bird likes wooden craft aka popsicle sticks. I offer my bird plain bits of cardboard torn right off a box. I string and hang them using jute cord, but you could just place them in the cage on the floor if she's too scared. Another big favourite of Rocky's is any smallish, textured item. He LOVES those mesh balls for cats, little seashells, beads, wood blocks, bits of jute he chewed off other stuff. twigs, and he's starting to like stiff bits of leather. Oh, and a bell. :P Stainless steel, with a stainless steel clapper, for safety. He also really enjoys putting his foot toys into containers. I spent too much on a hanging coconut shell contraption, but it was really worth it because Rocky loved to put his toys in there, throw them out, and even swing on it. Never underestimate the simple joy of wrapping a goodie in paper, or sealing it in an envelope. At first, let the bird have a goodie, then show them another goodie, and let them watch you put it in the paper. Wrap it loosely to start. Make it easy for her to get to it.

You don't have to go broke buying stuff for your bird to play with, either. Since they don't attach the same identity and value on objects that we do, random stuff can be bird toys as long as it isn't dangerous. Rocky enjoys the occasional poker chip, for example, and his travel cage has a hanging ziploc container in lieu of another expensive coconut. I restring all his beads and blocks on jute to make fresh, exciting toys after he has ripped up the old ones. He also likes to play with his food- think carrots and brussels sprouts. In fact, he double-dares your bird (what was her name?) not to enjoy a little cooked corn on the cob!

Give your bird a shallow bowl of water for bathing and dunking stuff in. Make sure the reason she paces on the ceiling is not because she has nothing else to sit on.... variety of perches is always good. Let her have a nut in the shell - crack it for her to start, so she can enjoy learning about it with success. You can also set a radio or tv on a timer for half an hour or so - not all day. It would be great, though not for when you're gone, to set up a contact call between you and your IRN. That way you can interact from different rooms as long as your mouth is free.

Those are the ideas I'm thinking of right now. Search around and you will find a lot more. Best wishes, and welcome to the "mature second hand IRN keepers club"!! :lol:
-MissK

Deosil
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:26 am

Re: need some advice

Post by Deosil » Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:52 am

Thank you so much for the help guys, I really appreciate everything you have given me.

Luckily she knows all about nuts in shells, she loves to crack shells, I give her monkey nuts and walnuts in the shell (obviously not a lot of the walnuts :P )

I wasn't sure paper would be a good idea, I know if swallowed birds have a hard time digesting it but I watched her with a piece of plain paper and she doesn't eat it thankfully, just rips it up.

I did come up with one idea based on her love of broccoli, I kept the balsa stick left over from one of her treat sticks and took the big thick stalk from the broccoli and pushed it onto the stick, she loved ripping it up, so I'm going to experiment with adding different things to it.

I'm lucky in the fact that if the new thing in her cage is edible she doesn't fear it, she fears toys but not food so I'm experimenting with making food toys.

I'm definitely going to try wrapping up goodies in paper for her! She adores shredding (obviously, being a ringneck!) So what could be better than ripping up paper and finding a goodie at the end :)

As for the perch situation, she has 2, one regular perch you find in cages and one natural wooden branch (her fav) I'm not sure there's room in her cage for any more without crowding her cage, there's only room nearer the bottom, is it a good idea to have a perch closer to the bottom? There's a grate keeping her away from the waste like.

Thank you so much for all the in put!!

Its a definate challenge as she's been set in her ways for 8 years but I can see it being rewarding in the future, hopefully with careful care and the right toys I can bring her "out of her shell" so to speak :)

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

Re: need some advice

Post by MissK » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:07 am

Give her more perches. You can buy short bolt-on perches of natural wood (ask for a link if you need help shopping). I like them because you can include a number without using up all the air space in the cage. Rocky has 6 short perches in a ladder formation (5" apart up and 5" apart over) which he loves, as well as a curly grapevine perch at a 45 degree angle and a great hanging perch that swings. He also has slack ropes (simulating jungle vines), a contraption of shower curtain rings, and an oatmeal tub, as well as more bolt-ons in other locations.

It would be swell to hang toys from the walls where she can stop on the perch on her way around the cage and have something to do. A perch near the floor- why not? Rocky likes his. My Budgies like theirs. Canary too. I forgot to mention dry grasses as a toy - you can buy them woven like a ball, or just make a bundle and offer it tied to the side of the cage.

Rush to provide a few more perches and toys. If you are money-conscious, it is more than east to make your own perches, though a little more work. You can choose your bird safe wood and prepare it as you see fit. It is suggested to clean it and bake it and whatever, but I live on the edge and just cut it fresh from my yard and bring it in. I'm a rebel. We'll all die tomorrow. Whatever.

I use mainly the branches of edible fig, since that's what I have most of. The wood will shrink and become a bit brittle as it dries, so take that into consideration when you cut for length, as in cut it long. You can drill it for the threaded metal post as in store bought ones or just use clean, bird-acceptable string of some sort (I just untreated jute from the craft store. I'd like to use hemp, but $$$. (Thanks, "war on drugs"...) You can lash the perch to the joint of vertical and horizontal cage bars. It's OK if it hangs out. You can also hang a branch as a swing. Rocky's rotates under foot because it's not tied tightly, so it provides swing and rotation, great exercise for his feet and legs, plus it gives him some challenge as he bellies up to the pellet bowl. He likes it. It's not like I'm holding his pellets hostage, because he could easily just access them from the wall. NOTE: Expect the bird to chew the jute and make you have to retie this stuff from time to time. It's not hard, and it will be evidence she's doing *something* other than walking the ceiling. If you provide hanging toys with jute to chew she may choose those instead, a good thing.

I would be totally thrilled to hear you gave Lola (Lola, right?) some of this stuff and she came down from the ceiling. Give me some good news!
-MissK

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Doodlebug
Posts: 316
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:14 am
Location: Suffolk, UK

Re: need some advice

Post by Doodlebug » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:16 am

Hey there, I also work zero hour contract, its a right pain in the @r$£ isn't it?

The hours are so awkward, and I find myself cycling home (I'm a carer and look after people in their own homes) letting Dudes out and spending half hour with him, then having to bugger off back out again to make more calls. I love to let him out everyday and always worry if he'll be ok while I'm gone, and also worry if he'll destroy anything!

You've had some great suggestions, its a full time job making sure our babies are amused, but I find as long as theres something to tear, shred, chew and anhililate, then theyre happy. They're not regarded as pests in some parts of the world for nothing!

I live in the UK so don't have access to many of the lovely trees and branches that a lot here do, but I make his playstand as attractive as I can, provide banana leaves to destroy, willow sticks are good too, but one they have been dropped they tend to get forgotten about unless you drill a hole and thread string through. There are some great ideas on this thread viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5663

I know a lot of people let their IRNs loose on Phone directories, great shredding fun for them! Not so much fun for us having to clear up though...
Loo :)

AJPeter
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Re: need some advice

Post by AJPeter » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:15 pm

Hallo Deosil,
It woud seem to me that all our birds are different from each other as we are but I did like MissK reply and and will try out some of her ideas out on Billy. Billy is out of her cage all day even when l go out, l used to put her in but by the time l had closed the door of her cage the last bus had gone. Billy sits on her perch or the edge of the cage. I know she flies around either she has seen me coming or something startled her but when l get home she makes a beeline for her seed tray and eats like she has not eaten for days and days. I know Billy flies to the top of the TV but does not land l only lights on but not electrical things on when l go out. Sometimes l find items on hte shelves have been moved but l think this is more to wing flapping than a curious beak.
By the way Doodlebug l do not like your language.
AJPeter

Little Buttercup
Posts: 344
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:03 am

Re: need some advice

Post by Little Buttercup » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:56 pm

Does Lola have playtree, maybe she has nowhere else to sit on so goes in circles on the cage? And maybe you could tie food to her toys so she can start liking the toys. Otherwise Missk gave some good ideas. Wish I could hire you missk to come do some interior decorating for my birds :wink:

Ash

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Doodlebug
Posts: 316
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Location: Suffolk, UK

Re: need some advice

Post by Doodlebug » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:03 pm

Apologies AJPeter if I have offended you, I am merely letting my personality shine through in my posts, just as you have done. I am only here for the banter and the birds, not to win any popularity contests! 8)

I think Ash's suggestion is a good one, if there is somewhere else outside the cage she could call her own, it would be good, and also gives her more things to occupy her time.
Loo :)

AJPeter
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Re: need some advice

Post by AJPeter » Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:45 pm

No problem Doodlebug you are forgiven l just wanted you to know that l did not like it. In todays world language like that can be heard every where and l tell people l do not like it, so l hope l have not offended you, l should remember the proverb "Be unto all men all things but do not do what they do."
AJPeter

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