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Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

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Donovan
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Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by Donovan » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:37 pm

So.. my bird Mr. Bell spends my work day in his cage (i'm gone for 10-12 hours).. then i take him out as soon as i get home.. play with him.. give him treats, etc. Then about 5 or 6 hours later I go to bed and have a routine for getting him back in his cage.

His cage seemed a little cramped to me because it is kinda small for him (not tiny, no). So i changed it up a bit to make more room. As expected he did not like the change. It's even gotten to where he is becoming belligerent about having to go to bed at night. Recently he resisted so much that I eventually just had to go to bed with him still out and he was out for 2 days. Luckily the only thing he destroyed was a pair of fingernail clippers that he managed to take apart and now one piece of it is missing haha.

Anyway I came home today and let him out of the cage immediately and he wants little to do with me. He's not bugging me for attention. He accepts attention but he's not asking for any which is not like him.
He doesn't want peanuts which are his favorite treat.
There no seed or pellet remnants in his food bowl either.
Also I usually leave him a bit of a vegetable shish-kebab (how do you spell this?) hanging in his cage and he eats or destroys the vegetables during the day.
Today he hardly touched them.

Yesterday he ate an entire radish.. maybe it made him feel icky today...

either way.. the point is... he's not quite behaving normally and the only thing I can think is that he doesn't like his new cage setup (which i have undone for the most part)

Could he be feeling a little under the weather maybe? or is he pouting because he spent all day in a cage he doesn't like anymore?

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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by MissK » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:04 pm

Hi Donovan,

I'm sorry there's a problem. I'm kind of doubting that he's pouting, though, so that's good.

What, exactly, did you change?
-MissK

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Donovan
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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by Donovan » Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:06 am

I took out one perch that was in the middle of the cage

then i moved his top perch around so it was all much less cramped in there. At this point the top area has been nearly returned to what it was before. the middle perch was a piece of tree branch and it was just its time so it had to go.

I think he's starting to get over it though. Since I posted that he ate his supper, played with one of his toys and even came to me to be annoying.

Maybe he just didn't have good energy.. a lazy day

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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by MissK » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:46 am

Maybe he just needed a minute. :)
-MissK

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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by AJPeter » Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:36 pm

Do not worry about spelling Donovan but if it is any help l normally spell this T-H-I-S
IRN go off their foods quite regularly and what is a treat one day is THAT IS THE WORST THING YOU COULD GIVE ME! The next day.
I keep moving perches around in Billie's cage and trying a new spot for a negelcted toy is like a new one for Billie, she just takes it on the chin. But it does take her a few days to accept a new toy or perch.
So why cannot you leave Mr Bell out all day? One day you will get home for work to find feathers all over the floor. birds feather pluck when htey are bored.
You might rig up your phone with an answer tape that you could ring during the day, Mr Bell would like to hear you voice.
AJPeter

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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by Donovan » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:41 pm

AJPeter wrote: So why cannot you leave Mr Bell out all day?
AJPeter
because he is a naughty bird when he's alone. He'll get into places he doesn't need to be.. He could get hung on the pull string on the blinds or decide that some electric cord somewhere is a great new thing to chew on.

He did get hung up when I first got him. In fact the first time I ever physically handled him was to un-hang him. He hasn't done that since though but the possibility exists. He also fell down and got stuck between a window (that had been removed and was leaning against the wall) and the wall. I was in another room and he was probably stuck for about 20 minutes. I thought he was dead when I found him.

So to answer your question of why can't I leave him out.. it's because it's not safe if I'm not around.

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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by InTheAir » Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:52 am

Donovan, does Bell do a lot of foraging for his food? That's my solution for everything, more foraging.

Everyone has their off days, though. I hope he's perked up.

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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by Donovan » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:55 pm

he forages for treats...

his food usually hangs up skewered on a chain or is down in his bowl.... he does have a few foraging opportunities... mostly i put almonds or peanuts in those. He doesn't focus on that.. he enjoys the hanging vegetables too

anyway.. he does seem to be doing better... i think it was just that he needed some time to accept the change.

the cage went unchanged for a good 6 months.

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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by InTheAir » Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:41 pm

I'm glad he's ok!
I couldn't leave Sapphire out of her cage when she's not being supervised either. She'd eat our house, our belongings and the cords on the suspended lights. Nila is pretty good, but I still wouldn't risk it without completely redesigning the house and removing all electronics.

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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by Donovan » Sat Dec 07, 2013 3:05 pm

yeah my bird was out for 2 days and in all that time he only destroyed a pair of fingernail clippers... which i have no idea how he managed to take them apart and then lose the part he took off.

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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by Skyes_crew » Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:29 am

Hey Donovan,

It could be the cage. Or it could be the approaching breeding season. Or hopefully the part missing from the nail clippers wasn't small enough that he swallowed it. It wasn't was it?
I am owned by my birds...and I wouldn't have it any other way :D

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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by Donovan » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:39 am

no it was the part that you lift up and twist around (does that make sense) .. not the rivet thing that holds it all together.

I've determined that he just didn't like the change.. since the original posting i've had a little more luck getting him to go into his cage at night as per routine.

He still seems to avoid it.. like he knows he'll be there a long time ... i'm sure it sucks... he probably looks at all his normal fly-to places in the room all day wishing he could go to them.

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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by AJPeter » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:01 pm

I take back what l said earlier Donovan Billie is trying to mate and will soon be looking for nests, l had a quick scan around the room. The most obvious place for a nest is the swell pedal on the organ, or under the book cases both places would be very hard to winkle her out, there are spaces she could get into in the gas fire and behind cabinets the place is a mine field and with that in mind l now keep Billie in her cage if l go out, also as she might become hostile to visitors l shall keep her in.
I found that as dusk falls she gets very etchy so l get the cage all ready for her to go in and then l turn off the lights and she goes in without any fuss. But she visits all the bowls in trun and finally at 7 she is ready to be covered up.
Recently she has been scrabbling around on the bottom after l have covered her and ripping up paper making so much noise l can hardly hear the Tv, so now l put the grid back in.
I still think that if you rig your answer phone with a message for Mr Bell it will be a comfort for him, do you leave the radio or TV on during the day. Billie likes the Tom and Gerry cartoon films.
AJPeter

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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by Donovan » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:24 pm

yes while i'm at work he watches children's programming all day.. mine likes Cat in a Hat when they start singing.

and about once a month i leave youtube on for him... i have a playlist that is about 3 hours long and i'll put it on repeat.. that playlist is where nearly all of his vocalizations have come from, which is a shame because his own unique vocalizations have disappeared.

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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by AJPeter » Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:52 pm

As for the nail clippers they are very clever at working things out, l use clothes pegs to hold the fleeze blanket onto the cage at niight and Billie follows me around pushing the pegs off the bars. "Don't blame if it is not dark enough for you" l tell her.
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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by Donovan » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:34 pm

that's funny...
i just posted another thread about 2 days ago or yesterday maybe... he has learned how to unscrew those rings that come on most bird toys that you hang it up with.... i link two of them together and he takes them apart

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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by InTheAir » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:58 pm

What a clever boy! maybe you could give him some big stainless bolts and nuts to unscrew in his cage. Some of the foraging puzzles involve rotating parts too, he might like them.
I showed Nila how to pull a wheel off my boyfriend's remote controlled car when he was little. He liked that game!

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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by MissK » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:31 am

Donovan,

Make sure you don't enrich your bird with the TV for the entire day. He's going to need some rest time as well.
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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by AJPeter » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:22 pm

Larger parrots African Greys and Macaws can unscrew nuts and bolts. Billie has not learned that yet thank goodness. and l have no problems with her at night going into her cage, l find establishing a routine is best, first l turn of the side lights and leave the central low watt bulb on and then l gradually close of sections first the top is closed dpwn and then when she goes in of her own accord l close the front door. About an hour later she wants ot be covered up.
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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by Donovan » Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:00 pm

MissK wrote:Donovan,

Make sure you don't enrich your bird with the TV for the entire day. He's going to need some rest time as well.
From what I can tell he has a fine ability to tune things out. Judging by the naps he manages to take during the day (reminds me of a cat how much he sleeps) I think the tv isn't bothering him. He's bored during the day so he sleeps. He mostly comes to life in the evening between 6:00 & 11:00

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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by Donovan » Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:04 pm

AJPeter wrote:Larger parrots African Greys and Macaws can unscrew nuts and bolts. Billie has not learned that yet thank goodness. and l have no problems with her at night going into her cage, l find establishing a routine is best, first l turn of the side lights and leave the central low watt bulb on and then l gradually close of sections first the top is closed dpwn and then when she goes in of her own accord l close the front door. About an hour later she wants ot be covered up.
AJPeter

My routine is that somewhere between 10:00 and 11:00 i will turn the lights out. There is still TV light or computer light and Bell will fly to his "getting ready for bed spot".. then I must wait at -least- 20 minutes, and then I can transfer him to his cage. From there I have to coax him in. He seems to be forever hopeful that I will overlook the fact that he's out.

Which by the way, the original posting on this thread was about him avoiding his cage but he has accepted the recent changes to the design and isn't trying so hard to avoid going in. So I guess it was all a matter of time.

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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by MissK » Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:11 am

I'm glad Mr. Bell has developed an acceptable going back home routine. Were you able to sweeten the deal with a treat or toy?

I'm wondering if you might be able to use a timer and ease his "at least 20 minutes" earlier?

I'm also reminded of one of my dogs, in earlier days, when she lived in outside. Some nights would find her barking, and I learned that I needed to go out and sit with her, and stroke her head until she yawned three times. If I left her when she yawned only twice, I would be back out there.

By the way, it's not just larger birds who will unscrew stuff. Rocky has a stainless steel eye bolt with a collection of nuts. I bought it for him after he showed me he could unscrew the end cap off one of his treat sticks. He is quite accomplished at unscrewing the bits and carrying them around the cage to leave in interesting places. I'm thrilled to see this behaviour in him as he overall shuns the puzzles. I hope in time he will become more puzzle-savvy.
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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by AJPeter » Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:36 pm

When you say you transfer Mr Bell to his cage is he on your hand? You could put him straight into his cage, l do this with Billie when she does not go in of her own l invte her to step up and then convey her to a perch inside the cage. And l am pleased to say she is getting better at stepping down (In her time).
Could MissK explain how a using a timer would ease Mr Bell "20 minutes earlier?"
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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by MissK » Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:21 pm

My routine is that somewhere between 10:00 and 11:00 i will turn the lights out. There is still TV light or computer light and Bell will fly to his "getting ready for bed spot".. then I must wait at -least- 20 minutes, and then I can transfer him to his cage. From there I have to coax him in. He seems to be forever hopeful that I will overlook the fact that he's out.
I believe it is possible to use the timer first to track how long it takes Mr. Bell to settle down and be ready to transfer to the cage. Armed with the knowledge of how long it actually does take, Donovan may then be able to put the bedtime preparation on a timetable. He can put out the lights at the same time every night, regularly, if this is practical for his lifestyle. If it takes Mr. Bell 25 minutes at longest, for instance, Donovan can make it a practice to transfer him on the 25th minute consistently. Once that behaviour is reliable, and Mr Bell comes to expect that Donovan will come for him on the 25th minute, and he reliably complies, Donovan can reduce the time in a very small way, perhaps by shaving 30 to 60 seconds off the time. Mr Bell's reaction will help Donovan determine how much he can shorten the time. After that, Donovan comes for Mr Bell at the new interval. Once that behaviour is reliable, and Mr Bell expects Donovan to come for him at the new interval, and he reliably complies, Donovan can again reduce the interval. Reductions should be made in very small amounts, and plenty of time should be allowed for Mr Bell to adjust his expectations and behaviour. No reductions should be made before Mr Bell is very solidly reliable in the current behaviour.

I feel it is reasonable to try this approach. Donovan needs to make bedtime the same time every night to reduce disruption of the behaviour and build a solid platform for the bird's behaviour. It's also good for humans. A timer with an alarm or room lights on a timer will help Donovan meet his own performance goal in this area. A nice, gentle method might be for the room lights to reduce 50-75% on a timer and cue the start of the bedtime process. It is true that Mr Bell will need some time to settle down and get to sleep, however there is no reason he cannot accomplish this inside his cage. That would be advantageous to Donovan as well. If Donovan finds a good amount of success with this method, he ought to be able to, eventually, put Mr Bell into the cage very soon after the light reduction cue. On the other hand, if Mr Bell flies, he might even take to putting himself in the cage as the lights go down. It could be a good complementary strategy to ensure the highest perch available is inside the cage. Another good complementary strategy would be for Donovan to curtail his own activities after lights-out as well. It is not reasonable to expect Mr Bell to be immune to the stimulus of those activities in close proximity.
-MissK

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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by Donovan » Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:21 pm

I'm liking this idea. Currently it's all based around my own whims; when I get around to it.

Sometimes he can be up in his "getting ready for bed" spot for over an hour. Then I go to him, get him on my finger and take him to the cage. If he's not ready he flies away.

I do have a little kitchen timer.. a little dial that goes *ding*. I think if I use that every night from now on (and set it for 20ish minutes) then put him up at the *ding* he would possibly start putting himself away at that time, or at the very least be less resistant to it

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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by AJPeter » Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:23 pm

Thank you MissK l aggree totally, a good routine is ideal an a timer owuld remind Donovan that his bird is ready for bed.
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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by Donovan » Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:39 pm

I'm thinking more about reminding the bird than myself.

The *ding* would tell him "here we go, it's time."

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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by AJPeter » Sun Dec 15, 2013 3:26 pm

I think birds love these cues, when l turn the lights off or down Billie knows this is time for bed and she goes in to her cage.
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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by Donovan » Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:53 pm

quick report.... this has been extremely successful.

I have two alarms set on my phone.... one alarm means "Lights out"
the other means "go to your cage"

they're 40 minutes apart from each other.

When the first alarm goes off Mr. Bell stops what he's doing and flies to a certain spots that he likes to be when the lights go out. He goes there before I even manage to turn out the lights.

40 minutes later when the next alarm goes off he starts getting ready for me to come pick him up.. he moves to a certain spot and starts leaning towards me (to step up) even before I get to him.

The cues have worked like a charm and I have had no trouble getting him into his cage now.

They love routine.. it's true

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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by AJPeter » Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:08 pm

Well done Donovan and Mr Bell, now try something new

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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by Donovan » Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:44 pm

i'm running out of ideas really..

he does -great- with fetch

hide and seek.

i've taught him the difference between pink and green...

I don't really know what to do next. I've been just kind of ignoring him lately really. I mean I give him attention but no real training on anything.

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Re: Cage Design / Setup Change --- bird depressed :)

Post by MissK » Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:56 am

Donovan, I am *totally thrilled* you are having success with Mr. Bell's bedtime!

Won't you please keep an eye out for posts from others who have the same trouble you did, and advise them how you worked around it. It seems you are not the only one who has had trouble in this area.

:D :D :D :D
-MissK

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