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Spit.. still needing advice (long post)

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ryelle
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Spit.. still needing advice (long post)

Post by ryelle » Mon May 19, 2008 4:53 am

Right, i spent last night trawling through posts to see what i could find about behaviour, training and trying to tame this beast, but everything people suggest ive already tried.

Since the move, Spit has seemed a hell of a lot happier than he used to be. He sings more, he talks more, he has a lot more energy, and hes more inquisitve. but this is only when hes in his cage.
first off, inside the cage hes confident with himself... if we dont get too close. he backs off from the front of the cage to the middle if we go close, and he looks very nervous and like hes getting ready to run every time. if we put our hands close to the cage thats it, he doesnt even have to think, he just runs. if we feed him, give him water, move our hands close to him if we are trying to get anything from inside or on top of the cage or if we touch his toys he goes for us. we make sure that when we are putting our hands in that we arent making him feel trapped against the side of the cage, so he doesnt freak. i know for a FACT that hes possesive of his cage and more so his toys, and i dont know how to stop it.

Outside the cage, hes extremely skittish. At one point in time, hed fly and land on our hand if we had food, and would gladly take treats, now he just runs. Sometimes (5 times out of 10) hell take a treat but its on his terms, and he usually tries to take a bite out of our fingers before the actual food. if we move to walk past or if we move our hands he flips out and runs as far and as fast from us as possible or even flies away.

I was given advice about putting him on a perch and tilting it to make him walk up and down closer to our hands, but he either flies off or leans and tries to bite. lately i cant even get him to step up on to a perch. He'll only step up if the perch is at arms length from us and then as soon as he steps up hes ducking down looking around to see where he can fly to. We still can't touch him at all, not even the tip of his tail feathers.

As for biting, i read about ignoring it, shaking it off and also saying "No", but he doesnt care. Once he gets hold the only way of getting him off is by prizing his beak open with your spare hand. He doesnt just nip, he holds, getting harder and harder and he grinds his beak and its difficult to get him off. He grabbed hold of my knuckle two weeks ago and my partner had a struggle to get him off. I was sat with an ice pack on my finger cus the swelling was horrendous.

I love him to bits, but i swear, he pushes it sometimes. It makes me angry because we are nothing but nice to him, and we try our hardest to make him feel comfortable, but nothing at all works. I've got 3 books on parrot behaviour and training and they are so far completely useless. He seems to be going backwards and i dont have a clue what we are supposed to do. I need serious help because he is just a demon with a cute face.


I'm going to try and get a video of him today with the way he acts with his mirror. Its ridiculous, we call it his "little love thing", because he treats it like a mate. He acts this way with all his toys, but his mirror more so. I would seriously appreciate any comments and advice on the behaviour. And also criticism, because we MUST be doing a hell of a lot wrong if hes still acting this way when hes been with us for a whole year (hes coming up two now). Sorry about this being so long

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Donna
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Post by Donna » Mon May 19, 2008 6:53 am

Please give me some history on how you acquired your ringneck.

Was he in a pet store or a big aviary?
Was he parent raised or hand fed?
Were his wings ever clipped?

If I know the answers to some of these questions I can probably help.
My first request would be take the mirror out and throw it away. And don't read any more behavior and taming books because your trying to many different things out of each book and it's just confusing you and the bird.
He is at the age now where he is trying to be the boss and it's your job to show him he's not. You have not established a TRUSTING bond with this bird yet so it's back to square one and start from scratch.



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ryelle
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Post by ryelle » Mon May 19, 2008 7:14 am

ok. we got him from a pet shop in town. he was originally in a cage with his "brother" but they were seperated before we bought him because they "started fighting". We dont have a clue wether he was hand-raised, kept in an aviary or what, the guy in the pet shop didnt have much of a clue. We got him when he was a year old, and the shop guy said he was scared because he wasnt used to loads of people walking in and out all day of the shop. He said hed calm down a few weeks after we got him and wed be able to handle him. yes, we were pretty gullible. we HAD read up as much as we could before we got him, so we didnt go in to this without any knowledge. i just dont think we were AS prepared for what he would turn in to lol.

his wings wernt clipped when we got him, but we did get them clipped a few months after because he was attacking us during flight and we were told it would make him not as confident and calm down a bit. he can still fly exactly the same as when he had his full flight feathers, which is a bit annoying. hes just moulted 4 flight feathers (two were clipped) and were considering not clipping them again when they grew back, but now im not so sure.

he was normal when we got him - i say normal - he wouldnt come near us, so we had to get him to trust us enough to take food through the bars of the cage, then with our hands inside the cage, and then finally outside the cage. i think we were getting a trusting bond going on, but hes completely lost it and im not sure what happened. my boyfriend doesnt talk to him as much anymore and plays on the p.c in another room all day, so Spits abit more afraid of him than he is me now.

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Donna
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Post by Donna » Mon May 19, 2008 8:03 am

What you did and I'm saying this in a nice way because we are all guilty of instilling bad behaviors in our birds without even relizing it. You reacted to the bite and pulled him off your finger and trust went out the window at that time. I know it hurts and it's very hard not to react but that's what he got. Any kind of reaction is better then none to him.
Now what needs to be done is start all over. Remove the mirror and move his cage to the room where you spend most of your time, weather it be at the pc or watching tv in the evenings.
Before you start letting him out again he has to get used to you and bf in the same space or area. Every once in awhile drop a treat in like a peanut and walk away and don't give him any attention. Once he doesn't react to you being close by then slowly introduce him to the outside of the cage by letting him come out on his own and let him investiagate things on his own with a watchfull eye of course so he doesn't get into trouble. If you are sitting there and he decides to climb up on you don't make any sudden moves be calm.

To get him back in his cage let him see you put a treat in the bowl so he goes in on his own.

This is going to take time it won't happen overnight but we are building trust again so be patient.

Donna
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ryelle
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Post by ryelle » Mon May 19, 2008 12:39 pm

haha i didnt think removing his beak from my flesh would make him lose all trust in me. thats crazy. my boyfriend doesnt react when Spit bites him and i try not to, but as soon as he draws blood i need to get him off me. it hurts like crazy.

His mirror has been removed. i might try and take the bell off the bottom and tie it to his cage, because he likes to ring it.

my situation atm is this: my boyfriend works night, and sleeps until the afternoon, and when hes not sleeping or at work hes playing on his p.c (nothing more, nothing less). The p.c. is situated in the room next door to our bedroom. Spits downstairs in the living room where he spends the majority of the day unless one of us bring him upstairs for a few hours. I cant bring his cage into the computer room because he will wake my boyfriend up in the morning and hell whinge -.- and get annoyed at Spit. I spend my day tidying up and doing uni work and playing on my laptop. ive started letting Spit out in the kitchen on his playstand when im washing the pots and sweeping the floor, and upstairs when im on my laptop. Apart from this i dont have the time to give him, and he only really gets attention from me. Which is stupid, considering its my boyfriends pet, not mine :x

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Post by Donna » Mon May 19, 2008 1:05 pm

haha i didnt think removing his beak from my flesh would make him lose all trust in me. thats crazy.



It's not crazy any time you use negative reinforcement on an untame bird you lose trust. I have tamed Macaws, Cockatoos, and if I went for them with any kind of object or negative mood then their not going to trust me to do any thing. I have to take the bite and not give them any kind of satisfaction that they hurt me.

Wing clipping on a ringneck is just taking some of his independence away. You want to clip more then 4 flight feathers because he is not a baby anymore and he has built up good muscle tone to still fly good.


Donna
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ryelle
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Post by ryelle » Tue May 20, 2008 5:39 am

well the veterinarian clipped his wing the first time, and he only clipped one. he left the long feathers at the end and just clipped the ones in the middle so hed "glide and not be able to pick up height". but with only having one done Spit kept crashing into things because he was unbalanced and we thought it was unsafe so we clipped the other one the same as the vet had done. He stills flys as if we havent done anything though. Should more be clipped?

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ryelle
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Post by ryelle » Tue May 20, 2008 3:49 pm

I'm just reading in the 'Introduce Yourself' bit at how much people paid for their IRN. hundreds of pounds?!?!?!!!! We paid £40 for Spit, and £15 for a crappy second hand ex-budgie cage.

I'm thinking he was that cheap because he was from an aviary and never held, or maybe even wild caught from down south and shipped up here? :?

i remember his brother was really quiet and still in the cage and fluffed up (thinkin now that maybe he was ill?). he was gone a week or two later and i wish i knew where he was :(

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Post by freaky » Wed May 21, 2008 1:18 am

Ryelle, i only paid £50 for Sky, had to travel a 400mile round trip though.

i dont know a thing about his past, other then the previous owner didnt want him or spend anytime with him.

that was September, now he is a pain in the arse and wont leave me alone, everything i have is his. its funny how when i come home from work he starts dancing though.

time and patience is what you need, lots of it.


what vet did you use? only clipping one wing seams a bloody stupid thing to do.

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ryelle
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Post by ryelle » Wed May 21, 2008 4:57 am

we used the only avian specialist vet in the area, we dont have a car so we cant go out of the county for better care. he said he only did one too "offbalance him so he doesnt fly"... but of course, off balancing a bird is seriously dangerous. he was dropping mid flight into the floor or t.v and he couldnt land at all. hes in mid-moult atm and has moulted another two clipped flight feathers, so ill have to wait until they grow back before i decide what to do with him.

its good to hear someone elses bird is a pain in the **** and didnt cost much hahaa. Spit dances when we walk in the room, or come home from uni, work or the shop - its his way of saying Hello. Maybe you have his brother?! haha

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