A question about Umbrellas
Posted 14 July 2012 - 04:03 AM
I'm against him coming out of his cage every single day because if he gets into that habit, he's going to expect it and if something comes up and he's not able to come out, I don't want him developing any behavioral problems. I don't want to come back from visiting a friend of mine to find that I have a plucked chicken sitting on a perch. My mother, on the other hand, seems to think that if he doesn't come out of his cage everyday, he'll develop behavioral problems anyway because of it.
The parrot refuge that we adopted him from had him for at least a year, possibly longer. They have over a thousand birds to feed, care for and tend to on a daily basis. Some of their cages are left open all the time so the birds can come and go as they please but Krystal was not one of these birds. His cage was always closed. They didn't take him out of his cage every day while he was there and he doesn't have any problems that we are currently aware of. His feathers are all in really good condition (except for the ones on top of his head. They're shorter than they're supposed to be because some of them are broken but he has a lot of new ones coming in). He's not plucked any where and as far as we know, he doesn't have any history with plucking. He doesn't have any screaming issues and is actually, a rather quiet cockatoo. He's always ready to talk to people or grumble at them but he hardly ever screams. He wasn't allowed to come out of his cage on a daily basis at the refuge and it didn't cause him any problems there. So I just don't see why he absolutely has to come out of his cage every day now. I don't want him to sit in his cage all the time. I love getting him out and laughing at his silliness. But some times I have things to do and I can't get him out. I'm just wondering if him coming out of his cage on a daily basis is absolutely necessary, even if it may not be something that he is used to.
Posted 31 July 2012 - 04:59 PM
WHen you allow the bird out of the cage, vary the routine. You don't have to let the bird out of its cage at the same time every day, but do so intermittently, an hour here, an hour there. That way, if you don't show up, say at 1:00, your bird will not "freak out." Will he go to plucking if he does not get out of his cage? Hard to say. Does he have a lot of toys to keep busy? I have ABC blocks hanging in Ivory's cage and when I come home, there is nothing left but toothpicks on the bottom of the cage. The saying "busy beaks are happy beaks"; well, there's truth in that message.
However, what I believe to read is the underlying message that you might be too busy and not have enough time for your bird. People just do not realize how much time parrots require. What I also read is that your mom is taking care of the bird and the bird is warming up to her and perhaps bonding. So don't be surprised if in the future, your bird relates better with your mom than with you. That happens. I will say this - do NOT allow yourself to mold your level of care of your bird based upon what you observed at the rescue. There, he was one of thousands (?); at home, he is one of one.
Thank you for caring enough to ask for guidance.
May I suggest that you do some research on cockatoo/parrot behavior.
Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:29 PM
We have had Krystal now for almost five months (two more days and we will have adopted him five months ago exactly). He gets plenty of time out of his cage, actually, and yes it's pretty much on a daily basis. We don't let him out at the same times every day and as long as It doesn't take me half a day to do what I need to do, he's actually pretty good about letting me do what I need to do while he is out. But if he doesn't feel like he's getting enough attention while he's out, he will get into things and they're usually not things that he needs to be getting into. It seems to be his way of getting peoples' attention. And it works. A few weeks ago, I apparently took too long to do the vacuuming and he got bored of being a good bird and sitting on the top of his travel cage while he waited for me to get finished. He climbed down off of the top of his travel cage and proceeded to chew a big hole in my mother's sofa that I had to fix later. After that, it was the coffee table in another room. He definitely got my attention and I knew immediately why he was suddenly getting into things. I really needed to finish the vacuuming and I was almost done with it. So he went back into his cage so I could finish what I needed to do and he was allowed to come back out later. We have not had another epidode like this one since then.
My grandfather had a heart attack in September and my parents were going to check on them nearly every weekend. I stayed at home with Krystal and the dogs, some times just over night and other times for the weekend. Krystal and I had absolutely no trouble whatsoever during this time. When my grandfather passed away last month, we spent the weekend with my grandmother and went to the funeral and whatnot. Krystal came with us. I wasn't able to let him out of his travel cage much while we were there because I didn't know how he might react to being in a strange house (though he had been to my grandparent's house a couple of times before) with a bunch of strange and unfamiliar people. He got lots of attention even though he was in his travel cage. Every time someone came into the house, he'd act like a door greeter and say, "Hi!" to them. Every time someone would leave or go outside, he'd say "Bye-bye!". A lot of people thought that this behavior was cute, so they'd walk over and talk to him and he'd talk back to them. My mother did let him come out a couple of times so that I could change his water and he actually surprised me. He didn't try to climb down onto the floor or run after anyone's feet. He stayed with her the whole time.
My grandmother was just here visiting and had spent about a week and a half with us. She just went home a couple of days ago. Krystal didn't get to come out of his cage nearly as much as he would have liked and he didn't hesitate to let us know about it either. When he was out, he wanted to chase my grandmother and bite at her feet. My grandmother is 81 years old and has some problems with one of her hips. She can't exactly run from or dodge an excited cockatoo very well. So we thought that it might be better if Krystal stayed in his cage. I know some people might want to tell me that I'd just have to keep him from getting on the floor but there's really no way to do that. Krystal has more determination than a greedy politician. When he decides that he wants to do something, one way or another, he's going to do it. He will get frustrated and he will bite you if he needs to, to get what he's wanting. My grandmother would go outside for a walk or she'd go upstairs to take an after noon nap and it was during these times of the day that I would let Krystal come out of his cage and run around for a bit. I also let him out for about an hour or so in the mornings after he'd wake me up since he slept in my room while my grandmother was here. So he got to come out; it just wasn't for as long or as often as he would have liked.
He has several toys hanging around in his big cage but it seems like he really only bothers much with them when we have to leave the house for a few hours to go to a doctor's appointment or to get groceries. When someone's at home (which is most of the time) he sits on one of his perches and either barks, calls the zombies, talks (until he sounds like he's doing more "Woe is me"ing than anything because he wants out), grumbles like a grumpy old man, or he'll screech some. Sometimes he just sits there patiently and quietly. Today he's been real quiet. Right now, he's calling the zombies.
He kind of goes back and forth between me and my mother when he's out. I think he's finally decided to stop biting us when the other is around. He still chases after my dad but when he catches up to him, he just stops and looks at him with his feathers fluffed up around his face like he's waiting for my dad to take off again. He still chews on his shoes though, so my dad wears a pair of old tennis shoes around the house when Krystal is out. We're still working on getting him to stop chewing on peoples' shoes.
I'm just glad that he's finally not biting the snot out of everyone now. In the last five months, we've all gotten bit; we've all needed bandaids; my mother and I have had plenty of bruises and now it all seems to finally be settling down. We have adopted a 2 year old who is trapped inside of the body of an 11 year old cockatoo. He stomps his foot when he's told "no". He fusses and argues with us over things that we won't let him have. He gets into things that he doesn't need to be getting into and someone has to watch him constantly when he's out running around the house. Either we are getting better about not getting bit or we are establishing some boundries between the people and Krystal. Either way, the people and the cockatoo are all learning about what we want, what he wants, what we won't let him do and what he's determined to do anyway.
He doesn't like being by himself. He wants to be around everyone else. He is terribly curious about what everyone is doing at any given time and if my mother goes out to the garage, he is waddling right behind her as fast as his little legs can carry him. I would say that things are definitely getting better for him and for us.
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