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Feeding

Discussion in 'Behavior Byway' started by Atomiklan, 5/4/18.

  1. Atomiklan

    Atomiklan Jogging around the block

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    I know I have been down this road before, but I need some tips again please. Lada (female eclectus) is again getting broody. She laid an egg again yesterday. Last time was a few months ago... so not good in terms of span. The egg laying is not the problem though. She is and has been for quite awhile very behaviorally feeding dependent on me. Allow me to explain. She still eats by herself once I am gone, but whenever I am nearby she just wants to beg for food from me and makes the baby/allofeeding motions with my fingers CONSTANTLY. If I try to pass her anything (nut, treat, anything) she completely ignores the treat "between" my fingers and instead prefers to wrap her beak around one of the fingers holding the treat and make the feeding motion.

    I understand what she is doing and why. I don't need any explanation there. Clearly we have gotten a little too close. She is hormonal. Wants to be fed as her mate would do for her in the nest in the wild. I just need some tips on how to change the behavior as in the long run I know this is not healthy for her as it is reinforcing her breeding mindset. I know I need to change how I handle her and not be so snuggly. That is big problem #1. The problem with Lada is, she is so very different from every bird on the planet. Never in her life has she liked toys. She has never been an active or curious bird either. Only sounds she makes are begging noises as of recent. She is and has been her entire life like a stuffed animal...

    This makes it difficult because when she is out of the cage (which I keep her out as much as possible), all she ever wants to do (regardless of time of year) is find a spot to nest. THATS IT! She is either in the cage on her one spot that she prefers, or if I bring her out and try to be active with her/train with her/take her out to park/other activities/etc. all she wants to do is climb down and find a nest year round 100% of time. As a result of this wanting on my part to give her as much out of cage time as possible, its inevitable that some of that time will be spent by her with her mind on nesting.

    Any tips to:

    A. try to distract her from her nesting desires and get her to be more active?

    B. Get her to stop the baby/allofeeding motions with my fingers and to instead accept the treats I offer? (By the way training is impossible too because she either immediately wants to climb/fly down to go nest, or if she does sit still, she ignores the treat and instead begs or tries to feed with my fingers... She will even go as far as taking the nut or whatever I am offering out of my fingers and throwing it so she can then go back to my fingers unimpeded.

    I know I need to work on the following:

    1. Less snuggle time :(

    2. Probably need to put her back in cage each night for sleep instead of letting her sleep in her bird bed outside cage. I just hate leaving her in cage even if its for sleep time.

    3. Probably need to just keep trying to train. I would say try when she is hungry, but I think that just makes her finger feeding impulses stronger.

    She is a great bird and super sweet. Never bites and anyone and I mean anyone can hold/poke/pull on her and she is fine. At one point she did some work with mentally disabled children.

    In summary, I know though that if I let this behavior go on too long she is going to start to get frustrated and her behavior will start to change in a very negative way eventually. It should be noted that if you have been following her in some of my previous posts, her weight is going back up :) I hope that this nesting re-occurrence does not impact her weight again as it did last time.
     
    Last edited: 5/4/18
  2. expressmailtome

    expressmailtome Ripping up the road Administrator Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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  3. finchly

    finchly Biking along the boulevard Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Vendor

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    Wow! How frustrating for you.
     
  4. BirdManDan

    BirdManDan Rollerblading along the road Vendor

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    Have you tried Foraging toys with her favorite treats hidden inside of them? Or even foarging treats like palm nuts or pandanus kernels/keys? This can often spark an interest in toys in general.
     
  5. Atomiklan

    Atomiklan Jogging around the block

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    Yeah I guess I need to give that a go again. She does like to eat nutriberries out of her hanging clear wiffle ball type foraging toy. Not sure if that becuase she just REALLY like nutriberries, or if she is attracted to the foraging nature of the food. Right now because her weight is still down, I am happy with her eating lots of anything right now. I still try to make sure she gets a balanced diet, but she is VERY picky right now.
     
  6. finchly

    finchly Biking along the boulevard Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Vendor

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    Today I shredded spinach and carrots and stuffed them inside baby bell peppers. They loved ‘em! Maybe try something like that.
     
  7. Atomiklan

    Atomiklan Jogging around the block

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    Good idea! I'll give it a try. Will have to go to store though. Still waiting on the pepper garden to grow again this year:

    Red Bell
    Orange Bell
    Yellow Bell
    Green Bell
    Tabasco
    Cayenne
    Habanero
    Red Hot
    Banana
    Pepperoni
    Jalapeno
    and several more I cant remember

    IMG_20180429_191819.jpg IMG_20180429_191851.jpg
     
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  8. Just-passn-thru

    Just-passn-thru Rollerblading along the road

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  9. Monica

    Monica Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    A. try to distract her from her nesting desires and get her to be more active?

    Remove anything and everything that can be considered a nest. No warm foods. Maybe a diet change, longer daylight hours, cage overhaul, etc may help.



    B. Get her to stop the baby/allofeeding motions with my fingers and to instead accept the treats I offer? (By the way training is impossible too because she either immediately wants to climb/fly down to go nest, or if she does sit still, she ignores the treat and instead begs or tries to feed with my fingers... She will even go as far as taking the nut or whatever I am offering out of my fingers and throwing it so she can then go back to my fingers unimpeded.

    Have you tried training with her at all when she's hungriest? If she's not hungry, she may not be inclined to take a treat. Likewise, are these her favorite treats? Or something she enjoys eating but doesn't favor over other foods?
     
  10. Atomiklan

    Atomiklan Jogging around the block

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    Yeah I definitely need to take away her bed :(. She doesn't do her typical nesting behavior in it like she does with boxes, but I still need to take it away from her. Hard to say no sometimes. She loves to sleep in her hut at night, but I have no doubt this is part of problem.

    As for cage rearrangement, that's a good idea. I am waiting for the bird fair this month to go cage shopping. I plan on getting her a larger cage. She still currently uses her loaner cage. This may shake things up a bit for her, but now that she is comfortable in her new home, I am confident she will take to a new cage really quickly. She is not super picky or skittish like some other birds.

    Yes, yes, and no. Although her taste buds seem to change. She used to LOVE blueberries and hate blackberries. Now its the other way around.

    I made her some bird bread a week or so ago and froze it. She is LOVING this. Eats entire chuck every day which I am fine with since she needs to keep putting on weight and becuase I put a ton of super healthy stuff in there for her, so I know she is getting lots of veggies and other essentials that she sometimes ignores.

    IMG_20180513_110139.jpg MVIMG_20180429_004440.jpg
     
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  11. Atomiklan

    Atomiklan Jogging around the block

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    Also planning on buying LOTS of foraging and shredding toys at bird fair to try to help her feather situation. She is STILL really scruffy and I have not seen new feather growth yet and it has been several months. Her previous owner kept saying it was probably a combination of a mega molt this spring as well as the nesting behavior. She did pluck them awhile back all at once (right around nesting time) but she seems to have stopped for several weeks now (probably going on a month and half). I have been hoping that with her diet change, her eating again more by herself (and putting on weight finally), and with new shredding toys, I will have covered my bases. ie new shredding toys to keep her happy and busy, new cage with more space, stopping nesting behavior, better diet and getting her weight up. I'm giving her just a little more time on this new diet and other changes and if I still don't see improvements, I of course plan on taking her in to vet. She otherwise seems very happy and healthy. Poop looks good with the exception of some slight consistency changes around the few times she laid some eggs which I believe is to be expected. I just really REALLY hope her feathers come back in and she stops plucking :(

    Here are before and after pics

    IMG_20180123_211855.jpg IMG_20180323_201111.jpg
     
  12. finchly

    finchly Biking along the boulevard Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Vendor

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    She’s so striking.
     
  13. Atomiklan

    Atomiklan Jogging around the block

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    Scruffy or not scruffy, I love her all the same, but for her sake, I do hope we figure out whats wrong.
     
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  14. finchly

    finchly Biking along the boulevard Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Vendor

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    Since she enjoys shredding and foraging - take advantage of that. Wrap treats and food in paper or coffee filters and tie them up. Fill a Kleenex box with paper shred and bury some nutriberries in it (my shredder queen, Spirit, loves this).

    @WallyLoopey has her shop on vacation but she sells a toy basket that hangs in the cage... I’ve been refilling it with treats and foot toys for Rio. It’s becoming a daily thing, she runs back in there to see what’s in her basket. Which is a relief because it is SO hard to get her to go in the cage! I have also seen her carry toys up to it and try to put them back in :D
     
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  15. Atomiklan

    Atomiklan Jogging around the block

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    I say she enjoys "shredding", but not at the same level as most other birds. Still its the closest thing to playing with toys she does. Only thing I worry about with shredding, especially with boxes is continuing to reinforce the nesting behavior. Either way though, I think its better for her to shred toys than pick at her feathers. Multilayered problem :(

    On a positive note, she had a bath the other day and I think I finally see tiny little white pins protruding! Hopefully she is finally getting feathers back. I will also be getting a bird light very soon. I think she needs a lot more sunlight. My kitchen is on the side of the house, so she doesn't get much sun at all and even if she did, it would be through the window, so basically pointless. I always hated the idea of using a lamp. Just feels tacky. Her health is more important though. I'm still having to adapt myself to bird life too.

    I'm going to spend way too much money at bird fair this year... I already see it coming...
     
  16. Atomiklan

    Atomiklan Jogging around the block

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    BTW, that is hilarious!
     
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