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A long thread of needed advice to save on multiple threads

Tapew0rrm

Walking the driveway
Joined
11/9/22
Messages
164
Location
Lincolnshire, UK
Real Name
Camille
Going off advice I was given when I was freaking out on my first post, I've been doing my best to simply let Aro relax and get used to everything, no pressure to learn anything new or do anything he doesn't want to do, the only "new" thing we're trying is gradually moving onto pellets, everything else is on his terms. I attempted target training, but as you'll read later, that..isn't going anywhere. But I'm wondering. When would be a good time to start trying to train him again?

Don't worry, I'm not rushing it again, my expectations are fully based on what he wants over what I wish he'd want. I just want advice on it because I'm equally scared of going too fast again and I don't want to take too long and have him get bored or lonely or start acting out.

I was thinking of giving him a few more weeks relaxing and settling in before trying anything, until he seems more confident in his environment and being around me. The past few days he's seemed a lot more willing to interact with me, less aggressive. He'll fly over and sit with me on my laptop for at least a few minutes and let me give him a few head scritches before he gives signs he wants me to stop. Today, just before bed, he sat with me for over 30 minutes just relaxing and falling asleep.

A few issues I've been having however is he hasn't really been that interested in taking treats. When I offer him Millet/snacks in the morning to "distract" him from me taking out his food/water bowls and refilling them, he ignores it, thankfully just letting him chill out for a bit has been a good work around like that. Honestly, the feeding routine is the most stressful part. I've been wanting to switch him over to set meal times rather then free feeding, but given refilling his water 2/3 times a day, and giving him his fresh food at specific times is hard enough to avoid getting bitten,,I'm a bit nervous it would end in him being even more irritated, especially given I'm already working on switching over his diet. I really don't want to mess with so many food based things at once, especially giving food is the main source of his frustration. Would it be better for me to take it slow, leave things how they are until he's converted pellet wise and then switch to set meal times, or would doing it all at once be simpler for both of us?

Our morning routine is I wake him up, say goodmorning to him, talk to him for a little while I do my morning self care routine, and then, while talking to him and telling him what I'm doing, carefully open his cage, throwing in plenty of "good boy" praises when he sits patiently, and backing off and waiting for him to relax if he gives his "go away" call or goes to attack my hand, then offer him millet and explain that I'm going to take his food/water to get fresh stuff for him. He typically takes one bite of the millet/seeds, then loses interest and guards his food/water. I tend to sit down by him and talk with him for a while instead, which normally has worked the past few days without getting bitten. But when I get back with his food/water the biting immediately starts. Its like, the second I step in the room he immediately rushes over, screams at me, and then puts up a huge fight about me giving back his food, like this is the only time he bites me at the minute food/cage wise, unless I place my hand on the bars of his cage for long periods of time. :( It goes similarly for every time I'm refreshing his water or giving him his fresh food, immediate attempts to bite me.

One thing I have noticed also is it seems like he's somewhat accustomed to biting things a while before he trusts them? Like, not in a "can I trust standing on this" way that birds normally do, but a full on "Will this thing move away if I bite it really hard" sorta way..It's hard to explain. Like, for an example. Because of his lack of interest in treats, targeting isn't really working too well since I can't even treat him for looking at the stick, and the only way I can move him back to his cage on the rare occasions he stays out past the time I close it is to get him to step up on my phone, which seems to be the only thing he feels comfort in stepping on, perches/stands/hands/arms just get ignored or attacked and then ignored. But with my phone, he'll bite it for a while, back off, bite it in a "can I trust this" way, put a foot on it, and then eventually test the waters. I'm not quite sure what this means, but maybe he's somehow been accidentally taught that's how it should be or something? I don't know :/ It just seems to be his way of doing things, and I'm not quite sure if that's good or not. (I can try to record this if it's hard to understand.)

He's also super hesitant to use new toys. Though I've given him plenty to play with, he's only really shown interest in two of his toys, ones he had from his previous home and a foraging toy, the others have barely even been looked at :/ I figure he's a little picky with them, so I'm wondering if I should stick to toys he seems to enjoy? but then I worry he won't get much variety since his favourite toys are only foraging/loud things.

He's also gotten into the habit of sitting in his cage, staring at one specific spot, and screaming...all day..And I cannot for the life of me figure out what it is he's staring at if something is bothering him, first thing I always do is change his water/food to check if that's the issue since he's standing on his water bowl when he does it, but that doesn't work. I've tried hiding/moving things incase they were disturbing him, but that didn't help, I've tried sitting with him, and that made it worse (he screamed louder and eventually just gave off his "go away" signal), I know I shouldn't reward but I've even offered him treats to see if that's what he wants since where he's staring is where the treats are, but he simply takes them from me and immediately drops them, and starts screaming again. And ignoring it makes no difference either, and I can't tell if it's just normal for black caps to do this sort of thing or if there's something freaking him out thats making him scream, or if he's doing it because he's bored..Its starting to get to a point where I have to mute when on call with friends because he just..doesn't stop..at all..all day, and it irritates them. And I don't blame them, it's really stressing me out. Everything else I can deal with, but the all day screaming makes me feel like I've bitten off more then I can chew with jumping into an older bird for my first tame bird. :/ I knew conures were loud, I expected that. I have no issue with him being loud. But full volume screaming all day with sensory overload and a personality disorder that controls my mood? It's getting..hard. Especially since I know during hormonal moments and molting it'll be worse.

Our sleeping pattern is 8pm-9am, but I'm honestly not sure he sleeps too much..I've been having my own sleeping issues lately because of nightmares, and everytime I wake up (1am-ish), I hear him scuttling around in his cage, even on nights when I can't sleep, I keep everything as dark as possible evne though he;s covered up, and wear headphones at the lowest possible volume (and I check to make sure that the audio isn't loud enough to be heard when out of my ears), and stay as still in my bed as possible so he can still sleep, I hear him the whole time until 12am sometimes just scuttling around, and it's really concerning me that he isn't getting enough sleep. I could move him downstairs, and that would mean switching his sleeping pattern to 6pm-6am because that's around the time my parent wakes up for work and goes to sleep, but I'm afraid that he'll feel more lonely down there because I spend most of my time in my room and we haven't gotten to a point yet where he feels safe away from his cage enough to chill out away from it during the day.

That's all I have for now, but I might add a few more issues in the comments as they come up to avoid making multiple threads on it. If anyone can offer advice on any of these,,I would really appreciate it.
 

Shezbug

ASK ME FOR PICTURES OF MY MACAW!
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I have not actually read all your post (sorry) but the few bits I did pick up on were descriptions of behaviours you are seeing- can I suggest you post footage of things like the screaming so others have a better chance of helping you with ideas.
 

Tapew0rrm

Walking the driveway
Joined
11/9/22
Messages
164
Location
Lincolnshire, UK
Real Name
Camille
I have not actually read all your post (sorry) but the few bits I did pick up on were descriptions of behaviours you are seeing- can I suggest you post footage of things like the screaming so others have a better chance of helping you with ideas.
Got it, I can do that <3

I'll try to record tomorrow examples of the things I'm talking about and post them when I can <3 Thank you!
 

Shezbug

ASK ME FOR PICTURES OF MY MACAW!
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Got it, I can do that <3

I'll try to record tomorrow examples of the things I'm talking about and post them when I can <3 Thank you!
You will need to link them here from another site :)
 

Tapew0rrm

Walking the driveway
Joined
11/9/22
Messages
164
Location
Lincolnshire, UK
Real Name
Camille
How he is when I'm trying to give him his food. Normally it's shorter then this so I don't annoy him, but it was a bit hard to record and put his food in and avoid getting bit haha

And this is the screaming I was talking about, it's either this or louder, with very minimal "chatter", just..screaming and non stop all day until I put him to bed at 8
I made a few dif vids for this one because I don't know how to edit them together on phone

x x x x

also, how he is when outside his cage
 
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