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Boyfriend’s Meyers parrot is driving me insane.


Checking out the neighborhood
This is quite long and ranty, so I apologize. I’m just at my wit’s end here.

His name is Fred and my boyfriend thinks he’s about 7 or 8 (got him from a pet store about 5 or 6 years ago so he’s not completely sure).

My boyfriend and I have been dating for about a year and a half, and we haven’t known each other much longer, so Fred has only known me for about the same amount of time. He took to me pretty instantly and after a while decided that he only liked me. If he’s out while my boyfriend and I are both home, he’ll go after my boyfriend. He attacked him real bad a few months ago and got him pretty hard under the eye. We talked about rehoming him then, but it didn’t happen. If my boyfriend walks by the cage when he’s in it, he’ll attack the sides of the cage or the toys hanging off the sides.

I was okay with having Fred out with me because we used to get along, but now he screams nonstop and he’s beginning to lash out at me out of nowhere. I already have mental issues and he genuinely makes me feel like my conditions are getting worse. I’m afraid his nonstop screaming will have me committed or something. It’s so stressful and pitchy and loud and I’m so unhappy around him. I’m surprised our neighbors haven’t complained yet (though they themselves have very loud dogs and kids). My depression has taken a serious dive for the worst and I feel he plays a part of that. However big or small, I can’t say. And I know it’s not really his fault because he doesn’t really understand. But I want to die when he doesn’t stop. He used to make me feel better, because despite how awful I must sound, I really am an animal lover, but now I get no enjoyment out of being anywhere near him. Nothing he does is cute to me anymore.

I don’t get it. He has food, lots of toys, clean water every day. He gets treats. I keep him out of the cage for hours a day where he has free run of the house and he’ll cuddle me for hours. I talk to him and kiss him and he’s sweet as can be if I keep him near me (unattended he will chew paint off the walls and cabinets and such, which adds more stress of course because I can’t get him to stop and I have to get up every 2 minutes to move him if he’s out of the cage). I’ve tried every method I’ve read about positive reinforcement to stop screaming. I try to ignore him when he screams and reward him when he’s quiet. I make sure his cage is covered/uncovered at intervals of around 12 hours so he’s getting enough sleep. He’s starting to get aggressive with me (which I feel may be because he can sense how stressed I am and, in turn, how much I’m coming to dislike him). Our relationship is deteriorating and he isn’t showing any physical signs of stress like plucking, but I’m sure he’s under a lot of stress emotionally/mentally just like I am.

I feel so selfish for wanting to rehome him because I know it’s beyond stressful for parrots, and I know a lot of inexperienced people (like me; if it weren’t for co-owning him by association of my boyfriend, I’d never choose to adopt a bird because I know I’m not patient enough) pick up birds for pets and the cycle of rehoming birds for behavioral problems just continues. If he doesn’t hate me by now, I’m sure he’d be depressed to lose me and that would add additional stress. He’s just so grumpy no matter what. He’s bite happy so he’d do awful with kids. He’s a nonstop screamer so anyone with functioning eardrums wouldn’t want him.

I’m leaving it up to my boyfriend because in the end, even though he sometimes calls Fred my bird (because Fred only likes me), he’s his. Fred has been a constant in my boyfriend’s life for the past 5-6 years and a lot of terrible stuff has happened to my boyfriend in that time, so I feel just awful about even suggesting getting rid of Fred.

But I’m about one more screech away from losing it. My boyfriend is annoyed by the noise, too, but like I said earlier, I’ve tried everything I’ve read and nothing helps. No amount of treats or praises or positive reinforcement is helping.

Right now he’s covered up and in a dark room (but it is nighttime anyway) because his screaming gave me such a massive migraine that I broke down crying and threw up. I’m just sitting in the dark now feeling completely lost and hopeless and selfish and guilty. I don’t know how much longer I can do this.


Rollerblading along the road
I can understand your frustration. It is hard to understand birds if you don’t know them at all. It’s like waking up on a farm one day with animals to care for after living in the city all your life.

It’s very stressful. And the truth is that it is not your fault and you have no reason to feel guilty. Sympathy yes- guilt No.

Right now it’s breeding season so your little guy’s hormones are doing the mamba on his brain. He’s looking at you as a mate and he’s protecting you from all competition. It’s not that he necessarily wants to be angry and jealous of your boyfriend but the hormones make it impossible for him to think at all.

The chewing probably has to do with making a nest. I don’t think that again, something he’s thinking about so much as following the call of nature.

Make sure to have toys about for distraction when he gets too much in a biting mood when he’s around you.

He needs attention but not if he’s just going to be frisky. Make sure he’s caged whenever your boyfriend is around. Unfortunately I don’t think there is much you can do about the screaming.

I am sure he will become better as the breeding season comes to an end but if you decide to regime, it needs to be a joint decision with more emphasis on your bf making the final say so. After all it is his bird and his responsibility to make the choice. I would absolutely refuse to make that final decision because if he has remorse then he will angry at you and resent you for making him “give up” his bird.

Here’s an article that might help provide some understanding about the hormonal side. Good luck!

Site Name - Articles - Behavioral - Sex And The Psittacine

Fia Baby

Jogging around the block
Avenue Veteran
Real Name
Since it sounds like you really need a break, why don't you board him somewhere while you and your boyfriend plan how to attack the situation. Mature birds can be quite difficult at times, and if you're not healthy and up the to challenge, you won't be able to succeed. Do you have a friend who can take him for a week or 2? If not, check out some vet offices or nearby bird shops. You sound like you actually like him, and want to figure this out. A break away from the stress may equip you better than you currently are equipped. While he's gone, read up on strategies, make any changes you need to make, and then bring him back and implement them, knowing that it may take some time and patience to create a situation with which you can live.