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Help and advice please

Adam Duxbury

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Adam Duxbury
Hello everyone,

Hope all is well?

I have a Galah parrot and he's very lovely and loves to be cuddled, fussed and kissed.

But as soon as I step out of his sight e.g go to the kitchen, bedroom or bathroom he makes this very high pitched chirp over and over again and won't stop till I put my head around the corner!

It come to the point that I can't put him on the balcony without him chirping the neighbours to death or if I go to the toilet I have to wheel his cage to the door and have him analyse my every move!

Please what can I do to stop this silly amount of ear blasting chirping?
I could cover his cage like I do at night but it's so hot if I do that he will look like KFC by the time I'm back! o_O

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Kindest regards,

Adam x
 

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Icey

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Hi Adam and welcome to the forums. Lovely bird you have.
I have 2 B&G macaws that used to do the same. I would actually have to put them on their play stand (thankfully on wheels) and take them in the kitchen when I went there.
If I had to go to the bathroom or do anything upstairs, I had to have one on each shoulder and take them with me.
My hubby said I spoiled them and that they were too needy since I am home during the day with them.
He was right. I felt like I was trapped in 1 room all day, either that or I would hear the macaw scream till they could see me again.
Although it's not perfect yet ,and they still call to me, I find there are ways to distract them.

I talk to them all the time and tell them what I am doing and tell them I will be right back. If they are quiet when I am gone they will get a treat.
I put the radio or TV on when I have to go upstairs or out. It seems as long as they hear voices, it calms them.

It's far from where I want it to be as far as the noise, but day by day I can be gone longer, and the noise has reduced quite a lot
There are so many members on here that will offer you suggestions. Just find one that works for you then add your own touch to it.

Good luck :)
 

iamwhoiam

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You need to try to ignore the noises as much as possible. Every time you go to him as soon as he chirps you are giving him exactly what he wants and reinforcing his behavior so he will just continue doing it. It's hard to ignore but you should give it a try. When he quiets down then go to him and give him attention so you are rewarding the behavior you want. Here is an article that might be helpful for you:
Barbara's Force Free Animal Training Talk: Stop your Parrot from Screaming for Attention
 

Icey

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@iamwhoiam has given you a good link.

Unfortunately for myself, I live in a row house, so I have neighbors on either side of me and very thin walls. Needless to say, I can't ignore it like I was advised to do, so had to find other options.
 

iamwhoiam

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I can't say that my two 'toos never scream but the amount of screaming has decreased. I tried covers but one of them would chew holes in them and peek out and the other one would just keep screaming. Now they just generally scream at night when it's time to go to bed. They also start saying, "Goodnight" or "Time to go to sleep" repeatedly.
 

Icey

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They also start saying, "Goodnight" or "Time to go to sleep" repeatedly.
That is too cute! I tell mine it's bed time and they seem to understand. Bebe will go on her sleep perch. If Frankie is out, he will go to his cage without making a scene.
 

iamwhoiam

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That is too cute! I tell mine it's bed time and they seem to understand. Bebe will go on her sleep perch. If Frankie is out, he will go to his cage without making a scene.
Well behaved birds. :)
 

Icey

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Adam does he have a play stand and lots of toys to play with?
 

Adam Duxbury

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Aw wow there are so so many replies!
Thank you so much everyone, I'll try all the things suggested.

Toys: he has this ball thing that hangs from his cage that looks like a ball or yarn that's blended with a log.
Also a dog chew toy that's knotted like a atom logo with a bell inside and he loves that.

He LOVES toilet roll tubes and paper and that was thanks to someone's comment on here that I started to use them and if I could find out a way to be rich from confetti I'd be a millionaire!
And he likes clanking cola cans.

He does lots of things that makes me laugh like as soon as I go in to the cupboard and pull out a plate he makes this noise he only makes when he wants food from me so that surprised me at how intelligent birds are!

And as soon as I came home I had sunglasses on and went over to the cage to say "hello baby" abs he exploded screaming at my face with his crown up and I couldn't figure out what was wrong with him so I got him out of the cage and he was attacking me and as soon as I took the glasses off he suddenly stopped, all quiet and stretched his neck out to me and said "hello" in a little voice! Lol!
 
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JLcribber

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You'll probably recognize yourself in this article. The screaming has been reinforced and now you have been "intermittently reinforcing" it which will cause an even bigger problem.

RP - Screaming

I have a Galah parrot and he's very lovely and loves to be cuddled, fussed and kissed.

This is the root of the problem which leads to over dependency and anxiety as you are finding out. If you constantly hold a child's hand, it won't take long before the child "thinks" it can't do anything until its hand is held. They need to be taught confidence and independence. So many people get a cockatoo because they cuddle which almost always leads to problems down the road. Especially when that bird hits puberty.

you may want to read this article too because you will have to deal with this also.

Site Name - Articles - Behavioral - Sex And The Psittacine
 

Danita

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Other things you can try, does he do much wing flapping? You can get him wing flapping, or fly practise, energy expelling things. It gets out their frustration and changes their train of thought. Also, giving him a bath, that takes out energy, because after they need to preen etc.. I don't mean for you to throw a bucket of water over their head, but to have your Too in a shower or , spray bath.
 

rocky'smom

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another forging idea for your too. get some gift wrap tubes in different size (widths) () ( ) ( ) and make rain stick with nutria berries. the inner tube you cut upside down V and fold those V's inwards. you want those V's to alternate from side to side. fold one end like this )(, add the nutria berries and fold the other end like )(. then stuff that tube in the next biggest tube, add some unpopped pop corn and fold the ends )(. paper towel tubes will work too.
 

Tanya

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As @JLcribber said, there can be too much of a good thing.

Rhubarb and I have maybe only 15-20 minutes of direct contact (scritching/holding) time per day, and it's spread in little 1-2 minute chunks. The rest of our multiple hours of interaction is indirect contact, i.e. hanging out near one another while doing our own stuff.

The door to her cage is open most of the time when we're home so she has the option to climb up to the top. Up there she has some extra foraging toys and wood blocks to throw to the floor. I have a T-stand with toys in my study room and she'll come in to eat and play there from time to time. However, like any Galah, if she thinks she could get scritches for hours at a time, she will work HARD to con me into it... As in climbing down from her T-stand and waddling onto my keyboard to shove her head in the space between my thumb and fingers. If she does this, I pick her up without scritches and have her fly back to her cage or T-stand. ("Cage. Go." or "Perch. Go.")

Speaking of flying, there is a possible solution in recall training. Rhubarb is about 5% recall trained... She comes about 5% of the time when she isn't sure if I have a nut for her. She's 95% recall trained (indoors!) when I have the pecan bag. She definitely understands what "Rhubarb. Come." means, even if she doesn't always do it. Every so often, when she's on top of her cage, she can really get the contact calls going. I'll let her know she's ok and I'm still in earshot with a very calm/quiet clicking sound. If that won't calm her down and I figure out she wants me to hop to her every whim and come get her, I will say "Rhubarb. Come!" in a firm voice. She has only once taken me up on the offer. When she landed she turned around, crouched with slightly lifted wings and looked back at me... she was waiting for the "Cage. Go." command. After two back-and-forth flights she was very happy to chew a paper roll and take a nap.
 

cassiesdad

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I can't say that my two 'toos never scream but the amount of screaming has decreased. I tried covers but one of them would chew holes in them and peek out and the other one would just keep screaming. Now they just generally scream at night when it's time to go to bed. They also start saying, "Goodnight" or "Time to go to sleep" repeatedly.
Cassie would start screaming when we turned the lights out at night. She also didn't like being covered up in the evening. So when she'd start screaming at night, I'd say "good night" in response. It took a few months, but Cass eventually did replace her screaming with "GOOD NIGHT", over and over, at a pleasant volume...
 

Cara

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Agree with others that you've created your little monster. I think all parrot owners end up doing this one way or another. It will be hard to undo the fact that you've trained him that you will respond if he chirps. I would warn your neighbors that you are going to be working on the problem, and it might get worse before it gets better.

When you're home, give him a toilet paper tube or dixie cup with a treat or something fun - even an envelope from your mail can be amusing for a minute or two. While he's busy wrecking his thing, leave his sight for a minute or two. Don't make it too long - try not to let the chirping even start at first. You might not even get a whole minute in. Get in and out of sight while he's occupied with something. If you make it back before he starts making noise, praise him for being a busy bird or tell him he's done a good job with his toy or say something very enthusiastic. Try to extend the periods longer and longer. Tell him you'll be right back. Try to not respond at all when he starts making noise, but the second he stops, go into the room and reward the lack of chirping. Again, at first you might have to go in when he stops to take a breath. Hopefully you can extend the time that he's alone.

You'll have to have a TON of little things on hand to keep him entertained. My birds like the pop-up tops to water bottles, toothpaste caps or the tops to plastic spice containers that flip up (and down and up and down). I buy birdie bagels which they love to shred. You probably can't get pine cones in Dubai, but maybe there are some natural toys around your yard that you could use. (Make sure they haven't been sprayed for insect control.) I have a Caitec bell foraging toy (Foraging Capsule that I can put a handle of seed/pellets in make them work for a snack. I have several of those Caitec toys and they are always in use. The Bullet Proof toys are also great (SWEET FEET & BEAK AMERICA'S #1 PATENTED PEDICURE PERCH I have the Treasure Chest and the Can o' Nuts and I feel them with shredded paper, drinking straws, lollipop sticks, pine nuts and seed, strings of pony beads, etc. You can poke a hole in the lip of a clean plastic yogurt cup and hang that somewhere with treats. I repurpose quite a bit of 'trash' and make it into bird toys.
 

SpecialistElbru

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Are you familiar with the concept of Contact_calls?

It sames to me that your first line of working on this problem is to develop a contact call routine with your bird. You should try to get your bird to use a contact call that you can here around the house, but use a sound that is not loud enough to bother your neighbors. You could also focus your bird on using a contact can that is not displeasing to your ears.

I'm more familiar wit that other bird forum. And I was able to find this POST that talks about shaping contact calls.

I"m sure you can find information on contact calls on this forum. Perhaps someone here can point you to some good information on this forum.
 

iamwhoiam

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Cassie would start screaming when we turned the lights out at night. She also didn't like being covered up in the evening. So when she'd start screaming at night, I'd say "good night" in response. It took a few months, but Cass eventually did replace her screaming with "GOOD NIGHT", over and over, at a pleasant volume...
When I'm getting the birds to bed I always say "Goodnight" and "Go to sleep" to them. Cody and Keno, the 'toos, will scream but also say those words. I just ignore the screaming, though, say "Goodnight" and turn off the light. Keno usually stops but Cody will continue for awhile and then finally quiets down. If I pass by the bird's room after I have put them to bed she will quietly say, "Hello" or "Goodnight" but at least doesn't start screaming again. I used to keep going back in the room to tell them to stop but I learned that this was the worse thing to do and stopped.
 
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