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Separation Anxiety?

LydiaB

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So, I've only had my Quaker for about 2 weeks now and I've spent pretty much all my time with him since. Recently, whenever I leave him in his cage and leave, he starts freaking out and making a ton of noise until I come back. When I try to go to bed and leave him in the cage, he crawls off his perch and paces back and forth on the bottom front of the cage, "crying" until I open the cage and let lay down with me for a while. He's even learned the time I come home every day and he starts squawking like crazy and I can hear him from outside. Does this sound like separation anxiety? If so, how do I deal with it?
 

Princessbella

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Birds love routines so by spending so much time with your Quaker, he got used to that and when you stopped, he got anxious. Does he have enough toys and things to keep himself occupied when you are home? Bella has a lot of toys and has independent play on her cage or playstand. When she does scream, I tell her that I am here and she quiets down. Also be careful of having your bird in bed when you are tired. You may fall asleep and accidentally roll over on your bird.
 

CrazyBirdChick

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It's hard not to try to spend every minute you can with a new bird but, it's always best to only spend as much time with it in the beginning as you can in the foreseeable future. Because once you start spending every minute with it, they will always expect that.

Try to give your bird fun things to do to keep it busy when you leave (toys, foraging oppertunities, tasty treats) and don't come back in, or open it's cage, when it's screaming.

When my bird screams I make it a point to wait until I hear quiet (or his human speech) to come back in the room so it doesn't teach him that screaming gets him what he wants.

Alot of folks here also recommend atleast 2 birds , to keep each other company (in separate cages in most cases) but I know that's not always possible. Just try to slowly wean your baby off of constant attention.
 

Mizzely

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You're the only flock he has. Birds aren't designed to be alone. He's letting you know to come back to the flock. It's not separation anxiety. It's instinct.
 

WendyN

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I agree with Shawna.
 

karen256

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Make sure he has lots of toys to play with and spend some time playing with toys with him. You should try cuddling him less, and instead use some of that time showing him how to play with toys, even teaching him some tricks and simple foraging toys.

For the screaming, there are several things you can do to help with it, though it is normal to some extent. Try to pick a sound he does that is not loud or annoying (maybe a word he says if he's a talker) and respond to this with praise or attention. This, combined with ignoring screaming when possible, should teach him that this other sound is a much better way to ask for attention.

As for ignoring screaming, it's very important that he learns excess screaming isn't a good way to get attention. Don't be tempted to quiet him down by cuddling him or giving him treats, as that will teach him that his screaming is rewarded. If he's really upset, you can try going over to his cage or doing the bare minimum to calm him down; once he's quiet or making nicer sounds, then take him out for some attention. Trick training can be helpful, having him do some tricks can be a nice way to stop him screaming, and then you can reward the trick.
 
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