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We've tried that and it's not working...

saroj12

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View attachment 256592

This is what I mean :/ lol. Thanks for the suggestions, how would I use cardboard to stop her ? It seems she would just land on the narrow strip of cardboard instead?

get $4 pillows from walmart and stuff the pillows up to the ceiling so the gap is fully blocked. Walmart has free shipping for $35 and over. or get a rectangular piece of plywood and wedge it securely in the gap vertically so it doesn't fall on her.
 

JLcribber

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A 3 inch strip taped at the top and hung over the lip of the doors on an angle. No where for those toes to get a hold.

IMG_4236.jpg
 

Tara81

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Yay thanks! I was wondering how to situate the cardboard , that is brilliant indeed! I could totally do that in some other places too !
 

JLcribber

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Brilliant!

Yay thanks! I was wondering how to situate the cardboard , that is brilliant indeed! I could totally do that in some other places too !

Of course. :ballerina: There isn't a bird out there that's outsmarted me................. yet. Close but no cigar. :evilgrin:

Make sure you provide somewhere she CAN land.
 
Last edited:

Tara81

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The top of her cage, the playpen, the window perch, the coffee table :) she just isn't proficient in flying Down yet I think she's learning :)
 

JLcribber

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The top of her cage, the playpen, the window perch, the coffee table :) she just isn't proficient in flying Down yet I think she's learning :)
"Landing stations" should be up high. Permanent, sturdy and dedicated. That's how you keep "less" poop off things and stuff chewed on.

It's her house too. Right now there's only your stuff.
 

Tara81

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This is her playpen, window perch. The ceiling is made of concrete so I am unsure if I can hang anything off it, but someday I'll look into pvc stuff :) IMG_1428.JPG IMG_1429.JPG IMG_1431.JPG
 

noir-s

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Thanks for this thread, I needed it.

I had a screamer and was feeling pretty desperate and sorry for myself about it- my default thought was "I have tried everything and it doesn't work! He has a great life and none of this is stopping him!" I'd sooner die than re-home any of my beloved pets so after months and months of living this hell I needed to get serious about making it work and was brutally, critically, honest with myself. Actually not just honest- *harsh*, because it wasn't like I wasn't already meeting my birds needs in terms of a nice cage, loads of toys, full days out in my company, music, diet etc.... but I asked myself... do you honestly never touch him outside of his head, or never give him junky treats, respond to the behaviour, make the effort with novel foraging every day etc... And the honest truth was that I wasn't sticking to the guidance 100%, 100% of the time. Most of the time ,yes, but it wasn't good enough. It's taught me that these are such high level creatures that, when it goes wrong, you just can't cut *any* corners. You don't get away with it, you won't be the exception to the rule and it won't just work itself out either. I think that frustration and despair just reigns surpreme sometimes and god knows it's a hard life being screamed at all day long on top of other life stresses.

I scrutinised every single aspect of my birds life/care. I made a wholesale range of thoroughly researched changes (many of them small and seemingly innocuous but obviously not!) and religiously stuck to them. The behaviour was gone literally within a week and the lives of everyone in this household have been immeasurably improved! This is my first psittacine and in spite of researching all of this inexhaustibly prior to getting him and in spite of decades of experience with dozens of other species of pet, I radically under-estimated the sophistication of the bird!
 

JLcribber

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Thanks for this thread, I needed it.

I had a screamer and was feeling pretty desperate and sorry for myself about it- my default thought was "I have tried everything and it doesn't work! He has a great life and none of this is stopping him!" I'd sooner die than re-home any of my beloved pets so after months and months of living this hell I needed to get serious about making it work and was brutally, critically, honest with myself. Actually not just honest- *harsh*, because it wasn't like I wasn't already meeting my birds needs in terms of a nice cage, loads of toys, full days out in my company, music, diet etc.... but I asked myself... do you honestly never touch him outside of his head, or never give him junky treats, respond to the behaviour, make the effort with novel foraging every day etc... And the honest truth was that I wasn't sticking to the guidance 100%, 100% of the time. Most of the time ,yes, but it wasn't good enough. It's taught me that these are such high level creatures that, when it goes wrong, you just can't cut *any* corners. You don't get away with it, you won't be the exception to the rule and it won't just work itself out either. I think that frustration and despair just reigns surpreme sometimes and god knows it's a hard life being screamed at all day long on top of other life stresses.

I scrutinised every single aspect of my birds life/care. I made a wholesale range of thoroughly researched changes (many of them small and seemingly innocuous but obviously not!) and religiously stuck to them. The behaviour was gone literally within a week and the lives of everyone in this household have been immeasurably improved! This is my first psittacine and in spite of researching all of this inexhaustibly prior to getting him and in spite of decades of experience with dozens of other species of pet, I radically under-estimated the sophistication of the bird!

You have discovered your "inner bird". :hug8: That was a really great post. :)
 

Peachfaced

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Thanks for this thread, I needed it.

I had a screamer and was feeling pretty desperate and sorry for myself about it- my default thought was "I have tried everything and it doesn't work! He has a great life and none of this is stopping him!" I'd sooner die than re-home any of my beloved pets so after months and months of living this hell I needed to get serious about making it work and was brutally, critically, honest with myself. Actually not just honest- *harsh*, because it wasn't like I wasn't already meeting my birds needs in terms of a nice cage, loads of toys, full days out in my company, music, diet etc.... but I asked myself... do you honestly never touch him outside of his head, or never give him junky treats, respond to the behaviour, make the effort with novel foraging every day etc... And the honest truth was that I wasn't sticking to the guidance 100%, 100% of the time. Most of the time ,yes, but it wasn't good enough. It's taught me that these are such high level creatures that, when it goes wrong, you just can't cut *any* corners. You don't get away with it, you won't be the exception to the rule and it won't just work itself out either. I think that frustration and despair just reigns surpreme sometimes and god knows it's a hard life being screamed at all day long on top of other life stresses.

I scrutinised every single aspect of my birds life/care. I made a wholesale range of thoroughly researched changes (many of them small and seemingly innocuous but obviously not!) and religiously stuck to them. The behaviour was gone literally within a week and the lives of everyone in this household have been immeasurably improved! This is my first psittacine and in spite of researching all of this inexhaustibly prior to getting him and in spite of decades of experience with dozens of other species of pet, I radically under-estimated the sophistication of the bird!
I'd be super tempted to put something like that in to a frame to hang on the wall. I need a good reminder.
 

noir-s

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Thank you! I wanted to share it because a lot of time when you're reading about these problems you don't see loads of positive resolutions- maybe people just don't update their posts. Which doesn't fill those struggling with much hope! And also - I really wasn't a bad parront when he was being like that. Instinctively I felt that for him to be screaming for hours all day, I must be messing up so badly! You feel like you're failing when realistically it could be something small (or multiple small things) that most other owners don't ever even encounter as a problem, but it is an issue for your particular bird. They keep us on our toes! :D
 

Piper E

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Yes! Made me think about my own behaviors when training and just being around my bird in general!
 

Realgoneferby

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Vicky, this is just the article I needed!
I have a 3 year old sun conure who is stressed out beyond belief that we just moved... I have been trying to train him to stop screaming, or at least not to scream at me while in the same room as my husband and myself... and I KNOW it's not him, it's me.
The issue is, I just don't know what I'm doing wrong! I try leaving him alone when he yells but it's SO frustrating! He's a beautiful boy, who gives kisses and loves to be with me, but I can't be around him when he yells. The issue is that I don't know what I'm doing! I feel like nothing I'm doing is right, and even when I do training right, it's so short lived that he doesn't even understand what he did right so he goes back to yelling and it's a vicious cycle!
 

Brens5tzus

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I am writing this post because I come across this statement both on internet forums and in real life as a behavior consultant.

Many times when people complain about problem behaviors in their animals (regardless of species) and are given advice they respond that "they have tried that and it didn't work". It is important to keep in mind that in order for our animals behavior to change we have to change our own behavior. As a species, we tend to blame the issues on someone else. The bird is being (insert any label here) hormonal, dominant, mean, jealous, stubborn, etc. when the fact is that the behavior has simply been reinforced (consequences) and the stage has been set for the bird to do it (antecedents). As owners we can control and change antecedents and consequences. In other words, the behavior is sandwiched between two things that change behavior, both of which we can control.

When people tell me that they tried something already and it "didn't work", I don't usually have to look far to see why it didn't work. While not every solution will work for every animal, learning theory doesn't change from individual to individual or even from species to species. Learning theory remains the same across the board. Functional analysis (antecedent-behavior-consequence) remains the same across the board. So, it isn't that it simply doesn't work for that animal, it usually means that there is a problem with how it's being executed.

How a behavior modification or training plan is executed is important. The skill of the trainer comes into play here. For some things, the timing is critical and if it's not right the bird will be confused and may be reinforced or punished for the wrong thing. For instance, let's say that a person asks their bird to step up and the bird bites the owner's hand, which causes the owner to pull their hand away. The bird was probably reinforced for biting. The owner is upset so then asks the bird to step up onto a stick which the bird does and then puts the bird in a time out to negatively punish the behavior. What message could the bird be getting? Probably that biting makes hands go away when he doesn't want to step up and that he got timed out in his cage for stepping up on the stick. It is important and critical even to look at what happens just before (antecedent) and just after (consequence) a behavior to determine if and how it can be modified.

Another problem with owner's execution is with extinction. We know that any behavior that is not reinforced will go away or go extinct. There are some exceptions like if the behavior is a response to stress. If a bird is screaming because he is not getting enough attention, exercise or enrichment then that screaming will not likely go away from ignoring the bird. In this case, the screaming is a symptom of being ignored and is a sign of stress. But, in cases where the bird's needs are met and the bird is screaming for attention ignoring the bird will cause the screaming to go extinct or go away. This is one where people constantly say "we tried ignoring him and it didn't work". The fact is, while they may have tried ignoring the bird, they simply didn't do it long enough. If the bird has learned that screaming brings the outcome of attention, any attention, the bird will keep screaming. Once the owner starts to ignore the screaming to extinguish the behavior, the bird will have an extinction burst which is when the behavior gets worse before it gets better. Many times it is during the extinction burst that the owner caves because the screaming gets worse and they can't cope with it which only cements the behavior even further. The bird has now been taught that if they just keep pushing and persisting, the desired outcome will eventually happen.

When a behavior has a strong reinforcement history meaning that the animal has practiced doing something and then getting the desired outcome for a long time, the behavior will be more resistant to extinction.

In the case of screaming, another thing that happens is that the owner "thinks" they are ignoring the behavior, but they aren't. Birds (and dogs) are very good at reading our body language and some of our body language can unintentionally reinforce behavior. I once had clients who had an American Bulldog who would bark at their back door and they said they couldn't get her to stop. She was a big, goofy funny dog and just looking at her made you smile. I asked them if they ever laughed while she did it, they said "yes, all the time". Bingo! When a bird is screaming for attention and the owner is attempting to ignore it, there are a million things the owner could do to reinforce it including, but certainly not limited to flinching, covering their ears, looking in the direction of the cage, turning up the TV, etc, etc. So, keep in mind that the animal, not us, get to decide what is reinforcing and you may have to look at other things going on.

The fact is, extinction can take some time. A bird who has been screaming for attention for 2 years is not going to miraculously stop after 10 minutes of being ignored because there is too much reinforcement history that has supported the behavior. The bottom line is, it takes time. I am not saying it's not frustrating, I wouldn't want to try and ignore a screaming bird for 2 hours, but I didn't make the rules, science did. It isn't always fun, but it IS the way it is.

So, keep in mind that if a behavior modification plan feels like it isn't working, you may need to adjust how you are doing things. You may need to wait longer. You may need to adjust how you are putting the plan into action. You may need modify the consequences or adjust the antecedent, but you will get there.
Yes, I agree. It does take time and patience.
 
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