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Old 10-27-2020, 02:09 PM
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Question Rehoming an Alexandrine in Texas

Hi All,

I have an Alex who is about 7-9 years old. We adopted him about 3 years ago, and have worked with him extensively during that time. He is a very loud boy who screams when I am home, expecting to be out of cage whenever I'm around. Having said that, I have been forced to work from home since March 2020 because of COVID. My husband also wfh and my children are in virtual school sessions all day.

During the summer, we had the luxury of putting Sushi outside by our pool with a view and lovely baths every other day to help with his stress of being forced to stay in cage even though I am home. Well, last night the temps hit the low 40's and now he is stuck in my laundry room with constant screaming.

I have not made a final decision to rehome him (this will be his 3rd time at minimum) because it's just so tough. But! I cannot lock him in a closet for the next 6 months, and I cannot keep him out of cage all the time because we have other pets we seclude for his 2 hour/day out of cage time.

I am looking for advice. I am not looking to find another home for him unless the new owners are very familiar with Alexandrine's and their special needs. Despite doing my research before adopting Sushi, he came with attachment issues/needs I didn't expect. We have adapted for a normal schedule, but not for constant at home. I have considered an exotic rescue where he might live in another aviary with other birds, but the only one in our area is currently closed because the director is in hospital with COVID.

I appreciate the input or advice you can give. Also, yes, he has toys that are changed out and an ample cage to accommodate his very long tail. He gets seed treats, fruit, veggies, and his main diet consists of Rowdy Bush pellets. Other than the screaming he is healthy and loving.
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Old 11-06-2020, 11:10 AM
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Re: Rehoming an Alexandrine in Texas

That's really tricky. I have an Alex and a Mynah bird and I am currently thinking about rehoming my Mynah - although I may have decided to keep her and work with her more unless a specific home I would like for her gets in touch.

In terms of the screaming I have found this useful....I have found my Alex boy has started to shout A LOT more since I've been home more. It's a tough battle, but I have found that covering him when he shouts and uncovering soon after he stops is working at the moment, but it is labour intensive! I don't interact with him at all when I cover him and I don't interact with him much when I uncover him, but I do say hello. I also am putting all his pellets in a foraging toy so he has to work his brain when he wants to eat and also keeps his beak busy for a while. Letting him out in the day helps, we have an aviary on the end of our house so when the weather is OK he can go into that for a few hours, even in the autumn as long as the room his cage is in is warm and there is sun outside I do let him out. He can fly back into the house when he's ready. He has never been out of the cage all day though and is used to a couple of hours a day out in the evenings in the week and more time at the weekend. Also I cover him at 9pm and uncover between 10am and 11am so he gets plenty of sleep. I've also had to think about him eating high energy foods and reduced these.

In terms of rehoming it is really tough. From when you have said I would agree that a sanctuary or at least an aviary with other birds sounds good.
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Old 11-06-2020, 10:42 PM
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Re: Rehoming an Alexandrine in Texas

Maybe a bird room with a window and a nice tree stand to hang out on? If you have the means ? Recently we revamped an old office for our grey when, we cant put him in his aviary because of weather etc... It has helped a lot with his attitude for sure. He was more of a plucker instead of a screamer. Giving the out of cage time when someone is home has helped. A good diet aswell.
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Old 11-07-2020, 09:35 AM
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Re: Rehoming an Alexandrine in Texas

Welcome Buhg,
Screaming is a very very hard thing to take. I have loud quakers, and my new guy is a screamer. And it is torture, I agree.

But Screaming is because the parrots needs aren't being met, and then it becomes reinforced and a habit. Plus they do like to make noise, some species more than others.

I've worked with a lot of rescues . And they have been shoved off to back bedrooms, garages, basements, outside, hours and hours of isolation, and they go insane and self destruct.

So I don't want you to feel I'm attacking you, i just talk blunt and spell out facts. But I have tons of empathy for your situation. As stated above im living this torture myself. And its a hard habit to rehabilitate.

That being said, this is a terrible situation for a highly intelligent, highly social , very active creature. In isolation for the majority of the time, with at best 2 hours of out of cage time.

Now you are home and forced to face his acting out and unhappiness. If you aren't going go be able to put in a lot of time and work, then decide now if finding a home that you clearly educate them on his Screaming might be best.

I have links to articles to help with screaming. I've had success in the past with screaming. Usually by increasing out of cage time to around 6 hours daily. Patterning to soothing music, foraging, increasing social interactions, flying and easy tricks training.
But I feel like a failure myself with my current screaming quaker, who is screaming now. I knew he was a screamer at the petstore, and I thought my past tips would work. But his default is too make a lot of noise( not exactly screaming, but feels like it) he spends 8 hours out of the cage, has lots of foraging, other parrots, and in the middle of the action at home.....i have decreased the duration greatly tho, and im trying to form new habits for him. So I'm in the middle of it too. I really understand how disrupting, and insanity inducing it can be....

I'll go get the links now
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Old 11-07-2020, 11:17 AM
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Re: Rehoming an Alexandrine in Texas

Ok had to deal with my screaming quaker. , I offered him a bath, and as he naps after bath I rotated some chewing stuff for him. Im going to attach a picture, that shows a bunch of chew and forage stuff I have for him. The green ball with holes is great for holding pop corn, or millit that he has to work for. On the shelf is a dollar store mini two drawer thing, that I put treats in, also on the shelf the blue parrot forage toy with shredded paper and stuff inside, bird kabobs ( yucca chips) , weaved in the bars is a few inches of those shredders that come in a roll, and that cardboard roll that looks like tape thst the sell for parrots, they seem to like peeling it.

I'd redo his cage, and move his cage to a new location, and find ways to have him out of the cage fir at least five hours a day. Read up on behavior modifications, my ornithology thread page 10-13 I think I have many behavior articles linked. Work hard and be creative on keeping him busy, and it takes time.
Ornithology: Share and discuss scientific articles on parrots!

Parrots are probably the most intelligent species on the planet after humans. And unlike dogs and cats who spend a majority of their time resting, parrots are highly active species. So its probably fairer to have the dogs or cats spend more time locked up than the parrot.

Their are lots of inexpensive ways to provide places for the parrot to hang out near you, but not on you. I put ceiling hooks up , and use fishing line to hang rope hoops and rope bungee near me, or by a different window. Also those metal stands are less than 30 bucks that are used to hold small burd cafes, or parrot swings or hoops. I attach chew stuff at each parrot station.

Bird tricks you tube videos has great foraging, training, and target training videos yiu can watch.

This is a great article
https://lafeber.com/pet-birds/stress...ot-companions/
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Last edited by Laurasea; 11-07-2020 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 11-10-2020, 05:11 PM
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Re: Rehoming an Alexandrine in Texas

Hi! Omg. It's been so long since I belonged to a forum, it took me a bit to figure out how to reply to you and thank you for your insights and stories!

I love the idea of an aviary for Sushi! I even looked into one I could build in my yard, but realized I was back in the same situation with the weather (yes, even though I live in Texas!). We have several animals in our home, including a Miss Kitty named Peaches. She gets locked up when the birds are out, so that's why I have been limited in out of cage time in the past. I recently decided to increase the time out for Sushi (Miss Peach in her room) and he has now escalated to screaming even OUT of cage.

I believe you guys gave me some great insight (and what I suspected) to why - he is highly intelligent and he needs stimulation. The problem is, he ONLY wants to be on ME and only wants to chew on my clothing or groom my hair. This is fine for an hour or two, but trying to accommodate that for a full day while working and homeschooling (or helping to school) kids, it's impossible. I'm going to look into the additional toys and foraging opportunities for him and I had already considered adding music to his area during the day.

I truly appreciate all your responses - straight forward does not bother me, either! I need help and I want to learn how to keep my boy and keep him happy. Blessings to all!
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Old 11-10-2020, 05:15 PM
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Re: Rehoming an Alexandrine in Texas

Look at your girl! She is so cute! I adore Quakers!

I was bathing Sushi outside in his cage all summer by the pool and this helped a lot! I truly need to help us all transition with the weather and the quarantine. Thank you so much, Laurasea for your insight and for sharing your experience. I truly appreciate the photo as well - I've had trouble finding toys he will actually use. Perhaps some of these can be incorporated to help us.
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