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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2021, 09:29 PM
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Re: Ralphie- perch potato anonymous

Quote: Originally Posted by raeleigh26 View Post
I have some questions.
Ralph has been reluctant to come out of his cage the last 2 days. Possibly because now that he's discovered chewing, he actually appreciates the toys in there. One, anyway.

So, here's our set up- he has a 4x3x5.5ft cage in his own room, full of toys, with clean water changed TAD. But I don't feed him in there.

He has been coming out(by stick, and I ask him to come to me, I don't force it) in the morning for breakfast at his perch in the living room. Where he is part of the daily goings on, has frequent interactions, talks, and is held and replaced on his perch or a small table we've been training and playing on several times a day.

I'm getting him to actively eat dinner with us to try new foods. He goes back into his cage for bed at 8 pm, has his own heater(74*) air purifier, humidifier(45-50%) dark except a small nightlight that illuminates the floor near his cage.

We're not on any kind of schedule except his waking and bedtime right now. Sometimes we leave the house for several hours. Sometimes we're home all day.

He's in his cage, closed, at night and if we leave the house. The door to his room is closed.

To the point: his cage is too big for the living room. It works as a sleeper cage and to give him space and entertainment when we're gone, but I want to put toys in the living room too.

1-Is a smaller cage(left open) with toys better/ worse/ same effect as a big play stand/ perch? I have immediate access to a smaller cage, but would have to build a play perch. I'm finding that materials are hard to come by.

Right now his perch is basically a grooming and food station, but encourages his sloth tendencies.

2- he's learning very fast now, with my son, we kept a strict, predictable schedule when we were wishing on something new, but being unpredictable was also training.
- the world will not adapt to him, he had to learn to adapt to an ever changing world.

Dh will be returning to work when his leg heals. His schedule changes slightly every 3 weeks. I may not be home all day every day. That'll be totally random. We do occasionally travel and intend to take him with us.

I've read conflicting views on keeping birds on a strict schedule to (basically) keep the peace, but others prefer being unpredictable to teach the bird that is okay when things are unexpected, thus they're not a slave to the birds schedule, & when things inevitably do happen its less stressful for the bird. Thoughts?

3- how do you handle your fids perception when the household is in distress? Even children know when things are amiss.

- --- a friend of mine was murdered by her husband yesterday. Ralph has obviously reacted to my grief. I put him to bed early, me, since dh was in a great deal of pain last night, and Ralph was very reluctant to come out this morning. I ate my breakfast in his room.
And left him alone several times. He eventually came out to the top of his cage and after a bit of conversation, he came to me.

But he's now napping on his perch in the living room. Not normal.

ETA and very nippy with me. Walking away when I approach(he's been in the back of the couch) he's on top of his cage(cage door and bedroom door open) wants nothing to do with me, but is being noisy.

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I am so sorry to hear about your friend. That is terrible.....


Ralph is likely picking up on your emotions and the upset in the house/schedules changes etc. I have a feeling that time will help. I'd leave his cage open (with supervision) but before you open it, put some tempting treats up there and then maybe see if you can do something with your family that will show him that everybody is laughing etc (even if you aren't ) sorry again.


I agree with what was said about schedules-- although 10-12 hours of sleep is non-negotiable and should be within the same hour or so each night if possible. Yeah, sure, they won't die from a night of 9 hours, but it shouldn't be typical. Other than that, yes, you should have a bit of flexibility-- much like with a child who has autism, if everything in the day is TOO scheduled, they can de-rail the second something gets in the way of their clock. Similarly, if it's all over the place, that's too overwhelming.

Last edited by noodles123; 01-10-2021 at 09:33 PM.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2021, 01:33 PM
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Re: Ralphie- perch potato anonymous

The food thing again. Still.
In photo you can see Ralph after a bath sitting in the window(with the most light) listening to music with me while he dries off. He loves this.

He's started doing the thing where he brings up food and chews it, re-swallows, but occasionally enough comes up that bits drop out of his mouth.

He seems perfectly content when he does this. It's not a dramatic throat stretching arching gag regurgitation like I've seen in videos of hormonal birds.
More like a little burp. He'll make purring sounds or grind his beak occasionally though.


You can see where over the last ten minutes he's dropped quite a bit of liquid food to the floor and even splattered the window when he shook to help dry himself.
If I could share video you'd see him munching away at what he brought up.

How do you tell the difference between regurgitation and vomiting?



ETA: side note; moving to another window, and having cardboard to tear up(yay! He's destructive!) Has stopped the cud chewing.

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Last edited by raeleigh26; 01-11-2021 at 02:12 PM.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2021, 02:29 PM
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Re: Ralphie- perch potato anonymous

The digestive system of a Parrot includes the crop. It is fairly common for Parrots to move food between the gut and the crop. That said, pulling the food all the way to the beak can be seen as common when additional chewing is needed.

Parrot can be from neat-freaks to a sharing their food with everyone and everything. The majority of our Amazons have been on the share the wealth side of the chart. Welcome to the joy of owning a sharer!

Seems to be enjoying the Sunshine filled window.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2021, 07:41 PM
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Re: Ralphie- perch potato anonymous

LOL, I hope you guys have been working on your best Ed Norton imitation! 'Hey, hey, Ralphie boy! What's new at the Lodge?"

Or, have I dated myself?
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Old 01-12-2021, 12:21 PM
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Re: Ralphie- perch potato anonymous

Quote: Originally Posted by wrench13 View Post
LOL, I hope you guys have been working on your best Ed Norton imitation! 'Hey, hey, Ralphie boy! What's new at the Lodge?"

Or, have I dated myself?
Yup, welcome to the old folks group in the Forum, Al!
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Old 01-12-2021, 02:15 PM
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Re: Ralphie- perch potato anonymous

Wait til the end.

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Old 01-13-2021, 01:06 PM
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Re: Ralphie- perch potato anonymous

*sigh* I need suggestions.
Ralph does not want to come off his cage.

Again our set up-
Big cage in his own room, lots of toys and perches, used as sleeping cage and when we're not home. He's got clean water but it's not fed in there unless we're gone for the day.

Every morning, he's calling by 8am(like a clock). I go in and ask him to come out, with a perch, and carry him to the living room(we don't use the dining room) where we have breakfast.
(Coffee for me, breakfast for dh, pellets for Ralph on his day perch/ feeding station)
And we go through the normal day. All the interactions, treats, training, learning to play with toys, etc happens in the living room.

He goes to bed by 8. Closer to 7 usually. Taken there on a perch. I can pick him up and set him down by hand anywhere but from his cage and perch, and dh must hand him to me, rather than me taking him.

Anyway. Target training is going well. He's got it down. Working on making *getting to* the stick more complicated.

I've tried to use it to get him out/ off the top of his cage to no avail. Yesterday I hung out in the room, ignoring him, but every time he made a particular sound I got up and presented the perch and asked for step up.

He refused about 30 times before finally accepting. He got a pecan for his trouble, and breakfast (with eggs) in the living room.

Today, same thing. But He won't make that sound again. Clever bugger.

So basically, he's calling, whistling, screaming for us to come in. But refuses to come down for either of us.

I tried making a ladder/ rope system for him to climb down to the floor himself. Using target I got him halfway down, but he goes right back up after each treat.

He keeps leaning out, wing shaking, the laugh(come get me) sound he does when he wants something/ someone/somewhere.....

(Also, how do you not get frustrated and tell your fid, "look dude, either step up, or shut up." ? Cuz really. )

He's on his cage. Door open. He can climb down all the way to the floor if he wants. Some pecans and pellets are awaiting him at several intervals if he chooses to go get them. He saw me put them there. The bedroom door is open and he's maybe 15 (human) steps from where I'm sitting.

He's still calling. It's noon now. He's had maybe half his usual amount of pellets. It occurs to me this might, indeed, be the point of his manipulation.

And idk what to do. I can say the first time I let him be when he clearly did not want to step up he was shocked to have been given that choice. (That was, I think. Day 3 of having him home)

And he's using it a lot.

Reminds me of my son at about 5.... he threw the biggest fit about being put in the bath. Then enjoyed the bath. Then threw the biggest fit about leaving the bath.

I've gotta remember how I made all that HIS idea. It would certainly help me now.

But I'm not sure how to make staying on the cage less comfortable than coming out.


So... I almost forgot my question, how big is your sleeping cage?
Are there toys in it?
Is it a bad idea to use a sleeping cage that's just perches, and have the big one just for when we're gone? (I forsee refusal to go into a sleeping cage when there's the one with toys in the same room....)

Any advice is appreciated.


ETA: he doesn't bite, no obvious cage aggression..... he just goes away.

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Last edited by raeleigh26; 01-13-2021 at 04:00 PM.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2021, 07:05 PM
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Re: Ralphie- perch potato anonymous

IF you haven't I'd get him to a vet to double check that he doesn't have more going on. When my cockatoo was egg-bound a few months ago, she did not want to step up (but wanted me around). Even the avian vet wasn't convinced anything was wrong, but it turned out to be fairly serious--- so if you see a big change in an adult, it's a good idea to consider an exam (feet, mouth, nares etc), blood and xrays---I KNOW that's not cheap-- but a sudden change (while possibly related to some other shift in the home).can also be related to illness.


It's possible you or someone else scared him, and some birds do have a honeymoon period after adoption, but if this seems random, do get him checked.



2 times I have insisted on investigating (against the advice of 2 vets one exotics, one CAV) and while I am often wrong, I was right on those occasions and it was serious-- so I am very glad that I didn't brush it off completely.


IT IS ALSO POSSIBLE that in trying to enrich his life, you have scared him and now he associates you with these "adventures" that he hates and is avoiding. If that is the case, you need to take things very slowly and rebuild trust. Once he gets to stepping up, only move him to places he likes-- never associate your hand with stress unless it is a life of death issue. My cockatoo took 3 years to take to a rope swing- and she still hated it (you know how kids look awkward in the yearbook, or better yet, on Santa's lap (if they aren't familiar)? that was her reaction after many years of me trying it, even once she got on it --and we had a very trusting relationship...I'm saying, even if a bird likes you, they still connect all sorts of experiences.


If he's hesitant and you are sure he's healthy, open the door, but let him come out on his own.

Last edited by noodles123; 01-13-2021 at 07:15 PM.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2021, 07:37 PM
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Re: Ralphie- perch potato anonymous

Commonly, sleeping cages are smaller than a daytime /play cage. more open, with less hanging toys, but enough room to stretch his wings out.

Based on one's location (seasonal variation) and the Parrot's location within the home, placement of doors and windows defines to what level covers are needed, their thickness and black-out abilities.

Tip: A sleeping cage should also be considered as an emergency evacuation cage. The size of this cage must allow it to move with easy out of the home quickly when needed.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2021, 10:21 PM
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Re: Ralphie- perch potato anonymous

Thank you. I do think it's partly the "new" he's been experiencing, although it's all been positive, it's been a bit rushed along with getting to know us.
I think he's also definitely picked up on the frustrated/ grieving vibe of the house the last few days. Dh is in significant pain after surgery Friday, and is quite frankly just plain cranky.
And I don't want to talk about my emotional issues any more, but I am having to force the happy voice with him.
And I've got a theory that Ralph doesn't like the TV. Or at least not the action movies dh has been watching, ( having spent 6 weeks laid up, he's at the bottom of the barrel.) So he doesn't want to be in here.
We need a bigger house.

So, appointment with the vet has been made, still 2 weeks out.
I thought I might see about... getting rid of the couch? Or something. To make room for the big cage in here.... and use his travel cage temporarily(not big enough) as a sleeping cage.
However, this is just more new to put on him.
What are the chances he'll eventually settle into the routine we've set?
We are generally quiet and laid back people. The house is, usually, very mellow. We wouldn't have adopted Ralph any more than we would've adopted a baby if that wasn't the case.

So far Ralph is very accepting of us both in our different roles. I even got kisses on my cheek today, while dh got a warning lunge for attempting to take him without properly announcing his intentions.


New thing: Ralph barks. Ralph barks at the dogs. And I'm pretty sure it was a chihuahua that taught him what a dog sounds like.



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