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Old 10-06-2016, 12:15 PM
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Re: Disability: Inability to preen my bird...

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Well, I attempted to PM you, but that somehow blow-up, so lets try here.

As you well know, one of the biggest issues is RB and how much variation between the preening he wants and what you're able to provide.

As you are well aware, you abilities are improved when you can clearly see what you are touching. That being true, getting RB in front of you, like on a table and you sitting at that table will likely provide a starting point. Point is, will RB allow or accept this positioning? For the sake of discussion, lets say /pray that he will.

Trial Run Pre-Set-Up: With a soft fur mid /small size toy, position the toy that allows you the maximum view of the length of the toy, head to tail, if you will. Now shift the toy to a position that allows you to clearly see the two fingers that you commonly use to preen RB on the toys head.

Since a bird's feathers lay in a line from the beak to the end of the tail feathers you will want to set the soft fur toy's head in a position that you can easily move your hand along that beak to tail line. Assure that you can clearly see your preening fingers! This assures that you will be working along the direction of RB's feathers. It will help if you can set the toy at an approximated height that RB's head would be at.

Trial Run Pre-Set-Up Goal: Develop a 'seen' point of contact by watching the 'drop' of the toy as your preening fingers makes contact with the toy. Clearly the greater the 'drop' the higher the contact force and likewise the smaller the 'drop' the lighter the contact force.

Once you are comfortable with find that place in space and can minimize the 'drop' of the toys head, its time for step two.

At this point, you want to develop a 'seen' action of your preening fingers working though RB's feathers (the fur on the soft toy in this case). NOTE: Crushing /removing of the feather cover is not the goal here and will likely never be! The goal is to create that soft rubbing action that helps position his feathers in the past. Think of it as a soft rub when there is no preening needed.

Step three: Develop a movement of your arm that will allow you to keep you hand (fingers) along a horizontal line as to not increase of decrease the contact pressure of the rubbing fingers.

Now combine the three actions staring with lowering into position, the soft rubbing action and the slow movement down the head, the neck and on to the upper back. Pick-up you hand and start again, but this time slightly to one side or the other of the prior starting point.

Practice, practice, practice!

As part of this, please work with RB so he is comfortable with being in the new position.

When you are comfortable, combined both RB and you new head, neck and upper back 'RUB.' Remember that a well developed feather cover will fall away with this light rub. Most of what we do with preening is to break the cover off earlier! So the end goal is still met by targeting a soft rub! Also, a soft rub will not cause RB pain because you will not be trying to break a soft cover by mistake.

If you are working with a physical therapist, talk with that person about different methods of developing the needed movements.


Prays and Hugs Good Friend!

Last edited by SailBoat; 10-06-2016 at 12:19 PM.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 10-06-2016, 01:38 PM
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Re: Disability: Inability to preen my bird...

Thank you, Beatrice. Life dishes out some poop, doesn't it?
But I have much to be thankful for. Like us, here.

Tekno, thank you. I wish your mom some comfort. Yeah, I do adore the little T. Rex. I'm getting some good ideas here!

Mr. GoodWrench, yep, that's it for the concert gig, for sure. Hugs to Geri. Poor Rbird is so hostile to my hands now. He has always had issues with them, but settled down at dusk and dawn enough for preening. Yeah, I understand. And ya know what? I am willing to take some bites even if only to show him I'm trying. I like that idea.

Sailboat, thanks so so so much... I DID receive the message. Apparently there's a glitch in the software that doesn't show replies as sent (in the Sent section), only originals. I replied to you. But let me study this post as well...
I actually played with a nerf football on the table and practiced my "moves". I must say it went pretty well.
I discovered an additional benefit there. I can steady my forearms and just ry to hold my fingers rigid and steady while trying to preen. A big problem that I didn't emphasize enough is that when I try to do any fine motor stuff with my fingers, they shake and jump, so I'm thinking that trying for rigidity would be optimal.
Then I took the big leap snd tried to get RB in that position. It was a big NO-GO, but I expected that, really. He's so alienated to the idea of peeening, and has been hurt and upset so much. But I'm not giving up.
I didn't even THINK of asking my physical therapist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Geez!

So I have some good ideas. Teddscau (show him your fingers don't work in varioud ways, develope a shoulder-nuzzle thing), Puck (keep looking for alternative preening tools or methods), Marileen (try small implements and experiment), Wrench (keep trying some extent of preening, even if it's awkward, if only to show I'm trying), and Sailboat (try a stepwise plan to practice and problem-solve with an object, then see if Rbird will play along). Thank you all so much, for caring.

I feel awful about the years he spent not having his needs met (after I finished school, while I was working) and I want to make sure I give him my very best from here on. He has always been a handful, and I know those years didn't help, and now his ridiculous hen doesn't even preen him anymore. AND the

I am sorry I let this thing get this far without asking for help. It's going to take work, but I believe I can make it better.
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Old 10-06-2016, 01:48 PM
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Re: Disability: Inability to preen my bird...


I couldnt find an Rbird version. I can photoshop if you want xD
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Old 10-06-2016, 02:07 PM
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Re: Disability: Inability to preen my bird...

Love it!
"I am a tiny pin-feathered monster, and I believe in you."
Absolutely LOVE IT!
Thank you. You're very sweet.
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Old 10-06-2016, 02:13 PM
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Re: Disability: Inability to preen my bird...

Quote: Originally Posted by GaleriaGila View Post
Love it!
"I am a tiny pin-feathered monster, and I believe in you."
Absolutely LOVE IT!
Thank you. You're very sweet.
I'll see about it when I get home
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Old 10-06-2016, 02:38 PM
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Re: Disability: Inability to preen my bird...

That would be wonderful.
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Old 10-08-2016, 11:37 AM
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Re: Disability: Inability to preen my bird...

Thanks again to everybody for the ideas and good wishes. I've been busy trying your suggestions!

Sailboat, I did ask my physical therapist yesterday. She had one good idea and two bad ones. The good one: stretch and work my fingers out for a while before i try to preen him. That calms some of the spasticity, just a little, but still helpful. The other two suggestions were clearly from somebody who doesn't know birds. She suggested i lay him on his side so I can lay my forearm flat beside him and... yeah...NO. She also said I could wear some sort of brace-glove that steadied my whole wrist and hands with the fingertips exposed... yeah... NO. Rbird doesn't even allow wristwatches or bracelets or new rings.

Next...

Rb wasn't EVEN gonna sit on the table, but Sailboat's idea gave me a similar idea. I used my laptop (closed) and he stood on that happily in my lap as I used my new nerf-ball and arm-steadying skills. I made several good attempts, not exactly successful but I recalled what people said about at least showing him I'm trying (as Teddscau and Wrench advised). He snapped at me a couple of times but I kept going for maybe ten minutes.

Puck, I also tried again with the flight feather. He didn't seem too impressed, but he didn't fly away! I also practiced just putting him on my shoulder and letting him relax. He does love to give kisses that way. He has never bitten my face (only ears and hands) so I trust the kisses. But his beak is so coated in hot pepper residue that my lips BURN afterwards!

Anywayyyyy...

Later, I did something I haven't done in a long time... I stood in the spot where we used to preen, swaying, kinda rocking him like a baby as he would perch on my right hand while I would preen him with the left. He had previously flown away when I even headed in that direction, which broke my heart. This time he didn't!!! In fact, he ruffled his feathers and preened himself for a while. I dared one light touch to the top of his head and decided to call it a SUCCESS... tossed a chile into his cage and in he went (it was bedtime/sundown).

I was SO happy. I only wish I had asked for help sooner. I think we had both given up. But I feel good about the whole situation now, I really do.

Where there's love, there's a WAY, right? Right!
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 10-14-2016, 06:26 AM
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Re: Disability: Inability to preen my bird...

I am only learning how to preen, because the Zon will would never allow me to touch him - he was respectably married to J and would only allow me to serve as parrot taxi. Gus lets me, so I have a chance to learn. At first I had no idea what to do and I was afraid of hurting him so I just rubbed small pinches of feathers together between two fingers. Don't y'all laugh, I'm new at this. He liked it and it did make a lot of the sheaths flake off. Is there a chance the Rbird would tolerate you wearing finger cots? Might give the fingers enough friction to pull the sheaths off without too much pressure?
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Old 10-14-2016, 11:15 AM
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Re: Disability: Inability to preen my bird...

Thanks for the opportunity to update, Kentuckienne.

Actually, things are looking up. Unfortunately, the Rbird doesn't like any foreign objects on my hands or wrists other than my wedding ring (we battled that one out, believe me!).

But things are looking up. He's really getting used to the shoulder nuzzling and as I was saying above... when we go to our formerly-special preening spot, he never flies away and is letting me gently touch his head while he preens himself. Very heart-warming for me. So we've gone from total avoidance and hostility to a very positive-looking situation. I expect it to get better but even if it doesn't, it feels really nice.

By the way, your preening technique sounds wonderful to me. Glad you finally got a willing partner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for your post.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 10-14-2016, 05:02 PM
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Re: Disability: Inability to preen my bird...

I felt pretty dumb making any post with my three full days of preening experience. I just felt so bad for both of you and figured he wouldn't let you have anything on your hands.
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