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Old 01-17-2014, 09:14 AM
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Galah questions....

A couple of things my girl does that I don't understand, if anybody can explain, that'd be great.

Her main house/big cage is outside. I fetch her in when it's hot, or for some playtime, or whatever. Sometimes, when I go to ask her in, she puts up one foot, but doesn't step up. I just leave her and come back later. When she does that, does it mean she doesn't want to come with me, or am I misinterpreting it?

The second question is whether they can feel through their beak. She seems to like it when I rub her beak, but I didn't think it was something they could be feeling. Can they feel it?

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Old 01-17-2014, 10:36 AM
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Re: Galah questions....

When she puts her foot up, do you have your hand near her ready to pick her up? Any time chili puts her foot up she wants to be picked up, and if I'm not right next to her she'll sort of wave it like HEEELLLLOOOOOO??!! Ya gonna pick me up or what?! Lol

Beak rubbing- yes, seems slightly odd but my amazon loved it and so does chili
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:08 AM
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Re: Galah questions....

wild and capive galahs both love rubbing their beak, think of it as your nail. Even though the nail has no nerves you can still feel pressure and texture if you rub it over something. It's the same with their beaks.

The foot up is a bit harder, it could mean she just wants attention, To be pet, or for you to pick her up. Rosie will sometimes act like she wants to be picked up, but instead shoves her head down into my hand for a scratch.
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Old 01-17-2014, 01:25 PM
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Re: Galah questions....

Dominic does the foot-lifting thing too. It always means he wants to be picked up, but sometimes he bites me once I've done that, as if he's mad or something. He also has a habit of walking sideways a step or two and raising one foot, then walking the other way and raising the other foot. It appears as though he really, really wants to go somewhere else, but if you pick him up, he flies straight back to where he was. So, I dunno...

My inner self tells me all he really wants is a bit of attention for a moment or two and then that's enough: back to business.
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strudel (01-17-2014)
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:40 PM
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Re: Galah questions....

Thanks everyone. I think I wasn't clear on the "foot thing". I am asking for a step up, I want her to come with me inside. I put my hand right in front of her for her to get on, but she doesn't get on, she just puts one foot up and stays there. I just go "oh, all right, you don't want to come inside, I'll come back later" and I come back another time and she'll step right up and come with me. It's like a half-hearted step-up, she puts one foot up like she'll do it, but she keeps her other foot firmly planted on her perch and just sits there.

My real question I suppose, is whether I should be insisting that she step up when asked or not? I feel a bit rejected when she doesn't come with me, but I just let her "choose" (if that's what she's doing) whether to step up or not. If she did it every time, I'd be really upset thinking that she "hates me", but she does it "normally" most of the time and comes to me/steps up without any hesitation.

Quote: Originally Posted by Betrisher View Post
back to business.
A lot of her "business" seems to be just sitting there. I assume she's happy doing that, I just feel like she's "missing out" when I read about all the "playful" types of bird who play with toys. She likes company, but she doesn't seem interested in entertaining herself with "stuff". She likes sitting. I think she'd like to just sit on you, like a pirate's parrot.

Last edited by strudel; 01-17-2014 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:21 PM
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Re: Galah questions....

I know with my partners sulphur too it's not a good sign if she lifts her foot but doesn't step up. It seems she is thinking about grabbing you and savaging you!
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:23 PM
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Re: Galah questions....

I think you're doing the right thing, strudel. If you insisted she step up every time, she'd only become resentful and it could be the beginning of bad behaviours. If she's happy just sitting, then let her just sit. Of course, you could always try luring her onto your hand with a food treat. That way, it's a win-win.

I read somewhere recently about a person who taught their bird to forage. First, they worked out what the favoured food treat was (by watching which items the bird always chose from a mixture). Then, they would put that item into a paper cup so the bird could see it. When the bird had taken the treat a few times, then, they folded the paper cup so that you couldn't see the treat, but the bird knew it was there and got it out. After that, it was step by step, hiding the treat more and more until it was firmly encased inside folded paper cups and the only way for the bird to get it was by ripping and tearing the cups open.

Dominic likes egg carton material very much. Maybe you could try cutting sections of egg carton and placing your food treat in one of those. Then, you could squash the little egg-cup thingo more and more until the treat is hidden (letting the bird search for and find it at each step, of course). Eventually, you could put the treat in an egg-cup thingo and then squash a second egg-cup thingo on top of it so your bird really has to chew and rip to get the treat out.

Or, you could try the above system using paper or light cardboard (cereal boxes?) All my birds respond wildly to any object that clearly has 'something' inside it. Something about the rattling makes them curious. Maybe you could put a peanut or almond inside a paper cylinder and fold the ends shut. See if your bird will chomp the paper apart to get the treat.

Anyway, I thought the idea of teaching a bird step by step how to get into stuff was a really good one. Hand-raised birds especially don't learn a lot of stuff that their parents would have taught them. In the same way, my Dom has learned to forage by watching the Beaks do it. Now, that was handy! Saved me a lot of trial and error!

Best of luck with your Galah. I hope you can get her chewing and chomping - there's so much satisfaction to be had from it and I'm sure she'd be happier once she learns.
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:31 PM
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Re: Galah questions....

She understands foraging in a way, she just doesn't seem interested in any "challenges", just the tucker. I put her treats in empty toilet roll holders and she got them out, but I put some seed between two plastic cups (showed her what I was doing) and she wasn't curious or interested in trying to get them out. With her foraging cup from the petshop, she just grabs it with her foot, holds it open and gobbles up whatever is inside. The searching doesn't seem to interest her at all, only the gobbling down. I put some treats in some paper towel, she only cares if I open them back up for her.

Last edited by strudel; 01-18-2014 at 02:52 AM.
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Old 01-18-2014, 03:57 AM
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Re: Galah questions....

Strudel, this sounds very much like Alice. She will forage but she's only interested in guzzling the type of food she's not supposed to eat in any quantity so there's a limit to how much I'm willing to put out for her. She likes shredding paper, so we'll play at that every now and then, and there's evidence that she plays with her toys when I'm not about, but she generally won't go near them while I'm around. I try to show her foot toys and encourage her to play with them but she's either not interested or scared of them, so it's rare I can get her to play with them. She's a lot less nippy than she was, which is good, but I used to distract her from nibbling by using little sticks she could chew on, and now she's no longer fussed about the sticks.

We do training sessions every day but they're proving hard work and she gets stressed really easily so we only do 10 min a day. The pirate's parrot is very apt as well: if I'm home, riding round with me is her clear preference whatever I'm doing, and if I have work to get on with she'll often sit quietly on my lap nibbling bits of clothing. And she loves visitors, following them round with a dopey expression on her face and her crest up and cuddling up to anyone who offers their arm to her, so it does seem that people are her favourite thing to pass the time.

She seems happy enough but I know what you mean, I often read other people talking about the things their birds get up to and think, why doesn't mine want to do those things? I'm I getting something wrong here? But there again in our case I don't think Alice has ever spent a lot of time out of a cage before, so it's probably the first year of her life that she's had the opportunity to play and to hang out with someone for hours at a time, and I guess she's still learning how to make the most of it.
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Old 01-18-2014, 04:29 AM
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Re: Galah questions....

Thanks, my bird was tamed before I got her, so I don't think it's a case of her having been cagebound and not having had "fun". I'd like to just have her out and about, but she doesn't want to sit with her own stuff which would make that possible, so she has to go "inside" when I need to get on with something. Sometimes, she'll sit on her gym in my room, or up on the gym on top of her indoor cage, but other times she wants to come over to me and I have to put her "inside" to stop any incidents with the dogs happening. We will work on this eventually, but there's something I have to get done at the moment, so I can't devote a lot of time to her.
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