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Old 08-06-2017, 03:16 AM
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Charlie a re-home with a few annoying quirks...

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Hi everyone!

This isn't our first rodeo, but this will be my first cockatoo. My mum and grandparents used to have a different galah & corella, but I don't really consider them, or our other old birds, real cockatoo experience on my behalf.

Meet Charlie.

Everyone was calling Charlie "him" because it doesn't really matter, but ~she?~ does have red irises. Its not blatantly obvious though... (I mean I've seen some that have full-on demon eyes lol) She's at least ten years old, possibly older. That's how long her previous owners had her, and we don't really know what happened before that.

She's also very defensive of the cage which makes me more sure shes a girl; even the new unfamiliar one that she's in when shes inside (she came with a small outside aviary).

Charlie has been eating pellets plus whatever fruit/veggie extras (and I want to add sprouts to that. -Even though by my understanding she can take more seed than my previous bird, an eclectus, if i plan on clipping her I don't want to make her fat (?)-. She was previously kept clipped most of the time, but is currently fully flighted. I know this is a -thing- but I am seriously considering clipping her at least until shes more used to our house and us. Because while she is completely content on your shoulder and you can actually carry her out the door and between cages, I don't trust her. Since she has been previously clipped I don't expect she will overreact to it.

Charlie is very vocal, and while a lot of it is goopy unintelligible baby talk she says hello charlie, dances, waves, taps with you on beat, calls for a dog, imitates a squeaky toy, kisses and asks for scratches etc. There are longer sentences that I cant make out, and some things shes only said once to others but I wasn't there to hear it.

I'm not sure if she properly knows how to step up, but since shes so eager for cuddles this isn't a problem. Getting her back in the cage afterwards, without exposing one of your hands from within your sleeves is the problem haha

Charlie is very loving. So loving it is kind of scary (Cockatoo I guess ). She always wants to be on you right up in your face. I have had to lose all my piercings XD.

What makes this mostly scary is that she has some kind of vendetta against hands (and apparently this extends to bare feet too). Unless you approach her just-so and get in for head scratches which are apparently allowed, she goes in for the kill when it comes to fingers and hands. -Even when they were nowhere near her, and you didn't threaten her, she will move towards them and THEN decide they are too close :P

After shes gotten you good once or twice noone really wants her near their face. (even though we have always said that big birds have no place there anyway, shes already set on her cuddles).

Basically it seems to me that she was/is a very tame loving bird who really wants her humans, but who also has been outside in an aviary with social contact, but not much physical training for so long that shes only halfway there at the moment. She definitely has so much potential though <3

Does anyone have any suggestions about how to deal with the hand thing? I mean we can target train her and give treats in a bowl on a stick, but I feel like that's just dealing with/avoiding the issue, not addressing it.

Last edited by Oedipussrex; 08-06-2017 at 03:23 AM.
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Old 08-06-2017, 03:46 AM
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Re: Charlie a re-home with a few annoying quirks...

Hi! Welcome! What a cool wee Galah - I so hear you on the snuggles thing - I'm used to a rather independent birds and then boarded mums for six months or golly he was stuck to the knee the minute I sat down.

Interesting with the hands...will he currently take treats from them? When he's stepping up for loves, is it on the hand, or on the arm?
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Old 08-06-2017, 04:08 AM
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Re: Charlie a re-home with a few annoying quirks...

Haha, she arrived at our house while I was out, and while I was stopped at the door with a "TAKE ALL YOUR PIERCINGS OUT" they forgot to warn me about the hand thing.

She immediately latched on and hung off of my thumb when i tried to give a "hello I swear I'm a cool person" walnut (like a whole piece that extended way past my fingers, not just a small bit). Unless its a rather large seed-cracker (some weirdo healthy thing my mum eats, I'm sure its safe) passed through the bars so she cant reach your hands, she doesn't take things without lunging at you.

...changing her bowls is a funny dance depending on where she is in the cage. I'm pretty sure they were previously just funneling fresh stuff through the bars to avoid it.

She steps up onto your forearm and immediately tries to climb higher. If you have made a fist you can usually avoid getting attacked like that. But now that it is obvious it's a hand thing, and her claws are sharp anyway, I just wear long sleeves and pull them down.
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Old 08-06-2017, 05:24 AM
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Re: Charlie a re-home with a few annoying quirks...

Hi, my AV calls Plum her LOL.

Use time outs to deter her bad behaviour. RB2's love to be in control btw, let that happen at your peril. Have a go with stick/perch training and then if that goes OK progress to stick to hand and back. Plum is straight up my arm to my shoulder but he is good on the whole. He will react to a sharp toned 'behave' from me also. Charlie needs to earn her shoulder privileges. A Towel or similar draped around you shoulders can be an extra deterrent, that takes up the space she wants to occupy. If she is really biting bad then use it to remove her as you do not need cosmetic surgery to be a part of your future. If Plum misbehaves he is put back in his cage, he has got that he doesnt really like being in the bad books as will tell me he has "been a good boy" at bed time on a naughty day, doesnt like it if I say no and will ask again LOL.

Try when they are most mellow, evening, especially after some exercise. Take her to a sofa/chair and place her on the arm and then head scritch, retrieve her from shoulder and place back in this position. On shoulder, near your face = no head scritches and/or return to cage. Don't forget to take treats also for reinforcing good behaviour. Remember to not reward her bad behaviour.

An outside perch on her cage and a playstand can be a godsend to allow her to come out under her own steam. Take that chance to do little jobs in her cage, she will watch like a hawk but hope will get used to it. Please don't clip her, trying to keep a RB2 trim and healthy is difficult, allow her some fly time. Use a carrier to be safe.

I am a holiday mum to another younger RB2 who was a little devil re the bowls in his cage, it was a good game to nail your hand. So, I used a pair of folded oven gloves as a barrier between his beak and my hand. He got bored of it and doesnt bother with me now. He is cage territorial with his Mum but not me, go figure that one.

I had flying head attacks in the early days from Plum which was really upsetting and I needed to give myself a good talking to before getting on top of it. As soon as they get comfortable they then want to 'rule', never a good idea. Be firm and fair and it will get better and remember to not show any fear. These are very clever little boogers btw.

Diet, if she is eating pellets then seeds for treats only IMO. Veggies, pellets, fruit, treats. Yes to sprouts, they love them.

Oh you'll love this, it is a good idea to weigh them at least weekly at the same time, good luck LOL.

Last edited by plumsmum2005; 08-06-2017 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 08-06-2017, 11:03 AM
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Re: Charlie a re-home with a few annoying quirks...

Love Charlie's mischievous face!

Not familiar with Galahs, so will let others ably share stories and specific advice. Shoulder and kissy-face privileges are earned, but so rewarding. Just be careful with the piercings; it may be all but impossible to cure Charlie's curiosity and "need" to check them out!!
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