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Old 02-01-2013, 06:15 PM
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Unhappy My ekkie boy is terrified of cuttlebone stones, toys, etc

Hey everyone, my name is Darrell and I bought an eclectus parrot in October, he was 4 months old and is a spoiled brat When I first brought him home, he was very quiet but he is well trained, doesnt bite much and sits on your hand and steps up just fine. He is very well behaved and is even potty training pretty much by himself! He is just about 8 months now.

The issue I have with him right now thats bothering me is, he does not play with toys or use his cuttlebone stones. I can tell his beak has gotten longer, and I do think its giving him a little difficulty. I have the stone hanging in his cage, but he will NOT touch it. Ive tried giving him different toys, all the recommended chew toys, and when he sees them he acts like its an infectious disease. If you try to hold him in one hand and bring the toy or stone to his mouth, he goes into full attack mode. He rears back and lunges at it and makes every attempt to run away. Even hanging seed treats, he wont have anything to do with it. Ive tried empty toilet paper rolls and again, he just fights it.

I would like to know if theres any suggestions or techniques i can do to try to get him to understand that his toys and stone are ok. Right now to clean his beak he just tries to scrape it on his cage or perch. Im worried about my boy having issues as he grows up, and im new to parrots in general although ive been reading up on here and in books/web articles. Thanks very much for the time!
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:51 PM
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Re: My ekkie boy is terrified of cuttlebone stones, toys, etc

I'll tell you what I do then you can pick and choose what appeals to you. First, I've never found that Eclectus use a cuttlebone to hone their beaks. Him rubbing it on cage bars and perches is perfectly normal. To encourage this I keep a grooming perch near the wet food dish(es) so when a bird is finished eating they clean their beak on a rougher surface.

Finding an appealing wood for my (8) Eclectus was a challenge. Finally I discovered pinecones! They love them and because I live near several large pine trees, the cones are free. I gather them as soon as they fall so I know they are fresh. I'm talking the large heavy pinecones, not the pointed soft cones.

Another thing that my flock will always chew is fresh branches with the bark (and leaves if the season is right) left on. This site has a list of safe trees: Bird; Birds: Safe, Toxic Trees, Woods. Safe Tree Wood. Parrots. Parrot cages. They enjoy snipping the leaves off then stripping the bark and finally chewing the wood off and on. Small diameter branches are most appealing I've found but they should be sturdy enough the bird can sit on it.

I have one male who will chew thin soft pine. All my females will. Regular pine boards from a lumber yard work great. 1x2s seem to be easiest to use. I've made perches, stands and bird highways from them in my bird room. Even if they grab the lumber as they are moving about it helps wear their beak.

I got this brilliant idea to divide my bird room this winter because I thought it would make controlling out of cage time for my female Eclectus' easier. So I built a 2x2 frame then covered it with wood lattice. My flock all went to town on that frame and 2 of them tore into the lattice as soon as it was up. I figured I would just replace the lattice as needed because I was so happy to see them chewing. Turned out I hated the wall so after one week I took it down. I did leave the frame and a 2' section of lattice up for their chewing pleasure though. They sit on the top of the frame and chew the edges of the lumber. It's perfect.

They don't need fancy stuff. Even thick cardboard folded accordian style and tied with twine can be appealing to some of mine. I just toss it on the play top.

I forgot to mention that I also brought in a large branch that I turned on end and inserted into a huge planter then weighted it down to make a "tree". They can climb on the tree and chew it up. Now I bring in smaller branches weave them into the bigger branches from this tree so they have fresh stuff to chew fairly regularly.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:14 PM
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Re: My ekkie boy is terrified of cuttlebone stones, toys, etc

Thanks very much for the info sodakat, we have pine trees around my apartment complex, i think tomorrow me and my son can go on an adventure and go pick some up and bring them home.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:53 PM
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Re: My ekkie boy is terrified of cuttlebone stones, toys, etc

I am new to an ekkie, but I found that if I put a new toy in his cage while he is in his cage he gets very upset with me and tries to attack it. Also when I clean his cage he gets cross so I put his toys in his cage when he is not in his cage and leave him and he plays with them on his own. If I notice he dosnt play with it I just take it out and leave it for a while or swop it with something else. He also loves branches with pine cones on. We have builta little jungle gym next to his cage from wood branches tied together and he loves climbing all over it and chewing it to bits. Hope it helps.
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