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Old 09-12-2019, 08:01 AM
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Re: New pair of young Eclectus acting very hostile to me. Looking for advice.

Thank you both for the feed back.

I definitely need to haul it back a bit and moth at a slower pace. I've started that approach since yesterday morning and I just need to stick to it. Lots to think about and plan for the future.

I did in fact get their blood work done and they are checked out.

Now this might just be an oversensitive parrot parent question but how much sneezing is a concern? I feel like every time one of the birds lets out a little sneeze i immediately start to sorry and check their eyes and nostrils. it's not constant or anything just I don't have a calibration for large/medium birds.
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:17 PM
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Re: New pair of young Eclectus acting very hostile to me. Looking for advice.

Glad to hear it I do think you actually will get a handle on this. These birds are so young that you’ve hardly didn’t any damage that can’t be quickly reversed. But if you find you’re having trouble progressing, you might considering doing a consult with a parrot trainer. They are out there for sure, something like $60 and hour I’ve heard for a Skype consult. It can be life changing for you.

The sneezing is no different for larger birds than smaller birds. Once or twice a day is fine. Always be concerned if you have discharge. Otherwise don’t stress. You wouldn’t do that if your dog sneezed. You don’t have to be paranoid about every little thing. The anxiety that brings can be crushing.
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Old 09-17-2019, 08:44 AM
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Re: New pair of young Eclectus acting very hostile to me. Looking for advice.

There has been some excellent advice given, here. I'd like to emphasize the point about separate cages. They may seem fine now, but as Chris pointed out female ekkies especially become dangerously territorial. In the wild, they are naturally hard-wired to find a nesting space (hollows in trees) and defend them with everything that they have against everything from competing female ekkies to snakes to significantly larger cockatoos.

It's because of this hard-wired predisposition that female ekkies get such a bad rap as being so vicious and terrible. Truth is, once you understand what drives them, they can be incredibly loving and caring birds. You just have to respect the hard-wired instinct. And for you, step one of that will be getting them into separate cages.

This will help you with their training as well. When you reach into their cage and one reacts badly, it will amp up the other's reaction as well. If they were in separate spaces, this would be far less of an issue.

As for the wrangling issue, best bet is to address the factors that lead to it. As Chris also pointed out, if they are in a situation that is not inherently dangerous, you can give them the space to figure a way out on their own. But for this to work, you have to first anticipate what in the room could potentially be either dangerous to your birds or detrimental to their development.

For instance, electrical cords of any kind are a clear and imminent threat. Mirrors and windows can be as well. Or toxic ingestibles. But these things can, for the most part, be handled before hand.

As for things detrimental to development? Anywhere that could trigger the nesting instinct. Dark and broody spaces. Under couches. Nooks and crannies where they feel covered on all sides. Any corners with overhangs. These are things you want to find a way to address before they become an issue. Because believe me, once a female ekkie finds a potential nesting site she will become OBSESSED with going there every time you open that cage.

Oh, you'd asked about whether target training them from inside the cage would be bad. Absolutely not. The point, as you managed, was to get them used to targeting. Get them to understand the process and to make the link between the desired behavior and the reward.

A few training tips:

-RESPECT their individual attention spans. This one is huge. Like any good general, you want to avoid giving orders that will not be followed. You want to avoid getting your birds used to telling you 'No'. Step one of this is only training them for as long as training is interesting to them. It's kind of like dating. You never want the date to feel like it's been going on too long, right? You always want to leave the other person wanting more. This is the same thing. Get a feel for when each of them tends to lose interest. For ekkies this can be anywhere from 5 to 25 minutes. Once you know the individual's tolerance point, try preemptively ending the session maybe a minute before. You want to end it on a good note, you know?

-DEFINED MEALTIMES. There are different ways of feeding birds. Different schedules. Some free-feed. This is to say, there is always food available in their bowls all day long, so they can graze at their leisure. Many swear by this, and that's fine. To each their own. But this method does make for more difficult training... and can lead to rather corpulent birds depending on the individual personality involved.

Personally, I go with defined mealtimes. Which is to say, they have a defined breakfast and dinner time. The only thing they get in-between are training snacks. (Some go for a three meal per day structure, with smaller-sized portions. This is fine as well. As long as they are defined mealtimes.

This is for several reasons. First, I feed my ekkies 100% fresh. As such, having food out for them all day just isn't practical.

Second, having defined mealtimes opens a world of possibilities. For instance, since they always receive their meals in their cages, my birds never consider their cages as places to be avoided. By associating their meals with their cages, the cages become home to them. As such, there is never a fuss about going to their cages. It's a place of comfort. Of sustenance.

Third, it allows you to more accurately gauge what they are eating and to avoid gluttony. Ekkies tend to be very eager and robust eaters, so best to avoid any issues with them getting overweight.

Fourth is that it is a built-in incentive for them to go back to their cages. This isn't a concern now, as my pair is fully trained and acclimated to our household, but in the early stages, you need every advantage you can get. And anything that cuts down on the need to chase down and capture your birds is a good thing. So when you're working with them and they are still not reliably target trained or willing to step-up, you need to appeal to their basic needs. So, let them out relatively close to one of their mealtimes. When you know you have the time for them to be out and you're not rushing anywhere. And then, when it's time for them to go in, just put their food into their dishes in their respective cages and let Nature do the heavy-lifting. (If each is bonded to a particular cage, you can do this with both at once. But if they have a tendency to want to visit each other's cages, you might want to work on this separately. Otherwise, you'll wind up having to chase one down, again.)

Fifth is to find the treat that makes your ekkies lose their individual minds. You find the right incentive treat, and they'll start looking forward to the training sessions. You want them to start wanting to do what you want them to do. It's less about control than putting yourself on the same page with them. Here's a prime example, taken from early on in Jolly's color discernment/fetch training, of when your ekkie wants to do the training at least as much as you do:

And sixth? Well, that's covered in the following tip...

-STRATEGIC TIMING. This is another big one. I only train my birds between their defined meals. Usually when they are at their hungriest, maybe an hour or so before their next mealtime. ***Please note, this method should NOT be confused with withholding food for performance. Treats can be withheld pending performance, but NEVER defined meals. The difference between the two may seem subtle, but it's actually huge. What I'm saying is to use the natural occurrence of hunger strategically. Not to induce hunger for compliance. I hate the practice of hunger training, so I just want to make sure what I'm saying isn't interpreted in that way.***

By strategically scheduling your training sessions, your birds will be at their most treat-motivated, whereas a free-feeding parrot will never feel that sense of urgency. Now, of course a free-feeding parrot can still be trained, but this just provides something of an advantage.

And now, here are some links that you may find helpful:

For understanding the psychology of biting parrots: BRAINSTORMING: Biting Parrots

Another thread on training: Are my training sessions with my bird hurting our relationship?

A video that shows the basics of getting a bird to start trusting you (You already seem to be doing some of this, but you can take a peek anyway):

A target training video:

Step-up Training: Need Help with Step Up training

Bite Pressure Training: Bite pressure training?

And finally, a long but VERY informative thread on a wide range of parrot training methodologies, from old school to new: Old vs Modern techniques...
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Old 09-17-2019, 09:12 AM
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Re: New pair of young Eclectus acting very hostile to me. Looking for advice.

THE MASTER HATH SPOKEN

^^^^^^^what he said^^^^^^^
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Old 09-17-2019, 09:29 AM
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Re: New pair of young Eclectus acting very hostile to me. Looking for advice.

Quote: Originally Posted by chris-md View Post
THE MASTER HATH SPOKEN

^^^^^^^what he said^^^^^^^
Yes, indeed!
Stephen, you are the man!
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:49 AM
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Re: New pair of young Eclectus acting very hostile to me. Looking for advice.

Hahahahaha! Y'all are so silly! But thank you! I hope it all helps. Looking back, I see I was a little long-winded, there. Lol!
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Old 10-11-2019, 09:08 PM
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Re: New pair of young Eclectus acting very hostile to me. Looking for advice.

Ok so update time.

Things are looking better! Still working on a permanent separation solution but the advice here has been great, plus some practice, getting to know my birds and more research and things are getting better and I'm less panicked all the time.

SO I've continued target training regularly at least twice a day. once right before they get breakfast (not always the most motivated but i get them to touch the stick. and a session before dinner where they are usually far more active.

As for feeding i have a couple forage feeders i fill once a week that has their seed/pellet content they can work at. Daily they get a small bowl of chop or hot food each in the morning and one at night. In between they each get a fresh veggie skewer hung when i remove the breakfast bowl and i remove before dinner training time. that seems to work really well. They prefer the hanging veggies to teh bowl foods based on how they attack them but it's been a balanced diet so far. (turns out brussel sprouts, jalapenos, snap peas and an apple slice is the current favorite skewer).

Adamaah is still the most bold and has developed more confidence in moving around and flying short distances, still very cage focused I can't get her away fromt eh cage more than about 10-12 feet before she gets anxious and flys back.

Moxie is still very hand shy and will absolutely not step up voluntarily but she doesn't attack every finger in range and will allow occasssional pets. in teh last few days i've gotten her to step onto or make a short flight to my forearm or shoulder so it's defintiely not people it's just fingers and hands that are teh problem, but fingers with treats are happily tolerated but not stepped on.

the Wrangling issue advice was dead on. I solve two major issues by placing a ladder on the floor to allow a stray bird to reach teh bars they can then climb up and started placing a blanket over the top of the cage when they are out. The top of the cage was the biggest problem becasue once up there M would not come down and would panic when tried to remove her, with teh blanket they don't like standing on it so if they do fly up they immediately find a way back down. with those two things in place when moxie decides to foray off i just wait and she always makes her way back to the cage or the ladder to get up to the cage.

It's clear that neither have "bonded" with me yet but i see greater signs of trust with Adamaah day over day and Moxie is definitely settling. all that said here is a picture to show the progress i have made! (Adammah up front and Moxie in back.

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Old 10-11-2019, 09:17 PM
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Re: New pair of young Eclectus acting very hostile to me. Looking for advice.

Such wonderful news, thanks for updating! That bond can be tricky for some, but the training is laying foundation for 2 way communication. Now you can see: The targeting is great for more than just touching the tip of a stick!

Try having them fly a short distance to touch the stick. Maybe to your hand?
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