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Old 02-14-2019, 07:39 PM
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Pico, gender unknown, is a hand-fed Yellow Sided Green Cheek Conure, born 2015.
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Do you ever wear earplugs?

Calm down.
Hear me out.

Pico, my 3-yr old, wing clipped, hand raised Conure gets all his needs met, but sometimes he just has to be a parrot and scream ... for a long time.

Yes, I know parrots often scream because they need or want something.
But he truly gets everything he needs ... I just question his extreme wants - as in getting surgically grafted to my neck.
It would be inexcusable if a neglectful parront wore earplugs to ignore the screaming of a bird that really did need something.

Is it common for parrots to scream in spite of all their needs and nearly all wants being met?

I can't list everything he gets, but he's always in view of me.
Every day he spends several hours on my shoulder, chilling, cuddling or napping.
We shower and eat together.
He's never in his cage during the day unless I go somewhere where I can't take him, which is only a few hours a week.

I rotate his toys and give him fresh stuff to chew.
Throughout the house there are stand perches with toys that he moves between.
Every birdie station has a thick rope hanging to the floor that he uses as an elevator.
He has the freedom to, and often does, walk over to me and climb up to my shoulder.

I'm a semi-retired homebody who hasn't taken a vacation in 10 years.
I only go out to do chores and, since we live in a mild climate, Pico comes with me 90% of the time.
He's highly socialized and loves meeting new people every day.
No feather plucking.
He's a very happy bird.

He gets annual vet visits and is on a healthy diet of Zupreem pellets and lots of fruits, veges, and whole grain stuff.
Fresh clean reverse osmosis-filtered water twice a day ... etc. etc. etc.

He's super affectionate and cuddly.
He loves my SO and vice versa.
Based over 50 years of being a parront and reading lots and lots, Pico seems to have the perfect home.
It's just that no matter how much attention I give him it's never enough to keep him quiet 100% of the time.
When I know all his needs are met, yet he screams anyway, I put in earplugs and go about my business.

Of course he can't be near me when I'm cooking (no, there's no teflon) or when I'm using bleach to clean the bathroom or kitchen.
He doesn't understand why I'm ignoring him so he screams - hence the earplugs.

Do you ever use earplugs?
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Last edited by YSGC; 02-14-2019 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:10 PM
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Re: Do you ever wear earplugs?

For screaming, no, but I recently removed liners from my bird's cage at night (due to attempts at nesting/shredding through the grate) and the sound of clanking food has caused me (a VERY light sleeper) to resort to using the silicone variety.


Wearing them is smart though, as it limits your reaction to the behavior.
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:21 PM
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Re: Do you ever wear earplugs?

Nope, I don’t. Sounds like he needs to be trained to play on his own. It’s a learned skill, but an important one. You might also want to cut his fruit and grains and go to just pellets and veggies, or if you can, just veggies and a few nuts. A clipped bird has a much lower energy output than their wild cousins and in my flock we give fruits as treats only or to breeders who are flighted. Limiting the sugar was a HUGE step toward regaining my sanity


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Old 02-14-2019, 08:55 PM
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Re: Do you ever wear earplugs?

I use earplugs every time I give the birds their baths. Everyone screaming at one time in excitement is a bit much. I think that anything that helps is a good thing
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Old 02-14-2019, 11:40 PM
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Re: Do you ever wear earplugs?

I must confess to occasional use of earplugs....I always have them in my purse because I volunteer at a rescue/sanctuary that is largely a cockatoo population (and wow can they get loud). My sunnies have the odd day where they like to holler, and if I’ve had a long day or have a headache....I’ll pop them in. Then they can be out hooting and hollering and being birds, and I can play with them regardless of the sad state of my cranium. Normally I have no issue with sun screeches....but there are some days where it’s more comfortable for all of us
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Old 02-14-2019, 11:45 PM
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Re: Do you ever wear earplugs?

Only when sleeping.
At night (in the winter) the heater cycling on/off makes it hard to go to sleep.
Taking a nap earplugs are vital. Even then I have to have some kind of noise in the background. Earplugs and a closed door are not enough. I usualy run a fan or air purifier as background noise.

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Old 02-15-2019, 10:23 AM
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Re: Do you ever wear earplugs?

I only have cockatiels and they don't chirp/scream for very long just a few minutes in the morning and at night. I am at work during the day.

Sounds to me like you have a very SPOILED bird, nothing wrong with that except that it presents a problem in that they constantly want you to entertain them, and it sounds like he is not used to being by himself or playing independently. It's very important to teach our birds to play by themselves and entertain themselves otherwise you get this constant screaming that doesn't seem to end.

I also agree with cutting back on fruits and grains as it gives them more energy and should only be given to breeders who are raising chicks, otherwise it can give them a lot of excess energy that they feel they need to expel with screaming.

Training him to play by himself (without your interaction or having him on you) a couple hours a day and a change in diet to more veggies and less fruit would most likely be the cure for his screaming. Get him a play stand with fun things to do on it, toys to shred and rope to swing on, and leave him there for a designated time every day for a couple hours. He needs to learn that being by himself is okay.
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Old 02-15-2019, 12:05 PM
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Re: Do you ever wear earplugs?

I had a hard time ignoring Sunny's screaming for attention (something she picked up in her previous home) so I kept them handy, just in case.
Do not remember if I actually used them, but they were definitely in my backpocket a lot of the time!


--


as for your bird: being non-flighted... his brain gets enough exercise but I think his body may not...

(its the same in dogs who just *have* to bark their superplus energy away -> get them on nice long draining walks and some training and the problem disappears)
Of course you can train him to stop screaming: if every scream earns him no more contact with you for a few minutes he will stop, but then you do not get to the 'why' and he may start looking for other ways of getting rid of that energy (gnawing on feathers, headbanging, cagebarchewing etc.etc.).
So try "flapping in place"? Targettraining over longer distances etc. etc.

Last edited by ChristaNL; 02-15-2019 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:30 PM
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Re: Do you ever wear earplugs?

I dont use earplugs, but if I want to watch tv and Fidget is up, I have to use bluetooth to keep him from screaming. When he just starts screaming for fun, I just ignore him or leave the room.
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:41 PM
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Re: Do you ever wear earplugs?

I agree that clipped birds don’t really have a way to get their energy out, so that might be a reason for the screaming. Exercise may be his one need that isn’t being met. Have you considered letting him be flighted?

I also suggest cutting down on the fruits — they have a lot of sugar and he doesn’t need that much energy if he’s not burning it off. Pellets, whole grains, and lots of veggies are much better options for diet. Fruits should be used as occasional treats and not given every day. Switching him to a non-fruit flavored pellet (unless you use ZuPreem Natural, not the FruitBlend) would also be a good idea.
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Last edited by FlyBirdiesFly; 02-16-2019 at 07:51 PM.
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