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Old 02-09-2019, 09:08 PM
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Need Advice about Jack

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Hi Everyone,

I have recently adopted a rainbow lorikeet named Jack. Unfortunately he didn't have the best start to life, through lack of education his previous owner did not properly care from him. I need some advice about his behaviour, he has one specific toy he is absolutely obsessed with, if i go near it he is very aggressive and noisy. This toy was the only thing he had in his cage when i bought him, so im wondering if he has attachment issues? I recently took it off him as he is so obsessed with it i feel its detrimental to his health, but since taking it away he isn't as chirpy and just overall seems sad. He already has an issue with feather plucking so im worried this will make it worse.

Does anyone have any advice in how to deal with this? Should I give it back and have an aggressive bird or keep it away and have a sad one?! Help!
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:40 PM
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Re: Need Advice about Jack

Yes, please let him keep it. My vet recommend me letting my rescue keep a toy she talked to and tried to feed. As all the trauma she needed a comfort iteam. My vet said in time she would bgive it up, and that's exactly what happened. Do please let your traumatized parrot keep what is his " pretend freind" for now. In time I think he to will transfer his feelings and interactions to you. Poor thing has been through so much change right now. Thank you for the rescue. Look forward to your journey.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:16 PM
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Re: Need Advice about Jack

Your Jack might do a lot of acting out, and more plucking at first too. But positive change will happen slowly. Best have a vet check as some plucking is caused by medical reasons.
My rescue was cage agressive at first to, and still is slightly. I just let her come out of the cage before cleaning and feeding. And in my opinion just ignore the "special toy"
Any cag changes should be slow. I learned the hard way on that one. You are going to see such Joy as Jack slowly becomes more trusting, and overcomes his past poor life. But it's usually slow, I just posted in my rescue Penny that it took close to five months to see big changes. I also read other threads on other parrot species and found them helpful. Like the one in blue at the top of the Amazon forum by Sailboat, tilted I love Amazon's. He talks about rescue, closed down parrots, much I found insightful for my situation. Thank you for taking Jack in, expect a lot of ups and downs at first. I personally think of them as fearful, not agressive, and traumatized. They are so very intelligent, and can greive for their past home even if it wasn't the best. Now in a whole new place and new routine, they don't know what to expect.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:58 PM
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Re: Need Advice about Jack

Since we got him his behaviour has definitely improved - except when it comes to this toy. I wasn't sure what to do, whether taking it off him would reduce the aggression but it made him really sad which was awful. I've just given it back to him and he is instantly happier.
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:04 PM
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Re: Need Advice about Jack



I am new to bird, and have been learning a lot from the members on this forum here.


I hope you get to play with your baby soon.



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Old 02-10-2019, 02:15 AM
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Re: Need Advice about Jack

If Jack is also mating with the toy- then it has to go.

May be just out of reach but still in sight, maybe all together.


A "companion-toy" could be great, like Laura said, because is provides a sense of security-in-numbers and lessens stress.

A "sextoy" -> where the toy is the mate to be fought over and fought for... and stimulates all kinds of hormonal behaviour will have to be away from the bird or he will never 'calm down' because whatever you do will be a threatening move to his 'marital bliss'-state of mind and actually will add to the stress...


(Feeding the toy is not necessery mating behaviour, they will feed close friends as well, not only their mates. One of the reasons regurging is not a red-flag behaviour when it applies to human-bird interaction.)
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:16 PM
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Re: Need Advice about Jack

I've not seen him mate with it, he is just very protective and paranoid about it. He panics if its not near him
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:54 AM
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Re: Need Advice about Jack

I saw something about a similar issue with a toy (although that was used for masturbating) was the idea of moving to a different location in the cage, this could be an idea here. Also, potentially you could maybe use the toy to show that you're not to be scared? May sound silly but you could try gently touching the toy which may let Jack understand your hands aren't to be feared?
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:22 AM
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Re: Need Advice about Jack

I would put it back in with him and at least give him some time in his new home with his new "Flock", meaning you...

My guess is that Jack didn't get much attention or interaction at his prior home, especially if he was plucking, so that's obviously the reason that he has "bonded" with that toy, because he had no one else to bond with, which is actually natural for a bird to do if they have no other birds or no people to bond with, as they are "Flock Animals"...Now he's in a new home with new people who want to bond with him and be his family, and that's great, but it also takes time, sometimes a long time, sometimes not. The bottom-line is that he's not yet settled-in nor given you his complete trust or bonded with you, so that toy is still his "Flock", and taking it away from him right now could result in more Feather-Destructive Behavior and also Self-Mutilation...So you definitely don't want that.

I would absolutely put the toy back in his cage so he isn't feeling alone or missing it...And then the idea is that YOU GRADUALLY REPLACE THE TOY! Over time, as you earn his trust and he bonds more and more closely with you, his bond with the toy will be less and less, and eventually it won't be so crucial he has it. But for now he doesn't have "attachment issues", it's simply that that single toy in his cage was his Flock, so it is what it is. Taking it away right after he's put into a new home with new people could have horribly awful psychological and behavioral results...

Earning the trust of a new bird can take weeks, months, or longer. I don't know Jack or his level of tameness or his willingness to interact with people at this point, but regardless it is going to be a gradual process. So as long as you're spending adequate time with him every day and you make him a part of your "Flock", then he'll care less and less about the toy and more and more about you.
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