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Old 05-22-2020, 11:44 AM
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At my wits end

Looking for advice as I am not sure what do to anymore.


I've had my blue n gold for a little over 2 years now...she was about 6 months old when I got her, very challenging to handle but still somewhat behaved while in her cage in her room.


For the first year and a half she was clipped, (i had got her clipped a couple of times after the initial purchase). I decided not to get her clipped anymore because I wanted her to fly which she has been doing short flights around the house.


Well since the whole pandemic thing started (and I don't know if this coincides with springtime since it both started around late march.), I've been working from home and I cannot get her to stop screaming.


She shares a room with my african gray, shes in her own big cage with multiple toys in a room with a tv on with cartoons playing for atleast 4-5 hours during the work day and all she wants to do is hang off the cage bars that face the windows and scream all day. Her cage is not directly next to the windows but about 10 feet away, enough for her to see the pond, grass, etc outside. I'm not talking about a few squawks here and there, she literally just hangs off the cage bars with her beak screaming constantly. The only time she doesn't scream is when I have her out on my shoulder but I don't want to do that during the day because I have to eventually go back to the office and it will just create another problem. She'll even scream when I have her out and if I leave the room or area for a few minutes.



My normal routine when I was at the office has always been taking her out (along with my african gray) when I got home from work which was around 4:30-5 PM and keeping them out until 9 PM during work days and during weekends having them out from 1/2 PM to 9 PM.



I cannot stop her from screaming now unless I cover most of her cage (side facing the windows) with a blanket during the day and I really don't think that's the best situation.
I've tried putting it on for an hour to quiet her down if she starts her whole hanging off the bars while screaming routine and it stops and then taking it off again and she goes back to doing it again.



I've been trying to harness train her so I can take her outside again but it's

not going too well and she just refuses to have it go around her neck.



I really can't concentrate on work with her screaming constantly either, I'm honestly just frustrated and annoyed. I spend so much money and time on food, treats, toys ...like last night after I got done with everything and my chores I was baking birdie bread until 1 AM...etc only to be screamed at the entire day lol.


Not sure what do anymore I have a feeling people are going to start complaining soon and my HOA is going to come down on me.

Last edited by BluenGold_Congo; 05-22-2020 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 05-22-2020, 12:25 PM
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Re: At my wits end

NEVER cover the cage during the day--period. This is a bedtime only thing--their light cycles matter and you can't use them to curtail behavior safely.
When you say, "can't stop her from screaming", what is your strategy and do you time periods of silence in between the screaming? How long have you waited without doing ANYTHING and staying out of sight (once the screaming starts)? To be clear- birds sometimes scream to communicate, so if your bird is in too small of a cage, isn't eating properly, isn't getting out, isn't getting attention like it needs etc, then ignoring isn't the answer, as it is screaming in the way that a baby cries...BUT, assuming your bird has structure, sleep, a schedule and is healthy, then it could be behavioral. ..Also-- no dark or shadowy spaces in or outside the cage--- these are triggers for behaviors (so no boxes or shelves etc).

When I got my U2, there were times when she screamed AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS for 2+ hours ...shook the house (all of her needs were very well met and she had already proven her independence while I was at work etc--this was more willful and flock related---not saying it was unnatural, but it intensified when more people were in the house and she wanted us all in one room with eyes on her). The thing is, when the screaming started, no one went in when it was happening--not to yell, not to cover, not to do a dang thing. We did our best to prevent it ahead of time by talking to her if we walked out of the room (BEFORE the screaming) but once it started, no one could enter the room or talk to the bird UNTIL there was a 10 second window of solid silence. At that point, we would run in and say, "thanks for getting so quiet" (in quiet voices). YOU MUST TEACH independence and play before you just leave your bird alone..but you need to praise the quiet and ignore the loud.

If the screaming starts and 10 s is too much, start with 5. Do what you can to prevent it 1. by making sure your bird gets 12 hours of sleep nightly on a schedule, 2. plenty of time out of cage each day, 3. teach it to play with toys by modeling, 4. REWARD independence.

IF YOU ARE SURE THAT YOU ARE MEETING ALL OF YOUR BIRDS NEEDS IN TERMS OF CAGE-SIZE, SLEEP, DIET, FOOD ETC....then here is what you can do if your bird starts screaming---if you are in the room, leave. If you are out of the room, stay out. You may need some earplugs during this initial period of time. You say nothing---do not talk about it, do not look at the bird, do not walk past the bird. NO ATTENTION.

If squawking stops, start a count 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3, Mississippi etc....If your goal is 5 seconds, and your bird squawks at 4 mississipi, then you have to start back at one. You do not start counting until the squawking stops, and any noise between 1-5 (or 1-10) seconds restarts the clock. You only run in and praise for being quiet after a SOLID 5-10 seconds (pick one and stick with it initially). Once the bird masters 5, increase the quiet time to 10.

This is more on you than on the bird because you have to have a will of steel and so far, the bird is doing what is natural and winning your attention. If covering the cage stops the screaming, consider the fact that the bird may be 1. confused/more messed up in the future because of hormones and light issues and 2. ENJOYING the cage covering...

Last edited by noodles123; 05-22-2020 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 05-27-2020, 07:05 PM
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Re: At my wits end

Thanks for the response...it's likely not a CAGE-SIZE (7 feet high x 4 ft x 4ft), SLEEP (8 PM - 8 AM), DIET/FOOD (Pellet and a variety of carrots, sweet potatoes, pasta, bean mixes, birdie bread), plenty of toys to play with, wood to chew on, rope to chew on ETC...TV with cartoons on for at least 4 hours of the day while I'm at the other side of the house working...and she'll still scream at least a few times every hour even if I completely ignore it and do not make a sound in the house. I feel like I have to tiptoe around my own house not to trigger it.

I just don't know, if I reward her for being quiet with a treat once I leave the room, door closes and shes done with the treat she'll go back to her scream routine.

It's almost impossible to work with the noise in the background, and I just feel sorry for my african gray who's in the same room taking the brunt of the noise.

At this point I'm seriously considering re-homing for my own sanity and for my african gray's sanity. Almost every night I'm going to sleep with a huge headache lol.

Last edited by BluenGold_Congo; 05-27-2020 at 07:08 PM.
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