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Old 07-13-2018, 08:05 PM
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Galah Questions

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Hi guys! So I have a couple questions for my galah that I've had for 7 months now. I'm really curious on if it's possible to potty train them. I love to have him sit with me but having him poop on me and my rug every 20 minutes is really hard to handle! I spend at least 3 hours with him every day. Another thing, lately he has been preening spots under his wings and on his backwill kind of "scream" when doing it. I'm not sure if he has wounds or what.

Another question is how do I get him to stop nibbling! I'll have him sit on the back of my chair and all he'll do is scream and nibble my ear. He's such a spoiled brat!

However my main concern really is him screeching when preening. I'd hate for him to be in pain! Thank you guys ahead of time.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:29 PM
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Re: Galah Questions

I don't know about the screaming, but I've taught my Senegal not to poop on me. I can kind of time when she's ready to poop so I'll take her to her designated poop area which is her play stand and tell "go poopy" and when she does it I tell her good girl and let her come back to my shoulder. Over time she's learned not to poop on me. She still poops on everything else though. But not having poop running down the back of my shirt anymore is better than nothing.
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:02 PM
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Re: Galah Questions

I think if I had more time to spend I could teach her not to poop on anything at all. But you have to be consistent and sit around timing when they're ready to poop and then place them in their designated poop area.

I've also heard that their poop area should be their cage since they might otherwise hold it in if left in the cage for periods of time which could make them sick. When training them they should know it's ok to go in their cage so they don't hold it in. I don't know if that's true or not though, I'm no bird expert.

Last edited by Sandy19; 07-13-2018 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:18 PM
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Re: Galah Questions

The risk of this kind of training, is if the bird thinks s/he can't poop at all without permission.
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Old 07-14-2018, 02:31 PM
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Re: Galah Questions

I'm still really worried about the screaming when preening. IS it cause his beak is too sharp?
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Old 07-14-2018, 02:56 PM
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Re: Galah Questions

Is he molting?

Just asking because the new feathers - al pointy and wrapped up are both really itchy/annoying but also very sensitive till they harden and the outher shell can come of.

My (barbering) macaw but also the greys really like having the hardened tips removed asap, but if the rest of the feather 'is not ready' it can be painfull and the action will end up in protest and sometimes screams.
(Not just when I do it for them, but also when they tackle their own feathes. Of course the macaw is worse because she is so focussed on/ obsessed with them.)

Getting them really wet / a lot of showers/baths usually helps - it keeps the pinfeathers more flexible and decreases skin-irritation.

And speaking of skin - plze *do* check the area where he is biting - there may be some skin-issues (irritation or even insectbites/parasites...)
Usually parrots will not accidentally hurt themselves with a sharp or dull beak.
So if he is really gnawing on those spots here must be a reason.

The nibbling might be just a case of him (over)preening you.
There is no shame in or damage to his ego in moving him away a bit - its what parrots themselves do when they've had enough.
Try playing games instead ? He is looking for contact- and preening is just one of the many ways you can be close.

Time-the-turds - once you've figured out the time in between, you can place him somewhere else till he pooped.
I am no fan of teaching them to poop on command - it can lead to all kinds of issues.

My greys figured out almost immediately (I am quite vocal in my displeasure when pooped upon) that they needed to do something about this- and either will fly off to poop somewhere else (they have their regular spots) of start to sigal (flapping wings en crouched down tailwiggeling) so I can place them somewhere else.
After the poop we alway just continue where we left of: scritches or just chilling ...
its no big deal.
(and they still have accidents- usually when I am not paying enough attention)

Last edited by ChristaNL; 07-14-2018 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 07-14-2018, 04:39 PM
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Re: Galah Questions

Quote: Originally Posted by ChristaNL View Post
Is he molting?

Just asking because the new feathers - al pointy and wrapped up are both really itchy/annoying but also very sensitive till they harden and the outher shell can come of.

My (barbering) macaw but also the greys really like having the hardened tips removed asap, but if the rest of the feather 'is not ready' it can be painfull and the action will end up in protest and sometimes screams.
(Not just when I do it for them, but also when they tackle their own feathes. Of course the macaw is worse because she is so focussed on/ obsessed with them.)

Getting them really wet / a lot of showers/baths usually helps - it keeps the pinfeathers more flexible and decreases skin-irritation.

And speaking of skin - plze *do* check the area where he is biting - there may be some skin-issues (irritation or even insectbites/parasites...)
Usually parrots will not accidentally hurt themselves with a sharp or dull beak.
So if he is really gnawing on those spots here must be a reason.

The nibbling might be just a case of him (over)preening you.
There is no shame in or damage to his ego in moving him away a bit - its what parrots themselves do when they've had enough.
Try playing games instead ? He is looking for contact- and preening is just one of the many ways you can be close.

Time-the-turds - once you've figured out the time in between, you can place him somewhere else till he pooped.
I am no fan of teaching them to poop on command - it can lead to all kinds of issues.

My greys figured out almost immediately (I am quite vocal in my displeasure when pooped upon) that they needed to do something about this- and either will fly off to poop somewhere else (they have their regular spots) of start to sigal (flapping wings en crouched down tailwiggeling) so I can place them somewhere else.
After the poop we alway just continue where we left of: scritches or just chilling ...
its no big deal.
(and they still have accidents- usually when I am not paying enough attention)
I believe he is molting. He has been taking out a couple feathers and I see some fluff on the floor. I also see new feathers growing in. He also does this thing where he will start screaming if I don't give him attention when he's next to me.

Also off topic, I can put him down on the couch and he does this thing where he looks up and rolls while screeching (not pain) and will bite if I try to grab him. Not sure what he's doing or what it means. Rio is such a weird bird!
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Old 07-15-2018, 02:25 AM
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Re: Galah Questions

oh... not meaning to criticize, but it can sneak up on anyone:

if screaming gets him your attention -> expect more and more screaming in the future (might turn into a non-stop-thing)

not sure if he knows a few whistles or words yet- but better explain that "screaming will get you nowhere - fast" is on the menu.

(Sunny learned -previous home- that screaming got her attention, its been no fun trying to explain to her that screaming is for emergencies only and if she wants attention she has to vocalize differently. She knows about 20 different "hello's " so there is plenty to choose from imho - she did not see it that way of course ... )

LOL of course they scream -> being parrots and all, but this is one of those "nature or nurture" moments that can make or break a succesfull relationship.

Last edited by ChristaNL; 07-15-2018 at 02:32 AM.
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Old 07-17-2018, 12:38 PM
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Re: Galah Questions

I agree that the "screaming while preening" is most-likely him chewing on new pin-feathers that are coming through. New feathers are encased inside a white sheath, and before the sheaths dry-out and break/crumble apart to expose the new feather, they are very painful to them when they are touched. It's not at all uncommon for them to try to break-apart the sheaths around the pin feathers because they are very itchy, but if it's too soon and the sheaths are not dry enough, they tend to be very painful. It sounds like he's going through a big molt, which is also most-likely what's going-on under his wings too...

It's pretty easy to "potty-train" your bird, but you need to think about where you want him to go, because you can end-up with a bird that needs your help every time it has to go, and will wait and hold-it until you can help him...Like some people train their birds to poop when they are held over the toilet or a trash can, but what can happen is the bird will only go when held over the toilet or a trash can, and then they can end-up actually hurting themselves because they hold it too long...Better to train him to only go in his cage or on a specific stand that he can always get to, whether you're there or not.

And the screaming thing, well yeah, he's got you well-trained already, lol...If you give him attention when he screams, even negative attention, then he's going to keep on screaming.
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