hand training triggering mating behavior?

Katapotato

New member
Jan 19, 2021
7
0
Parrots
african grey about 20 years old
i have an African grey. he is 20 years old and is a rescue from an abusive household. i don't know his gender but i ASSUME he is a boy based on his behavior.

Archemedies is my childhood pet. i have had him for roughly 14 years now and we are about the same age. slowly over the years we have been training him to be more open to people and not be scared or aggressive, but he has a LOT of anxiety and due to his upbringing he is VERY scared to step up on your arm or hand.

it would improve his quality of life if i could just simpily carry him places, so i am slowly training him to be OK with stepping up.


lately he has made excelent progress and put his entire weight on my hand and was able to step up a few times!

but lately i noticed he has been showing mating behavior when i put my hand at his feet. he has been bobbing his head like he is trying to regurgitate and his wings have been outward. :confused:

now, i dont want to sexually frustrate him, but he NEEDS to learn to step up. i know he is an older bird, but i am happy to spend a decade training if i have to for him if it means his life would improve. :(


the point is how do i go about this? do i still give him a treat for attempting to step up during training? do i just ignore it? i have tried target training but he is scared of the stick and it doesnt seem to "click" with him, he responds better to voice commands.

help is appreciated! :D
 

chris-md

Well-known member
Feb 6, 2010
3,988
233
Maryland - USA
Parrots
Parker - male Eclectus

Aphrodite - red throated conure (RIP)
Hello and welcome!

I’ve got a few thoughts on this, which feed into each other:

Firstly, make sure you are giving him the proper diet. Diet can have significant exacerbating effects on hormonal behavior.

Second: what people often don’t realize is that you don’t just get the behavior you reward, you get the mental and emotional state that accompanies it. If your bird only talks when it’s being aggressive, and you start rewarding talking to encourage it, your training the bird to be aggressive as well as talk. Then you wonder how your bird became aggressive.

Third: I’m not sure how long you’ve been at this training, but this is also reminding me of how recently rescued birds react to a loving home that brings the best out of the bird with excessive hormonal displays. Now your bird isn’t new, but if this is a new way of interacting it might be stimulating him.

My primary thought here is observation and caution. Make sure everything around the birds environment is anti-hormonal (diet, touching, etc). And as you enter training, be cognizant of the behavior of the bird and it’s mental state. You might try different times of day to train, try before or after major events like mealtime or sleeping.
 
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Katapotato

New member
Jan 19, 2021
7
0
Parrots
african grey about 20 years old
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Hello and welcome!

I’ve got a few thoughts on this, which feed into each other:

Firstly, make sure you are giving him the proper diet. Diet can have significant exacerbating effects on hormonal behavior.

Second: what people often don’t realize is that you don’t just get the behavior you reward, you get the mental and emotional state that accompanies it. If your bird only talks when it’s being aggressive, and you start rewarding talking to encourage it, your training the bird to be aggressive as well as talk. Then you wonder how your bird became aggressive.

Third: I’m not sure how long you’ve been at this training, but this is also reminding me of how recently rescued birds react to a loving home that brings the best out of the bird with excessive hormonal displays. Now your bird isn’t new, but if this is a new way of interacting it might be stimulating him.

My primary thought here is observation and caution. Make sure everything around the birds environment is anti-hormonal (diet, touching, etc). And as you enter training, be cognizant of the behavior of the bird and it’s mental state. You might try different times of day to train, try before or after major events like mealtime or sleeping.
i am a new adult and i recently just started taking care of my parrot on my own this year. please excuse my misunderstanding. this is a little new to my bird, mainly because my parents were too scared to touch my bird for the longest time.

my bird isnt showing signs of being moody or aggression per say, but i am worried by his head bobbing and the way he is holding his wings up during training. he is very happy and friendly around me, but i am still worried.

i do follow rules such as no touching anything other than his head and his feet during training (i never touch anything but the head reguardless). i try to follow guidelines online about how to combat this.

for specifics, i am training him to step up on my hand and to remain calm when he is being held. this has been going on for several months and he has been picking it up slowly.

do you have tips on what to feed him? i give him mostly pelets, occasionally i will give him fruit and vegitables for his health but i mostly rely on pelets.
 

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