Help with Ekkie

Nim

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May 19, 2021
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Hi everyone. We recently got a female eclectus parrot from a bird shop at the start of May. The bird shop wasn’t able to tell us her exact age (they’re said all their parrots were a year old) but we believe she’s still a bit young because the tip of her beak isn’t fully black. Anyways first couple of weeks have just been adjusting (for her and us) - she’s an absolutely lovely bird - comes to everyone, like to be scratched on the head and really gentle. In the first week and half she ate any fruits and veges we presented to her. We’ve decked out her cage with lots of toys and spend quality time with her on a daily basis. Long story short - last week she was sleeping extensively like awake for about 5 hrs and napping quite a bit. We thought she was molting (there’s little white feathers) and that’s it’s a natural part of the process. Another note I should mention here is that we had her seeds available to her in a bowl throughout the day and fruit and veges in another - but have noticed she’s stopped eating the fruits and veges entirely - was just on seeds. Having done extensive research on the topic at the start of this week we decided to make a vege chop mix and mixed a few spoons of her seed in it so she would get her vege and fruit intake and took away her full seed bowl. She’s still going for all the seeds and chucking out the veges but were happy that’s she’s getting some veges into her. However the main change that’s happened now is that she doesn’t nap as it in the last few days and she’s become quite active which is great. The negative aspect is that we have a blanket ban on her being on the shoulders (the first day we got her she climbed up on our shoulders and took our earrings off which we managed to get out of her beak but let’s just say it was an traumatic experience for all) but now all of a sudden she doesn’t want to stay on our hands but rushes up our shoulder - we don’t let her so it’s a constant battle of getting her on the other hand and vice versa and putting her down. She’s started to dig her claws in and it hurts and sometimes even bites when u stop her from going up the shoulder. I’ve tried doing step up training with her but she struggles and escapes. We’re at a bit of a loss so any advice or help would be appreciated. I have been quietly putting her down and walking out of the room when she’s claws in and rushes up my arm but so far nothing is working. I should also mention that she plays with her toys a little but wants constant human attention now. Last week she would ignore us if we came and started talking to her because she would be napping. Now she’s climbing all the bars of her cage wanting me to take her out but she hurts me when I do so I’m quite hesitant to do so. Is this because of the diet switch? Should we go back to giving her her seed bowl at her disposal - I’ve just been reading how bad it is for her.
 

Iyanden

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Feb 9, 2021
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Bay area
Parrots
Female eclectus (Celeste, ~1.75 yrs old)
What's her sleep schedule and environment like? When and where does she nap? Our eclectus is close to 2 years old; I've never seen her nap. She's in her covered cage from 8 pm to 9 am, and we try to minimize noise during that time.

How's her weight? Has the diet change affected that? Ours is most active when she's hungry. Her schedule is roughly as follows: eat breakfast, chill/talk for 2 hrs, actively search for things to chew/eat, chill/talk for 3 hrs, actively search for things to chew/eat, eat dinner, chill/talk for an hour, go to bed.
 
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Nim

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May 19, 2021
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We’ve had to adjust her sleep area - at the beginning she was under the stairs (it was a quieter part of the house) but there was no windows near her so we moved her to the dining room which is off the kitchen away from the main living. There’s windows now so she can look into the backyard and she loves it in the afternoon when the sun shines in. It does get pretty noisy on weekends in our household so that was a reason for the napping but now (on weekdays) she’s fine 8-9 is usually when we cover her as well. But yesterday morning I was quietly putting her feed for the day in and I noticed she was already awake (around 7) so I took her cage cover off. She’s not a loud bird at all. Apart from the vacuum nothing really bothers her. But yes ever since we change her diet she’s stopped napping mid day
 

Scott

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Aug 21, 2010
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Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Welcome to you and your Ekkie! Much of what you are experiencing is associated with the 4 to 6 week "honeymoon" period of adjustment. Based on beak color and estimated age, she's too young for puberty, so that fun time is a bit further down the road.

Aside from acclimating to your home and family, diet is extraordinarily critical for Ekkie development and health. Perhaps more critical than any other commonly kept parrot! An abundance of fresh veggies/fruits with absolutely minimal emphasis on seed is ideal. Most pellets are vitamin fortified, given Ekkie's unique digestive system they are problematic and best avoided. Please read following thread, third post has additional links: http://www.parrotforums.com/eclectus/52737-so-you-think-you-want-eclectus.html

Another helpful dietary link: fruitandveg Most parrots crave seeds, aka "burger + fries" so you'll need to isolate from fresh veggies/fruits. Offer limited quantities of seeds primarily as treat in stand-alone setting.

Trust your instincts and avoid shoulder privileges until proven safe. She seems well socialized with yearning for human interaction, but all are well served by teaching a bit of independence. Playing with toys or chilling out in her cage are qualities worth fostering.
 

SailBoat

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Jul 10, 2015
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Western, Michigan
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DYH Amazon
Commonly, as part of a Shop that Sell's Parrots, they want you to have your Parrot seen by an Avian Medical Professional within a fairly short time after you take your Parrot home!

The common reason is related to their warranty and the on-going health of your new Parrot. If you have not taken your baby to an Avian Medical Professional (commonly known as Certified Avian Vet (CAV) in North America), you should make that happen in the very near future.

Ekkie's has well stated above, have very special diet requirements and is well discussed in the Ekkie sub-forum here. Please make every effort of switching your baby to an Ekkie safe diet.
 

chris-md

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Feb 6, 2010
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Maryland - USA
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Parker - male Eclectus

Aphrodite - red throated conure (RIP)
Scott - really good example here ;)

Hello and welcome! I want to reiterate the advise you have received above: this could all likely be part of the adjustment phase.

Nobody said parrots were easy pets, and this is an example of how bad it can get sometimes. But theres always light at the end of these kinds of tunnels.

Shes definitely testing boundaries, as with any child this eventually settles down. Your job is to no make it worse by accidentally reinforcing the biting. You cant' make it better on your own (only time and settlign down can do that), but you CAN make it worse over time.

Ways to adapt:

1. Teach her to step up to a stick or perch, to spare your fingers the stress. This can be phased out over time as she starts to behave herself better

2. TARGET TRAINING. Clicker train, then target train her - this is teaching the bird to touch their beak to an object (typically a chopstick or other stick-like object). You can use targetting to make the bird (read: convince the bird they're making the decision) move to almost anywhere you want it to. Is she on the wall of the cage, and you want her to move to a perch on the door where you can pick her up? Use the targetting stick and target her to the perch.

And remember: Bites are always YOUR fault. Birds most often bite because you've pushed well past their boundaries of comfort. Watch and learn her body language. If you enter a room and approach the case, and she is not feeling good about you, she will be giving off signals the second you walk into the door long before you get anywhere near. Ignore those signals of discomfort and distress at your fingers' peril.

Go slow! Go at the birds own pace!
 
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Nim

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Thank youuuu all soo much. All of your replies have been so helpful and I’ll be taking everything on board. Hopefully she’ll settle down - she’s already much better and eating a lot more veges.
 

Scott

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Aug 21, 2010
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Parrots
Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Thank youuuu all soo much. All of your replies have been so helpful and I’ll be taking everything on board. Hopefully she’ll settle down - she’s already much better and eating a lot more veges.

Consider the "chop challenge!" Make two identical bowls of veggies/fruits, give one to your bird, begin eating from yours. Make "mmmm" sounds, bob your head in delight. Parrots are flock eaters and you are a member of her flock!
 

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