Introducing a phobic parrot to a new room/stand

pterry97

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Aug 26, 2020
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47
UK
Hi all,

Bobby has been doing well, though in typical African grey fashion, anything unfamiliar he is scared of.

Though some of his fears seem irrational, as he is essentially scared of things he is confident with otherwise in his cage.

Take his wooden perches for example. He uses all of his wooden perches in his cage, but any perches outside of his cage he is petrified of touching. He has perches on top of his cage so he has something better to grab outside of the narrow bars of the cage roof, but refuses to use them. He will step up onto my hand but refuse to step down onto the offered perch, unless it is one in his cage.

I took out a perch from his cage directly to use also, but the moment it wasn’t in his cage anymore it wasn’t his friend. He refused to touch it.

We have a training stand that we’ve had for almost as long as Bobby, and I’ve not once managed to convince him to touch it. We do touch training now that he’s receptive to to a point - but no amount of luring with his favourite treats or otherwise can get him to approach it. It’s by his cage 24/7 so he has always known it’s there, leaned up against the cage to be used at any time, but without success. I was even advised to place it in the opening of his cage so he has to pass it directly every time he comes out - now he escaped but climbing upside down on the ceiling and scaling out that way to avoid it. It’s a wooden perch - no different from the others he uses.

To counter this point as it being a simple fear of new things, I bought three plastic puzzle toys for him to use to allow him longer foraging time since he usually wolfs down his food - and he played with them all the second I put them in his cage. He loves them. He doesn’t love them outside of his cage though.

Finally, I bought him a Java tree. Super expensive thing, I know it’s cheaper to make but I have no building capabilities so I ended up buying this giant thing. Way bigger than expected too - it’s a size medium, glad I didn’t go for the large.

5E74DA6C-FB59-4AB5-9317-51F4FF9F11DE.jpeg


Obviously, the thing is so big I can’t fit it in the room that Bobby’s in, so it’s in my living room. I thought it’d be a great way to have him in the room with me since I’m not always in my bedroom with him, and so he has other places to safely go that my dogs won’t bother him.

Except, well, you know the drill. Scary thing no touchy. The usual advice being to place by the cage so it’s there every day (that hasn’t worked for us yet) impossible here due to the size of the tree.

So how am I supposed to introduce this to him to use? He won’t accept being placed onto it as he will go immediately into fear flight the moment I bring him anywhere near it. I’m at a loss on how to get him anywhere that isn’t on his cage.
 

wrench13

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Poor Bobby! Greys can be sooo irrational. Is there a big fruit treat that he loves, like apple or other? I;d put a whole one of them in the feeding cup on the stand. Let him see it, maybe take pieces of it once in there and give it to Bobby.

Can he watch videos of other GReys playing in and on play stands? My parrot learns a lot from watching videos. Maybe YOU can play with it?
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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Maybe you could put a book on the stand and read from it or put it next to your chair and put your hand on the stand.

I bring my birds into my bedroom for bird time and I have had Willow’s new Jolly Ball sitting within sight of Willow so he can get used to the JB. Willow is usually scared of new toys and objects. Today I moved the Jolly ball a couple feet from Willow’s cage. He’s been looking at it for a couple weeks and he didn’t alarm or scream or stare at it so I think we’re making progress.
 
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pterry97

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Aug 26, 2020
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Maybe you could put a book on the stand and read from it or put it next to your chair and put your hand on the stand.

I bring my birds into my bedroom for bird time and I have had Willow’s new Jolly Ball sitting within sight of Willow so he can get used to the JB. Willow is usually scared of new toys and objects. Today I moved the Jolly ball a couple feet from Willow’s cage. He’s been looking at it for a couple weeks and he didn’t alarm or scream or stare at it so I think we’re making progress.
I've been touchy feely with the stand from the get go but with no luck unfortunately. I even do touch stick training right above it, he won't touch the stick if the stick is touching it but if the stick is just a hairs width away from it he will touch it and reach for a treat no problem. He really works his way around avoiding everything so cleanly, I'm starting to think it amuses him watching me flail trying to tactic around getting him to touch things.
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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I've been touchy feely with the stand from the get go but with no luck unfortunately. I even do touch stick training right above it, he won't touch the stick if the stick is touching it but if the stick is just a hairs width away from it he will touch it and reach for a treat no problem. He really works his way around avoiding everything so cleanly, I'm starting to think it amuses him watching me flail trying to tactic around getting him to touch things.
Who knows the minds of birds? They work in mysterious ways.
 

WingDing

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I've been touchy feely with the stand from the get go but with no luck unfortunately. I even do touch stick training right above it, he won't touch the stick if the stick is touching it but if the stick is just a hairs width away from it he will touch it and reach for a treat no problem. He really works his way around avoiding everything so cleanly, I'm starting to think it amuses him watching me flail trying to tactic around getting him to touch things.

Gosh, that's the thing I was going to suggest until I made it down to this post. Maybe keep up these kind of rewards with little variations. With enough time, maybe his brain will finally accept "good things happen when this tree is involved. This is a good tree!" :)
 

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