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JodyL
Budgerigar


Join date : 2012-02-21
Age : 63
Location : Southern Cal
My Birds : Sayde AKA Bella= gcc
Posts : 32

PostSubject: Training "diet"   Tue May 08, 2012 12:02 am

Hi,

I went to a class yesterday from this well known avian trainer named Chris Harris- it was interesting but he advocates only giving food for 1 hour twice daily. Then do your "training" first thing in the am and after work before feeding.

Not only is that a challenge for my schedule but it terrifies me to leave my baby without food all day.

I don't want a Vegas showbird- just a few cute things if she wants to.

????? Jody and Sayde
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kaeladedah
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-18
Age : 29
Location : North Carolina, USA
My Birds : Cheney Bird, Green Cheek Conure
Pigpen, Lutino Budgie
Nava, Lutino Lovebird
Oliver, Indian Ring Neck
Posts : 1449

PostSubject: Re: Training "diet"   Tue May 08, 2012 12:08 am

Ah, this issue. This issue is very near and dear to us here as it's what prompted the creation of this forum.

I, personally, do not believe in starving an animal to train them to perform tricks. I believe only providing food at certain hours for a relatively small amount of time is unhealthy. But this is just my personal belief.

My birds get a seed and pellet mix in their cages and it is there all day. They receive fresh foods twice daily. They get random treats and I often encourge foraging, though my birds seem not to understand how to forage.

I have never once seen my birds eat all day, and they often limit themselves like people do. If they're hungry, they have pellets and seed available. If they're not hungry, they don't eat. All three are very healthy weights that are well within normal range.
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JodyL
Budgerigar


Join date : 2012-02-21
Age : 63
Location : Southern Cal
My Birds : Sayde AKA Bella= gcc
Posts : 32

PostSubject: Re: Training "diet"   Tue May 08, 2012 12:19 am

Interesting- because he said to leave "foraging items" like seeds wrapped in paper towel- but Sayde did not touch them. My main issue is that she is very shy and I want her to step up to my husband. We have had her 3 months and she has bonded easily to me- but he is not really a bird person, nor does he want to take the time to earn her trust.

I should really just give it up and enjoy her. She is a sweet docile little lady. My dearly departed lovebird was the love of my life, but she was fearless and very fiesty.

j
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kaeladedah
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-18
Age : 29
Location : North Carolina, USA
My Birds : Cheney Bird, Green Cheek Conure
Pigpen, Lutino Budgie
Nava, Lutino Lovebird
Oliver, Indian Ring Neck
Posts : 1449

PostSubject: Re: Training "diet"   Tue May 08, 2012 12:34 am

Have you tried target training with a favorite treat? Also, if your husband isn't really interested in earning her trust and interacting with her, I likely wouldn't try to push it.
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RogerP
Scarlet Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-19
Age : 51
Location : Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
My Birds : ~Merlin - Maroon Bellied Conure
(Hatchdate May 15, 2010)

~Arthur - Red Bellied Parrot
(Hatchdate January 7, 2009, rescued October 7, 2011)

Posts : 813

PostSubject: Re: Training "diet"   Tue May 08, 2012 2:24 am

I agree with the idea of target training, and I feel the same as Kaela about feeding. My fids have pellets in their cages at all times, and special items like seeds, fruit and veggies at special times in the day. I do very much recommend keeping one special food that your bird really likes for training times only.

With Merlin and Arthur, it is almonds. They love them and will do almost anything for them (well Merlin will, still working on Arthur).

As far as foraging goes, some birds are naturals at it, and some need to be taught to forage.

Good luck, let us know how it is going.
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ScooterNScotty
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-24
Age : 57
Location : Southern California
My Birds : Scooter
* "Normal" male Green-cheeked Conure
* (hatched 3/2010)

Scotty
*male Cape Parrot
*(HD unk ~2008)

Blanco (Caballo Blanco)
*Whitefaced male cockatiel
*(HD unk, found 4/2012)
Posts : 2248

PostSubject: Re: Training "diet"   Tue May 08, 2012 3:49 am

It's not much good leaving "foraging" food if the bird is not already proficient at foraging. I think foraging is a great thing and I really should provide more opportunities more consistently than I do, but that's a whole different topic.

If I had a problem that I really urgently had to solve AND I'd tried everything else, I probably wouldn't hesitate to ration food and use training treats as a significant part of the diet. For optional behaviors, not.

It is true that most birds seem to have a natural foraging pattern in the AM and PM with largely resting time in between and it is also true that I don't often see my birds eating in the middle of the day. So I think it is unlikely that rigorously adhering to a twice-daily limited feeding schedule plus training rewards would actually do a bird harm. The thing is that my schedule isn't always that predictable and having food available all the time means I don't need to fret if I'm hung up a couple of hours -- or for that matter, overnight.

In the case of a bird that is shy and just warming up to a new family, I'd be reluctant to make a big change like this unless I was stuck and making no progress at all. In essence you are increasing the bird's desire to perform in order to recieve a food reward, which may cause a better level of rote obedience and in a tough situation might help you bridge over to a better relationship. On the other hand, if you just want a more warm, cuddly interaction, I don't think this is the way to do it... it's an effective "business transaction" IMO but not as much a basis for friendship. YMMV.
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patdbunny
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-18
Age : 47
Location : San Diego County, California
Posts : 2083

PostSubject: Re: Training "diet"   Tue May 08, 2012 11:47 pm

I've brought it up before -

A big difference between trainers and other professionals giving these classes and seminars and us "average" bird owners is they, since their profession revolves around birds, have staff and/or back up to ensure continuity of care (regularly scheduled feeding, cleaning, etc.); we "average" bird owners tend to have jobs, school, etc. and therefore a high likelihood we don't have a system in place to ensure continuity of care. If we're stuck broken down on the side of the road there might not be anyone home to feed; If we're stuck working overtime at work there might not be anyone home to feed; If we (heaven forbid) have a heart attack and end up hospitalized for 5 days, there might not be anyone home to feed.

The professional has staff and/or a definitive back up system to take care of these issues. (If they don't. . . I just don't know what to say.)

We "average" owners should, but a lot of times don't.

I read on another forum someone saying that birds' crops hold 2 days worth of food so you don't have to worry about them starving to death if you don't make it home on time. I can tell you first hand this is false information. I had someone else feeding my birds once. A pair of parrotlets were inadvertently forgotten. They went 1 day without food. They died.

I free feed. But I am not adverse to food management in terms of foraging or saving special foods for training only. I've had birds in the past that only ate by way of foraging.

JodyL - keep in mind that a bird has to "learn" to forage. You have to offer a lot of different foraging toys/foraging opportunities and let her figure it out. Leave the foraging opportunities in their for days, weeks, months. One day it will click.

_________________
Roz China http://staringatbirdsandgoats.blogspot.com/
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, the U.S. Department of Justice.
Do not attempt this at home. I'm a professional.
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http://staringatbirdsandgoats.blogspot.com/
JodyL
Budgerigar


Join date : 2012-02-21
Age : 63
Location : Southern Cal
My Birds : Sayde AKA Bella= gcc
Posts : 32

PostSubject: Re: Training "diet"   Wed May 09, 2012 12:43 am

Thanks to you all for your very practical comments. I went to the class for information, but came away with an uneasy feeling. I don't want a trick bird- just want to make sure I do the best for her. My lovebird did not need any fancy rules or feeding restrictions, and over time she learned many adorable "tricks' that she did to please me and herself.

By the way, I have Sayde for just over 3 months and she has bonded to me now like velcro- a far cry from those first few weeks. Another story for my husband- but it was similar with Pinot- took years for them to have a relationship.

Jody and Sayde
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kaeladedah
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-18
Age : 29
Location : North Carolina, USA
My Birds : Cheney Bird, Green Cheek Conure
Pigpen, Lutino Budgie
Nava, Lutino Lovebird
Oliver, Indian Ring Neck
Posts : 1449

PostSubject: Re: Training "diet"   Wed May 09, 2012 12:48 am

JodyL wrote:
Thanks to you all for your very practical comments. I went to the class for information, but came away with an uneasy feeling. I don't want a trick bird- just want to make sure I do the best for her. My lovebird did not need any fancy rules or feeding restrictions, and over time she learned many adorable "tricks' that she did to please me and herself.

By the way, I have Sayde for just over 3 months and she has bonded to me now like velcro- a far cry from those first few weeks. Another story for my husband- but it was similar with Pinot- took years for them to have a relationship.

Jody and Sayde

Is it possible for your husband to take over the daily care routine? As in, can he feed her and clean her cage? Offer her a favorite treat? Things can be done to foster a relationship with the bird without restricting access to food.
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JodyL
Budgerigar


Join date : 2012-02-21
Age : 63
Location : Southern Cal
My Birds : Sayde AKA Bella= gcc
Posts : 32

PostSubject: Re: Training "diet"   Thu May 10, 2012 1:04 pm

How do you do "target" training?

I am just to continue along as I have been. She has already learned to Kiss, come(walk to me from a distance) and to take food out of my hand. All in just 3 months- plus she Likes me!

Do any of you guys have birds and a "spouse- or other partner" who is not much involved? Pinot eventuallly accepted my husband as part of the flock. Hopefully Sayde will too. He is actually afraid of getting bitten- I am sure she picks up on that.

Thanks again for your comments.

Jody
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dusty
Scarlet Macaw
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Join date : 2011-06-19
Age : 71
Location : near london, ontario canada...out in the country
My Birds : congo african grey (coco)
blue fronted amazons (willie and vasgo)
sun conure (simon)
greencheeked conure (jack)
senegal (walter)
senegal (crockett)
goffin cockatoo (sammy)
moluccan cockatoo (mango)
severe macaw (cody)
quaker (yoshi)
Posts : 838

PostSubject: Re: Training "diet"   Thu May 10, 2012 7:14 pm

i feed my birds twice a day and feed enough to last all day...as for my wife as backup, forget it...lol she is allergic to them...i don't care if my birds do tricks, i just want them to love and play with me, thats why i have them


dusty
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ScooterNScotty
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-24
Age : 57
Location : Southern California
My Birds : Scooter
* "Normal" male Green-cheeked Conure
* (hatched 3/2010)

Scotty
*male Cape Parrot
*(HD unk ~2008)

Blanco (Caballo Blanco)
*Whitefaced male cockatiel
*(HD unk, found 4/2012)
Posts : 2248

PostSubject: Re: Training "diet"   Thu May 10, 2012 8:25 pm

For target training, you pick something to use as a target, it doesn't much matter what. A chopstick with a piece of tape on the end just to make the end more visible, for instance. The idea is that you reward the bird whenever it approaches the end of the "target", usually with a "good bird!" plus an immediate edible treat. Eventually the bird learns to follow the target around to get rewarded, and you can use it to lead the bird, say, into a carrier, etc. It also establishes what is technically called "bridge conditioning" so that "good bird!" becomes associated intimately with getting a treat and you can then use the phrase to reward behavior even at a distance, with the bird returning to you to get the treat.

I haven't used it with birds, but I have used it to some extent with horses using a clicker instead of "good bird".
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kaeladedah
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-18
Age : 29
Location : North Carolina, USA
My Birds : Cheney Bird, Green Cheek Conure
Pigpen, Lutino Budgie
Nava, Lutino Lovebird
Oliver, Indian Ring Neck
Posts : 1449

PostSubject: Re: Training "diet"   Thu May 10, 2012 9:26 pm

JodyL wrote:

Do any of you guys have birds and a "spouse- or other partner" who is not much involved? Pinot eventuallly accepted my husband as part of the flock. Hopefully Sayde will too. He is actually afraid of getting bitten- I am sure she picks up on that.
Jody

She definitely picks up on the fear your husband is showing. When I first adopted CB, my green cheek conure, I was weary of his beak. I believe he picked up on that and was much more nervous being handled by me. If he put his beak close to my hand, I would back away fearfully. When I was much more confident in my ability to handle him properly, he gained confidence in me. Now he only bites when he's hormonal, and I'm sure he's not doing it intentionally.

Your husband needs to show confidence in working with her. She's not going to trust him until he does.
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patdbunny
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-18
Age : 47
Location : San Diego County, California
Posts : 2083

PostSubject: Re: Training "diet"   Fri May 11, 2012 12:23 am

My husband doesn't really interact with the birds. He doesn't really care to. Every once in a while he'll pick one up and say hi to it. That's about it.

_________________
Roz China http://staringatbirdsandgoats.blogspot.com/
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, the U.S. Department of Justice.
Do not attempt this at home. I'm a professional.
thinking
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http://staringatbirdsandgoats.blogspot.com/
RogerP
Scarlet Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-19
Age : 51
Location : Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
My Birds : ~Merlin - Maroon Bellied Conure
(Hatchdate May 15, 2010)

~Arthur - Red Bellied Parrot
(Hatchdate January 7, 2009, rescued October 7, 2011)

Posts : 813

PostSubject: Re: Training "diet"   Fri May 11, 2012 3:30 am

My wife does not interact with Merlin very much, mostly due to fear (hers) and the fact that they don't seem to like each other very much. She never did much with Tucker, my Tiel (RIP), for much the same reasons. Arthur, however, is a different story. She is confident and calm with him, and he has come to like her and trust her very much. Sometimes something just has to "click".

Maybe he just needs his own bird? You think?
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ScooterNScotty
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-24
Age : 57
Location : Southern California
My Birds : Scooter
* "Normal" male Green-cheeked Conure
* (hatched 3/2010)

Scotty
*male Cape Parrot
*(HD unk ~2008)

Blanco (Caballo Blanco)
*Whitefaced male cockatiel
*(HD unk, found 4/2012)
Posts : 2248

PostSubject: Re: Training "diet"   Fri May 11, 2012 12:52 pm

I have kind of the opposite problem spouse-wise. He's the one that got me into birds. He's the one that decided we should "rescue" Scooter from Petsmart. He's the one that picked out Scotty for his own bird. But I do all the daily upkeep and both Scooter and Scotty have firmly bonded to me. He is extremely fond of Scotty but Scotty periodically and somewhat unpredictably bites the heck out of him. Scooter pretty much always bites him, but he's a volatile little guy anyway. The 'tiel, Blanco, so far has remained happy with him and I try to handle him minimally, but sometimes he calls to me or tries to fly to me when he's with Bill, and I fear he, too, may decide I'm "the one".

Either I'm some sort of bird whisperer, or they really do "get" who is feeding them and cleaning their cages. Maybe I should prep the food and let Bill deliver it some of the time. I'd like to get him to do more of the work, but have decided not to be a nag anymore until after he's had his back surgery and recovered. Then I'm going to get upitty about it. My Ph.D. is as big as his, he can clean cages too!
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