This week we are answering your questions you leave us here on our blog. Questions like:
1. Do you always use the same tricks or do you use random tricks. If your bird knows 20 tricks would you use the newer tricks?
2. My Greenwing seems to know when she is going to get her reward. One thing I have noticed is that I first taught her to hand shake I just started giving her treats when she would raise her foot. She has that down really good now. I just started clicker training her with a target. But now she does not want to target she puts her foot up and wants her treat. I want to be able for her to do both target and hand shake is there any way I can keep both of those or am I going to have to phase one out?
3. What if your bird will not take a bird treat, or does not like them?
4. I clicker train, but once my bird learns a behavior, I quite clicking it every tune before I go to random reinforcement for that trick. I guess I did it that way because I use the clicker to mark the correct behavior and announce a treat is coming. Then, after he knows the trick, a click after several tricks means I am going to give the treat. Do you always click or do you wean that out? (You certainly aren’t clicking throughout a performance are you?) Should I go back to more clicking as I mostly use it for training and not so much for performing what has already been learned?
5. My African Gray flew when I got him. I clipped his wings for a while. I have high ceilings in the house. I quit clipping several years ago and he could fly, but doesn’t. How do I get him to fly again?
6. I can’t get my Amazon to eat the organic pellets. He has been on a pellet diet for a while now but I can’t seem to get him to eat the organic food you guys use. Any suggestions?
7. I can get her to spin but only if I use the stick and make her follow it all the way around. She’s basically just trained to go after the stick rather than spin So far she will not do anything without the stick. I’ve tried using a hand gesture but she has not caught on to that yet and it seems like we just aren’t progressing beyond the stick. I’m wondering if random rewarding will help in this situation and I will try it. Do you have any tips on how to move her from just following the stick to actually spinning for her treat?
8. I watch all the videos and I’m working with a cockatoo who is very willing to work with me BUT she doesn’t like any small treats at all… help!
… And lots more!
Check out the video above to hear our answers and leave a comment letting us know your biggest lesson learned from our One Day Miracles Series! Your feedback helps us create better products that meet your bird’s needs.
**NOTE – I just realized we accidentally said that the eclectus parrots can’t use the recipes in our cookbooks because they have a specialized diet. We MEANT to say that about the lories (and lorikeets) because they have a nectar based diet. Our recipes are perfectly suited for the eclectus!
Jamieleigh Womach has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots with whom she shares the stage.