I thought he’d enjoy some “out of cage” time… but I was wrong, that was NOT his idea of fun. And after thinking about it, he does have all that stuff IN his cage.
So, the whole foraging tree thing didn’t hit right with Storm, but I’m still glad we tried it with him. Foraging trees are great ways to get your birds more active and just because it wasn’t Storm’s cup of tea doesn’t mean your bird won’t respond differently and more positively to one if you try it!
He still isn’t playing with his toys much – I’m not seeing much proof of him getting into any of them. This means I may need to change them and try something new. We’ll see what I come up with.
I did pick up Storm about three different times when he clearly showed me body language of wanting to step up. The last time I did it he moved very close in the direction of my shoulder, showing me he wanted to be up there. I am not going to let him on my shoulder – ever. The reason is that I don’t feel safe having him up there.
So now that Storm easily steps up for me, I am really working on having him on me for a comfortable amount of time and working on him stepping down. It’s pretty intimidating having a bird who doesn’t want to leave you like Storm! So a lot of it is me and my own comfort with asking him to step up and never forcing him to do anything. I’ve even popped my head into his cage to get him to walk himself back in there! I literally pop my head in, call him over and pet him when he gets there, then close it all up so I never force him in. Sometimes I leave treats like small pieces of chicken or put some new fruits in the cage that he might show interest in trying.
Day 7 Dave and I are both taking a break and going to Tampa for the entire day, so Storm will be spending the day with the other birds only and not us. I think everyone will enjoy the “day off” in a sense.
My next action steps with Storm are…
1) I want to continue to improve his diet as he is staying at 540 grams. I plan on introducing cooked plain oatmeal, corn, green peas and birdie bread. Birdie bread is a great way to get your bird to try new foods and develop a taste for them. Because birdie bread is so successful, I plan on trying the other foods first.
2) Once I find that his weight is consistent for a while longer, I will consider putting him on food management (ie: training before meals) so that he is motivated by food for training sessions. I will also plan on using his new favorite healthy foods for training and no longer implementing chicken.
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.