My new Maximilian Pionus - Talk Parrots Forums

Parrot Behavior, Bonding and Training Discuss parrot behavior, parrot training, parrot bonding, and other psychological aspects of parrot care.
Thread Description: Cage aggression

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 456
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
       
Question My new Maximilian Pionus

SweetyPi (temp name until DNA test) is 5 or 6 years old. S/he has cage aggression real bad. S/he fluffs up and fans his/her tail then lunges at anyone that dares to get close to the cage.

The cage I have him/her in is a used cage I bought and is new to him/her, but within a day the cage aggression was obvious.

When I purchased him/her last Wednesday the previous owner had to get him/her off of the cage. In order to do this he got a pair of gloves (didnít actually put them on) and chased him/her around the top of the cage actually pushing him/her around trying to knock him/her off the cage until s/he finally flew to the floor (wings are clipped). Once on the floor he was able to pick him/her up and hold/pet him/her.

So far I have not even tried to handle him/her. I open the cage when I get up and s/he climbs out and to the top of the cage. S/he goes in and out as needed to eat. When I go to work, or to bed on my dayís off, I need to put him/her in the cage. I use a perch to for stepping onto but s/he just runs from it and eventually flyís to the floor. S/he will then step up onto my hand and I can put him/her in the cage.

This is my first experience with a (big) bird that has this much aggression and I really need all the advice and suggestions that I can get. I will keep this bird forever no matter what, and will accept him/her at any level of interaction s/he wants.

Kim
PS: His/her feathers are not in good shape. This is mentioned in another thread.
kimijean is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 02:07 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 230
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 9
 
I'm sure there are plenty of people on here who will chime in and offer advice but all I can say is I would be aggressive too if someone came up to me with big scary gloves and swatted at me and tried to knock me to the floor. I've never dealt with cage aggression to that degree but I wonder if you take it slow and gradually try to get closer and closer and keep the treats flowing if you might be able to make some progress. If the bird associates people coming near it's cage with being poked at and knocked to the floor maybe you need to make the experience a little less traumatic.

I know others will be more help than that but that's just the first thing I thought of when I read your post.
cioci t is offline  
post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 04:44 PM
 
hipeopleoftheworld's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,434
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 24
                 
Just give him treats, toys, and more treats! Eventually he"ll learn that hands aren't that bad and then he"ll want to get out of his cage one way or another is you don't take him out for a while. Don't take this post too seriously, it just came to my head!


Kona-Green Quaker
Fred (so far)-Blue Quaker
I'll miss you, Scully-African Grey
Ruby-Chocolate Labrador
Mylee-Black Toy Poodle
16 fish in a freshwater 38 gallon aquarium
hipeopleoftheworld is offline  
 
post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 456
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
       
Quote:
Originally Posted by cioci t View Post
I'm sure there are plenty of people on here who will chime in and offer advice but all I can say is I would be aggressive too if someone came up to me with big scary gloves and swatted at me and tried to knock me to the floor. I've never dealt with cage aggression to that degree but I wonder if you take it slow and gradually try to get closer and closer and keep the treats flowing if you might be able to make some progress. If the bird associates people coming near it's cage with being poked at and knocked to the floor maybe you need to make the experience a little less traumatic.

I know others will be more help than that but that's just the first thing I thought of when I read your post.
I agree with you and plan on going real slow and doing everything I can to earn his/her trust. I know it could take a VERY long time, but that's okay.

Kim
kimijean is offline  
post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 456
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
       
Quote:
Originally Posted by hipeopleoftheworld View Post
Just give him treats, toys, and more treats! Eventually he"ll learn that hands aren't that bad and then he"ll want to get out of his cage one way or another is you don't take him out for a while. Don't take this post too seriously, it just came to my head!
The ending of your post made me laugh!

Kim
kimijean is offline  
post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 06:54 PM


 
nanay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 3,142
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 39
                     
The bird has been seriously mishandled, and gaining trust after that is going to be harder than gaining trust in a bird who has never been mishandled.

IF it is necessary to frighten the bird off of the top of the cage every time you let it out now in order to put it back in, then I would not let it out of the cage at all right now. Whatever you do, do NOT put the bird back into a situation in which you have to establish this same pattern with it.

If there are times when you know that you can let the bird out and give it time to go back into the cage and shut the door, and during this entire experience you will never have to knock the bird to the floor, then you can let it out at those times.

Does the bird interact fine with you whenever it is away from the cage? If so, will it leave the cage on its own without you having to force it off?

A maxi can live a good 50 years, so spending a few days or even months in the cage is not much when you consider that once this is overcome you will have many decades together without this problem.

This advice comes from things my avian veterinarian, who is also a bird behavioralist, has taught me. She has rehabilitated even more abused birds than this one.

Maximilians are wonderful birds. This is going to be worth everything you go through together.


Thanks Shivani for the awesome siggy!
X2
Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)
nanay is offline  
post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 06:58 PM


 
nanay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 3,142
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 39
                     
Oh, I guess I never suggested anything to do while the bird is in the cage, but I agree with the suggestions above. Walk to the cage and then walk away without threatening the bird in any way. Sit next to it and read to it. Give it treats through the cage bars. Do some clicker training, although I've never seen a pionus that would do that automatically. It usually takes pis a while to figure clicker training out.


Thanks Shivani for the awesome siggy!
X2
Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)
nanay is offline  
post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 06:59 PM
 
hipeopleoftheworld's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,434
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 24
                 
Oh, if you need help getting him in, take his favorite treat, show him it, and put it in a tray/cup in the cage! It worke MAGNIFICENTLY with Scully!!!!!!!!!


Kona-Green Quaker
Fred (so far)-Blue Quaker
I'll miss you, Scully-African Grey
Ruby-Chocolate Labrador
Mylee-Black Toy Poodle
16 fish in a freshwater 38 gallon aquarium
hipeopleoftheworld is offline  
post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 456
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
       
Quote:
Originally Posted by nanay View Post
The bird has been seriously mishandled, and gaining trust after that is going to be harder than gaining trust in a bird who has never been mishandled.

IF it is necessary to frighten the bird off of the top of the cage every time you let it out now in order to put it back in, then I would not let it out of the cage at all right now. Whatever you do, do NOT put the bird back into a situation in which you have to establish this same pattern with it.

If there are times when you know that you can let the bird out and give it time to go back into the cage and shut the door, and during this entire experience you will never have to knock the bird to the floor, then you can let it out at those times.

Does the bird interact fine with you whenever it is away from the cage? If so, will it leave the cage on its own without you having to force it off?

A maxi can live a good 50 years, so spending a few days or even months in the cage is not much when you consider that once this is overcome you will have many decades together without this problem.

This advice comes from things my avian veterinarian, who is also a bird behavioralist, has taught me. She has rehabilitated even more abused birds than this one.

Maximilians are wonderful birds. This is going to be worth everything you go through together.
ďManhandledĒ is exactly what I thought.

What I started doing today was let him/her out very early, I donít start work until late morning, so before I needed to leave for work s/he went in the cage to eat so I closed the door.

I have only had the bird since Wednesday evening and I have worked every day since so I have not had much opportunity to interact with him/her. However once off of the cage s/he will step up just fine and will go back into the cage without a problem. But I agree with you 100%. I donít want to use any force or fear to get him/her off of the cage. So far I have seen no evidence that s/he would leave the cage on his/her own.

This bird could very well out live me. J

Thank you very much for the advice, I really do appreciate it. But what do I do next and when? Right now I will only open the cage door when I know I will have enough time to wait until s/he goes back in on his/her own. But is that it for now? No interaction at all? For how long? What kind of change am I looking for?

Iím very glad I ďrescuedĒ this bird. Iím willing to go slow and do whatever I need to in order to earn his/her trust. And Iím willing to accept any level of interaction the s/he chooses. Who knows, maybe because of what we go through together we will end up having a very strong bond.

Kim
kimijean is offline  
post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 456
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
       
Quote:
Originally Posted by nanay View Post
Oh, I guess I never suggested anything to do while the bird is in the cage, but I agree with the suggestions above. Walk to the cage and then walk away without threatening the bird in any way. Sit next to it and read to it. Give it treats through the cage bars. Do some clicker training, although I've never seen a pionus that would do that automatically. It usually takes pis a while to figure clicker training out.
I replied to the above before reading this one, thank you. So should I talk to him/her? What I have been doing is approach the cage and talk softly and kindly to him/her, not acknowledging the aggression at all.

Kim

Last edited by kimijean; 09-18-2011 at 01:47 AM.
kimijean is offline  
post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 06:39 AM


 
nanay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 3,142
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 39
                     
Yes, I would do that. It is difficult to give much specific advice when you can't actually see the bird. Also, I often try many different things before actually happening upon something that works.

Since the bird isn't afraid of interaction at all while away from the cage, I would be tempted to try to construct a way for the bird to get away from the cage without you. If it would go off of the cage to a neutral area via a ladder or rope, you could have some wonderful interactions without adding to its memory bank of bad interactions associated with coming off of a cage.

Does the bird take any type of treats from your hand now? If it does, I have lots of other ideas for while he is in or on the cage, too. I have known many a pionus who doesn't take treats from a hand, though, so that's why I am asking. I would have to start elsewhere with further suggestions if he won't already take things from your hand.

What is his reaction when you service his cage?


Thanks Shivani for the awesome siggy!
X2
Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)
nanay is offline  
post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 10:15 AM



 
catalinadee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 17,637
Thanks: 1,593
Thanked 2,007 Times in 1,575 Posts
Rep Power: 99
                     
I'd just keep offering treats and things that he likes until he gets the idea that hands aren't so bad. I have a few birds that really dislike being away from their cage and I find that the best thing to do for them is to just open the cage and let them explore by themselves while you're in the room keeping an eye on them. After some time they should get used to it. Also, if he doesn't like hands then I would try and get some stick training in there. Try to get him to step up onto the stick for his favourite treat and if it doesn't hurt you can push the stick gently on his belly and he should automatically step up. I've done it with all of my birds. The only bird who has been hand fed is my conure so I had to put a lot of work into the others. It's really hard to try and be patient but in the end it all works out

Good luck with him!

- Alexandrine parakeets Holly, George, Koda & - Crimson rosella Kasumi Orange winged Amazon parrot Paulie
catalinadee is offline  
post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 456
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
       
Quote:
Originally Posted by nanay View Post
Yes, I would do that. It is difficult to give much specific advice when you can't actually see the bird. Also, I often try many different things before actually happening upon something that works.

I understand and I'm willing to try anything, I just have limited ideas because I have never come across this before.

Since the bird isn't afraid of interaction at all while away from the cage, I would be tempted to try to construct a way for the bird to get away from the cage without you. If it would go off of the cage to a neutral area via a ladder or rope, you could have some wonderful interactions without adding to its memory bank of bad interactions associated with coming off of a cage.

I can see if anything will work, but from what I can tell s/he will not choose to leave the cage.

Does the bird take any type of treats from your hand now? If it does, I have lots of other ideas for while he is in or on the cage, too. I have known many a pionus who doesn't take treats from a hand, though, so that's why I am asking. I would have to start elsewhere with further suggestions if he won't already take things from your hand.

No. S/he just tries to kill me and ignores the treat.

What is his reaction when you service his cage?

Tries to kill me.
As you can see I really need help, but I'm still very glad I took on this bird.

Kim

Last edited by kimijean; 09-18-2011 at 12:06 PM.
kimijean is offline  
post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 01:26 PM


 
nanay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 3,142
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 39
                     
You seem to have good instincts. You've already stated that you simply do what you have to do without acknowledging the aggression at all, and I think that is what you have to keep doing.

I feel so sorry for the poor bird, and for you, too. I think it must be fairly common for pionus to love their cages and be perfectly happy staying in them. Years ago, when the bird didn't want to come out and just moved away from the people when they tried to take it out, they must have chased it around the cage, eventually teaching it to bite to get their hands away. It all deteriorated into this. It is a real shame.

Your target, as Daisy has suggested, is to develop an alternate way to get the bird away from the cage, but, for now, just teaching it that you will never knock it to the ground again is the most important thing. (Well, you might, by accident, because sometimes accidents happen, but you won't ever do it on purpose.)

I know that on the linnie forum people have developed all sorts of alternatives to taking linnies away from their cages, because as a species they are notorious for developing a fear of hands. Another forum in which you could find numerous suggestions for taking birds away from cages, and especially cage aggressive birds, would be a quaker forum.

I know it is very difficult to wait, but for right now I'd resist the urge to try anything other than showing the bird that you won't force him off the cage and offering it alternative ways to explore its environment. I hope it will come away from the cage on its own for you, because that would make your life so much easier since it is gentle while away from the cage.

Also, keep offereing treats through the cage bars.

OH, just thought of something - for your ladders and other ways to let the bird climb get away from the cage on its own - what about using platforms that look like cage sides, if you can get your hands on any. They might feel like extensions of the cage to him/her, and therefore seem more safe to traverse.


Thanks Shivani for the awesome siggy!
X2
Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)
nanay is offline  
Closed Thread

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Talk Parrots Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome