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AfricanGreys.com • View topic - My Grey is afraid of and hates people

My Grey is afraid of and hates people

Welcome to the Grey Play Round Table African grey Question and Answer Board. Maggie Wright, author of the Barron's Grey pet manual and creator of the Grey Play Round Table African grey newsletter/magazine, and Lisa Bono, African grey behavior expert, will be the two moderators to answer your questions. Please check out the areas that have already been dealt with... and submit your new questions.


Due to the incredibly high volume of SPAM, the board has been set up so that you cannot submit a question. Instead, please send me your question at merlin@AfricanGreys.com and I will post it for you. Then, both Lisa and I will post responses. Sorry for the inconvenience.

PLEASE send me your questions... we REALLY want to help you!!! merlin@AfricanGreys.com.


Wishing you GREY'T Blessings!
Maggie Wright

Moderator: merlin

My Grey is afraid of and hates people

Postby merlin » Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:30 am

hello there

my name is injood. im 23 Female from Bahrain. i have an african grey which i love so much but im wondering if you can give me any advice that could help me with her. she's around 2 years old and she's a Congo. I'm calling her a she because she has a rounder head and is lighter in color so im guessing its a female. Her name is Tommy but i usually call her Big Bird and she sorta thinks thats her name LOL, i also have 5 cockatiels but they all have separated play time since my grey always wants to bite them.

here is the thing, my cousin got me tommy as a birthday gift february last year. She got her from someone i dont know and i dont think this person knows how to take care of birds in general, so when I got her, she was very aggressive and very angry. It took me almost one year to almost tame her. We dont really have any good vets here so when i took her for a check up the guy just didnt know what to do. He just gave me some vitamins and told me that her droppings were sorta watery and left. So, i had to do everything on my own. When i got her she was very thin and had stress feathers, she would growl and scream at anyone who came close to her, and she wouldnt eat and barely drank her water. But all of this has changed thank goodness. She is now in proper shape and no more stress feathers. She eats and drinks like she should and has gained weight. She talks and whistles and plays like a grey should be. but i have one problem with her, she HATES other people.

i am engaged but still living with my family till my fiance finishes with building a new house. My grey will accept food from my mother father and brother but will not allow them to pet her. She is TERRIFIED from my sister. Once she sees her she will jump and scream. She does the same thing to family and friends that she doesnt know, so when ever i have a guest around i have to cover her cage or take her to another room even though i hate doing it. I'm guessing that this behavior is from lack of socialization from her previous owner. she also hates new toys and likes to chew on her towel and rope all day, she only lets me give her scritches and pet her, she will only come on my hand. Shes just ther sweetest bird when im around her with no one else there.

so im worried about when im moving out, all my birds will be coming with me, but im affraid she will be scared of the new place and im affraid that she will give my fiance a hard time ( since she thinks shes the boss sometimes ). Shes not used to him at all. Do you have any advices or tips for me to use so that i can change this behavior about her? i really love my grey and im very attached to her, i hate to see her this way.

im looking forward for your reply.

thank you in advance,

Injood
merlin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Re: My Grey is afraid of and hates people

Postby merlin » Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:32 am

Dear Injood,

Forgive me for taking so long to reply. I had requested a colleague to help you but do not know if you ever heard from anyone.

Congratulations for helping Big Bird become healthy. Also, congratulations on such a great job at taming Big Bird. Believe me, she is truly blessed to end up with a loving and caring human like you are!

The same as taming her, you can slowly help this bird become comfortable around others and your future home. It will just take time and patience that you obviously have. The key is to move slowly at Big Bird's pace and to use positive reinforcement to help her. First, determine a treat that she loves, such as peanuts, or sunflowers seeds, or cashews, or something. Now, you need to stop serving that favorite treat to Big Bird in the cage and from now on, only give it to her as a reward from your hands. Then I suggest that you break it into bits, such as cashew bits, or giving one sunflower seed at a time. This is so you can treat and reward often without overfeeding.

Then you need to help Big Bird get used to strangers in your home, one step at a time. Do you have a friend who comes over often? If so, start by keeping Big Bird covered in her cage in the same room with your friend visiting. Then praise and reward Big Bird for being such a brave girl. Let this happen for a while. You may even want to try playing a game with big Bird thru the covers with your friend there, such as making a sound or singing a song. And get very excited and reward when she responds, even through the covers. Then, once she seems comfortable that way, your next step is to have the friend over (whose voice Big Bird is already familiar and comfortable with) then slightly move the cage covers back so that part of the cage is not covered for the visit. When she is comfortable with that...praise and reward. Next step is to move more cover off, until eventually, Big Bird is sitting in the same room with you and your friend with an uncovered cage. As you can see, you need to be taking tiny little steps and staying with that strategy until Big Bird appears comfortable with it before going to the next step. If she gets scared, don't fret or panic, but move back to the last step.

Once you have Big Bird comfortable with that, you can begin introducing her to others and just be aware of how she reacts. You can introduce new toys that way, too. Just do it very, very slowly.

Once you have her comfortable with this, you need to start to introduce her to going out of the house with you (in a secure carrier or cage). You would first need to get her used to the carrier and then being carried around in your hand. Then you need to get her used to getting in a car with you. Then driving around the block. Then going to your fiance's home. And so on.

Anyway, if you could tame this bird in a year, I KNOW you can help her get through her fear of people and of living in a new home. The key here is to take one step at a time and to go at her pace... and to use positive reinforcements of praise and reward to help her get there.

Work on these issues first. Then we can deal with the other issues.

Please keep me posted. Good luck!
Blessings,
Maggie-
www.AfricanGreys.com
merlin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am


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