Ask Lafeber

Question:

July 30, 2020

Screaming


Hi, this is for Brenda, thank you for your encouraging, insightful instruction. I knew the solution would be similar. My heart is so soft. But I will be strong.
We have many years ahead of us, and we love him. Also we want the family to be able to take care of him when we are gone.


Answer:

Hi Robynne,

Sometimes it helps to hear it from someone who has gone through the same thing. I’ve had several nuisance screamers and it can get frustrating! And with Moluccans, they start that displaying and screaming sometimes before they are fully weaned. It is so surprising for the owner the first time it happens and so over the top coming from a baby bird. Sadly the common reaction is to laugh at the bird and encourage the behavior when friends or family are over. Many people do not think of the long term and the fact that this can get very old, very fast.

I was going to add to my previous reply, because I forgot one suggestion. You might look into trick training or how to modify natural behaviors. This can keep Clyde stimulated and help you bond with him. It is also a good way to distract from any hormonal behavior, as excessive screaming is often based on hormones. To keep him more family oriented rather than becoming a one person bird, make sure you limit his petting to his head and neck area. When you pet a bird on the body, this is something only a bonded mate is allowed to do, so you send the wrong signals about who you are to him. You want to have a flock bond and not a mate bond. So as tempting as it is, avoid the full body cuddling that cockatoos generally allow. We recently hosted a 2 part webinar on dealing with pet birds and their hormones. I’ll post the links below where you can view these. These can also help you with dealing with his screaming. I am glad to you recognize that Clyde is a long term pet, so some training is also long term or even life long.

Webinar: “Spring Is In the Air: How To Deal With Your Pet Bird’s Hormonal Behavior!”

Webinar: “Pet Birds & Hormonal Behavior: Part 2!”

Thanks for the update and good luck with Clyde’s training!

Brenda

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