Abnormal done by enrichment, many toys can

Abnormal behaviour of a parrot-Very simply, if a parrot isnot doing anything, it gets bored, and like humans, do something to keep themselvesbusy.  In a worst case scenario, a parrotwill excess groom themselves from boredom which leads to loss of feathers. Thiscannot really be prevented but can be stopped in the future. This is done byenrichment, many toys can be given to the bird in order to engage the brain andprevent further excess grooming, toys like puzzle balls allow the bird toforage for their food as they would in the wild. It also keeps them busy andtakes a long time as the bird has to search for the treats.

Another treat is adestructive toy such as a slab of pine or soft wood, this gives the bird chanceto chew and also uses time, and this is good as some birds are well-known to gnawanything close to their cage. Ways to stop bad behaviourslike gnawing and biting in a parrot include training them; this tames theparrot in order to carry on its life in contact with humans. Simple tricks likestepping up onto their owner’s arm, keeps the bird busy training and able tosocialise with others. Some parrots show signs ofstereotypic behaviour, repetitive behaviours which appear to have no function orgoal, parrots normally shows this as head bobbing or swaying. This is becauseof boredom and normally no enrichment. Parrots are known to do head swaying andhead bobbing but people see it as an entertainment purpose and say that theparrot is dancing.

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Another problem is placingparrots with other birds, this may cause fighting and aggression to not onlythe bird but eventually to the owner. This may have happened because ofdominance in the cage or just because they simply don’t get on with the otherbird.  To resolve this, is to separatethem. Parrots will also show signsof stress, by screeching, this is mainly because they are either kept in a smallenclosure or because they want attention. The way to resolve this is to makesure they are in a cage big enough for them to fly and ignore the screeching asthey will eventually know that this won’t get them anywhere.

 One person birds-This is when a bird bonds withonly one person in the household and may show aggression towards everybodyelse. How to prevent this-Allow lots of different peoplehandle the bird and ad make sure all handlers give the bird equal attention.Night frights-Night frights happen whensomething scares the bird in the darkness, leading the bird to thrash aroundthe cage.

This usually happens to cockatiels but can happen to any bird. Thiscan be very dangerous, as thrashing around a cage could lead to injuries to theeyes, beak, feathers and feet. Ways to prevent this-First find out why the nightfrights are occurring. Is it because its too dark? Or is it because its toolight and the bird can see shadows of other pets?Too dark: Add a night lampinto the enclosure and see if it helpsToo light: Put a cover overthe enclosure to see if the thrashing stops.

 Normal behaviour of a Parrot-Some people worry about a fewof these behaviours, but they are completely normal:·        Beak grinding- Birdsoften grind their beak just before going to sleep as a seek for comfort.·        Preening- Birds preenconstantly throughout the day in order to keep their feathers clean and neat,it is not a problem unless the bird over preens, where they will pluck outfeathers.·        Regurgitating- is whenan adult bird brings up partially digested food. Birds regurgitate to oftengive it chicks or to other birds and even their human owners.·        Playing-Birds, justlike children. Love to play so it is important for birds to have enough toys intheir enclosure in order to keep them busy.·        Cat napping- Birds willcat nap throughout the day, this is completely normal when they are napping onthe perch will one leg but when they are on two legs with its feathers fluffed,it may possibly be ill.

·        Freezing in place-Birds often freeze in place so it can’t be seen by potential predators.·        Hiding- generally birdsthat don’t want to be put back in the cage will hide. Ways to stop abnormal behaviour: Enrichment- Improving or modifying theenvironment to mimic their natural habitat.Environment/ physical ways-·        Toys ·        Exercise ·        Swings and ropes·        Adding foliage·        Perches·        Platforms·        TubesSensory ways-·        Hiding food insidepuzzle balls or foliage·        Testing sensesCognitive ways-·        Training·        Using them for shows·        Puzzles·        Teaching them tricks ·        Teaching them skillsPositive reinforcement- thisis a way of learning where the animal is given something in order for them tocarry on certain behaviours.

An example is giving a walnut to a parrot whosuccessfully listened to the clicker for the flight to the owners arm. Entertainment-Playtime outside of the cage- Allow your parrot to wanderaround the living room or the kitchen, this is a different environment to itsenclosure and it can find new things to play with or meet new things like otherpets or new people, this allows the parrot to adventure and play in a new area.Handling-Make sure you try and handleyour bid everyday as eventually it may lose their bond with you or even revertback to being a bit wild. Try and handle your bird withconfidence, even if you have been bitten and nervous, this shows that youaren’t afraid and that you are the boss.You don’t have to handle themall day but try to stay in the same room as the bird for most of the day, evenif you are doing your chores in the same room or maybe you can’t be in the sameroom, put on the radio or the TV as birds find this comforting.

 Classical and operant conditioning:Parrots are very intelligentanimals, but sometimes need different ways to train them; there are two waysyou can either do this, classical or operant conditioning. First is classicalconditioning, this is a form of learning which one stimulus, the conditionedstimulus, comes to signal the occurrence of a stimulus. This behaviour isusually an automatic response and also known as learning by association. Thereare four different sections these behaviours can be split into:1.

    Unconditioned stimulus- an action produced by the presenceof a stimulus.2.    Conditioned stimulus- the object, sound or smell thatrouses a response.3.

    Unconditioned response- something that is associated withor alongside normal stimulus,4.    Conditioned response- a normal or appropriate response tostimulus. Next is operant conditioning,this is when an animal learns from its behaviour or acts on the environment.The animal learns a certain way in order to avoid punishment or earn rewards.This changes the behaviour by the use of reinforcement which is given after adesired response. An example is that a parrot will realise that when itsuccessfully flies to its perch, it receives a treat, so eventually the parrotwill carry on this behaviour in order to get the treat.  Non associative learning;Habituation- An animal will stop responding after a longperiod of time, to the stimulus that is exposed to them. If a stuffed owl is placed in a parrot’s cage, the first response is that it is a realpredator.

They act frightened and try to escape. However the longer the stuffedowl is in the cage without moving, the parrot shows less response. Sensitization- when an animallearns to react more often or more strongly to a repeated stimulus. An exampleof this is when a parrot is exposed to a really loud noise, it responds bybeing startled, however as another, yet quieter noise is exposed the parrot, itwill still show signs of startling. The parrot is now sensitized to thosesounds.

Flooding- is when you exposethe animal to something they fear and leave them with no escape. An example ofthis is if you put the parrot in a room with a load of balloons the parrot willtry to escape, but by stopping it escaping and keeping it with its fear willallow the bird to realise that the balloons do no harm. 


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