Listen to this success story sent in by Lynda Lawrence on how she stopped her Double Yellow Headed Amazon from screaming in just 14 days…
Here’s the email she sent me explaining how she did it:
Screaming was Sunny the Double Yellow Amazon’s Worse Trick. Until I got Chet’s advice on changing screaming and why Sunny might be screaming. Sunny would scream when I would be out of sight, scream when he was communicating he wanted to go to bed, scream for attention when I was on the phone. Sunny’s screaming got worse when his routine got abruptly changed. He was the star performer in my Pet Show program. It came to a sudden halt when I was injured in an accident and unable to run the show. Any time he sees me going for truck rides and he is not involved it caused sadness for him.
After the accident I became highly tuned in to birdtricks.com, and found out their system works on bird behavior. I ordered a basic cd, and some online audio and e-books that were on sale at that particular time.
First thing I learned was to change Sunny’s Diet. He was healthy and all, but it could use some tweaking. This change in diet made for a very less moody bird. He wasn’t a biter towards me, but if he didn’t want to be approached by a family member, look out. Diet change changed this behavior, so we worked on this too, and got him to go to more people using his basic step up commands, and praise.
Sunny’s sleep was changed too. He was getting around 8-9 hours before as he was following our schedule. Since being put on the proper birdtricks recommended schedule, Sunny starts heading upstairs to his bedtime cage on his own. No more evening screaming behavior.
To stop Sunny’s screaming it was apparent that his time needed to be filled with more activities, because his day was not out doing shows where he would perform in front of people on his bike, slide and ride a skate board as well as had tricks. So I followed some of birdtrick.com clicker training techniques, and Sunny loves doing them and learning new ways of doing tricks. We have more time together during the day, and I have the clicker chained to my belt loop with a pocket full of Sunny treats at all times, so trick training happens any where any time of the day. It keeps him busy, and I have had comments on how quiet, on the side of screaming, Sunny is when company drops over.
Now, lately, a touch of screaming has increased since renovations have stared on our living room. This is just Sunny’s way of getting mad for being in his cage longer, or being put in cage when saws are out, but we have trained him to say “do you want out”. Also when we hear a scream start we “Sunny want out”, he stops screaming, and changes his tune and starts saying “out”. We take him to another area or room or the theatre where the other pets are when the construction is going on.
The screaming gradually stopped in less than 10 day to 2 weeks after the feed, sleep and activity changes were all put in place. We all stuck to this change, which made it easy, as well as the techniques from birdtricks.com. I think this process could have happened quicker in our case, but everyone in the family has to be on-board and know the techniques and materials being used and all be on the same page when training a parrot.
It is like one parent has a kid completely potty trained and when left with the other the diapers go back on the kid, so keep open to the whole family every day what you have done with your bird, so the old habits do not keep getting sparked.
My Comments: Lynda has done a fantastic job of explaining the process, but I just want to go into a few of her points with more detail so you can get some more value.
The first thing I want to address is just how much of an effect diet can have on your bird…
One study that I was reading about that really helped me to understand just how much the change of diet can effect behavior, was done over in England at a prison where they wanted to test the effects that giving vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids would have on PRISON inmate behavior.
In this experiment they broke the prisoners into two groups, one got some healthy supplements, and the other got a bunch of empty pills with nothing in them, and then over the next few months, the researchers tracked the number of prisoner offenses committed by each group.
The actual numbers are fuzzy for me now, but basically the group that took the supplements went on to commit roughly 35% less prison offenses (broke less rules), then the group that didn’t take supplements.
Plus they saw an even GREAT reduction in the rate of VIOLENT offenses, acts of aggression or fighting!
This is because our nervous systems require nutrients to function properly, and when we get low on nutrients we get irritable. This is because the nervous system stops running smoothly and sending clear easy to understand signals, and breaks down. This breakdown starts to make the signals come over more choppy and harder to understand, causing frustration and irritability… which leads to aggression.
And this same thing is happening in our birds!
Now I know this example isn’t necessarily about aggression, but I can promise you the reason Lynda saw the changes in her birds screaming after switching over its diet was because the change to a healthier food reduced feelings of anxiety inside the bird that were being caused by an inadequately fueled nervous system.
We believe in this concept of using healthier foods to fix your bird’s behavior problems that we went out and secured our own line of Organic Parrot food to offer to our customers that you can find at http://www.feedyourflock.com
The second point I’d like to point out quickly, and that I cover in detail in our Teach Your Bird 24 Tricks In Two Months Program, is the role that constantly teaching new behaviors to their bird played in the bond building process, and how Lynda says that her bird REALLY looks forward to learning new things. Never underestimate the power of trick training.
And if you’re looking for even more techniques for stopping screaming, be sure to check out our Secrets To Stopping Screaming program for dozens of other strategies our clients have used to completely eliminate their birds annoying screaming.