Got a problem with a constantly screaming Meyers parrot. The only time hes not screaming is when I am petting him. I’ve had him since he was a fledgling and he was hand reared, so always been very tame and I can do almost what ever I want to him. Hes 3 years now, the cockatiel I have no idea. Was adult when I got her, and no ring.He screams when im not there, he screams when im there. With fresh food (veggies, fruits, nuts, berries seed etc) and water.He has a cage meant for a macaw with lots of toys and natural branches. Even then, hes still out of the cage 5-8 hours a day…I also have a very anxious cockatiel (adopted from horrible a situation), which doesn’t seem to help. My meyers is very bossy, and if the cockatiel makes to much noise ( more than 3 chirps in a row) and he seem to get annoyed and start screaming at her. Likewise if he screams for awhile, the cockatiel will reply. And then all hell breaks lose, back and forth all day.I’m at my wits end…and this was supposed to be the most quiet parrot. I’ve had budgies and lovebirds that where more quiet What I’ve tried:Leaving the room when he screams.Reward him when hes silent.Put him in his cage with a blanket over.Leave him out of his cage longer.Spending more time with him, and stimulating him more.A bunch of different toys, rotated regularly.Try to distract him when he screams.Only thing that seems to have a very slight effect, is If he spends all day with me (8+ hours) he’ll be quiet rest of the day. But that means for me to be constant petting when he wants too, occupy him with stuff and food. And for myself, I can’t do much then without him either interfering or im afraid he might get hurtI’m thinking of getting rid of the cockatiel, but I don’t know if that might make it worse. My meyers don’t seem very fond of her though. Only time they are “together” is the mid day nap. When they both sit on the aviary light fixture, about 5 cm a part. Other then that, the meyers screams at her and chases her around sometimes. I feel so badly for the poor cockatiel, this was supposed to be a better life for her
Well, of all the things you have tried, only the last two are good, the others will actually not help at all with the problem and might even make it worse. Tiels that don’t have mates will vocalize almost constantly when they are hormonal (they are calling for a mate) and your Meyer’s also sounds hormonal but they should be slowing down sexual hormone production right now (unless you live in the Southern Hemisphere where they would be increasing production this time of the year). Please tell us what kind of diet and light schedule they are on, whether they are clipped or not and what kind of ‘touching’ you are talking about when you say that you need to touch him all the time or he will not shut up (was it DNA’d a male?).
Thank you for your advice. The tiel is very quiet, only time she makes any sound is if the water is too dirty or theres no food. So I guess she’s passed her prime and not so hormonal.On the other hand the meyers has been unusually “screamy” lately but he is very vocal when hes “normal” too, probably hormonal now though as you say.When I say pet him, I mean scratching his head. And he sometimes preens my nose and cuddles my neck. And yes, he is DNA’d male. They are not clipped, and light schedule is 10-on 14-off. But they usually get up about 2 hours before lights on, so more like 12/12.The diet consist of tidymix parakeet blend, tidymix parrot blend, ZuPreem fruit blend (though they don’t touch this much) and tidymix fruit parrot treat. Harrissons Power treats and Nutriberries as treats. I mix it randomly every time they get food, ZuPreem and fruit is the only one thats always in there. On weekends they get soak mix’s or fresh vegs & fruit. Tiel only eats seeds though, no matter what I try. I also use multivitamin drops in the water.Edit: oh, and I live in Norway, so Northern hemisphere here
This diet is all high protein food which is not good for them and you are not supposed to give vitamins with any of these feeds. Some vitamins are water soluable and the excess will pass through the body safely others are fat souable and will not pass, they build up to toxic levels, so no more vitamins until after you change their diets. They need to be on a low protein diet or they will get aggressive, loud and they will get liver disease, heart disease, kidney disease, or diabetic. Try feeding them this : viewtopic.php?f=8&t=13666 along with fresh raw vegetables, fruit and fresh raw leafy greens, for in the mornings and all day long and a good seed mix for their dinner. Being so far north, you may need to provide full spectrum lighting and simulate sun rise and sunset.
Yep, your problem is that your bird is overly hormonal due to an inappropriate light schedule and high protein diet. You need to change their diet ASAP or you will end up with sick birds. I don’t feed pellets because, after more than 20 years of research into their diets, I have reached the conclusion that they are not the best dietary option for them. I feed gloop and raw produce for breakfast and all day picking and a good quality seed/nut mix for dinner with once a week multivitamin/mineral supplement added to their gloop at a 1.5 the recommended daily dosage (I only give them the supplement for the vit D3 and whatever small lack there might be in their diet because I feed an organic diet with a large range of fruits and veggies).Living where you live, you will have a real hard time with the light schedule but it’s feasible with a bit of ingenuity, planning and work put into it. The thing is that birds need to be exposed to dawn and dusk in order for their endocrine system to work right. It’s the different light that happens at these times that start and stop the internal ‘stopwatch’ that tells their body how long the day was and which, in turn, keeps it in tune with the seasons -so the body knows when it’s time to start or stop producing sexual hormones, when to molt, when to rest, etc. You now have them at a 12L/12D, which was the better way of keeping them after just doing it at a human schedule but which we now know doesn’t really work in stopping the production of sexual hormones (we’ve learned quite a lot about birds in the last 15 years) so I suggest you start reproducing dawn and dusk and keep track of the number of hours you are doing it so you can make the days longer and shorter to trick their bodies into believing there are seasons. You will need a good full spectrum light (CRI 94+ and Ktemp 5000 to 5500) in the ceiling fixture and two lamps, one with red light and another one with regular white. You should put both lamps under a table and turn on the red one. 15 minutes later, turn on the white one, too. 15 minutes after, turn off the red and put the white on the table. 15 minutes after this, turn on the overhead full spectrum and off the white lamp. In the evening, you do the opposite so as to reproduce the sunset.
Thank you so much for all this very “compact” and precise information. The dusk/dawn light I guess could be fixed with just one of those fancy LED bulbs where you can decide the wavelength (ie: Color), intensity etc. Guess you could make it go red, orange, yellow, white. keep the white on for the rest of the day, and do the whole thing backwards for dusk. Hmm, might have to makes some Arduino stuff for this The light for the cages are the Arcadia compact fluorescent fixtures with the Acradia bulb (http://www.arcadia-bird.com/compact-lamps/). Could change them out though, 1.5+ years old. Unfortunately I won’t be able to put in aviary lights in the ceiling, as it is our living room, and we only have a bulb lamp. But I can also put in a Arcadia bulb in that one, too our eyes its just like normal cold white, guess thats better than nothing.Do you have a link or something as a guide to the light schedule. Where should I begin, 10 hours on, 12 14?Also looking into the gloop diet. Seems I have to get all the grains separately, can’t seem to find any Kashi Palif-substitute product here in Norway. I was just thinking of copying the ingredients list of the palif, but wanted to change out the rye, since I’ve read that many parrots don’t like it. What would you suggest I change it out with? I was thinking maybe spelt?
I am still new to a lot of bird things, so when Pajarita answers you take her suggestions over mine as she has both more experience and more knowledge about these things than I do. I can still help some and at least get you in the ball park. The full spectrum bulbs should be changed out every 6 months as they develop a flicker that is more noticeable in the tubes than in the compact bulb type and this flicker is not very good for the parrots and they notice it much sooner than we do. We get down to about 8 hours of daylight in the winter and they birds do fine but what I think is the best way is to check out the length of the days on the day of the solstices there is one in June and one in Dec. and then check to see how much that changes daily after each one and that will tell you the minimum and maximum amount of daylight as well as how much to adjust the length each day. I would check these thing for areas that are about as far north as New York city. As for your gloop recipe substituting spelt is fine.
Well, changing the length of the daylight hours on a daily basis is fabulous but I don’t think it’s needed. Canary breeders change it once a week, 15 minutes at a time, starting right after the winter solstice (around the 21 of December) so they can start the breeding season earlier and thus, make it longer (I don’t, of course) but, in reality, it takes two weeks for a 15-20 minute difference and that’s why captive birds would sometimes go into a partial molt around the end of January - namely, because their bodies registered the 20 minute difference and ‘know’ the days are getting longer. So, what I would do is, basically, follow the same schedule starting right after the winter solstice and make the days 15 minutes longer every two weeks - because that is what would most closely resemble nature. Right now and where I am (NE USA) sunrise is about 6:20 am and sunset at 7:30 pm BUT you need to take into consideration dawn and dusk which usually last about 30 minutes more on each ‘side’ (I also don’t turn on the overhead lights exactly at sunrise, I wait a bit until the sun is all out because I don’t want a huge contrast, I want it to be a more gradual thing as it would be in nature). I don’t use Kashi for my gloop. I buy wheat kernels, kamut, hulled barley, oat groats, black and red rice and black lentils all separate and cook them in batches -the wheat with the kamut, the barley with the oats, and the rices with the lentils.They sell good quality full spectrum lights in compact fluorescent bulbs that fit into a regular socket so you can use those in your living room ceiling fixture (I have them in mine because I have birds in there). But I don’t know of any light that changes color so I can’t help you there.