Pet birds with behavioural problems usually have social problems too. There would be times when behaviour issues with birds can be brought about by a lack of interaction with owners, conflict with other animals or just because of sickness. It is important to identify the reasons why birds are showing negative behaviour. By identifying the stressors you can take it out of the bird’s system.
Positive reinforcement is an effective method which can be used to train and tame birds. Positive reinforcement focuses on what birds want like food, scratch, verbal praise, comfort and other similar things. Negative reinforcement, of course, is the opposite of this and is rarely successful in the long run.
Punishment never resolves the bird’s behaviour issues. To address the negative attitude of birds, here are some simple tips you can keep in mind:
Show your dissatisfaction with your bird’s behaviour by facial expressions. Frown. Birds can pick up facial expressions and body movements. The best method of showing dissatisfaction towards your pet bird is by your body movements. Maintain eye contact when doing this.
There are bed owners who also suggest turning your back behind your birds or ignoring them. This would discourage them from doing bad acts.
Some bird owners say that it is effective to speak to birds with a low but not loud voice. Tell them what they did was wrong. But be concise and short as possible. Too much negative attention can have negative effects on your pet.
Never hit a bird. Birds have fragile bones, physical force may injure them fatally. Also, bird abuse can also result in aggressiveness and viciousness.
When disciplining your pet, never compromise their health. Examples would be insufficient food and water supply, neglecting the cage and even bathing them. This can result in deep emotional and physical injuries.
When giving birds food as rewards for their good behaviour, choose some food which they would enjoy but rarely eat. It is also good to pet, scratch them as positive reinforcements. But be cautious of offering treats with too much sugar and fat.
There would be instances when severe aggression and viciousness is treated with mood-modifying drugs. When having problems with your birds you can consult your avian behaviourist or your vet. But any treatment is useless without addressing the issues causing bad behaviour.
Actually, it is important to determine if the bad behaviour is brought about by the medical condition. So if you have noticed anything with your bird it would be best to bring them first to a vet to make sure that medical issues are ruled out.
Attitude cannot change overnight. So do not be disappointed if your birds are not showing improvements immediately after employing the mentioned tips. Just like when disciplining children, consistency is the key when training your birds. Birds would understand what you would like to happen when you start being consistent with your method and ways.
When disciplining your pet birds, it is important to balance things. Of course, you wanted to correct bad behaviour, but it is as important to reinforce the point out the good behaviour also. Birds respond to training better when focusing on good things, not bad things.
This method may require hard work, patience and love. It may take a long time, but when you look at your happy pet bird, I think it’s going to be worth it.