Morris is looking amazing, becoming a pro-trainee and foraging for living. I couldn’t be prouder of him!
I have to admit that I was a bit worried that my all-encompassing plan for Project Parrot Positive might end up being a bust. (And in all honesty, it’s possible that he could start plucking again at any time…) However, his progress has been astounding and I think it’s time to share how we got here.
The plan was as follows:
- Working with a vet to address any health issues and medicate for stress as necessary.
- Set him up in the best possible housing with plenty of foraging/enrichment opportunities.
- Change up Morris’s diet to be as healthy as possible and expand his interest in investigating new foods.
- Work on simple training to build a positive relationship (and help him “learn to learn”).
- Train behaviors that encourage interactivity and investigation.
- Wean him off of stress medication.
- Raise his weight. (He was still somewhat under normal weight.)
- Train behaviors to give him a means to seek attention other than worrying his feathers.
We are now at the stage where Morris I’m working on training some fun things to keep him occupied. He’s still doing a tiny bit of feather stripping, but we are on the right track! So in the coming posts, I’m going to discuss the phases and considerations in Morris’ “rehab”. I hope they will be helpful to some of you struggling with feather destructive behavior. There are no easy solutions, but maybe you’ll discover a few things to try with your own birds!
In the meantime, Morris would like to show off his new suit –