Scream Time by Michelle Karras proprietor of the Polite Parrot

Moustache Parakeet Screeching Close up of Head

Mustached Parakeet

Excessive screaming is a learned behavior that we teach our birds. Covering your feathered companion with a blanket teaches him or her that you will cover the cage when the scream gets out of hand.

Yelling at a screaming parrot gives the parrot the attention it seeks. Ignoring a screaming parrot is not the answer either. Ignoring bird’s screams could result in finding injuries too late (or water had run out). Options are to make sure all your Psittacine’s needs are satisfied. Large hygienic cage, clean water, fresh food, working toys. Twelve hours of sleep (uninterrupted), softwood and other materials to chew, and plenty of exercises.

Start with a signal to stop loud parrots. Make a loud noise (pot & metal spoon) in the room next to the screaming bird. They hear the bell, they stop to listen, Show up from the other room while they are quiet to praise and reward with a high-value treat (grape – peanut – sunflower seed). Set them up to succeed. Use a time when you know they are quite loud. Distract them with a new noise in the next room. As soon as they stop to listen, appear and praise and offer reward

Lengthen the time between the signal and your appearance each time. Try and take a whole day at first and only work with the parrot and the screaming. Initial rewards should be substantial, a known favorite treat. Use the same signal just before feeding fresh food. Wait until the parrot is noisy, give the signal, praise, and feed.

Not all parrots will quiet down for the same signal so you may have to try several noises before finding the one that works for you.

Note: Do not use your voice. They may try to mimic you.

Scream time is a time during the day that you allow your parrots to be noisy. This should be given somewhere between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day. Encourage your parrots by playing stimulating music. Dance, sing or scream along with them. Scream time should last no less than 15minutes and no more than 1/2 hour each day.

Some parrots enjoy screaming to the vacuum, this is fine to encourage but play music as well. Find music that your parrot gets excited over. Use that same song every day for scream time. Change the music from time to time but be consistent overall. When Scream time is over, lower the music volume Talk your parrot down. Lower the music slowly, turn it off, and play their relaxation code music. Give them afternoon snacks when “cool down” is over.

Birds will wait for their “Scream Time” because they know they will be rewarded for their patience.

umbrella cockatoo going mad on the kitchen floor. but a happy bird

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