BTT: Consistent Inconsistency

BTT: Consistent Inconsistency

 June 23rd, 2015
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This week we tried desperately to film the “Top 5 Parrot Species to Own: Beginner to Advanced” but our daughter was not having it. So we’ve included the out-takes from that. In you are interested in that topic, or wondering what type of bird to get, please check out the following blog posts:

2 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Pet Bird

The Best Starter Bird

To recap: It’s best to volunteer your time at a parrot rescue to truly understand what parrot companionship means. Usually birds are the ones to pick their owners and not the other way around.

So instead, we decided to go over the topic of offering your bird Consistent Inconsistency. What this method does is never develops a routine with your bird. Often times people fall into a predictable routine and when it has to be broken, both person and bird freak out. Birds that aren’t put on routines are made to me more adaptable and show less signs for negative behavior as a form of breaking the routine because one doesn’t even exist.

An example of this would be if you feed your bird twice a day, every day, at 7am and 5pm. Your bird knows it gets its food EXACTLY at this time and comes to look forward to it, and predict it, and then once it’s a routine… EXPECT it. And your bird expects it ON TIME. When not on time, a bird will show its unhappiness about this breaking of its normal routine with screaming, biting, or another form of negative/unwanted behavior.

(A solution to this feeding schedule is to feed within a 4 hour window. In the morning I feed our birds anywhere from 6am-noon, and then again anywhere from 6pm-11pm with random 2-4pm feedings sometimes too. Because our LIFE is unpredictable, this isn’t work for me.)

If you need help with daily habits to change, or how to go about this with a rescue bird, check out our Total Transformation Series. It goes into detail about how to work SLOWLY (but with day by day progress) with rescue birds who can’t adapt quickly and need time to adjust to the point where they can be more acceptable of change in their environment.

Examples of things you can do to help your bird better handle “stressful” situations would be if you’re going to be gone on a trip for a week, slowly get your bird used to you not being around as much by being gone part of the day, the entire day, two days and so forth to build up to it. That way if there’s issue, you can come back and correct it. This is also why socializing your bird more to just you is so important for the well-being of your bird. You would also do the same with people, places and things.

Introducing one new thing a day is a great way to desensitize birds and help them adapt to new things (make sure it ends with your bird liking the new thing and not being fearful – sometimes the process can take more than a single day for some birds). For really fearful birds lacking any self-confidence, this may be more of a “one new thing a week or a month” which is quite alright! Slow progress is still PROGRESS. If you go too fast with your training, you can often lose all the progress you made by pushing too far too fast.

If your bird is “failing” at the training or responding negatively, you’re going too far or too fast… or both.

We go into an insane amount of detail on all these things in our Total Transformation Series, so if this is sounding like your bird, please check that course out OR leave a comment for a chance to win it! It’s one of our best courses, and most in depth we’ve ever done whether you’re experienced with birds (we have other expert trainers featured on there from other fields as well that are excellent to listen to!) or are brand new and just wingin’ it like most! That course has it all. I promise you’ll walk away with some serious gems of information and tips.

Have a great Tuesday, every-birdy and see you next week!

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16 Comments on “BTT: Consistent Inconsistency”

Amy R  06/23/2015 9:50 pm

I have a question about my greenwing’s weight. He’s always been a little too thin. I have and love ve your cookbook and he also gets Harrison’s pellets and about five or so nuts (in the shell) plus training treats each day. I always hav food available to him bc he’s thin and his training motivation is always fine. He’s totally unwilling to fly so so far exercise is flapping, close moving around me to play, and touch training. What are your thoughts on how to go about putting healthy weight on him. Is it ok that he’s thin?

Amy R  06/23/2015 9:52 pm

Sorry for the typos. That should have said climbing around and playing, not close moving around me. (Stupid autocorrect)

Francisca Roomer  06/24/2015 5:20 am

I love the video. Thank you so much for the happy moment of my day. My question is: How do I get the tricks on cue? My umbrella cockatoo is spinning and walking in and out the cage with the training and he can wave( which is very cute ) , but It’s not on cue. Can you please help me with this?

Lance Abate  06/26/2015 4:11 pm

You guys seem to read my mail before you send out your updates. Every time you do you updates it is an issue i am dealing with. My birds (Jardines Parrot and a Blue Headed Pionus would go nuts every time they would seem me in the kitchen. I have changed up the feedings, the food and the cages and once again all is well in “the zoo.”

As a sidenote you guys seem so normal and struggle with things in life like all of us. It is fun to see you both roll your eyes and just deal with it. I got birds after my wife’s brain infection, Meningitis and stroke. They gave us something to do during her recovery. I got the Pionus that had been in a breeders shed for a year and hated human hands. I started using the clicker technic with my finger instead of a pointer. I am still having difficultly to get her on a finger. We have come a long ways from the bird that freaked out when I walked near the cage. Thanks

Peter Newlands  06/26/2015 4:58 pm

Like the consistent inconsistency tip. However, how would you work the change around in an ‘inconsistent’ cages/aviary routine if one or some of your birds picked up a mite infection? Notoriously difficult to shift out of the system, as I am discovering at the moment, veterinary advice for mite infections is that isolation is important and to not share perches/cages etc with other birds.

I hope and pray your birds never suffer and that they always stay in perfect health.

Naomi Campbell  06/26/2015 6:03 pm

oh my goodness…This is great information….I wish I knew about this when our dog was a puppy. Do to the fact the rules changed where we were living and they said no dogs. Well she was a dog and not going any where .. So I litter trained her. Great Idea??? She was even thought to come to here kitty here kitty… It was great until we had to go North for a visit… Because that was the only thing she knew. She would not go potty. We were going crazy not knowing what was wrong with her. 48 hours late. We finally stopped to sleep we putted out her litter box. Guess what she filled it… Poor baby. If I ever have to do it again. I will be taking it out side and also use the litter box. We have a 15 month old GW Macaw and a few weeks ago got a 7 year old rescued red front Macaw. I will be changing cages and training stands from now on. There really is no set time for train do to the fact that I am home and work with off and on all day long. Thanks again for keeping us informed.

Lorraine Zietek  06/26/2015 8:47 pm

When we got Paxo, our Rose Breasted Galah we were told he must have at least 3 hours per day out of his cage at exactly the same time, we tried but found that after a while out he begins to bite, we have changed up his routine, he comes out whenever we can spend time with him, but our ahha moment has not arrived, he is biting more and more, we have watched carefully to see what triggers it and it just happens, biting face, hands my husbands ears, we are finding it impossible to have him out for long because of the biting, if you try to stop him he just dances around as if to say don’t YOU tell me what to do, any ideas guys, hes a nice 9 month old who appears to have the terrible twos.

Michael and Cookie  06/26/2015 9:00 pm

Cookie dosen’t scream, she pops, shes a yellow nape and they don’t scream and she knows when I do things and at what time, like give her her peanut before bed, sometimes she’ll start poping but iots not a big deal but its good to know I can change that if I wanted to so its good to know. So more useful imformation and the clip of the show was great.

Doreen Umberger  06/26/2015 9:12 pm

I have a question that has just come up with my Grey Koda. I heard him yelling Tommy the other day. Tommy died 12/11/10. Tommy was a Greencheek Conure. I did have 5 birds at one time plus a bird or so from the store I was working for. Koda was really bonded to Tommy. What do you do? I tried to explain that he isn’t with us anymore. I don’t think he understands. I’m thinking about getting another bird next year. I love the conures. I had 3 different kinds. The Sun and Gold Cap are very silly. Would this be the right thing to do? I feel he needs someone to talk to. My life is very unpredictable. Doctors appointments and hospital stays, He never knows what is going to happen next. I have a couple of people who help me with my bird. Birds in the past. They could adjust to anything that was given to them. Thanks for the information. I look forward to these videos.

Sherry Harrington  06/26/2015 10:09 pm

Let me start by saying THANK YOU for consistency of every Tuesday getting a treat from our favorite BTT family. In your tremendously busy schedule you have graciously included us. That’s so GREAT.
My ah ha moment was when you mentioned not having food in their cages constantly! Whoa! I never thought of that. I consistently feed their their veggies every morning, , (of course the delicious recipes found in your cookbook for birds,)…inconsistently time of feeding because their desire to play first varies. Take that away after couple hours to avoid botulism then follow up with a different fruit each day. Just before dusk we consistently have cuddle-time then off to night cages where they have their organic bird pellets. What should I change up? It’s same except the TIME they follow this routine. WOW, I thought I was doing it right! ????

Peggy A.  06/27/2015 3:20 am

I am addicted to your bird tricks
Tuesday! You folks are real show people all the way down to Capri’s cute interjections. I also appreciate how real your video sessions are. So great…. I am fascinated to learn all that you are inclined to share. Really the best and most personable training on birds out there.. No stellar question for you. I have been watching you two for awhile. This is my first time to share. A great big THANKS ????????????

Kathy  06/27/2015 5:47 am

I think you should be inconsistent with us and post your BTT on Wednesday next week- we will be more adaptable! Haha
Loved seeing Capri in your video! 🙂

Natalie  06/28/2015 12:53 am

Thanks so much guys for taking time to do these videos
It might have seemed confusing at first with the various starts but that made me appreciate what you do all the more so as it made it obvious just how hard it can be for you to find the time and the right surroundings to make these videos for us every week.
i loved this weeks suggestions and am doing what I can to implement them… I always thought its was best to have the birds on more of a routine but when I moved this past spring and that lead to big changes for everybody i saw first hand that routine had not been my friend. Since moving the whole flock is screeming more and acting out of character even two months later. Slowly everyone is getting back to regular behaviours but I see now that it would have been a lot easier for them if they had been use to even small changes before I moved so it wasn’t so stressful… Hindsight and all that
Thanks again and looking forward to next weeks upload

Ariana  06/29/2015 10:53 pm

Thanks for the videos! I’m sure everyone really appreciates them. I have a question about conures, I have a cherry headed conure and I really want another bird, but Opal (my cherry head) bullys any bird that comes close to her, even if the bird was as big as a macaw! Do you have any tips for her to interact with other birds nicely, same with people? Or do conures prefer to be the only bird? Also you should make more videos with your own conures.

April  06/30/2015 3:52 pm

I love your videos and the spontaneity of them all. I enjoyed this Tuesday Immensely as I am, guilty and sorry to say I have missed a few of the videos because of too much stuff going on here, but always have time for my Cappawella(Sun Conure). My days are always unpredictable as usual, but most of the time take him with me in the car, shopping at WalMart,(have not gotten kicked out yet, most don’t notice him on my shoulder until they’re almost past and jump and say OMG that bird is REAL !) we do yard work, and landscaping, cut the grass on a zero turn, and just doing stuff around the house, and we go for walks a few times a week which he loves. He never leaves my shoulder. It amazes me that nothing seems to scare him! WEll, once I was raking leaves and I had a black plastic bag that I whipped open…he squawked and flew to the grass, but after that he was ok and I started to work again. I like this topic and I am so glad it was discussed because just last night I was getting so frustrated because the Keets and Cappy were not eating the Bird tricks summer diet. Of course I was feeding them some seed, pellets, and fruit mix in the morning and at night I would give them the BTD. well, they wouldn’t eat it. I said to myself last night..,that’s it. no food before bedtime which varies also. Low and behold they ate it all !!! I am just thankful that you guys confirmed the Inconsistency because I was so afraid I was going hurt them if I did not give them some food to munch on. I was glad to see they survived the night and ate with a hardy appetite! I know now I need to change it up. I think being unpredictable is a good thing for our birds, because it seems they love surprises ! At least mine seem too. LOL The Aww haa moment for me was of course changing the food delivery routine. 🙂
Thank you Guys for all your hard work and dedication to your Fans and feathered friends!
April ~

Caren  07/03/2015 5:39 pm

I’ve had my budgie for 2 months now. He is learning to target train.
My (now) 5 month old budgie finally let me know that it likes millet. FINALLY a treat. Problem: It will not take millet PIECES from my fingers. It will eat from the whole stalk, but not small pieces. Won’t eat ANYTHING from my hand.
Never miss a Tuesday video. You 3 are so generous. (ordered the talking video today.)