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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I’ve got a bit of a problem with my 5 year old male parrotlet, Watteau. He has been reasonably well behaved his first 4 years, mostly forming a bond with me as I feed him, clean his house and spend alone time with him. He normally was spending about 1-3 hours a day out of his cage during these years as we were both working a lot.

In the past year as my husband and I transitioned to working from home, his out of cage hours expanded drastically. He’s out of his cage from about 9am - 8pm (bedtime)… unless he’s very bad and we put him in a time out covered in his cage. Our issue that has gotten so much worse over this year is Watteau’s behavior towards my husband. Every time my husband enters the house Watteau goes off on a screaming tantrum, flying around the house until he lands on my husband’s shoulder. He sometimes bites him on the neck when he lands on his shoulder, but not always. If my husband touches any object - a plastic bag, a jar, a cellphone, a pen- Watteau will fluff up and try to attack the objects viciously. My husband was out of town recently and the entire time he was gone Watteau did not scream once, further solidifying my thought that the issue lies between Watteau and my husband (aided by my spoiling him). He demands constant attention from my husband during the day- if he stops paying attention to him the screaming resumes. At nighttime Watteau is very good and normally doesn’t scream. I will also mention that Watteau has bitten friends of mine - only men. He is very gentle with women.

It definitely seems like a hormonal issue. Could it also be a bit of him wanting the same kind of attention from my husband as he gets from me? Should I go back to our old out of cage time hours? I love him so much and want us all to be happy again. Any help is so appreciated!
 

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I’ve got a bit of a problem with my 5 year old male parrotlet, Watteau. He has been reasonably well behaved his first 4 years, mostly forming a bond with me as I feed him, clean his house and spend alone time with him. He normally was spending about 1-3 hours a day out of his cage during these years as we were both working a lot.

In the past year as my husband and I transitioned to working from home, his out of cage hours expanded drastically. He’s out of his cage from about 9am - 8pm (bedtime)… unless he’s very bad and we put him in a time out covered in his cage. Our issue that has gotten so much worse over this year is Watteau’s behavior towards my husband. Every time my husband enters the house Watteau goes off on a screaming tantrum, flying around the house until he lands on my husband’s shoulder. He sometimes bites him on the neck when he lands on his shoulder, but not always. If my husband touches any object - a plastic bag, a jar, a cellphone, a pen- Watteau will fluff up and try to attack the objects viciously. My husband was out of town recently and the entire time he was gone Watteau did not scream once, further solidifying my thought that the issue lies between Watteau and my husband (aided by my spoiling him). He demands constant attention from my husband during the day- if he stops paying attention to him the screaming resumes. At nighttime Watteau is very good and normally doesn’t scream. I will also mention that Watteau has bitten friends of mine - only men. He is very gentle with women.

It definitely seems like a hormonal issue. Could it also be a bit of him wanting the same kind of attention from my husband as he gets from me? Should I go back to our old out of cage time hours? I love him so much and want us all to be happy again. Any help is so appreciated!
We went through something very similar with my first parrotlet Brucie. It probably is hormonal. To change his behaviour and get him back our nice bird again we did reduce his out of cage time. He used to be out all the time. We changed it so he would get 2 to 3 hours out of the cage, we started to put him to bed earlier and started moving him around the house. One day we'd have his cage in my daughter's room, the next my son's, then our room, then the kitchen...even the hall way to stop him being territorial. We were still with him all the time just in a different room where he didn't think he was the king.
Eventually he stopped being so horrible and went back to normal. To be honest they do go through these different stages all the time.

I'm sure members of the forum will have some other ideas, they have always been fantastic at helping me.
Good luck.
 

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I would reduce his out of cage time. If he is in his cage and he screams, just ignore him, do not react or else he will know that screaming gets a reaction out of you. You will be unknowingly rewarding the behavior with your presence so your bird will repeat the behavior. So just stay quiet until he quiets down, then you can reward him by going in once he has calmed down. Since all this screaming seems to be pointing at your husband, maybe he needs to be the one to do this. Just reinforce the good behavior, ignore the bad. When he is being quiet give him praises, a treat or some scritches, If he is out of his cage and starts screaming, put him back in his cage and again ignore him until he gets quiet. Birds like schedules/routines – they like to know what to expect. You might want to set certain times when he is in and out of his cage. With the pandemic winding down, if you and your husband will be going back to work, this might be a good time to get him used to being alone again for periods of time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We went through something very similar with my first parrotlet Brucie. It probably is hormonal. To change his behaviour and get him back our nice bird again we did reduce his out of cage time. He used to be out all the time. We changed it so he would get 2 to 3 hours out of the cage, we started to put him to bed earlier and started moving him around the house. One day we'd have his cage in my daughter's room, the next my son's, then our room, then the kitchen...even the hall way to stop him being territorial. We were still with him all the time just in a different room where he didn't think he was the king.
Eventually he stopped being so horrible and went back to normal. To be honest they do go through these different stages all the time.

I'm sure members of the forum will have some other ideas, they have always been fantastic at helping me.
Good luck.
That’s such good advice about moving the cage around! That could be a game changer and has me even thinking about the placement of his play gym. I’m definitely going to cut down this out of cage time to 3 hours or so a day. And yes, perhaps an earlier bedtime and more sleep would be good for him too. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would reduce his out of cage time. If he is in his cage and he screams, just ignore him, do not react or else he will know that screaming gets a reaction out of you. You will be unknowingly rewarding the behavior with your presence so your bird will repeat the behavior. So just stay quiet until he quiets down, then you can reward him by going in once he has calmed down. Since all this screaming seems to be pointing at your husband, maybe he needs to be the one to do this. Just reinforce the good behavior, ignore the bad. When he is being quiet give him praises, a treat or some scritches, If he is out of his cage and starts screaming, put him back in his cage and again ignore him until he gets quiet. Birds like schedules/routines – they like to know what to expect. You might want to set certain times when he is in and out of his cage. With the pandemic winding down, if you and your husband will be going back to work, this might be a good time to get him used to being alone again for periods of time.
I love the idea of my husband praising him for good behavior - I think he really craves that anyway. I’m going to try this out and stick to a daily routine with him to get back my good little bird. Thanks so much!
 
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