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Kakariki, Care, Breeding, Ecology, and Conservation :: View topic - Games to Play?
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Games to Play?

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Joined: Dec 06, 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:04 am    Post subject: Games to Play?

Can anyone give me some suggestions of games to play with my kiki.
I spend plenty of time with her but have read how you should play for a couple of hours a day with your bird. I'm just not sure what to play???

She is out of her cage most of everyday, gets plenty of exercise, runs about and gets into everything, sits on my shoulder as I move about from room to room or preparing dinner, but I don't actually know how to "play" with her as such.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:19 am    Post subject:

U do it the same way with a baby or young child...
let them take the lead....
child peeps at u arond a chair, so you peep back, and then duck behind, look back and say boo... then watch their recation...they smile, so do it again....
With the bird, you may have a bit of paper, a spoon, they grab it, you wiggle it a bit, and a tugg of war eventualtes, and you let them work at it a bit, then let them win.
Or they are doing something, facing away, tap their tail feathers, they jump, look back and there is nothing there...then do it again, eventually it becomes a game when they relise its your finger and it posses no hurt or threat.

Our hose parrot is based in the dinning/kitchen area...for a long time he would watch us preparing a meal...eventually couristiy gets the best of him...he flys to our shoulder to watch...and he gets a tit bit to try.
Dont compensate for him, move as if he is not there...
then he climbs down the arm to geta closer look at the craving knife chopping pasley or something...and trys to catch the back of the knife as it goes up and down...
then u need something out of the fridge, hes still on the wrist, and the hand goes in the fridge and picks up what u need.
At 1st he retreats back up the arm, but after a while he lies looking in the fridge
One day u are chopping oinions, he goes down to look...not a good idea signlol, he finds out onions are not good on the eyes...but let him find that out.
This is important...
he has to learn himself and be causious before trying...like peck at a hot suasepan lid or oven door....u say hot, he tries, and gets a very minor burn on the end of his touge...and learns what "hot" is just like a child....and learns your warnings.
Things like hot is easy...but things like the razor sharp carving knife edge one has to be careful of and put away..( note here I keep the carving knives honed to razor sharp in our kitchen)

Play is just watch and take their lead...to train your parrot, is the next step up, is to associate certain activities they instigate to commands....like "hot" mentioned above.

This is my opinion...A wild bird is not as 'inelligent' as a house parrot, because of the opportunities to learn and stimulus are far greater in in the catipitive enviroment.
From very modest beginings and time and constant opporotunties parrots can be absolutly amazing...I had a sulphur cresed that if u gave him the key to the padlock on his cage, could unlock the paddlock..he was about 10yrs old ...when i chaged the lock to a combination, he would spend hrs turning the tumblers trying to open...he did open it once.

Just as a child will go from playing with blocks to building a full custom hot rod over 20 odd yrs, a parrot, given the stimulus and trainer/parent, will also devalope those skills one sees at the circus and on u tube.

My wife is waiting for the day when our house parrot puts the sliced veggies into the suacepan for her....he watches everything very intensly.

The other evening, he jumped off the wifes wrist into the fridge...and the door closed...she called me, and opened the fridge, he jumped on her wrist ran up her arm to saftey on her shoulder....he was so funny....he learnt not to jump in the fridge.

"he jumped on her wrist ran up her arm to saftey on her shoulder" from small beginings just playing with a bit of paper several yrs ago, a trust has built up between her and him

Sry about the ramble above, I hope it illustrates in practical terms, not just the short term "play" but the long term also.
Its not just the positives they learn but the negiatives to.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 5:43 pm    Post subject:

I love reading how you described teaching a bird to play. I have other parrots as well as the kike, and that is what I do. If you have other birds, they watch and learn also. Many of my flock has learned sounds and games by watching the other birds interact with us. I make it a point to play with part of my flock in front of the new birds. It seems to calm them and teach them that we humans are not mean.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:55 pm    Post subject:

Thanks Steps, your very insightful information on games was just what I was looking for. I especially like the way you explain about the learning of both positive and negatives in the process of playing games. I do warn my kake off when she goes near my hot cup of tea by saying..NO..HOT...but have never actually let her find out for herself. I certainly wouldn't when it was scolding hot, but maybe I should let her have a sip when it is mildly hot to help her understand when I say HOT in regards to other things around the home as well.

It was very re-assuring to read your advice as I now know I am on the right track, as some of the things you mentioned I have been doing, but now I shall be diligent and confident with the play aspect of things.

I appreciate you taking the time to give me so much fantastic advice. I loved reading about the antics of some of your birds. They really are such wonderfully intelligent and inquisitive little creatures. Very entertaining.

Thanks again.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:43 am    Post subject:

saying..NO..HOT...but have never actually let her find out for herself.

"Controled accidents" is what I call it.

Like children, they have to find out what "hot" is or it means nothing
Some parents may shudder at this
When out children where young...I quietly lit a canadle at the table, and casually passed my finger thru...of caoase they where curious.
One of them climbed up be side me and wanted to do the same..I casually said "its HOT ...BURN" being childen they have to find out.
Ofcoase he found out what HOT and BURN meant...BUT being a controled accident all the damage was , a slight redness for a couple minutes only

We had an open fire place, Son was still in nappies, and of coase he wanted to strick a match and light the fire...
After breaking a heap of matches, and still being persyant, finally one lit.
Was fasinated, forgot about lighting the fire and watched the match burn....closer and closer to his fingers...eventually the flame got too close, enough for him to drop the match on the heath...BEFORE any damage was done
Conrolled accident.
They would sit on the settee, and play, of coase with young children , they fall off and can hurt themselves
Controlled accident
Cushons placed on the floor, they fall off , get a fright, and leran about the edges.
As they grew up they played high in the trees, did crazy things on scateboards, their bikes etc...got a few scrapes bumps, but because at an early age they learnt to calculate risk, all we had is a few broken toes as one one does playing soccer.

I son at 19, became a rigger, the guys swinging off telecomunication towers high in the mountians in the middle of storms fixing stuff...
He is one of the youngest riggers ever, we do not worry, watching him work is amazing, his prescision to saftey and detail....Even his big boss is highly impressed, one of his bet guys.
Ask my son "what is it like up there in a storm" " It is absolutely terrorfying, for hrs on end, keep to the rules and one of the best 'buzzs' ever.
This "controlled accident" thing has created a guy who has so much self confidence, in anything we wants to do....he is at the moment finishing a RX7 rebuild...he has done everything himself, from electrical to panel pant to the engine rebuild...and his workmanship challenges mine in rod building
Hes just turned 21.
He is the most extreme of our children, but the others in their own way are just the same.

My point...
So your parrot is going to tate your hot cup of tea..
Ak yourself "what is the worst that can happen?"
1/parrots, 1st time touching is cautious...like children...if this is stopped it creates a situation , when the opportunty arises, they will grab with no cauation
2/When they try with cauation, what is the worst? a tiny scorch on the end of there touge, that will heal quick , by its self in hrs or even a day.
3/If they try with no cauation, u can have a major issue where they may spill the whole cup down their front with major burn.

We now have a generation of childen, reared in a protectist enviroment, a lack of respect, a gung ho attitude with no consideration of consequences, and we have made them that way...
The boy racers, killing themselves and others, with no idea of there is a time and place to race, and if their cars are built to race..or even drive.
There is nothing wrong with speed and power, at the choosen time, conditions and equipment...and when things go wrong (they do) damage is limited... like at the top of a tower and slip with 2 saftey ropes.

There is no difference between parrots and children.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:59 am    Post subject:

Thanks again Steps for your invaluable insights and advice.

You are right of course, I will let my kaka sip my tea and as I say HOT, she will learn the meaning and the caution of the word and relate it to anything else that could become a hazard to her.

Your son sounds like a very confident, happy and intelligent young man.
You and your wife can take the credit for raising such a man. Well done and I enjoyed reading your views and advice as always. Thanks.

I'll let you know how the HOT warnings and consequences work out.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:30 am    Post subject:

I think "running about and getting into everything" is a form of playing for a bird. If she likes to sit on your shoulder and flap around then I would say you ARE playing with her. Our little rascal seems to enjoy being chased. If I want him to go in his cage I have to chase him around, and he always skips just out of reach and chatters at me until I come after him again. This actually seems to be making him MORE tame rather than less tame. I say "cage time" over and over, and he heads into his cage. THen I give him a seed for a reward. It now takes very little time for him to go to his cage, so I know the "training" is working a little. He's training me.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:10 pm    Post subject:

Having only trained a budgie before I didn't realise that kakarikis could be taught vocal commands! I suppose it's only a small jump but it really does broaden the horizon as far as letting them wander around safely goes.
Out of curiosity, if you do now say "hot", does the kaka understand this warning, and then choose whether or not to listen? And, if he does understand this and stop, how long did it take for you to teach him this?

I generally rely on positive reinforcement for all of my animals, but I suppose disregarding the "hot" warning in this case would be plenty enough to make the instruction memorable. But yes, the worry would be that in letting them "learn the hard way" they could actually do some serious damage to their silly selves.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 4:36 am    Post subject:

Alas my kakariki still hasn't learned that "NO!" means "Stop eating that plant!" Have to chase him away usually. *sighs*
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:25 pm    Post subject:

My Kak seems to love being chased! He's not meant to go into our lounge room because carpet is hard to clean, but he absoluetely loves it in there! i chase him catch him and then bring him back into the living room and then another round begins! :) signlol he is so funny. I recently discovered they love playing tug-of-war with a hair tie as long as its not one with a metal bit. He also likes chasing a spot of light that i make with his small mirror. I dont know who finds it funnier, him playing the game, or me watching him play the game. :)
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