Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Basil and the ball

I don't write much about Basil as he is very easy-going and doesn't get into trouble; therefore, he does not provide exciting material like the greys and Rocky.  I am planning on starting to clicker train him shortly, so I will probably chronicle that.  He is not hand tame, and I'd like to work with him to develop a stress-free way to move him around.  Right now, he pretty much stays on or in his cage the entire day, coming out when I open the door and going inside when I ask him to.

One thing that is very different about him than from my other parrots is that he tends to sit there (apparently content) and wait for something to happen, as opposed to initiating experiences.  If I place a foot toy on top of his cage, it will sit there for weeks; if I offer him that same foot toy, he will happily play with it, like he did with this ball:
I don't think it ever occurs to him to leave his cage, unless something scares him.  In that case, he flies circles around the room and lands back on his cage.  This is in opposition to my parrots who are almost always off exploring.

In another interesting departure from my parrots, when I offer them a toy, they almost always grab it with their beaks; Basil almost always uses his foot.  Then he'll bring it up to his beak:
He has gotten to the point where he'll take wood slices from the top of his cage and chip them up; he just hasn't yet applied that concept to other toys.

In other (but slightly related) Basil news, I had converted him to Goldenfeast Goldenobles pellets a few months back.  He loves them!  However, I recently found out that Goldenfeast was going to no longer produce this pellet.  I bought several containers in order to buy myself some time to convert him to something else, preferably Harrison's, since that's what the other birds eat.

I'd put Goldenobles, 3 Harrison's power treats, and 10 Harrison's pepper pellets in his cage every morning.  He'd eat all of the Goldenobles and leave all of the Harrison's.  One day, after filling his pellet dish, I offered him his dish while he was perched on his cage door.  To my shock, he grabbed (and ate) a Harrison's pellet.  He relished this pellet, so I expected he'd eat more during the day, but I returned to find a dish with 3 power treats and 9 pepper pellets remaining.  He still had only eaten the Goldenobles!

I continued this for a few days, with the same result.  Yesterday, I returned home and found that he'd eaten all of the Harrison's!  (I don't count the Goldenobles so I have no idea how many he ate.)  It's all or nothing with this guy!

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