Training Prince The Toco Toucan As He Matures | ParrotsRUs

Hey everyone! Last time I mentioned that I wanted to share with you more of the one-on-one training that I’ve been doing with Prince. Now, I started this type of training with Prince ever since he was eight weeks old. So, thank God I did because in the last couple days, his behavior as he’s maturing is starting to change a little bit. So I’ll call it, he’s become a little bit more “beaky,” and he’s more “beaky” to my hands.

So, human nature, of course, it’s easy to get insulted by this behavior, but what I’m choosing to do is spend more time with one-on-one training with him. Using the principles that I continue to learn from Lara Joseph at the Animal Behavior Center, and that is applied behavior analysis and using positive reinforcement. Applying this, and I’m continuing to learn, guys, so it’s been a process, and I’m very grateful for Lara Joseph and her education, specifically through the [unintelligible] project on Facebook.

Anyway, I’m going to apply these principles that I continue to learn and spend more one-on-one time with Prince, hopefully, to change or redirect this undesirable behavior of being more “beaky.” So, my plan is to do more one-on-one target training, and also, station training and just continually be consistent with it and change my techniques as I learn better techniques and I practice, and hopefully, through all that, I can continue to strengthen my relationship with Prince, and get through this time of you, know, his “beakiness.” So, wish me luck.

So, one of the effective things I’ve learned from Lara and it starts with the letter, “D,” and it’s called deprivation. So, all that really means is preserving your bird’s most favorite form of reinforcement, and every bird chooses their favorite form of the most highly valued form. So many of you know, for Prince, it is mealworms and it’s crickets. So, I have a mix of live mealworms here, and freeze-dried crickets. Both I’ve gotten from Flukers Farms, and by the way, since I’m talking about Flukers Farms, who I love to do business with, they have a special discount code to save 15% on anything on their website, using C4AW.

Anyway, I’m going to use these highly valued reinforcements with Prince today, and I’m going to focus on two things: target training, and station training. I’m going to just spend a couple of minutes doing that.

Ready Prince? Prince is going to be pretty hungry.

Station! Good. Good. You want to get the keys? Good.

Touch? Good. Touch? Good. Touch? Good. You touched twice, huh? Touch? Good. Touch? Good. Touch? Good. Touch? Good. Touch? Good. Touch? Good. Touch? Touch? Good!

So, Prince has been showing me he’s very “beaky” with my hands. Good. So what I’m trying to do is slowly move my hand more close to the target. Good.

Touch? No.

Touch? Good. Touch? Good. Touch? Good. Touch? Good. Touch? Good. Touch? Good. Touch, touch? Good. Touch? Good. Touch? Good. Touch? Good. Touch? Good. Touch, touch? Good. Touch? Good. Touch? Good.

Let’s try a little [unintelligible].

C’mon Prince! C’mon Prince! C’mon! Good!

Station? Good! Do it again?

C’mon Prince! Come! Good! Station? Good!

Touch? Good.

C’mon Prince. Good. Station? Good! C’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon! C’mon Prince! C’mon Prince! C’mon! C’mon! C’mon! Good! Time to go in! Time to go in! Good!

Okay, so that was a short training session. Actually, it was a bit longer than I wanted it to go. I think it was a total of five minutes. So, you probably saw at one point he went to go for my hand. I’m going to go back to view the video at that point and sort of critique myself so I could continue to develop – react more appropriately when he goes to snap, and that’s the behavior I’m trying to redirect. So, redirecting undesirable behaviors or when there are times that our birds show undesirable behavior, a secret or solution to that is giving them a behavior to replace that behavior with. We have to communicate that to our birds somehow. So when I’m trying with Prince again is target raining specifically, and also station training. So stay tuned for more of these sessions, and I hope to continue to perfect or at least improve my skills when it comes to training Prince.

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