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Dancing Senegal Parrot

Kili

Type: Senegal Parrot
Genus: Poicephalus
Species: Senegalus
Subspecies: Mesotypus
Sex: Female
Weight: 120 grams
Height: 9 inches
Age: 8 years, 8 months
Caped Cape Parrot

Truman

Type: Cape Parrot
Genus: Poicephalus
Species:Robustus
Subspecies: Fuscicollis
Sex: Male
Weight: 330 grams
Height: 13 inches
Age: 6 years, 11 months
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List of Common Parrots:

Parakeets:
Budgerigar (Budgie)
Alexandrine Parakeet
African Ringneck
Indian Ringneck
Monk Parakeet (Quaker Parrot)

Parrotlets:
Mexican Parrotlet
Green Rumped Parrotlet
Blue Winged Parrotlet
Spectacled Parrotlet
Dusky Billed Parrotlet
Pacific Parrotlet
Yellow Faced Parrotlet

Lovebirds:
Peach Faced Lovebird
Masked Lovebird
Fischer's Lovebird
Lilian's (Nyasa) Lovebird
Black Cheeked Lovebird
Madagascar Lovebird
Abyssinian Lovebird
Red Faced Lovebird
Swindern's Lovebird

Lories and Lorikeets:
Rainbow Lorikeet

Conures:
Sun Conure
Jenday Conure
Cherry Headed Conure
Blue Crowned Conure
Mitred Conure
Patagonian Conure
Green Cheeked Conure
Nanday Conure

Caiques:
Black Headed Caique
White Bellied Caique

Poicephalus Parrots:
Senegal Parrot
Meyer's Parrot
Red Bellied Parrot
Brown Headed Parrot
Jardine's Parrot
Cape Parrot
Ruppell's Parrot

Eclectus:
Eclectus Parrot

African Greys:
Congo African Grey (CAG)
Timneh African Grey (TAG)

Amazons:
Blue Fronted Amazon
Yellow Naped Amazon
Yellow Headed Amazon
Orange Winged Amazon
Yellow Crowned Amazon

Cockatoos:
Cockatiel
Galah (Rose Breasted) Cockatoo
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
Umbrella Cockatoo
Moluccan Cockatoo
Bare Eyed Cockatoo
Goffin's Cockatoo

Macaws:
Red Shouldered (Hahn's) Macaw
Severe Macaw
Blue And Gold Macaw
Blue Throated Macaw
Military Macaw
Red Fronted Macaw
Scarlet Macaw
Green Winged Macaw
Hyacinth Macaw

The Positive Side of Negative Reinforcement

Comments (39)

By Michael Sazhin

Thursday April 17th, 2014

Negative reinforcement is perhaps the most misunderstood of the methods of operant conditioning. Although negative is used in the term, it does not mean “bad.” Instead, negative means “negating” or taking something away. Reinforcement on the other hand refers to increasing behavior. Again this neither means good or bad but just means that the behavior will recur with greater frequency.

In the game of animal training, increasing desired behavior is generally the goal so reinforcement is to be used. But the question remains as to whether it ought to be positive or negative?

When it comes to whether an animal “wants” to do something, it should make little difference whether the reinforcement be positive or negative. Avoiding something aversive may be as, if not more, desirable as gaining something nice. Pretty much any behavior that relates to safety is going to be based on negative reinforcement. There is nothing bad about being safe and in fact it is a good thing.

So why does negative reinforcement carry a bad rep? Part of it is the misunderstanding of the word negative, where in this context it does not mean doing something bad. Many people confused negative reinforcement with positive punishment. Based on common language it would seem that negative reinforcement should be the opposite of positive but based on psychological terms that is not the case. Let's not get carried away with technical definitions and focus more on the meanings.

The main reason negative reinforcement is perceived badly is because professional trainers (or tamers as they used to be called) would intentionally introduce aversives, pressure, or pain to animals for the sake of being able to stop causing it as a reward for desirable behavior. This is how horses, donkeys, camels, elephants, and many other animals have been trained for thousands of years. Basically it would involve beating the animal a lot and letting it learn that if it would do what it was commanded, then the hurt would stop.

If a trainer walks around with a stick, hook, or whip, its very presence symbolizes negative reinforcement and that if the animal stops doing what it is supposed to, then it will be used. What's bad about this? If the animal always does what it is supposed to, the instrument won't even be used. The problem is that the animal is acting simply out of fear and not out of a genuine desire. This does not lead to a great relationship between animal and trainer. If the trainer were to stop carrying around the negative reinforcement instrument, extinction would begin to occur. Whenever the animal would slip up and not receive the normally expected beating, the animal would realize that it no longer has to do as the trainer commands. This is why this type of negative reinforcement is neither truly effective nor nice.

But just because professionals misuse negative reinforcement, does not mean that it is all bad. The professional does not seek to have a personal relationship with the animal like a pet owner would. The professional needs little more than for the animal to do its tricks on command in front of spectators. On the other hand, the exotic pet parrot owner seeks desirable behavior throughout the day and a fantastic relationship to go with it. Thus clearly a relationship based on fear cannot be the solution.

Negative reinforcement is frequently misused in the parrot community although most are unaware they are even applying it. “Stick training” where a dowel is shoved into a parrot's belly until it steps up is an example of the misuse of negative reinforcement that is neither ideal training nor good for the relationship. The parrot learns to step on a stick before it gets nudged. But what happens when a hand is substituted for the stick? The parrot may opt to bite the hand instead because unlike the stick, it isn't inanimate. The parrot doesn't learn to always step up but instead learns to step when a negative-reinforcement instrument is used.

Aggressive Macaw

If you aren't scared of a bite and let your arm be like an inanimate object, the same effect can be achieved and the parrot will even learn that biting is futile. But the arm becomes just as much the negative-reinforcement tool as it a part of your body. This is conveniently tempting because unlike treats, you can have this (your arm) with you all the time. The problem is that if the parrot has any alternative to reluctantly complying (such as flying away, clinging to the drapes, running under the cage, etc), it may choose to do those instead because they are less intimidating/painful than the arm into belly shove. The arm is both the thing you want the parrot to trust/like and the instrument of aversion which creates a dilemma. The parrot learns to step up onto the arm to avoid the arm. Thus this example of the classic step up routine, really is a parallel to the circus days of animal training.

If a parrot's wings are not clipped, it is difficult for the trainer to be able to apply negative reinforcement because the bird will sooner fly away than put up with threats to do a behavior. The old school approach of clipping, flooding, and trainer induced negative reinforcement fail to drive cooperation when a parrot is no longer clipped which makes the owner choose to clip the wings again. Genuine success cannot be achieved this way.

I'm not going to get into the more successful positive reinforcement based method to training, you can find the details of this in my book, The Parrot Wizard's Guide to Well-Behaved Parrots. Instead, I'd like to write a bit about the positive side of negative reinforcement. How can negative reinforcement be a good thing?

Well, negative reinforcement is the increase of behavior through reduction in aversives. Thus any means of providing safety is essentially negative reinforcement. Safety is the reduction of danger and thereby a sought thing. There are naturally present dangers that drive fear in a captive parrot's life. By providing safety from these naturally present aversives, we can both provide comfort to our parrot as well as receive some training benefit out of it.

I do not believe that parrot owners should be intentionally causing harm to their pets in order to get to rescue it. But if the aversive already exists, then why not take some training advantage out of it? In fact, capitalizing on these negative reinforcement opportunities should help strengthen the bond rather than harm it. If the parrot realizes that it can receive protection from its fears through you, that will actually improve your relationship. This works as long as those aversives are not created (or even perceived to be created) by you.

For example if there is a loud disturbance going on outside, by stepping up for you, you bring your parrot to a quieter room, the parrot would be negatively reinforced for stepping up. The scary disturbance would be reduced by action you took to protect the parrot and the parrot would be more likely to step up for you in the future.

Here are some other examples from my experience. I take Kili & Truman to the park regularly to fly on harnesses or free fly. Sometimes the kids become too bothersome and I can tell the bird is getting a bit flustered. I will offer the bird a chance to flight recall to me and stay on me to avoid further confrontation. I don't have to give a treat for this type of flight recall because the bird gets reinforced negatively in the process.

Another recent example was when I took Santina to the vet for the first time. I was still in the early stages of gaining trust with her and using a lot of positive reinforcement to encourage her to step up. After Santina came back from anesthesia, Lorelei put Santina down on the floor. From the other end of the room I put my arm down. I did not go over to get Santina but instead she walked over to come to me. I was not giving out treats or head scratches. Santina came to me for safety and thus negative reinforcement for coming. I would not torment her with a towel (and I'm sure the vet wouldn't either) but since it was medically necessary and going to happen regardless, I might as well take the opportunity to take credit for providing safety. This is a case of a good application of negative reinforcement. The parrot learned to come to me for safety in moments of panic rather than to flee or worse yet that the danger was caused by me in the first place.

Macaw on Floor

One of the reasons negative reinforcement tends to be ineffective is because of desensitization with time. As the animal begins to get used to an aversive or pain, it may loose its effect. Especially if the aversive turns out to be physically harmless, the parrot will realize and stop responding to it. For this reason either a stronger dose of aversive is necessary or the behavior is lead toward extinction. Since I don't mind my parrots to stop fearing the naturally present aversives they encounter, I am not worried if the negative reinforcement will lose effect. If my parrots stop fearing these things, I will be just as happy because I don't want them to be fearful. I only use occasional natural negative reinforcement on behaviors that are already trained through positive reinforcement. Since I do not cause the aversives intentionally myself (and disassociate with any aversives that could be perceived as caused by me), the intensity of the aversive should not change. Further, these types of scenarios are fairly infrequent anyway. But since they happen from time to time, I capitalize on the situation and play the role of savior for my parrot.

Let me illustrate with human example. Let's say you are on a long cross country trip with a friend driving. You get an upset stomach and really have to get to a bathroom. So your friend is very understanding and gets you to one promptly to one in return for asking persuasively. We can agree that you gain nothing from going to the bathroom but you do get relief so this is negative reinforcement. You would then be grateful to your friend for helping you find relief from something uncomfortable that isn't your friend's fault. Now what if your friend put something in your lunch that caused this? Even though your friend saves the day by getting you to a bathroom, they were still the cause of your discomfort. Would you be happy and grateful to them? Probably not. You'd be more angry that they caused you discomfort in the first place. This is the difference between giving negative reinforcement to a natural/unrelated aversive vs being the cause of the aversive. Negative reinforcement can only work well when it is providing relief from something you have not caused or associated with.

So am I encouraging you to go and use negative reinforcement with your parrot? Not necessarily. What I am encouraging you to do is to give further thought into whether or not you are rewarding by giving something (positive reinforcement) or rewarding by taking something away (negative reinforcement)? Are you threatening in some way that until the parrot does something you want, you will do something? Why should your parrot comply with your requests and what will the consequence be if it does not? Being more aware and intentional in your training means will ensure that you are making the most effective application but also help you to ensure a good relationship. Making sure that you are not causing aversives but helping to reduce naturally occurring ones will work in your favor.

My book almost exclusively focuses on training using positive reinforcement because this needs to be the basis of any parrot relationship. However, this article is a supplement for those who already use positive reinforcement. This is for those who want to take their training to an even further level and learn to apply the good kind of negative reinforcement responsibly to get even more out of their training.

Avoid using threats (whether it be with a stick, your arm, a squirt bottle, or going back in the cage) and do things so the parrot would want to engage in the behavior without coercion. But on the other hand, when there are opportunities to save your parrot from uncontrolled environmental factors, take training advantage by having the parrot do something for it. Stepping up, coming to you, flying to you, etc are all important behaviors and ones that the parrot can learn to do more readily when it feels scared. By teaching your parrot to come to you rather than away, you can ensure that in times of panic, your parrot is more likely to return to you and that your relationship can be so good that you would be your parrot's means for safety. Negative reinforcement is often misused but it is not always bad. Focus on the good stuff with your parrot and your relationship will be better than ever.

Part of: Taming & Basic Training, General Parrot Care
Parrot Training Operant Conditioning Negative Reinforcement Punishment
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Comments

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Wayne361

Posted on April 18, 2014 12:22AM

Great refresher Michael. Thanks for that. Wayne

rebcart

Posted on April 18, 2014 02:02PM

Michael, I think you haven't fully explored the downsides and ethical ramifications of using negative reinforcement in the way you describe. [url=http://eileenanddogs.com/2014/03/15/negative-reinforcement-aversive/:17sdbai4]Let me know what you think of this article on the topic.[/url:17sdbai4]


Michael

Posted on April 18, 2014 03:21PM

Thanks for commenting and bringing a different article into the discussion. Clearly I oppose the "version 1" types of aversives that are intentionally human caused. However when it comes to "version 2" examples of thunder and cowering near a door, note that negative reinforcement is already being used by that very trainer! The very act of letting the scared dog into the house is a reward for coming to the door and cowering. Negative reinforcement is being applied whether you like it or not! With a parrot, listening to that advice could be catastrophic. For example, the parrot is outside in the aviary and wants to come home because a storm started. So the parrot starts screaming its butt off. So you come out and take it inside for protection. You negatively reinforced screaming. Now the parrot knows that to go home all it needs to do is scream. If on the other hand you required a desirable behavior such as talking, stationing, or recalling, then the parrot would have an appropriate form to ask for your help that does not lead to bad habits in other situations. In situations where we want to "rescue" our parrot (and it wants it too), you may as well ask for at least a miniscule exhibition of good behavior. Say a clipped parrot falls on the floor and wants to be taken off. Instead of running up to pick it up, stay and let it walk to you. There's an example of teaching the parrot to come to you for help. Negative reinforcement will occur regardless but in my second scenario you would avoid teaching the parrot to jump on the floor for attention on purpose whereas in the first one where you run to help, some parrots begin to do that on purpose. I think I am very explicit in that I do not support or recommend most kinds of negative reinforcement. But there are times when it's a good thing and you can shape the kind of behavior that elicits your reaction.

KaratParrot

Posted on April 22, 2014 12:47AM

I agree with rebcart even after Micheal's reply. Micheal seems to almost [/i:1l7m43x7]have a full and balanced understanding but is still severely lacking to be touting this to the public. I laugh at what he says here: "The professional does not seek to have a personal relationship with the animal like a pet owner would....But just because professionals misuse negative reinforcement..." and then goes on to talk about Negative Reinforcement (R-) and flighted parrots. What do you think the modern day professional does if not train flighted[/b:1l7m43x7] parrots through a good relationship? A professional trainer that "...walks around with a stick, hook, or whip..." is not where the modern trend is going. It seems Micheal takes a cheap shot at the only people qualified to explain such ideas as R- to boost his own credentials. Clearly Micheal Sahzin is not "in the loop" when it comes to being a self proclaimed professional working with birds.

CaitlinRice413

Posted on April 24, 2014 09:31PM

:mrgreen:


LisaB

Posted on April 25, 2014 07:35PM

[quote="KaratParrot":2mxglvh7]Clearly Micheal Sahzin is not "in the loop" when it comes to being a self proclaimed professional working with birds.[/quote:2mxglvh7] Any time someone presents a theory that rubs up against what is the accepted theory of the time, that person is ridiculed. Thank goodness there have been people willing to push back. Otherwise, we'd still be afraid of sailing off the edge of a flat world, we'd still believe the sun orbited the earth and we'd be plastering leeches all over people with the flu. What Michael suggests is interesting. Removing an animal from an unpleasant situation that already exists in order to reinforce trust is not the same as leaving an animal in an unpleasant situation while you force it to perform some action. Michael is merely proposing that we watch closely for opportunities to strengthen the bond of trust we have with our parrots. Declaring that Michael is “out of the loop” because he looks at negative reinforcement from another angle is absurd. Stating that he is a “self-proclaimed professional” is to completely disregard the large number of people who follow him online and find he has a great deal of insight to offer. I simply cannot understand why people feel the need to slander when they disagree with something, rather than respond with constructive criticism. In the words of one of my favorite people: "What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right." – Albert Einstein

KaratParrot

Posted on April 27, 2014 03:52AM

That's a beautiful response CaitlinRice413! What you just said is what people like Barbara Heidenreich has been teaching for years. But Micheal seems to think she's not great because she uses positive reinforcement as a way to sell her products (well who wouldn't!?). What you just described, CaitlinRice413, is exactly what Micheal has not understood for a long, long, time simply because he has not had training from the top professionals (like Barbara) that are out there. Don't cast your pearls here[/b:2dl0gss9], why not start a blog of your own? And with Micheal Sahzin's track record of misunderstanding negative reinforcement, misapplication of the four contingencies of behavior, lack of concern for ethical application of the four contingencies, promoting weight[/b:2dl0gss9] management for every parrot, having Kili BITE him on America's Got Talent (his excuse is "stage fright"), and then recently having Truman blown away because he didn't teach Truman how to fly in wind? Jesus this kid needs to put down his imagined authority!

Wayne361

Posted on April 27, 2014 06:23PM

[quote="KaratParrot":2uneefr5]That's a beautiful response CaitlinRice413! What you just said is what people like Barbara Heidenreich has been teaching for years. But Micheal seems to think she's not great because she uses positive reinforcement as a way to sell her products (well who wouldn't!?). What you just described, CaitlinRice413, is exactly what Micheal has not understood for a long, long, time simply because he has not had training from the top professionals (like Barbara) that are out there. Don't cast your pearls here[/b:2uneefr5], why not start a blog of your own? And with Micheal Sahzin's track record of misunderstanding negative reinforcement, misapplication of the four contingencies of behavior, lack of concern for ethical application of the four contingencies, promoting weight[/b:2uneefr5] management for every parrot, having Kili BITE him on America's Got Talent (his excuse is "stage fright"), and then recently having Truman blown away because he didn't teach Truman how to fly in wind? Jesus this kid needs to put down his imagined authority![/quote:2uneefr5] You need to lose your self-righteousness attitute. Seriously, if you dont like his teachings and/or methodologies then troll another forum. Seems like the normal thing to do. There are several parrot forums that I have abandoned for the same reason. I dont like the message being spewed i.e. pro-clipping etc and so I leave. I might try pointing out advantages but when everyone in forum gangs up and basically treats you like you just killed a newborn baby for an opinion, its time to leave. Its fairly simple. If you dont have a vested interest in discrediting someone who has helped A LOT of people then its probably best to take a hike. If you do have a vested interest in discrediting Michaeal then even a better reason to leave. I dont welcome myself into someone else's home, eat their food and then tell them its crap. Its simply not right. So if you are a morally spirited person this is probably a good time to bugger of. All the best, Wayne

CaitlinRice413

Posted on April 28, 2014 03:17AM

anicing:

GreenWing

Posted on April 28, 2014 06:58AM

[quote="KaratParrot":3pbq3dsj]Jesus this kid needs to put down his imagined authority![/quote:3pbq3dsj] Disagreeing is one thing, but what you said is COMPLETELY inappropriate. Why are you here? Pearl-clutching trolls can take a hike. I'm with Wayne. Michael has helped me tremendously, so I've got his back and can attest from personal experience that the Parrot Wizard is amazing with parrots. Take your haterade and drink it elsewhere.

Wolf

Posted on April 28, 2014 01:06PM

This topic has all of the makings of a great discussion on the various types and uses and misuses of positive and negative reinforcements as pertains to parrots specifically, and that is something that I, personally enjoy immensely. It makes for a great tool for learning the pros and cons of a particular subject. I do not, however, agree with personal attacks on any individual during this process and find that it not only defeats the purpose of the discussion in the first place but it is rude and reflects badly on the party who perpetrates such attacks. This type of behavior is usually resorted to by politicians and other people who cannot adequately defend their position reasonably or logically. I have no problem with standing your ground and defending your point of view, but I really think that we can avoid the pettiness of attacking each other just because we don't agree on something. I have said before in another posting that this is one area that I am not in full agreement with Michael, and at this point in time, I stand with that disagreement. I further fell that he needs to look into this subject a bit more thoroughly and it would appear that I also need to review the available information pertaining to this subject, perhaps I need to reassess my position. I don't know, but I will look into the matter further.

Wayne361

Posted on April 28, 2014 07:03PM

Other opinions are welcome on any board (well maybe not every board)...but personal attacks are a bit much. That is the difference. I have had disagreements wih Michael before ,but as an adult ,conversation has never lowered to the point of personal attacks. I am the first to engage in debate. Love the dynamics and is a great venue for learning new ideas/methodology etc but have no tolerance for personal attacks....hence my defence of Mr Sazhin. btw I would have defended anyone if someone attacks the person rather than the opinion. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs a good slap. Wayne

CSLFiero

Posted on April 28, 2014 07:06PM

There are always several ways to skin the proverbial cat. Coming on mikes blog and telling him how he's wrong is a pretty lousy way of advertising your own method. Most of you didn't even tell us where we can buy your dvd lol! Every bird is an individual, I've taken advice from a lot of sources and have generated a piece or two of my own. If our birds are happy and healthy, who can tell us we're wrong? I can tell you this though, mike has tame and well trained birds and made a running blog and YouTube channel about it. You can see his results. He made that public. Why don't you naysayers whip out your junk and put it on the butchers block before you pick up the meat cleaver? Maybe because, like the knife you wield, you are a blunt instrument.


LisaB

Posted on April 29, 2014 06:19AM

[quote="KaratParrot":3alfcae7] And with Micheal Sahzin's track record of misunderstanding negative reinforcement, misapplication of the four contingencies of behavior, lack of concern for ethical application of the four contingencies, promoting weight[/b:3alfcae7] management for every parrot, having Kili BITE him on America's Got Talent (his excuse is "stage fright"), and then recently having Truman blown away because he didn't teach Truman how to fly in wind? Jesus this kid needs to put down his imagined authority![/quote:3alfcae7] I think one of the things I find most repulsive about many "bird" people is their imagined importance and elevated opinion of themselves. It's why I've stayed off of forums until recently and the reason I'll probably stop visiting this one. I just can't stomach the hubris. It's not the sentiment that bothers me--certainly I'll listen to another's opinion and maybe even learn something from it. It's the presentation that I find tiring. So many people find that it is more important to argue, attack and be "right" than it is to educate people. It's very sad because in the end these wonderful animals continue to suffer while the "experts" sling mud at each other and nobody learns a thing. If I want to do something good for my birds, I'll visit Kris Porter's Parrot Enrichment site. Reading this kind of inanity is pointless.

Wolf

Posted on April 29, 2014 07:12AM

LisaB, Hi ! I understand what you are saying and I agree for the most part. I also think that no matter where you go you are going to find a certain amount of self important posturing. I don't think that it is going to change by running from forum to forum, I think that if you want to effect change you have to make a stand for your principles and not allow yourself to be pulled down into the pettiness. If you speak honestly and openly for educating each other without the need to attack each other, without resorting to petty bickering you may gradually be able to change things at least to a small degree because you are willing to walk your talk so to speak. Each time you can present your point of view without pretense or show someone that petty argueing and spiteful comments are not beneficial or acceptable you are working to change this behavior in the only way that has ever been effective. You can best be a positive force for educating people, only by showing them the way it could be and then letting them come to it in their own time, but only by showing them over and over again. Think about it before you let them get to you and cause you to miss out on helping the people who come here asking for your help. I try to speak out and say that we can have our own views without all of the infighting and from there I just try to answer the questions that are asked to the best of my ability. If there are those who wish to engage in spiteful activities all I can do is disagree with that and continue to try and help those who need it.

GreenWing

Posted on April 30, 2014 12:22AM

Life is full of differing opinions. You roll with it, you can learn from it, you disagree, you debate, but you DON'T attack a person on THEIR blog. Such ad hominem attacks makes such a person, in the world of The Internet: Serious Business, a bona fide TROLL. Look, I know a lot of "parrot experts" and they ALL think they know everything about parrots. The thing is, you don't have to agree with them. It's about having the power of your own opinion, thoughts and mind. You can disagree with a person's method, but even though you may disagree, that doesn't discredit the other person's experience. Mike IS knowledgeable and he has proved it. Certainly, not all will agree with some of his methods and some of the things he does, but all you have to do is look at the healthiness and trained behaviors of his birds to know he IS knowledgeable. As Wayne said above, you can disagree without slinging mud and ganging up on a person on THEIR blog/forum. There are detractors who are out to attack Michael on HIS forum and blog; they need to bury their hatchets and do their own thing.


LisaB

Posted on May 1, 2014 01:58AM

Thank you, Wolf. You are 100% correct. Every once in a while I let that red-headed temper get a hold of me and it's never for the best! I've met several really great people here (you being one of them) and it would be dumb to miss out on you guys because of a few people who don't know how to present an arguement. I should know better. Thanks for setting me straight!

GreenWing

Posted on May 1, 2014 07:03AM

On the note of "how to present an argument " this is me whenever someone dramatically states "I'm leaving!" while trashing the forum, only to inevitably return: http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee27/shawnmacattack/69a20d3b-2499-4435-b85a-c08120a18808_zpse1e468b2.jpg[/img:sx0vvrt2] (And for the record, before I get hate mail, I am not referring to anyone in particular in saying this, as this has happened quite a few times on the forum. I just amazes me when observing people and their amygdala, reacting in such emotional, dramatic ways. I don't let someone's opinion affect me; I also don't care what people -- except those I respect -- think of me. Present an argument using logic and reason without getting all dramatic and emotional and people will take you more seriously. Act like a drama llama and people will look at you like, well, a drama llama.)


LisaB

Posted on May 1, 2014 07:42AM

I get what you're saying. However, I wasn't really presenting an argument, merely stating my gut reaction to something. If I'm going to challenge someone, I'm going to state why I disagree and then I'm going to give all the reasons why I believe my opinion is more valid. I'm not going to jump onto a forum, read a few things and then start name-calling. I've never joined a forum before and my hesitation to do so was based on my experiences with some bird people--not all, but some. I usually approach people, animals and life in general with a sense of humor, but every once in a while someone gets under my skin. If there is one thing I've learned in life, it's that I will continually do and say stupid shit. I realized a long time ago that I'm not always right; I'm constantly having to admit this, so it doesn't even bother me any more. Thank goodness for that, or every time I looked old pictures and some of my fashion decisions, I'd want to kill myself.

GreenWing

Posted on May 1, 2014 07:48AM

[quote="LisaB":3bqx1ck4]I get what you're saying. However, I wasn't really presenting an argument, merely stating my gut reaction to something. If I'm going to challenge someone, I'm going to state why I disagree and then I'm going to give all the reasons why I believe my opinion is more valid. I'm not going to jump onto a forum, read a few things and then start name-calling. I've never joined a forum before and my hesitation to do so was based on my experiences with some bird people--not all, but some. I usually approach people, animals and life in general with a sense of humor, but every once in a while someone gets under my skin. If there is one thing I've learned in life, it's that I will continually do and say stupid shit. I realized a long time ago that I'm not always right; I'm constantly having to admit this, so it doesn't even bother me any more. Thank goodness for that, or every time I looked old pictures and some of my fashion decisions, I'd want to kill myself.[/quote:3bqx1ck4] It's honorable that you state such; hey, we're all human and not infallible. I just wish people -- and I don't mean you in saying this -- would control themselves more. I hate to see Michael, someone I regard as a friend, get trashed in such a disrespectful way. I also witness others on this site who have so much to offer, get attacked, as well... and I don't like it.


LisaB

Posted on May 1, 2014 02:31PM

Amen to that. I don't like seeing someone attacked either, which is why the post made me so angry in the first place. I didn't mean to say that everyone on this forum is an angry bird expert, though re-reading what I wrote, I can see how it might have sounded that way. What I meant was that I wasn't sure I got could stomach the kind of conceit shown in the post that got under my skin. In the end it's not worth it. I know better...but like I said, I still continue to act like an idiot occasionally. Forgive me.

CaitlinRice413

Posted on May 3, 2014 01:41AM

:mrgreen:

GreenWing

Posted on May 3, 2014 03:50AM

[quote="LisaB":2eek2za0]Amen to that. I don't like seeing someone attacked either, which is why the post made me so angry in the first place[/quote:2eek2za0] Cool I am with you there, agreed on all points, LisaB. [quote="CaitlinRice413":2eek2za0]Even though you were speaking generally greenwing, I figure you thought of my dramatic exit and inevitable return when making that comment. It doesn't really bother me. But I feel the need to express something here and I hope it isn't completely lost.[/quote:2eek2za0] Lol, it was just a general comment.

Wolf

Posted on May 3, 2014 01:11PM

Hi CaitlinRice413 ; Loved reading your view on Michael's food management methods. I enjoy such discussions, I don't like name calling or personal attacks. I would love to have you post on the regular areas of the forum, and share your opinions and experiences with the rest of us.


cml

Posted on May 3, 2014 01:37PM

Caitlin, I've stayed away from this post because it's been full of angry attacks and mud slinging back and forth but I feel I need to make a few comments. Please dont leave the forums again, at least we can TRY to keep it civil ? I have read the article you provided, authored by Barbara Heidenreich. I think you are over-reacting to and over-thinking weight management, as is Barbara. There is a distinct difference between food/weight management and food deprivation - which I think you are missing. Barbara actually states early on in her article, that she will look on food management from the perspective that it is only used for getting a bird to perform better during training (second paragraph, in Background, p1). She declares that this is food management, and because of this semantics, we should all adopt her thinking towards what the words food management encompass. Already here, I think she makes a huge mistake! She talks about other aspects that could be beneficial, such as maintaining a healthy weight, as a diagnostic help to determine the health of a bird and/if or they turn ill, but quickly dismisses these major benefits so that she can continue her bashing. She states and I quote, that they are "separate" topics, and I believe with that premise the whole article is biased to say the least. I personally use food management, not as a training tool, but because I believe that I should monitor what my parrots eat and prevent them from getting to much of anything or becoming obese, a very regular problem for Amazons, as is liver failure due to free feeding of fat (seeds etc). Through monitoring my parrots weight, and carefully adapting their diets, Ive been able to find a level in which they get: A certain amount of pellets each morning, and a different set of veggies/fruit/other stuff each night. This ensures that I support them with the necessary mix of protein, fat and vitamins and minerals. They eat rich amounts of food, are not hungry during the day, and maintain a healthy weight. This is not dissimilar to how people should do with themselvs, we humans should be much more aware as to what we eat and could do with a little more food management ourselvs (and indeed, since getting birds I am much more aware of this myself and have adapted accordingly, resulting in a stable healthy weight and I feel a lot more healthy. Not a bad thing, no? What I think you are reacting to is that a parrot should be deprived of food to perform training better. I can agree to a certain point, you should NOT starve a parrot to get it to perform tricks better. You should use food management as a tool to keep your friend healthy! On the other hand, consider this, why not do training just before dinner to increase motivation? Provided you have a good diet, maintain your parrot in a healthy state and at a healthy weight, why not use the fact that a parrot is more motivated before dinner than after? I see no issue with it. I dont always do this myself, my two are so motivated by treats that it doesnt matter if I train before, during or after dinner ;), they dont get seeds from anything else than training so they are always motivated without taking the food management into account.

CaitlinRice413

Posted on May 3, 2014 06:43PM

:sun:


cml

Posted on May 3, 2014 06:59PM

You are confusing bias and semantics with scientific facts.[/quote:2mvf1228] I am most certainly not. "Food management" consists of two words. Food and management, which mean two things that I think we all know? Food is something you eat which will (most often) give you nutrition (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/defin ... ood?q=food). Management means to control or to arrange (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/defin ... e?q=manage). This is facts. You and Heidenreich both seem very intent on making this be about semantics, rather than facts. The term "Food Management", contrary to what you present, is loaded with feelings which you show in your responses. Heidenreich decides in her article, just as I stated to determine that: Food Management = Lessening the amount of food to get a bird to perform tricks better. This is incorrect. She can determine that she calls that kind of behaviour "Food Management", but that does not make it true. To me, and many others, food management entails much more than getting motivation from your bird. Infact, as I wrote above, its the least of my reasons for using it. To state that health and other beneficial terms of food management are "separate" things is wrong and makes for a biased article. I use "Food Management" to ensure that my birds eat a well balanced diet, and enough food to keep them at a healthy weight. Note that I write healthy weight, not underweight to perform better. Why wouldn't you ask that before doing something that could possibly starve your animal? [/quote:2mvf1228]My birds are, with food management, kept at their optimum weight for health. Not underweight, not even a few percent.[/b:2mvf1228] Their optimal weight is based on 2.5 years worth of data as well as bi-annual vet visits to avian specialists. That is what "Food management" means to me = managing their food supply and intake. If you cant get the semantics right, or dont want to listen to other people's thoughts about something, there is no point in discussing it. I dont disagree with you that "Food Deprivation (to deprive of food)" is bad. This is mainly what Heidenreich is talking about in her article, and with better wording her article would have been so much better. There was some interesting ideas in it, but it loses credit when confusing two quite different things so early on in it. Please understand that I am not trying to change your feelings, but present to you some "facts" about semantics, words and food management. Food Management is NOT the same as monitoring the health of an animal.[/quote:2mvf1228] As above, it all comes down to the definition of food management. If you decide that food management = food deprivation, then this discussion wont bear any fruit. But if YOU keep an open mind and dont take Heidenreich's, or anyone's, word as the absolute truth, then I am sure we can have healthy discussions and keep learning - the best reason to participate in a forum for. Best regards, CML

Wayne361

Posted on May 3, 2014 08:06PM

Bravo! CML Bravo!! You said it better than myself. On another forum and other dh's cant grasp this. They think food management is starving bird. Not true. I think 100percent of parrot owners would agree starvation is WRONG. Thanks for that response, Wayne

GreenWing

Posted on May 3, 2014 08:42PM

Well said, CML. :thumbsup:

CaitlinRice413

Posted on May 3, 2014 08:59PM

:P

Wolf

Posted on May 3, 2014 09:16PM

Hi Caitlin ; While I have been enjoying the discussion between you and cml it appears that you and he are discussing different topics. He is discussing " Food Management " and you are discussing " Weight Management " but you are calling it food management. I base this on you saying that you were going to give the definition of food management but you presented the definition for weight management. They are two separate subjects and while they have many aspects in common they are not interchangeable. Just thought that you might want to be aware of this as it is the basis of your entire side of the discussion.


cml

Posted on May 3, 2014 10:15PM

Calling it 'food management' is incorrect, because there is a very specific, delicate process and use. Michael has made up his own definition of it, and his own process that can seriously harm an animal's well being. [/quote:29yqgjel] No, it's not incorrect and this is where you and I principally disagree I think. You are, as Wolf are reffering to weight management and also mostly about food deprivation. It's simple, to me, food management means what I've written in my above posts, things you mostly agree with I think if you are willing to accept that semantics have a very important role to play here. I know Michael agrees with this as well, he does not use food management solely for the purpose of motivation, but as a part of a complete approach to parrot keeping. It does not matter that you state that in academical terms weight management means what your quote says above. Semantics means the meaning of words, and to most people, Avian Vets and Zooligists and Biologists excluded - food management should mean what I've written: to manage food. The definition from The International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators about weight management is in my personal opinion flawed, and seen from a very narrow point of view - as is Barbara's article. For the sake of discussion can we agree on this: Food management: A complete approach where you use it to maintain a healthy diet and make sure your parrot is kept at a good weight. Weight management: We can use your definition from the AoATaE here if you want, which makes this very similar to food deprivation imo though. Now I need to sleep, Im going fishing!

Wolf

Posted on May 3, 2014 11:22PM

cml Where you going fishing?

Wayne361

Posted on May 4, 2014 01:28AM

If the fish are hungry does that mean they have been deprived of food? hahaha....

CaitlinRice413

Posted on May 4, 2014 02:25AM

:meyers:

GreenWing

Posted on May 4, 2014 02:32AM

This is me, leaving this thread (not site): http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee27/shawnmacattack/leaving_zpsf6fba483.gif[/img:qv4rbih1] See you all elsewhere on the forum! I wanna talk about cute parrots now.

CaitlinRice413

Posted on May 4, 2014 04:55AM

:(

Wolf

Posted on May 4, 2014 12:25PM

Hi Caitlin ; I understand where you are coming from on this issue and respect the passion of your conviction, but as cml stated, at least in this discussion semantics have been getting in the way. I saw this same discrepancy in the article that you presented as part of your evidence, and this caused the article, no matter how well written, researched, and/ or convincing, to also be flawed from its very inception. And this from an " expert " in their field. As I said earlier the two concepts have many similarities and overlap in many important aspects, but they are different concepts with differing goals. the two concepts, while similar are not interchangeable. One last thought concerning this article; the definition given was Barbara's definition penned for the sole purpose of defining the manner in which she was using the term " Weight Management ". In papers of this type, this is a common practice, this helps to reduce the debate over the semantics of how the term is to be viewed for this paper and this paper alone, and this is done because of the highly specialized nature and intent of the paper itself. It does not provide for a working definition for the general population. Nor does it adhere to the normal definitions of the words or term in common usage. I suppose that some would consider it wrong of me, but like many people who work with animals, I do find it to be beneficial when training birds to use their natural hunger, such as when they first wake up, to help achieve the desired response. Nor do I object to the withholding of food later in the day for up to two or three hours for the same purpose. I have over forty years of experience in training animals, particularly overly aggressive animals. I have seen no harmful effects in doing this. I do not believe in reducing the overall amount of food the animal receives and I do not use this method beyond the time it takes to teach the animal to respond to other stimuli, usually that of affection and trust. While I use this for training purposes, I think that you will find that this degree of withholding of food is less than what the animal endures in its natural habitat in the normal course of foraging for food. I do not agree with the excessive use or the consistent use of this method as I find that once the animal learns to accept trust and affection as a reward, I have a much more effective means of influencing their behavior.


cml

Posted on May 4, 2014 04:39PM

One last thought concerning this article; the definition given was Barbara's definition penned for the sole purpose of defining the manner in which she was using the term " Weight Management ". In papers of this type, this is a common practice, this helps to reduce the debate over the semantics of how the term is to be viewed for this paper and this paper alone, and this is done because of the highly specialized nature and intent of the paper itself. It does not provide for a working definition for the general population. Nor does it adhere to the normal definitions of the words or term in common usage.[/quote:3bok82hr] Thanks Wolf, I see you get it !

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