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Advice on an adopted pair of bonded parrotlets

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Old 07-10-2019, 05:06 AM   #1
Funktotheface
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Me and my girlfriend recently became the proud custodians of two beautiful little blue parrotlets, they are quite clearly very tightly bonded together, they have leg rings that would indicate that they have come from the same breeder and have spent most of their life together, i am told that they are both 2 years old.

I am a little bit confused as to the best way to approach keeping them, as i understand that a bonded pair are not likely to get overly friendly with me, which is okay i dont want to force them to accept me in that way if they just want to be in each others company and thats what they are happy with etc. They do everything together, eat sleep and explore etc.

Id like to let them out of the cage and have them enjoy the freedom of our living room, but im afraid i wont be able to get them to do the step up command, they both seem to have issues with hands, they get very timid when i change their food etc. I dont want to seperate them, they obviously need each others company to feel safe.

What should i do? Is there a protocol for getting a pair of already bonded birds to step up? Or should i just let them out of the cage and let them do their own thing? Im happy to have two feathered lodgers who dont want too much human interraction, so long as they are happy!

Many thanks

Last edited by Funktotheface; 07-10-2019 at 05:28 AM..
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:51 AM   #2
Bryan
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I am not sure on the step up I guess it would work the same way it does for a single bird. It is kinda hard to see in your avatar picture but they look to be a male and female?

If you can not get them to step up target training will get them to move around for you. My Pip will step up but does not like to go back to his cage. He will fly off when I am walking him back. I use a bit of millet and just go to his cage and say "time to go home" and he will fly over and get into his cage because he gets a bite of his millet. I will link a target training video below to help you get started. She also has many other training videos that might help too.

Target training video...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=499lzd9hNMY


I also just started watching a youtube channel that has a pair of blue parrotlets like yours. They have made them a very nice foraging and play area.. I just love watching them it might give you some ideas to keep them entertained while they are out..
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRj...6gmjvJw/videos

Welcome to the forums too
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:29 AM   #3
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Thank you its great to be here! And yes they are male (Larsson) and female (Blueberry)!

It's very early days for them with us, and they are both definately very usure about either me or my girlfriend approaching them, I try to spend as much time as possible just sat in the room with them, sometimes I sing to them or play twinkle little star to them on my acoustic guitar haha, I'm hoping that over time they will not be afraid of my presence and perhaps start to approach me from within the cage bars when I'm sat next to it etc.

The last thing I'd ever want to do is distress the little things so if they are unsure of me then the relationship will have to develop at their pace, i have tried a bit of target training with them but the second they realise im approaching the cage the retreat and cuddle up together until I leave them alone, its tough but i just remind myself that they are living things and ive made a commitment to care for them no matter what they think of me haha!
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:42 AM   #4
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How did they interact with the previous owner were they able to handle them at all? Have they lived in the same cage their whole life too? I just wonder if they fight at all since everyone seems to say they need seperate cages but you do see some that seem to be okay with each other or at least in videos on youtube anyway.

It sounds like you are doing the right things just talk to them and sit next to the cage so they can get to know you. I would offer them millet through the cage bars too when you can. If they are to scared just leave it in the bars and back off from the cage and see if they come get it.

It just takes time it took Pip two weeks before he would take any food from my hands and he was pretty tame to start with.

Edit: I guess you should also start thinking about if you want them to breed or not. I am not sure but if you do not want babies then you will probably want to separate them. There will be other more experienced members on later but just some things to think about.
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Old 07-10-2019, 01:11 PM   #5
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the previous owner says that he was able to get them to take food from his hand occasionally, he said he'd had them for 12 months, theyve been with me for less than a week so patience is the name of the game at this stage!

They are so closely bonded that they are permanently joined at the hip, they do occasionally argue, but its genuinely like they are having little arguments, i wouldnt call it fighting, its quite cute to watch actually haha. they preen each other and then sort of have a little no contact beaking match and go back to preening!

I will say that the previous owner was intent on breeding them, this is apparent becuase of the nesting box that came attached to their cage, as of yet they have not used it and im in the middle of deciding wether to get them a new cage or get something like a large bath to replace the nesting box currently attached (I cant just take it off because theres nothing else availaible right now to cover the hole that would be left in the side of the cage). Earlier today the male did start doing a neck wiggle and was regurgitating/feeding the female... which i have read is pretty strong mating behaviour? I'm waiting for my other half to get home from work tonight so we can have a proper discussion about this behaviour and what we think we should do.

If they were to breed i believe I'd be in a position to give the situation the attention it deserves, however it isnt something we'd planned on when we adopted the couple. perhaps weve thrown ourselves in at the deep end by adopting a mixed sex couple!

They both have bands on their legs that seem to indicate theyve come from the same breeder so i think its a safe bet that theyve never really been apart in their entire lives and i feel its important for me and my girlfriend to respect that.
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Old 07-10-2019, 02:38 PM   #6
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I seen a video of a pair of lovebirds yesterday and they were new to the owner as well. It was interesting to see the male flew over and landed on the guys hand and then make a call like noise and the female come over too. It was very interesting for sure.

Link to video..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cW0CI7kl1A
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:29 PM   #7
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I have a bonded pair. The key is to approach them VERY slowly and take everything SLOW. I can't stress this enough. If you think you're going slow, try going every slower.

Millet is your friend. Get a spray or two and show it to them through the cage bars. If you want you can even try to target train them with the millet as a treat, through the cage bars.

The other thing you can do is use the millet as a lure to get them to approach your finger. Once they get used to you finger being there, they'll start to associate you with the millet. If you take your time with this you can eventually get them to step up using the millet.

I would approach whichever bird seems less afraid of you first and the other will see that nothing bad is happening to them and hopefully imitate them.

Try playing some soothing music or nature sounds in the background. Use a soft tone with them. Try as best you can to communicate that you're not a threat. With a pair, it's never going to be same bond you'd have with a single bird but you should be able to get them to the point where they'll interact with you together.
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Old 07-10-2019, 06:55 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forum! I would highly suggest removing the nest box or getting them a cage where there is no nesting box.
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