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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As some of you know I brought home my first parrotlet on Monday. He seemed immeatately comforatble in his cage. He plays with his toys and eats and sleeps when it's time. My question is about handling him. I have been taking him out 2-3 times a day for about 15-20 minutes at a time. The thing is, he really doesn't like to come out. I have a really hard time getting him out of his cage, he runs away and nips at my hand. When I do get him out he seems okay. I play the step up game with him, which he does very well and I always give him some kind of treat. Should I continue to do this. I really want to bond with him and don't want to do anything to hurt the process. I realize this is only the 3rd day and I know I have to be patient. I just want to make sure I'm not doing anything to jepordize our bonding process. If anyone has any advice I would really appreacitate it. Thanks.
 

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When you say over the past 3 days you've had a hard time getting him out of his cage -
(1) have you ever had to chase or corner him or grab him to catch him?
(2) or is he just reluctant to come out but steps onto your finger by himself?

IMO - these two scenarios are vastly different and important.

If you have frightened him - even once - by having to chase or corner him you will have to work on gaining his trust differently because to him your hand is now a frighting thing entering his cage.

If you've never had to chase or grab him and he has stepped onto your hand willingly [although reluctantly] every time you have taken him out then just keep doing what you are doing and he will come around.

I kind of rushed that answer - but does that make sense?

Good Luck.
 

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Pado,

Interesting response considering your avitar :D .


MMC32879,

Pado's answers were pretty much on the money. If you poke around this site, you will find that there are a number of similar threads here, many with detailed discussions on exactly this subject.

Good luck!

Art S.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When you say over the past 3 days you've had a hard time getting him out of his cage -
(1) have you ever had to chase or corner him or grab him to catch him?
(2) or is he just reluctant to come out but steps onto your finger by himself?

IMO - these two scenarios are vastly different and important.

If you have frightened him - even once - by having to chase or corner him you will have to work on gaining his trust differently because to him your hand is now a frighting thing entering his cage.

If you've never had to chase or grab him and he has stepped onto your hand willingly [although reluctantly] every time you have taken him out then just keep doing what you are doing and he will come around.

I kind of rushed that answer - but does that make sense?

Good Luck.

Everytime I've had him out I've had to corner him and pick him up. He won't step up onto my finger or even a stick when he's in his chage. How can I work on gaining his trust? A few time today I've put my hand in his cage and held some millet while he ate it, then I took my hand out. Is this a good way to start? Should I still take him out the way I've been?
 

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If he's enjoying himself when he's out, I'd keep him out for a little longer. Also, if possible, keep him near his cage when you have him out.

Regards,

Art S.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
He does seem fine once he's out. I'm just afraid that forcing him to come out might be doing more harm than good. Should I keep forcing him to come out, I'm just afraid that if I don't keep taking him out he won't ever want to. Also he's almost 12 weeks old and I've read that the best time to bond with a parrotlet is up until 12 weeks, is that true?
 

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MMC32879 -

Personally I would not grab him anymore or force him out - Hopefully others will post their opinions - this is just mine.

He has in his head now that your hands are Scary - so until you convince him that they are not he will have the same reaction every time you put your hand into his cage. - he's accustomed now that your hands are going to grab him.

He may or may not equate your hands as a part of you - some birds will - some won't - to him your hands may be a different entity. So you might not be scary but your hands are.

Unfortunately I'm not an expert in any way shape or form [I just read a lot] so I can only pass on what I've read or what has personally worked for me.

When I first got my P'let home and into his cage I never tried to take him out - I would change his food and clean his cage but never tried to touch him - he started trying to bite my hand when I was cleaning etc but wasn't afraid of it. I only talked to him through the bars - for days - until one day he decided to come over to me for a closer look and I knew I was getting somewhere - I then put my finger up to him and he ruffled his feathers for a head scratch. I then slowly introduced my hand into the cage and he was the one that jumped onto my hand first [all this was done in steps].

So I'm not sure if starting over for you would be best and you could try this approach [but you must be realistic - it can take a long time, it could take months or it could happen quickly it all depends on the bird]

Or as Art said play with him when you have him out and interact with him with your hands in positive ways to over come his fear of them - feeding him treats etc - when you put him back into his cage - linger with your hand in the cage but don't try to touch him - play with his toys, act like your fingers are eating his food etc but just to get him used to your hands inside his cage and to show him they are not going to hurt or scare him - don't do it for too long but for short sessions.

If he tries to bite you make a fist and present him the back part of your hand - they can not get a grip on the tight skin and they will stop trying to bite because they can't get a grip and trying to bite won't work so they will stop trying [well mine did].

But be prepared because sometimes bonding and trust takes a long time - sometimes months and months and if you are impatient and want it now and lash out you will just make the process harder.

Patience- Kindness - slow movements - soft voice - singing - and TIME are your best options.
 

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I've heard mixed things, but I think time and patience work the best.

The breeder told me that p'lets get VERY protective over their cage, so change around the environment a lot, and don't be afraid to 'invade' it in a not so terribly frightening way. She also said I have to make sure he comes out of his cage, even if it takes a lot of coaxing, so he will stay friendly. She told me to use a cloth just to grab him if I am scared of him biting me, but i've been bitten by horses and such and well.. I guess i'm used to being bitten :p Anywho, I didn't want to freak him out, so I'd just gently coax him with food to sit on my hand or something.

Eventually, he wants to come out now and if anything its hard to get him back in his cage. Time and patience :) Of course... Kai only comes out when he wants to :p
 

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MMC I think what has been posted is really good advise, and I think you will be OK, asking about it means your sensitive to his little feelings. They are so nosey, he will come around...if he's stepping up and getting teats for being a good boy...well he's no dumby he'll figure it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
He seems very happy and active in his cage and is extremely energitic .He chirps at me and will come by me when I go over to the cage. He just doesn't want anything to do with my hands. As soon as I put my hand in the cage he gets very defensive. I've tried using a stick and he won't even step up on that. When I have had him out of his cage he steps up with no problem, he just won't do it when he is in his cage.
 

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MMc maybe you could sit by the cage with your hand on it for a little visit and do it daily and let him look at your hands. Maybe hold his favorite food in your hands but not offer it.Busy yourself at the cage with your hands so he sees they are not so scary to him.MMc I got a noble macaw years ago that was not hand tamed, if you want to get bit try that bird oh my. I would sit with just my finger throught the bars then days later 2 fingers then I would open the cage door and put just my fingers inside . Eventually she came around ,up until that time I had to pour her seed in the cup from the outside,she would dive bomb me biting. I promise it will work if you can put the time in...Don't despair he'll come around, he's a baby.
 

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My experience and advice is to just leave the cage door open with a favorite treat or toy within sight and let him decide to come out when he feels safe and comfortable, probably while sitting on top of his cage and then slowly approach and just sit near and talk to him. Let him decide when to explore more......they are such strong willed little guys that if you can convince him it was his idea he will go for it......
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well it's been a little over two weeks since I brought Gonzo home. There have been some improvments but he is still very shy. It is next to impossible to get him to come out of his cage. The only way I can is to use a towel. Once he is out he is okay. He lets me rup my chin against him and he will sit on my shoulder. He also likes to hide in my hair. He won't let me touch him with my hands yet. As for getting him out of the cage he really wants no part of it. I've tried leaving the door open for him to come out on his own but he doesn't. I know that birds are flock animals and have read that they like spending time with people. Will he eventually want to come out or will he always be like this?
 

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Do you have a playgym or two for him? Two weeks is not long at all. It can take months to really bond to a parrot.

Chipper has lots of gyms and she loves to sit and play on them with us nearby.

Hold Gonzo in your hands several times a day, speak softly, sing.

This takes a lot of time.

Chipper was a wild one and I am her best buddy now. NEVER give up. Give safflower seeds to him or whatever he loves.

Put some yummy birdie bread on a playgym and let him sit and play there and eat. Sit near him.

He will come around. I have had Chipper over a year now. It really did take months...She loves to cuddle with me now. Keep at it.

I have heard it is best not to use towels. I just took the pain for a while, ha. You can do it. Take it a day at a time and do not expect results for weeks or months. They live a long time, you have time to make the bond and it is worth it.

Glad you are here!
 

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I don't believe in the towel method. Your gonna get bitten it is just how it is. If you put yourself in there shoes then would you rather be gently persuaded or grabbed with a towel. Everyone wants things on their time table. Oh yeah I'm home from work let me go and grab my bird out for a hour of play and then uh oh got to go and back in the cage. They have been there all day and heard the door open when you came home. So now maybe they are nervous cause any minute here you come and throw a towel on them and grab them out.

This is my opinion...lately I have been really upset at some of the post we are receiving. We have extreme novice owners with baby birds. I feel that some people have not nearly done their homework before they are getting these babies. Why is it always the bird with the problem and never the owners. I've read post after post of erresponsible behavior from some of the owners. I'm not here to have a mutual admiration society.
These little p'lets are living breathing animals that I find suffer at the hands of uninformed owners. Art is probably gonna give me a warning and maybe I deserve one but I have been here a long time and the trend through the posts lately worries me. I've had my bird for a littleover 8 years. I'm no expert. I wonder what the motives and objectives of some of the members are? Do they have the best interest of the birds at heart. I take huge offense to the carlessness of pairing or breeding or training. Ok Art I surrender do what you have to do.
 

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Memmey, I don't think you are referring to me (I hope)....:(:(:(
Anyways. I took your idea that you gave MMC a while ago (a few posts up). Maya's main fear is basically hands. So I have been putting my hand on the cage, on the outside far away from her. Today only, she is making great progress. She was scared, but now I can but my hand right next to where she is, and she will get a little frightened and think about flying away. But I just talk and she just stares at my hand, and is getting completely comfortable with it.

Also, I opened the cage, and she came to the edge on her own. I tried getting my hand close to her, and BAM! she flies away crazily.

But this is definately making progress, and I think your idea was great. Wish me luck on progress with her :rolleyes::rolleyes:.
 

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Please don't do anything to force your parrotlet into something that you want. That is highly stressful and will cause resentment and other issues. It just is not respectful. Your parrotlet is not wanting to come out for a reason - you need to build trust and respect. Training can be done within the cage. Once trust and respect is established you can work his way out of the cage.

Parrotlets (all parrots) NEED positive reinforcement and baby steps.

Have you tried any clicker training?
 

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And. I'm not doing the towel method if you think that's what I meant by "I'm going through this with Maya".

By no means, did I mean that!

What I mean is:

I am going through, her being afraid of hands and people, and she is not tame, and the owner made me aware of that.

I hope you are understanding my meaning...:eek::eek::eek:
 
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