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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone! Just wondering if anyone had some advice on getting "Greeny" my 1 year old pac. p'let over his fear of fingers/hands.
I just got "Greeny" a couple of weeks ago. He came from a home where he belonged to a 5 year old child. We believe the kid was probably nipped once or twice and since had stopped trying to play with him so "Greeny" got shoved off into the corner for a year.
When I met him (aproached his cage) he kinda cowered and quickly ducked into his hut which apparently he was VERY attatched to. But once we got him out he climbed right onto me and well, I fell in love and took him home.
He adjusted Beautifully! He comes out on my finger after just alittle chasing and maybe a slight nip and loves to come with me anywhere. We've been shopping together, riding in my truck together, and just hanging around the house. We give each other kisses and and he chit chats to me and I can even pet him with my nose and cuddle him up next to my face BUT... I just can't pet him. He doesn't like hands/fingers near his body (mostly his head) unless it's to "step up". HE'll come after my fingers ready for a fight.
A woman at a bird store we visited said to put him in a wash cloth and pet his head while he's wrapped up to get him over his fear. She said to keep doing this several times a day for a while and it should get him over it.
What do u think? I'm not always good at the man handling thing. But if it's the key to success with him, then I'll do what I have to.
Thanks so much,
Sophie
 

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Sophie I've heard of that method but that's not really my style.I get bit regularly and I guess I got used ot it. She really doesn't bite me hard just to boss me around. Why don't you wait and get some other opinions here. The washcloth may work but real careful not to injure your bird. There's know telling the 5 year old put it through...that's ridiculous for a child that young to have a p'let. He must not be fully flighted but their feathers do grow back and I would not trust him not to fly away. If you take it outside your taking a big chance, I always felt it wasn't worth it to lose my little bird.
 

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When you take him out, you have him in a little travel cage with water and food? They need to eat and drink often. Do not take him out without a cage.

You said you only got him a couple of weeks ago. That is not long at all. It takes time to get a bond and trust. Sounds like he had been through a lot. Handfeed something he likes. Veggies, birdie breads, seeds. Does he have a good diet and LOTS of good, quiet sleep? BIG cage and toys? This all impacts how they act.

The best thing I have learned is that Chipper loves to hear "scritches" before she gets her head scratched. She also likes the left hand better. Chipper wants to hear what I am going to do, makes her feel secure. They are so very small and we are so big! Sing, music, soft talking and time.... Give it all time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
O yes. He has a plastic carrier with a ladder, a toy, plenty of food and water in it when we go. His wings are clipped too.
When I hand feed him he'll attack the food first and then start tearing it apart and throwing it versus eating it. Every now and then he might eat a bit but for the most part he's just destroying it.
How big are everyone's cages for their parrotlets here? I have him in a parakeet cage currently, I think its 15 x 13 x 18. Not sure though. But I just brought home a flight cage that's 30 x 18 x 18. That was gonna be for the new parrotlet but... Maybe I'll just get another one. He doesn't play with the toys all that much. Although I put him in the other cage yesterday and he was really playing hard with one particular toy. He had a hut with him when I bought him but I replaced it with a new one and he won't go in it.
 

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Put both in and let him get used to it. They are not good about immediate change..go slow he will have to check it out ...patience and you will be rewarded..
 

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When my p'let was very young, he too was afraid of my hands. I would scratch his head and neck with the TV clicker or other object (which didn't freighten him) and then eventually slip my finger near the bottom of the object. Over time he started to let me scratch him with my finger alone. Now I can rub his entire body with my bare hand and give him kisses on his back. He even lets me massage his beak.
 

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your cage is very nice and since im learning at the momnet i dont know if i could help you with hand tameing i just think keep trying
 

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Well, I have some advice to offer you, and there's a few things you can try (seperately or in conjunction with one another).

First, you can make yourself seem more timid. Look away a lot, blink LOTS, and keep your head down a bit. This is body language that says to the bird that you are not a predator that's going to "get" him.

Also, I've heard of many birds that have fears of hands, and some never get over it. It's just how they are. This bird could very well have been abused by such a little kid, with the kid not meaning to of course. But it happens and the kids don't realize it. So never ever use your hand to punish him, this will set you back farther than square one.

Also, you can try covering your hand with something. I know of at least one bird that hates naked hands and is completely freaked by them, but once his owner puts on a tight pair of light gloves (still with fingers and everything) he's fine and will take scritches and everything. You can try this and it might help. You may have to take it so far as no fingers too, depends on the bird. If that's the case, you then work your way to trust and then work your way down to bare hands if the bird is comfortable with that.

Also, you can work on the trust relationship a bit more with Greeny by keeping your hands away from him actually. Put them behind your back, and communicate with your nose and face more than your hands. Birds don't understand the whole hand thing, which is why a lot of them are scared of them. They don't have hands, they have feet, like us. So they don't get the our hands do what their beak does. That is why a lot of birds are more comfortable with faces and most will not attack a face, while they will readily attack a hand. My female is exactly like this. She has never bitten my face, but if one of my hands dare comes near her without an offering of food, she will bite with a vengence, and with all her power too. She much prefers my face. My male however, is scared of anything that comes near, whether it offers food or not. We're working on him tho.

Hope those things help.
 

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I'm having this problem with Kismet as well!

He absolutely loves his birdy tickles - but face only.
He adores my boyfriend's beard, even grooms it! He loves my ears and cheeks, just no petting with the hands.

He's very sweet, not a biter and will come onto your finger very willingly (unless it's my sister who moves her hand a little too quick with him). We've been saying "birdy tickle" when he pet/stroke him with our faces, or "would you like a birdy tickle?" before we begin. I've tried sneaking up a finger slowly, but he will sidle away from it and sometimes scold it.

Kismet was four months old when I purchased him (hand fed) and is now about ten months.

I've been considering a clicker for training but I'd really like to get past this hand/petting thing. I'll try your advise, Candi33. :)

An addition: I've tried the method previously mentioned, grabbing (towel or no) and petting... No real results for me. Kismet absolutely hates it and tears my thumbs up. He seems to tolerate a little cheek scratching between nips but then doesn't come to my finger afterwards as easily as before. I don't think that's the method for Kizzy but it has definitely worked with several budgies I've had previously.
 

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Those cage sizes are tiny. They need very large and wide cages. They are easy to find online. A square is not good. Get it 32-34 inches long and about 35 inches high. They need room to fly and enjoy playing and most Parrotlets get crabby with tiny cages. I know of so many that relax and are happy with large cage and many toys and great perches like rope, bendable ones.
 

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You might try some play acting with a human friend to teach Greeny what scritches are. I imagine if you do a little scratching gesture with your finger while you ask you friend if he wants scritches, then you will have both a word and a signal to warn the bird what you'd like to try. If you have another pet, you could show the bird that that pet likes scritches, too.
 

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Oh, the kitties love scritches ;)
But they're a little afraid of Kizz, haha. There weren't kidding when they said "big birds in little bodies"...
 
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