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Hello, everyone! I brought home my new baby parrotlet, Oliver, on Saturday. As expected, he was quite scared to be in his new home and sat in the bottom of his cage without moving until I covered him for the night. Yesterday afternoon he got some courage and began exploring his cage and eating/drinking, so I’m glad to see him adjusting.

He’s still scared of me (naturally) and I’m taking my time with him and not trying to touch him until he’s ready. That said, he has a new bird appointment with the avian vet on Friday and I was wondering how to safely get him out of the cage and into his carrier if he’s not feeling confident enough by then to come out on his own? I don’t want to have a situation where I have to chase him to catch him and end up scaring him even more. Any tips you have will be appreciated! Also, is there anything specific I should ask the avian vet while I’m there? This is my first bird since becoming an adult and want to make sure I get things right. Thanks for your help!
 

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Hi! It sounds like you are making good progress. When dealing with having to catch a parrot, toweling is an important skill that will help you in an emergency (a wash cloth is the proper size towel for a parrotlet). However, for now, make sure that Oliver can see the carrier and see about as the week goes on letting him climb into the carrier if he will. Millet might help encourage him to explore it. However, if the cage he is in isn't too big to move, I personally would take Oliver to the vet in his cage and let the vet deal with toweling him. Avian vets are experienced in dealing with unwilling and reluctant patients. Tumi always tries to bite the vet, and it is the vet's job to not get bit! Avian vets are very experienced in handling birds.
Ask the vet to teach you what to look for as signs of illness or injury, what is normal and what is abnormal. You can also ask the vet to show you how to restrain Oliver safely in a towel, and be sure to find out Oliver's weight and how to check his weight.
 

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Hi! It sounds like you are making good progress. When dealing with having to catch a parrot, toweling is an important skill that will help you in an emergency (a wash cloth is the proper size towel for a parrotlet). However, for now, make sure that Oliver can see the carrier and see about as the week goes on letting him climb into the carrier if he will. Millet might help encourage him to explore it. However, if the cage he is in isn't too big to move, I personally would take Oliver to the vet in his cage and let the vet deal with toweling him. Avian vets are experienced in dealing with unwilling and reluctant patients. Tumi always tries to bite the vet, and it is the vet's job to not get bit! Avian vets are very experienced in handling birds.
Ask the vet to teach you what to look for as signs of illness or injury, what is normal and what is abnormal. You can also ask the vet to show you how to restrain Oliver safely in a towel, and be sure to find out Oliver's weight and how to check his weight.
Thank you for the advice! Unfortunately, his cage is too big for me to take in the car, so I will need to move him into his carrier. I also bought a smaller cage for sleeping and traveling and I’m wondering now if I should’ve put him in there during his adjustment period, but it’s too late for that. For now, I’ve moved the carrier next to his cage so he can see it, and I’ll try luring him in with some millet later this week. Thanks again!
 

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I am glad to hear that Oliver is coming around and starting to get used to his new home. It is awesome that you are giving him time to adjust. That is exactly the right thing to do! So, how big is your sleeping cage? If it is not too small, I don’t think it is too late to change cages. Baby birds are known to be clumsy and having them in a smaller can be safer for them. When my bird was a baby, she was a little klutz, and I had her in a small cage, but once she got a little older and steadier on her feet, I put her in a bigger cage.

I am glad that you have a sleep cage as a backup in case Oliver is not used to the carrier by Friday. It just gives you another option. It sometimes takes them weeks (with lots of baby steps) before they see something as safe and good. It is best to never force a bird to do something until they are ready to do it, but sometimes you can't help it - like in the case of an emergency or like in your case, getting a new bird to the vet.

I do not know if you have traveled with birds before, but when you put Oliver in the car to go to the vet, make sure to not place the cage in the front seat since in the event of an air bag deployment, it could cause injury to Oliver. Also, try to fasten the cage securely with a seat belt to hold it in place in case you must make any sudden stops or swerves. Covering the cage partially may help with stress and help with motion illness.

Good luck! Let us know how the vet visit goes! :)
 

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Thanks for the recommendations! I was able to get Oliver onto my hand and move him to his carrier with no problem using millet. The avian vet says he weighs 26 grams and looks happy and healthy! 😊

He has been warming up to me a little more every day this week, so now that I know how motivated he is with millet I’m going to start working on training with him. I’m very excited! I’ve included a photo of the first time he got on my hand yesterday, so you all can see how cute (and brave) he is.
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He is ADORABLE!!!! I'm glad that you were able to get him into the carrier with bribes. Bribes are definitely a good method to "train" parrotlets. :)
 
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