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I have a 2 year old parrotlet that i mentioned before was only semi tame (sits on my shoulder, PARTIALLY knows “up”, semi aggressive and will bite fingers, won’t come out of the cage by himself, etc) many people on here have told me to not towel him to get him out, but a few experienced ladies at the bird store and even his previous owner are telling me to taco bird him and bring him out like that to teach him he has to come out. but i can tell it scares him, and don’t want to be taking steps in the wrong direction. Please, give me some options. I don’t want to scare him but like the lady at the store said, he can’t stay in his cage all the time. im having too many conflicting comments to know what to do for my very first bird. he was abused by his first owner who had small children that reached in and grabbed him at their own will.
 

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If it were me, I'd put his cage in a room where you can sit and do something else (like read or watch TV or work on the computer) and can close the door. Then, once the door was closed, open his cage door (open the biggest door on his cage if you have that option) and just go about your business and leave him alone. If he doesn't come out that first day, be patient and keep trying this for several consecutive days.

He may feel more at ease seeing and then understanding that he is free to come out on his own, without a big hand being stuck into his house and capturing him, taco-style. My guess is that someone (pet store?) did this at least once or twice before you got him and that is why he is semi-agressive.

Parrotlets are definitely their own bird and won't do anything that isn't on their time schedule and even then, it will depend on their mood. The more your bird feels comfortable around you and can learn to trust that he won't be chased, the better chance you will have in working with him to make him tamer.

For what it's worth, Daisy wouldn't come of her cage for the first month that I had her and I thought I was doing something wrong. I then tried the method I described above and within a week she was coming to the entrance of her cage, learning that she could come out. Now, having said this, I should also say that her wings were clipped, which helped her to become reliant on me, thus furthering her trust that I would collect her from wherever she landed and would put her back by her home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If it were me, I'd put his cage in a room where you can sit and do something else (like read or watch TV or work on the computer) and can close the door. Then, once the door was closed, open his cage door (open the biggest door on his cage if you have that option) and just go about your business and leave him alone. If he doesn't come out that first day, be patient and keep trying this for several consecutive days.

He may feel more at ease seeing and then understanding that he is free to come out on his own, without a big hand being stuck into his house and capturing him, taco-style. My guess is that someone (pet store?) did this at least once or twice before you got him and that is why he is semi-agressive.

Parrotlets are definitely their own bird and won't do anything that isn't on their time schedule and even then, it will depend on their mood. The more your bird feels comfortable around you and can learn to trust that he won't be chased, the better chance you will have in working with him to make him tamer.

For what it's worth, Daisy wouldn't come of her cage for the first month that I had her and I thought I was doing something wrong. I then tried the method I described above and within a week she was coming to the entrance of her cage, learning that she could come out. Now, having said this, I should also say that her wings were clipped, which helped her to become reliant on me, thus furthering her trust that I would collect her from wherever she landed and would put her back by her home.
He will come out to the gate opening sometimes but then won’t let me get him on the stick he immediately turns and goes back in the cage. He never was at a pet store, just with a breeder when he was first born. i leave his door open the entire time i’m in my bedroom which is often.
 

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It takes time. You can’t rush birds. You’re trying to build trust between you. Toweling him and forcing him to spend time with you does not make him like you, and it does not make him friendly. It makes him scared and angry. After fighting for a while, they give up. That doesn’t mean they’re happy and it doesn’t mean they suddenly trust you. It means they’ve realized you don’t care that they’re scared and upset so they just stop because you’re going to ignore how they’re feeling. Is that how you want to build your relationship? No, it’s not.

Let him get used to hanging out on his cage. Don’t try to force him to step up as soon as he comes out. Just let him adjust and get comfortable. Talk to him from where you are. Offer him a millet from afar or a treat from your hand. He will come to you when he’s ready. Birds need to slowly build trust and respect. They need to build trust towards you and you need to respect their personal space. A stranger on the street suddenly hugging you is not a welcome experience. Just because the stranger thinks you’re awesome and want to be your best friend doesn’t change the fact that they’re still a stranger and you don’t want them to hug you. Your little guy has been through enough bad experiences. Don’t repeat the behaviors of the people who had him before. Respect his space and he will come to you when he’s ready. It’s going to take months so keep your expectations low.
 

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The problem is that the inside of the cage is safe for him and the outside is not. My guess is that is because there is a definite difference between in and out. So make the outside be a little more like the inside. Put perches outside by the door. If he has a favorite perch then move that one outside. If he has a favorite treat then place that in a dish outside. Make it so he can climb around and play on the outside like he can on the in. Second part is to make the inside the cage different, maybe move his perches lower. You do not want to scare him but making him a bit uncomfortable is well within bounds. When I was getting my rescues out of the cage there was one point I had more perches and toys stuck to the outside of the cage than in. Even to this day my cages have several rope perches on the outside so Jules can comes out and climb around before flying over to us.
When he comes out leave him alone. Ignore him even until he explores and starts calling for you or flying to you. He will.

Your experienced bird ladies are into tough love. There is some merit in their method but it has a price. It may be necessary to go that route but if you can do it with coaxing and patience then that is the better way to go for a quicker stronger bond. Their method lengths the bonding process by first scaring them then getting them over their fear of you. Not the optimal solution.
 

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What Ozzie has shared is exactly what came to my mind, creating an environment at the front door, outside, and round about, that attracts him out on his own. Also, as was shared, not rushing, but being willing to wait until your little one is ready. If this was an abused bird it's going to take more tlc than with one that was not abused, and it will take creativity, to help him heal and recover. If part of the abuse was children allowed to reach into the cage and grab him, honestly I don't see how taking him out by force, short of absolute necessity, such as a vet visit, will do anything but reenforce past bad experiences. I've worked with abused birds before and sometimes I've seen it take months, or a couple of years, to bring traumatized birds 'out of their shell.' In some cases it can be a very slow process, but a consistent training plan can work wonders over time.
 

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Also since he was grabbed a lot he maybe fearful of hands. When you pick him up he may not like hands, fingers or sticks. You may want to try the back of your hand, arm or sleeve. You will have to experiment to see what he may prefer.
 

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Hi.

It is hard to decide who to listen to when it comes to advice about birds.

Usually people at bird stores or pet stores or pet supermarkets, etc. do not have the experience to give advice about parrotlets. P'letts are not sold all over the place, like other birds. They are not known like the parakeet is known.

The parrotlet is a different kind of small bird because of its intelligence. They are like chihuahuas... chihuahuas, pound per pound, are the toughest and sometimes meanest dog on the planet. They will take on anything!

But, I have read this forum and others for many years and the overall opinion about how to physically handle a parrotlet is to never put a towel around them unless it is to medicate, closely examine them, or to do maintenance on them (clip wings, nails,etc.).

Toweling them does more of a negative thing to them than positive. Are there exceptions? Sure. But not many. If you truly have a good bond with your parrotlet, then toweling is not so terrifying to them, but they still do not like to be contained.

What I have noticed about brand new parrotlet owners is that most of them are not patient enough when it comes to things, such as : Bonding. Coming out of cages. Doing a trick. Stop biting.
It takes time for some p'letts to venture out of their safe spot in their cages. These birds are intelligent and will make up their own time to come out.

Just make sure you keep a place quiet and leave the door open to his cage. Do not do this if it is near his bed time. Do it during the day. You may have a problem if he gets out and will not return to his cage for a while. NEVER yell or chase after your bird. He will get thirsty or hungry and return on his own.

Never offer a stick (perch)to him unless you have conditioned him to accept the stick. To him, it is a hawk.

Just be patient. Parrotlets can tell if you are impatient. My Bogie can tell if my sugar is out of balance way before I do! There have been many times when Bogie has come to my shoulder and alerted me of when my diabetes acts up. Believe me, sometimes I get very dizzy and fall against the wall or counter when I need to adjust my sugar.
Bogie will actually chatter and peck and flutter his wings against my neck just minutes before I have an attack. He did this a few times before I realized he was sensing something about me.

So, relax. Be calm around your bird. Do not talk loud to him. He has way better hearing than we do. He will come around. He will!


David and Bogie;):rolleyes: HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!
 

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I have a 2 year old parrotlet that i mentioned before was only semi tame (sits on my shoulder, PARTIALLY knows “up”, semi aggressive and will bite fingers, won’t come out of the cage by himself, etc) many people on here have told me to not towel him to get him out, but a few experienced ladies at the bird store and even his previous owner are telling me to taco bird him and bring him out like that to teach him he has to come out. but i can tell it scares him, and don’t want to be taking steps in the wrong direction. Please, give me some options. I don’t want to scare him but like the lady at the store said, he can’t stay in his cage all the time. im having too many conflicting comments to know what to do for my very first bird. he was abused by his first owner who had small children that reached in and grabbed him at their own will.
We're training a parrotlet now, but one thing about toweling: Your bird will have to be toweled at times to care for his needs (clipping, vet visits, etc.), so for his own health and safety it's not a bad idea to regularly towel him so he doesn't think it's the end of the world. We have had a quaker for many years now and toweled her from the beginning, so while she doesn't love getting into the towel, she definitely seems happy to get scratches while snuggled in the towel and will stay there without squirming even if we hold her gently enough that she can escape if she wants.

However, she is also a Quaker which means she is EXTREMELY territorial. So we find that she will act out if we try to towel her or reach into get her to step up while she's in her cage. If we respect her space and allow her to come out to step up onto our hands/fingers, she's cool with that and will come out to see us whenever we open her cage door. But if we reach into her cage, she will get very aggressive and bluff us, usually biting and mangling her toys to show us what a scary birdie-boo she is. She has almost never bitten people -- only on one or two occasions when she has been startled by something.

Sometimes we have to take her out of the cage with a towel. She definitely doesn't love being forced out of her cage, but because she is used to the towel, she doesn't fight it too much and once in it she is calm and we don't risk hurting her because she's struggling.

These are quaker behaviors, and may or may not apply to parrotlets, but all birds will need physical restraint from time to time to care for their needs.
 
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