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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I an new to the pet bird scene and have picked up a gorgeous blue parrotlet.
she is approx 8 months old and was purchased from an avian store. I’ve had her for 7 days now,

she is very much at home in her large penthouse with all her toys. She knows I’m her flock as as soon as I ask her if she’s coming she’ll race to me as quickly as she can. We!ve already established a “touch” trick and that “good girl” means her favourite treat is coming.

issue I have at the moment is she is happy for me to stroke her feathers and beak (beak when she’s tired) but as soon as I try to start training step up she will do 1 foot and fly away. As soon as I remove my hand she will chirp and come as close to me as she can inside the cage,

I really want her to be able to fly around the room and get some exercise but need her to understand step up and down before we can do that safely.

any tips / advice?

thanks
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum! How exciting to have such a beautiful and extremely intelligent creature, huh? They are awesome birds. Very glad to have you join our flock. There is a lot to learn about them, so you have come to the right place. So, what is your bird’s name? If you would like to share any pics – we would enjoy seeing them!

That is great she is letting your rub her beak and give her scritches. Just be sure to only touch her from the neck up. Touching them below the neck will encourage hormonal behavior, and with you having a female that could lead to egg-laying which you don’t want. And if she is 8 months old, if she hasn’t already, she may be heading for the Terrible Two’s which is when they go through puberty. If she suddenly starts biting and acting aggressive, chances are it is hormones. But that is a whole other chapter. lol

But you are wanting to know about how to get her to step up? Food is a great motivator. Birds are not wired to do things just to please us. They need to be motivated. Meaning that there needs to be something in it for them. They are smart little guys! So, you can try millet training in the cage. Hold a long sprig of millet at one end and offer her the other end. Gradually moving your hand closer and closer over time, at a pace she is comfortable with, until she is stepping up on to your fingers for the millet.

In your case, since she is not afraid of you touching her, and is almost stepping up already, when she is out of her cage, why not just try offering her a treat as you are trying to get her to step up? Keep your finger at a comfortable distance, (so she doesn’t fly off). and start offering her treats, giving her lots of praises. Keep your finger in the same spot. Don’t try to force her to step up – let her step up voluntarily! If she flies away, you are moving too fast. So, try not to rush her. Give her time to associate your finger with yummy treats. Do this 2-3 times a day, and, if the parrotlet gods are looking down favorably on you, she may just step up to reach for the treat. She might shock you and step up right away. Wouldn’t that be nice. If she doesn’t, that is okay. Go at her pace.

Good luck! She will get there. You haven’t had her long so give her time. She is doing exceptionally well! Just make the training fun! And don't train after she has eaten! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Anya, thank you! Yes will upload some photos of Nahla this evening.

thank you for advice. Was going to let her out this evening but she’s put herself to bed as had a busy day playing with my partner in the cage and wolfed down all her vegetables. She looks like a right porky pig at the moment lol.
 

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Hi there and welcome! Nahla sounds like a real sweetie already! That may change a little when she hits the puberty Anya mentioned, but just know that patience and persistence during that period will bring you back around to a sweet little bird again. Some people stop handling their parrotlets during that phase and while it is understandable, it’s a mistake. But we will indeed get to that later.

Anya has given her usual excellent advice and you will undoubtedly have much success with her tactic, especially as Nahla is already so comfortable with you. A few additional things that may also help, especially as you can get so close to her, just push the side of your index finger ever so gently into her breast just above her legs. It prompts a step up reflex for them. Make sure to say “step up” when you do it so she associates it with the command. Also, when you put your hand in her cage, keep in mind it can look like a snake to them, especially if you have your hand open like a claw (they might be seeing a gaping jaw coming to eat them!!). Keep your hand low and flat with your index finger out like a perch. It’s less threatening to a little bird.

Other than that, do keep us posted on your progress! It sounds like she will catch on really fast as you have already made excellent progress with her! Looking forward to the photos!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Both

My partner tired her out playing yesterday. Spent hours throughout the day playing touch so she was ready for bed by the time I got home from work :( sad face.

The plan is to let her have a chilled day today so she has energy when I get home to start training.

I'm not looking forward to puberty age TBF. However, just because she is grumpy, doesn't mean I should stop handling or playing with her. It's sad that people do this as I would imagine they'd have to re start the taming process again?

Nahla's insta page is @parrotletnahla if anyone fancies a follow. Linked a couple of videos below :)


Video - Morning Head Scratches

Video - Nahla Enjoying Breakfast
 

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Wow she’s a beauty! I took a peek at those videos - she sure does chow down! Breakfast stuck to the beak - nothing better!

I think many people choose rehoming during this time … which is better than just leaving them in their cages. They are such social creatures, not being able to be out with their human is really hard on them. Happily, being aware of it in advance and having a supportive forum like this likely saves many of them from this fate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow she’s a beauty! I took a peek at those videos - she sure does chow down! Breakfast stuck to the beak - nothing better!

I think many people choose rehoming during this time … which is better than just leaving them in their cages. They are such social creatures, not being able to be out with their human is really hard on them. Happily, being aware of it in advance and having a supportive forum like this likely saves many of them from this fate.
I love her so much, 8 days she’s been with me and although still hand shy she has so much personality and loves to interact with me and my partner
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Nahla still not happy about stepping up onto my hand but managed to get her to step up on a perch. She sat on top of her cage for a few minutes this morning and went back in on her own.

this evening I got her out to fly and stretch her wings. She’s not the most graceful flier! Haha

few panic headbutts to the window but she soon settled and explored the sofa.
She’s tucked up sleeping now.. ideally I need to slowly change her sleeping schedule so she’s up later in the morning and to bed later in the evening.

I’d say we’re making good progress as we’re now only on day 8.

Bird Eye Beak Feather Parrot


Bird Beak Human body Grey Comfort
Bird Beak Comfort Feather Parrot
Bird Beak Human body Grey Comfort
 

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My goodness she’s a beauty! You can see she’s a little tense in the photos but they show off her colouring magnificently.

Stepping up onto a perch is an excellent step! Well done! Her flying will improve - LOL - but they are very much climbing birds so climbing all over your couch (and you) is excellent natural stimulation and exercise for her. We are their personal jungle gyms. For day 8, I think you’re doing remarkably well!!
 

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You are almost there with her! Well done! She definitely wants to bond with you! It is very rewarding to gain the trust of one of these splendid little creatures.
Very glad she is no longer flying into windows. Watch out for mirrors too. They can be dangerous for birds too.
 

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Hello everyone, I an new to the pet bird scene and have picked up a gorgeous blue parrotlet.
she is approx 8 months old and was purchased from an avian store. I’ve had her for 7 days now,

she is very much at home in her large penthouse with all her toys. She knows I’m her flock as as soon as I ask her if she’s coming she’ll race to me as quickly as she can. We!ve already established a “touch” trick and that “good girl” means her favourite treat is coming.

issue I have at the moment is she is happy for me to stroke her feathers and beak (beak when she’s tired) but as soon as I try to start training step up she will do 1 foot and fly away. As soon as I remove my hand she will chirp and come as close to me as she can inside the cage,

I really want her to be able to fly around the room and get some exercise but need her to understand step up and down before we can do that safely.

any tips / advice?

thanks
Hi Ma
 

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Thanks Both

My partner tired her out playing yesterday. Spent hours throughout the day playing touch so she was ready for bed by the time I got home from work :( sad face.

The plan is to let her have a chilled day today so she has energy when I get home to start training.

I'm not looking forward to puberty age TBF. However, just because she is grumpy, doesn't mean I should stop handling or playing with her. It's sad that people do this as I would imagine they'd have to re start the taming process again?

Nahla's insta page is @parrotletnahla if anyone fancies a follow. Linked a couple of videos below :)


Video - Morning Head Scratches

Video - Nahla Enjoying Breakfast
She's beautiful! Looks just like our Boo
 

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Hi Matt,
After my P-lett came out of his hormonal stage he was also wary of hands. I did what what Anya said , lots of treats and when when he got comfortable I would put a 1/4 of a sunflower seed on my finger and let him take it with out pushing him to step up . now he is fine and still a little skittish but not like he was. I saw a video pn training p- letts
Hi Matt, somehow I did not finish my comment.
Sorry about that.
I saw a video on training p-lets and the person in the video said' do not bully them,( they are little so its easy to think you can chase them around the cage with your finger and they will eventually hop on). Treat them as though they are a big parrot like an Amazon parrot or McCaw. I thought that was a really good way to look at them. You would never chase a big parrot around the cage with your finger hoping he would all of a sudden jump on it. you might pull back your hand minus a finger.
Hands can be scary to them so lots of treats will help them get desensitized to your hands, slow moving and gentle.
Oh another great tip was make sure your birdie gets enough sleep, I was surprised how grumpy they really do get . My Vet stressed this, that the birds go to sleep with the sun other wise it puts them in constant summer mode which is not good.
Good luck with your little girl.
Here is Chumley...
Bird Beak Feather Grey Computer keyboard
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for comments all.

So she's obsessed with me singing to her and will happily take food from my hands, I can only pet her when she's sleepy otherwise she'll fly or walk away.
She's been out of her cage a couple of times, the 2nd time she sat on a parrotlet play gym perch on top of her cage for a bit and we managed to do step ups with food onto my fingers 3 times.

Now though she refuses to leave the cage. I use the usual perch to step up, she'll do it, as soon as she starts getting close to the door to remove her she'll hop back in.

Not really sure what else I can do differently other than be slow and talk / sing to her. She's been with me for 2 weeks now and seems like we're going backwards :(
 
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