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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My Malibu (we've had him for about two and a half weeks and he's 6-9 months old) has been coming out of his cage recently about once a day on his own as we leave the cage door open. He will fly out, land on the ground, and then climb around on the rocking chair or the cabinet that are next to his cage for a couple of minutes. Then he'll fly back onto the side of his cage, shuffle up and down the side, and finally, go back inside, still with high energy once in there. The thing is, when we try to reach in to get him to step up to take him out, he is still very not-wanting-anything-to-do-with-us. Do you have any advice how to slowly work him to actually wanting to spend time with us? Is it normal for a new parrotlet to be behaving like he is? Is it up for us to get him more friendly while he seems not so friendly, or is it up for him to work up to liking to be with us on his own?

Thanks in advance!! :-*
 

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Mali,
I think the first thing you need to do is clip your baby's wings. You can always let them grow out after he's trained, but overall dealing with him will be much easier if his wings are clipped.
 

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his wings are clipped...?

Ya, they can still fly with clipped wings, especially around the house and if his wings weren;t clipped he would probably be doing more flying then just to the floor, lol.


I have learned a bit over the last couple months and for me the trick is to be patient yet assertive. It is a fine line to walk but it's the only thing that works for me. If you are too aloof and let the bird do as it wants it will never learn, and if you are too aggressive then the bird won't trust you.

For instance, when he comes out of the cage on his own, close the door. Give him no option but to explore around, and stay close to him while he does trying to coax him on your finger. Also, to get him out of the cage, try ushering him out, don't try and get him to step up, or grab him just shoe him out. Mine plays these games sometimes where he won't step up in the cage, but if I usher him out, he goes to the top of the cage and immediately wants on my shoulder.

Another thing I have been doing lately with great success is to wear gloves when I handle him. Harvey is pretty friendly on your finger and shoulder, but if you try and hold him in your hands he gets flighty. I use biking gloves and make a "finger cage" for him by cupping my hands together and keeping him in there. At first he bites , not franticlly mind you, but he bites, hence the gloves. However after about 10 minutes he stops and closes his eyes and relaxes, soon after I can remove one hand and he doesn't flinch, then I can even start petting his head with no problems. I have made more progress with him with a few hors worth of glove training then I have the whole time I have owned him.

The big trick is being able to tell the difference between your bird being scared and just being annoyed. It is okay to annoy him to a degree, just make sure you don;t go too far and torment him. Learn the body language of your bird, which is usually very obvious and work with him, patiently, but don;t let him tell you how it's gonna be, cause he will.
 

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I have used treats, millet to train my guys. Very short lessons, but repeat many times during the time you have to spend with them. Patience is the key to any training of any bird/animal. (and husband) tee hee
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I hope you don't leave the cage door open when the birdy is unattended...that is potentially very dangerous.

we wouldn't ever... whenever it is open we are strictly watching him, not to the point of uncomfort on his part, but still... sorry if i led you to that misconception
 

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Some parrotlets aren't affected at all by clipped wings, in the sense that they can still fly really well. When my parrotlets were clipped, Ziggy could still fly fast and high (we have cathedral ceilings). Emmie, became very clumsy and lost her confidence. Every bird is different though, and everyone has differing opinions on clipping. There are pros and cons to both.
 

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Giving him favored treats when he's out and in your hands or on your arms might be one way to get him to prefer you over the cabinet. You might even need to take him into a different room where he can't see his cage; if he doesn't have the option of retreating to his cage, he might be more comfortable sticking with you. Taking a play perch into another room with you might give him a 'home base' and a spot to be on his own while he's also out spending time with you.
 
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