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Hi all! We finally picked up Iggy a couple of weeks ago! He's now 10 weeks old and as far as being curious goes....well....he's not! He's afraid of anything that's new including food! Each time I try to introduce some to him...he freaks and flys away. Any ideas on how to introduce new foods to him would be great. Thank you all SO much!
 

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Patience...lots of patience.

Some parrotlets can be flighty and most are scared of new things. Keep trying, Iggy will catch on and as you expand his knowledge of the world and as his trust in you increases, the introduction cycle time will go down.

Try adding some new stuff on a flat plate mixed with his familiar food - this has worked for us (not right away but after a week or two of trying we will start seeing nibbles).

Regards,

Art S.
 

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I advise finding a treat he loves and then start clicker training. Check out Ann Castro's "The bird school. Clicker training for parrots and other birds. Also covering flighted birds and taming"

It is so important to establish a trusting, loving and fun relationship It is never too late to start, but you have an early start since he is soo young! Parrotlets are awesome with clicker training especially. They have been my favorite "students" for this.

Let me know if you have any questions. I can send more info and links too.
 

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I'll tell my wife about clicker training. Seems like something she may want to do.

Thanks Andrea,

Regards,

Art S.
 

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Hey NY my p'let is slightly older than yours, about 12 weeks. Your post made me feel good because mine is the same way! He is afraid of EVERY inanimate object that is not inside his cage.... Just give him some time though....mine still won't eat any of those "strange" foods, but he has started exploring some other things, (like his toys, for instance, which all freaked him initially). Today, he got on my laptop....that is most definitely the first time he has touched something that isn't a person or that isn't in his cage....I was kind of excited. :rolleyes: Anyway, so just keep trying. Art, the plate idea sounds good....I think I will try it as well
 

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As young as these birds are it is quite sad that they are having so many issues adjusting. When we have hand reared parrotlets, or any birds, we expose them to as many people, places, things, experiences as possible. They travel in the car daily and are constantly learning new things. Because of this their level of confidence is through the roof and they have no issues with a new home, no adjusting at all! They love meeting new people, trying new foods and getting new toys.

It saddens me when breeders "protect" their babies from new people and things under the impression that these things will frighten babies. B/c of this they have so much more to learn when they find their new wonderful homes. It's just not fair for the new care giver to deal with this, I feel it is the responsibility of the breeder to properly raise the chicks so they can start off very easily in their new home in every aspect.
 

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Trouble feeding?

My Parrotlet is the same way. Him and I have a great relationship though. I put my hand at the base of his cage and he comes immediatly when he feels like being with me. He also has now been following me into the bathroom and the kitchen. Lol

The thing is, he gets real nervous when I try to offer food to him while he's in my hand. He doesnt like it at all and tries to get away. I calm him down by taking the food away and giving him a neck massage and kisses on his backside. It helps bring that trust thing back to where he knows things are okay when he's with me.

He eats his fruits and veggies fine on his own, but not while hes with me. Ive had him for about three months and he is nearly a year old. Turns one in July. So him and I still have a lot of growing to do as friends. But he trusts me for the most part.

By the way, what is clicker training?

Hope this helps. Like everyone else has said, patience is the key. Before you know it, he'll be your best friend.
 

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Just be patient. Stay calm. P'lets need calm. Keep giving new foods. Variety. Birdie breads, veggie mash, beak apetit, oatmeal, etc...Chipper loves to chew on carrots, strawberries, blackberries.

Chipper's fav. place to eat is her tiki hut! They love to forage for food.
 

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Bonding and New Foods

NY: Wow! You found a breeder to tive up a baby that young!? My understanding is that p'lets bond best from about 12-14 weeks. I have read that earlier hand-rearing doesn't seem to have much effect on bonding as it would with other breeds. I'm interested to know what Andrea knows about this since her experience is likely to sort out fact from theory.

As for new foods - my birdie will try anything I offer as long as she gets to take it from my lips first. Once she gets a taste of a bit of corn tortilla, carrot, bean, etc., I remove it from my mouth (so she can see) and then she is very willing to tear into it. This will take time-and some folks are dead-set against mouth feeding. Pros: a great bonding activity. Cons: birdie will never forget this activity. Example: my son reaches for a sandwich and her reaction is to fly to me and tug at MY lower lip.
 

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I think a parrotlet will bond at any age to be honest, well, not any! Baby age they really don't bond truely from what I have seen. I have raised a couple of different species and kept them, and guess what? They are a holy terror for me (Mom) and wonderful for everyone else. But basically a parrot, once they learn to trust, will bond at any age. But yes, 10 weeks is awful young to let a parrotlet go. It sounds like this breeder is in it for the money big time. A parrotlet should not be so scared right after weaning. I have handfed some parrotlets up to only 5 1/2 weeks, I have had some feed until 9 1/2 weeks! The breeder sounds like they just want a quick sale with minimal effort and I am sorry that is supported :( But how does the average person know this??? There is no way to know this.
 

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I have found some of the best birds I have placed were in my care past maturity. With parrotlets this is in the 10-12 month age range. Most behavioral issues arise b/t weaning and maturity and if a breeder can see them past this age it makes it easier for the next person.

HOWEVER, I am often willing to let a bird go younger IF I feel the person is knowledgable enough. I have an 8 week old that I feel is ready for her new home, a previous adopter of ours that has a 6 month old parrotlet of ours. But she is not comfortable with this, and it is no big deal. I will continue working with the little hen, training, etc. until the people are completely ready. The thing is, I know she has the ability to do it, and I also know she has more time to devote than I currently do.

But yes, I like the older birds better as I think they are better adapted and have learned much more to go to their new homes.
 

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I often wondered about the appropriate age to let a baby go. I rescued my male at 4 months and purchased my female at 10 weeks.

My male was 10 months when I got my female and compared to him, she was definitely a baby – she was very clumsy and shy. But with his influence she came around very quickly – She copies everything he does and learns so much from him. After seeing how she depends on him for her growth I feel for the young babies that are sent out alone at such a young age without another bird mentor.
 

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Isn't it awesome how they model each others behavior? The eight week old I was willing to send home will be going to a home with an older parrotlet in the care of a very knowledgable parrotlet owner, she is very new to parrotlets but does her homework! In any event, this little girl definitely looks up to my older pet hen that is just over two. She likes me just fine, but there is definitely a need for the parrotlet buddy.
 

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When Skyler first came home, he was a millet addict (his breeder was a young lady who did it only as a hobby and wasn't very well educated in bird rearing). We now having him eating my homemade mash and Harrison's pellets. The transitional from seed only to his current diet wasn't too difficult. I just sprinkled a tiny amount of the seed onto whatever I wanted him to try (fruit, vegie, etc).

I found out, almost by accident, that he LOVES Cayenne pepper (powder) which I sprinkle liberally on his pellets. He eats them like he's a starving man.....and when he's not really hungry, he will just eat the Cayenne. If I hate the amount of Cayenne he can put away, I would burst into flames :eek:.

Now if I forget the Cayenne, he lets me know! I never knew they could be so loud! LOL :D
 
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