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Hi! I just got a baby parrotlet. I say baby - he was born in February. The breeder did not hand raise him. He was parent fed up to a few weeks ago and then pulled to wean (I think). He is definitely hand scared and will freak out if I place my hand near him. Other than that, he seems to be getting comfortable in his new surroundings and is chirping away all the time and eating/drinking.

What is the best way to get him to bond with me? I've read all kinds of opposing strategies, so I'm starting to get confused. Some things say to handle him often and others say don't force it. I've seen advice to take him into a small room and just hang out for a while, but how do I do that without traumatizing him by holding him?

Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I am new here too, and want to follow...my baby is just 3 weeks, and being hand fed til she can come home in about July/Aug. Just trying to absorb as much information as possible.
 

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We welcome both of you to this forum! Both of you need to read the other forums we have available.( look to the right side of this page under, " Explore our forms.)

I will tell you that each p'lett is different. Some are hormonal and some are sweethearts. Most are both!

Never grab your bird with your hands or a towel unless it is absolutely necessary!! ( Like in an emergency or vet visit or to give medicine to the bird.).
Once you get your bird, be quiet and calm around your baby. Try to get a human friendly, hand fed bird if you can. This will save you a lot of time when it comes to bonding.

Sit by the cage and become friends. Talk to your bird. Try to feed it a treat, like millet, through the cage bars. Never approach your bird from above his head. Approach it from below. This way, he will not be challenged by your hand.
Pletts usually do not like human hands, so you have to move slowly towards them with fingers closed or down. Remember, your birds are babies! They have been removed from the only home they ever knew.
It can take weeks for them to settle down.

If you do not have the patience, then you will have a lot of problems. You have to repeat many new things to them over and over until they decide to do whatever it is you want them to do.

Put a spray of millet in their cage at all times while they are young. Hang it on the side of the cage.

Change the filtered/bottled water every day.....not tap water!


Teach them to step up. This is after they settle down a bit.

If you have a biting bird, then practice the Gentle Beak method. Look it up on You Tube under Gentle beak. You Tube can be a great service to you if you want to see training videos for parrotlets.

Cover your birds 11-12 hours a night. NO less.

There is much, much more to know. As you will see in this forum, just ask questions as you go along. We will try to help.

David and Vicki
 

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Thank you! I have been poking around the site already! Gentle Beak sounds like it is a must-have resource!
I am not new to birds, but I am new to parrotlets. I have owned many a budgie in my time, and my last bird was a Rosy Bourke, which...I realize is going to be like night and day.

Right now my baby is only 3 weeks old, she will be able to come home mid-July - early Aug. I have her mostly set up (cleaned/sanitized from Phoebe the Bourke) Arranged with mostly new toys. I have gotten myself a box of toy pieces to make my own toys as well as the ones I have gotten (Phoebe wasn't much into toys). I have ordered a training toy (one of those different colour dowels with rings to put on it) and table perch for when we are at the table and want her out.

The store reminded me that basically, I am getting a little feathered New Yorker. I am down for it. We have no other pets or children...so Maisie will be able to be the Macaw she thinks she is.

Not being a kid person myself, I was a little nervous when I heard advice like, talk to her like a 3-4 year old for best results.

I am prepared to switch toys around once a week and build her new ones (I have a laser cutter that I can cut new cardboard, balsa and acrylic shapes from...)

Curious about the covering the bird part though. My care sheet from the store has said not to cover the bird. I have never covered my bird cage with any of my birds. What is is the importance with that?

Thank you again!
 

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Congrats to both of you! I'm of the opinion that you should spend time with your bird everyday, but not necessarily 'handle' them if they're not ready for that. You don't want to teach them that you're something scary that will grab and trap them.

I don't know much about Bourkes, but they're quite a bit bigger, aren't they? I'd check the bar spacing of the cage, for safety reasons it shouldn't be more than 1/2 an inch, preferably smaller.

Talking to 3-4 yos isn't hard! And talking to birds is even easier. Basically you just talk to them like you would anyone, but let yourself get excited about happy things and make sure to stay calm about annoying ones. In the beginning, it's also very important to remember that you're a lot bigger than them, and that their instinct is that everyone wants to eat them until proven otherwise (birds think this, not children. Well, not most children.). That means being very aware of yourself in relation to them, not shouting suddenly or making sudden movements.

Covering the bird depends on context. Years ago (or so I'm told, this was before I got into birds), people would tell you to cover the bird if they're too loud, so they think it's nighttime and settle down. That's not a good way to treat your bird, and ideas like that tend to linger, so I would guess that's what the care sheet is referring to. However, it is important for hormonal reasons that they get a consistent ratio of light to darkness everyday, with around 11-12 hours of darkness as Dave said. If your schedule and the setup of your home let you do that without covering the cage that's fine, but most people cover the cage either because they stay up later than the bird or the sun rises before the bird should or both.
 

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I wouldn't say my Bourke was much bigger than my budgie, though, she was maybe double the weight...they also have significantly more tail. I have a vision M double tall cage...I think I am ok there...
 
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