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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I recently purchased two pacific parrotlets and they don't do anything. I have alot of toys for them to play with and all they do is sit and eat. Now when I let them out they fly around then sit on top of their cage, or go back inside and sit some more. I am so disappointed they are one year in age. I read about how super active these birds are and mine are just statues. Any one else have this problem with their birds?

Julie
 

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How long have you had your pair? It takes time for them to get used to their new environment and settle in, so that may account for some of what you are seeing.

I'm not familiar with where you got your parrotlets, but if they didn't have toys to play with at their previous home, it's quite possible that they don't know what to do with toys. If they are OK with your hand in their cage or around them, you may have to teach them how to play. :)
 

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How long have you had them? It takes a couple of weeks for them to get over the shock of being ripped from their home and placed in new surroundings with new people, sights and sounds, etc. mine were little statues for at least 2 weeks before they realized their new environment was going to be a safe place to be.....I actually had to show them how to play with toys...they don't know what things are for until someone demonstrates for them. I would sit close to them and talk softly to them and roll a plastic ball around until they figured out they could throw it around by themselves.....I also got a little chattering teeth wind up toy that bounces around and now they love to push it off the top of the cage onto the floor. they have a look of such accomplishment when they watch it go over the edge and crash onto the floor! they wait for me to put it back up and proceed to push it over the edge again and again.....it just takes lots of time, patience and interaction.....
 

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It also depends on the individual personality of the bird.. my p'let is not super active bouncing around his cage playing with everything... he is more laid back relaxing and shredding things here and there... but that is him and I love him active or not... now my green cheek is another matter... he hangs upside down and beats on his toys... chews and shreds things and just plain has fun!
 

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My daughter's parrotlet took MONTHS before she became more active. She's not as active as my little guys, but is still much more active than she was when we got her. She was also older and just not accustomed to having toys to play with, I think. She was also scared for a long time.
 

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I agree with everyone who posted above me.

My latest two parrotlets I've had approaching 3 weeks now and they are just starting to really "come out of their shell". The one bird, still doesn't seem to really be interested in any thing going on around him but it really comes down to each individual bird.

I think it really depends also, on what you are comparing them to in activity level?...Conures and lovebirds I find are a lot more active of birds. Yes, parrotlets are active, but conures blow the socks off parrotlets for activity. I had a senegal who required 24/7 attention. I found it got rather annoying. I like the fact that parrotlets like to sit and chill often. The are content with just riding around on your shoulder. Vs, my senegal and the conures I've had who needed to always be doing SOMETHING! - Not saying that it's not "cute" or "fun" but it really depends on how much time you have to devote to these birds.

Another thing is, are your birds aviary/breeder birds? Or were they hand tame babies?...I think this can make a big difference too. Aviary birds aren't usually use to toys or small cages. A lot are snatched from big aviaries and sold to stores or even available to the public to come and buy. They usually don't have toys and therefore wouldn't be use to having toys in their environment. Vs, if they are handtame handfed babies, they are usually use to toys, and being in the center of a household. With that even being said, my parrotlet before these two I have now, was a handtame handfed baby he took close to a month to even want to play or show interest in his cage/playgym etc. He usually just ate and bathed and that was about it.

One thing I've learned owning parrotlets (I've had 4 to date) is that none of them had similar personalities. All but one of them was actually something I would call "off the wall hyper"...He was always busy, since the moment he came into my house. But the rest liked sitting, preening, EATING!!...Yea, they would play or chew on stuff but I've watched conures roll around on the floor trying to get your attention. So, it really depends on what you are looking for. I can't stress that enough!

Parrotlets are active, but active for a parrotlet. A small bird. They have BIG attitudes, but I think if you are going to compare them to a larger bird like a Conure, Senegal, Cockatoo, etc for activity, in my opinion you are going to be disappointed. But that's just because these birds NEED attention and activity. Parrotlets are rather independant considering they are a parrot.

In the end, I would give it time. Just wait and see. Try sticking your birds near a window. I found my most inactive P'let, when moved closer to the window he became more active. But also try to understand, not all birds live up to their species definitions. I find if you go strictly by this, sometimes it's not what you want. It's like saying all parrotlets will talk. It's a big assumption and if you get a bird based strictly on that assumption you may be greatly disappointed. Not saying your parrotlets wont want to play or wont be active, but my guy before these two I have now, was never REALLY active. He did his thing but he was very "relaxed". He liked singing a lot more then playing. He could sit and sing almost all day. That was his "thing". Not all humans are extroverts and hardcore into sports and games. Birds are the same. Personalities differ.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Everyone,

Thanks for your answers. I bought these two from a breeder, so I can breed them. They had alot of toys in their cage that she said they played with. I bought the same type toys like a slinky and she gave me one of their toys so they would be familiar with something in their new home. They are really mean, especially the female she comes at me with her beak open when I put my hand in the cage.

I have lovebirds and a Sun Conure and they are very active playing with their toys when I brought them home. I read alot about parrotlets before purchasing them and was told over and over again about them being a super active bird. I'm just surprized how really boring them are. I had a English Budgie that had the same activlty leve. But in a few weeks I will breed them and hopefully the handfed babies will be more loveable.

Reading all your stories on this forum all tells me its possible to have adorable loveable birds. I hope to find this is true.

Holding my breath......
Julie
 

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I'm just surprized how really boring them are.
I know I haven't been on the forum for a while so I'm sorry if I'm over-stepping boundaries with this post, but reading that really upset me.
Those birds are scared, just like you would be if you got plopped down in a new house with new sounds, smells and people you didn't know. I don't like that you just called your p'lets boring. Yes they have periods of inactivity, but I still ADORE my birds (which are my babies) and would never, ever call my babies boring. I hope it was just a bad choice of words, but having birds of any breed takes MUCH patience. You haven't even had them a month, give them time. It might take a long time, but it will pay off in the end if you are patient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Playing you are right!

I apologize if I upset you. Right after I sent that email my two parrotlets started playing with their toys. They finally feel at home now. I spoke to soon and stupidly. I guess I have seen parrotlets at birdfairs and petshops and they weren't active at all. then I read articles about how active they were and then when I got them home, they acted like the ones I've seen on display. So again I deeply apologize for hurting your feelings. Now my next step is to work with them so they won't bite so much. The female comes at you with her beak wide open.

she did fly to my shoulder the other day then crawled over my shirt and bit me in the middle of my throat. I was not happy. Now I slowly offier them treats with my hand and hopefully they will come around.

:confused:




06650]I know I haven't been on the forum for a while so I'm sorry if I'm over-stepping boundaries with this post, but reading that really upset me.
Those birds are scared, just like you would be if you got plopped down in a new house with new sounds, smells and people you didn't know. I don't like that you just called your p'lets boring. Yes they have periods of inactivity, but I still ADORE my birds (which are my babies) and would never, ever call my babies boring. I hope it was just a bad choice of words, but having birds of any breed takes MUCH patience. You haven't even had them a month, give them time. It might take a long time, but it will pay off in the end if you are patient.[/quote]
 

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I apologize if I upset you. Right after I sent that email my two parrotlets started playing with their toys. They finally feel at home now. I spoke to soon and stupidly.
I also felt bad a day or two after I had posted that, feeling that I spoke too harshly since I had not seen you post on the forum in quite a while and feared I had pushed you off the forum.
I'm sorry I spoke so harsly and was probably being too sensitive.

Moving on to your question, my female would come at me with her beak open when I just brought her home too, and for a while after. I always figured she was trying to work out a dominance hierarchy with me so see who was going to be in charge. So anytime she started coming at me with her beak, I would make a fist and give her the back of my hand. When it's in a fist, she couldn't bite me because the skin is stretched and there isn't much of anything to grab a hold of to bite. I'd always hold it still, never moving it towards her and "attacking" her. Just holding it in place so she can attack that until she has exhausted her temper-tantrum. This helped as I would hold the fist to her until she'd settle down and once she settled, I'd offer my finger to step up and she would usually (begrudgingly :p) step up. Maybe that would help.
 

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Since you purchased "breeder birds"...Major time and patience is going to be needed to "handtame" them. I've dealt with trying to tame 3 "breeder" parrotlets, and I can tell you, one of them never ever tamed. So, I just kept him as a visual only bird. You will have to take things very slowly. You may not even see any progression for months. It really depends on the birds. I've known people who've been trying to tame retired breeder p'lets and it's been over a year and the bird still attacks. Bites, takes off. With having two birds, I'm assuming housed together. It will take even more patience and time, as they are going to bond to each other. Making taming them harder on you. It's not impossible, but it wont be something that is accomplished over night. The other two p'lets that I "tamed" only seemed to tame to a certain extent. They learned to stepup and would ride on my shoulder, but that was the extent of the interaction. Any sudden movements, noises, or to much action sent them into a flight frenzy. I also had these birds housed away from my other birds, in their own cage and were only out by themselves for training/playing. Which again makes it easier to train.

All I will say is don't rush it, and don't expect to have a cuddly little bird. (I'm not trying to be rude) but if you set your expections to high for breeder birds and taming, you may be disappointed. Ever bird differs and some tame down nicely, but others don't. There's a big difference between handfed birds and aviary birds. Even those aviary birds I've manage to tolerate taming were always a lot eager to bite when they felt like it. And sometimes the bites were out of the blue. It never angered me, as I always knew that they require a lot more patience, understanding and care. As they are only going by their wild instincts. Most handtamed birds are use to daily household noises and activities. Aviary birds aren't. They only go by what feels natural and if they feel frightened or threatened they will attack! Even handfed birds will do this too, but it's a lot less then those who are not.

Tips for helping to tame:
Clip the wings (if this isn't already done)
Training time one on one. You and the bird. Don't try to do both at the same time. See which one accepts your hand more easy. Try to work with that bird. Sometimes if another bird sees a "tamer" bird interacting with their human friend, and that the interactions are pleasant, it can sometimes help taming the more "wild" one. And they may pick up certain interactions from you and the less wild bird. - If both birds are equally wild, interact with each one, on their own time. Don't let both out and expect the birds to want to interact with you. Most likely they will try to be with each other or be more focused on where the other bird is, to pay attention to what you are trying to do. Millet really worked well for me as a training treat. If the birds are really afraid, try interacting with them in a secluded room away from common distractions. I stress, try not to overreact over bites. The more of a reaction you make or the louder you become the birds will feed off that. I know some bites hurt and draw blood, make bruises etc. But, if my birds do this, even the breeders I've had. I calmly say "no beak, gentle beak" and try to place my finger on their beak lightly. If the biting continues, put them back into their cage. You can use a vocal command like "time out" or whatever...And let the birds relax. Try again later. If you can help it, try not to make jerking motions if they bite you. They will feed off this behavior and if done often it will become a amusing game for them. I've received rescued p'lets because people did this and then their birds took full advantage and it got to the point they were unable to handle the bird. From fear of being bit and because it became a game to the bird. A change of environment and a new home, a few bites without jerking away and the biting game ended.

Good luck.
 

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Today my sister was over and I brought my p'let out of her cage and was rubbing her head as she fluffed up. My sister reached over, thinking she was friendly, and got lunged at. I felt bad, and apologized for my "pet" being a bit of a monster. However, my sister who is a biologist shrugged and said "I kind of lunged at her, and how was she to know what my hand was going to do if it got to her?". It was a good point, they err on the side of caution because that's what works in the wild. Animals would never survive in the wild if they trusted people the way dogs and cats do! :) Even though my p'let is very tame she will still lunge at me if I catch her by surprise - I think its very instinctive. Like someone else said, it might be a good idea to clip their wings until they can be trusted. I didn't let mine crawl around my neck/face/ears until I was confident that she wouldn't bite/chew my skin (the neck thing freaks me out!!)
 

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I don't really know how forums work but hopefully I'm doing this right lol.Made an account just to say that you should NEVER say that you hope you'll get a bird that is "more loveable" you should love all birds or don't you dare breed them. Glad you made progress and hope they're happy and glad you felt bad about your words. Sad you felt that way in the first place although I do appreciate the honesty and understand the frustration. To anybody else, see this situation and understand that maybe the birds kept that personality forever... That's a risk you take and you still have to love them.....



Hi Everyone,

Thanks for your answers. I bought these two from a breeder, so I can breed them. They had alot of toys in their cage that she said they played with. I bought the same type toys like a slinky and she gave me one of their toys so they would be familiar with something in their new home. They are really mean, especially the female she comes at me with her beak open when I put my hand in the cage.

I have lovebirds and a Sun Conure and they are very active playing with their toys when I brought them home. I read alot about parrotlets before purchasing them and was told over and over again about them being a super active bird. I'm just surprized how really boring them are. I had a English Budgie that had the same activlty leve. But in a few weeks I will breed them and hopefully the handfed babies will be more loveable.

Reading all your stories on this forum all tells me its possible to have adorable loveable birds. I hope to find this is true.

Holding my breath......
Julie
 

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I don't really know how forums work but hopefully I'm doing this right lol.Made an account just to say that you should NEVER say that you hope you'll get a bird that is "more loveable" you should love all birds or don't you dare breed them. Glad you made progress and hope they're happy and glad you felt bad about your words. Sad you felt that way in the first place although I do appreciate the honesty and understand the frustration. To anybody else, see this situation and understand that maybe the birds kept that personality forever... That's a risk you take and you still have to love them.....
This is a very old post from 2011. You will get a bunch of these old posts when you first become a member then the site will learn you and suggest more timely items.
Agree with you sentiment though.
 
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