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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just brought my parents P'let home with us after visiting them over Thanksgiving. They were unable to tend to her properly and it was decided that my wife and I would have better luck with her.
Anyway, I just have a couple of quick questions to help get her comfortable in her new surroundings.
1- Should her cage be up on a stand? It seems to me that if she is sitting higher, she will feel more comfortable and less threatened by these giant things staring in at her.
2- Is it ok to move her cage around while she's in it, or does this scare them too much? I want her to be around us, to get used to us, but I also want to put her in another room where she can get more sunlight. I read where they need plenty of light to keep a healthy attitude, just like we get cabin-fever in the winter.

Those two issues will do for now. Like I said, I'm just trying to make her comfortable now. I'll work on handling etc later. Currently she runs away if we put our hands in her cage. I'm reading on this and will try to get a perch of some sort to use so she doesn't feel we're invading her territory.
Thanks for all of the help. I think this is going to be a heck of a journey, but hopefully we can get her back to her friendly self soon.
Jim
 

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It's memmey again I guess I got to read your threads first everyone else will help you too. If you have a t.v. chair then put her close by and talk to her and let her join your flock I mean family HA. Everyone will tell you that they are curious and she will check you out ,size you up. I think she needs to be no higher than eye level. She needs to watch your face and facial expressions. Bitsey jo goes from room to room with me in her cage and screams at me if I forget her sometimes. She's a rescue and I had the same issues as you. Keep her close would be my idea...see what others say also. I just answered first. Let us know...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the help, memmey.
I'm leaving her on my computer desk for now. This is where we spend most of our evenings.
I'm also trying to introduce some new foods, but so far I have to feed her by hand to get her to take them. My parents fed her nothing but seed, and the occasional cheerio and a little popcorn.
We picked up some brocolli, carrots, and dried fruit trail mix at the store today. Wow, she REALLY LOVES the raisins and coconut so far. I haevnt' moved into the vegetables yet, though.
Anyone with any other advice? I'll take everything I can get at this point. :)
 

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Jim if she's taking food from your hand that is a big deal and very good ,even better that she is eating food other than seed. Both things are a pretty good indicator that she's gonna be fine. My p'let bitsey acts like i"m trying to kill her if I try to hand feed her anything that is not bread or seeds. Having said that, she also wants me to hold her all the time. I put Bitsey's cage by my bed at night and sometimes I think I hear her mumble something but she has never talked, she imitates the wrens outside(very loud) that's all. I did the math and I have had her almost 6 years not 5 and we have this interaction that's just us. My vet says she has me trained. I dream she would eat fresh food and I always try, she acts like she is afraid of it...go figure. I love this little bird with all my heart and she may never be like a hand feed baby, I don't care I know she loves me and I just keep on doing what we do and dreaming she would one day eat a green bean HAHAHA. You might enjoy her story in it's in my bio. I believe your gonna be fine with your bird , a little time. they love their heads scratched maybe you could go that way before the big "step up". If you could ever get to scratch her head you got her and she'll soon come around. Please keep us posted with your progress I'd be real interested to see how she's doing...Mem
 

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It's great that she eats out of your hand! That is a huge step in building a trusting relationship.

I would put her on a stand, Birds like to up as high as possible (away from predators) so putting her on a stand will probably make her feel better. I have personally not had problems with birds being snotty or getting aggro from being placed higher than eye level, but it takes a lot of training to have it that way. I'm sure some ppl have problems with it, but I think too that what some ppl view as being snotty about being higher than eye level I think is just a bird being itself and trying to be top flock member, it's something they do ALL the time! :lol:

I would put her in a room that you frequent the most (besides the kitchen) and visit her lots there. If you frequent one room during the day, and another at night. You could move her then, but I wouldn't move tooooo much. Let her get used to having a room she's in. And there are tons of ways to gain her trust. Food is a fantastic start. Offer her all treats from your hand, and any other foods other than the seed/pellets you leave in her cage.

Put your hands in her cage everyday. This will be a slow process to her trusting your hands. Start by opening the door and just setting your hands right inside the cage. Move them as close as you can without her moving away, and then leave your hands there for a minute or 2. Make VERY slow movements, and do not stare at her. Keep your head facing down to the floor and look at her out the side of your eye. Just glances. If you stare at her, she is liable to think your a predator and will scare her. If you do quick glances and then look away, it shows that you are a prey animal too, and she will trust you quicker. (has worked for us). When you are done, just slowly move your hands out of the cage and then offer her a treat. This shows her that a) hands do nothing to harm her, their just there and b) they offer really good things when they are near, like treats, and eventually one day, scritches (scratching her head). Never hit her or yell at her. It does nothing but create a fear of you and your hands, and she will never trust you. Even after you've gained her trust, if you yell and hit her that trust will be out the window in a matter of seconds!

You can also sit by her cage and talk to her softly, read a book, or talk on the phone. Anything you can do, try to do it by her cage. She will see that you are a good person and that she could have fun if she trusted you. She will also see that you are not trying to hurt her when you are around, but rather, trying to bring her into your flock. If you are changing her food and water do it with your hands in the cage if you can. And remember to move slowly when you are doing anything in there.

Keeping her cage rearranged often is a good thing to do too. That way she doesn't get over territorial and then aggro towards you. She will eventually start seeing that it's fun to have things changed around cause there is new stuff to check out. And she will also see that you are not hurting that stuff either. If she has a fav toy or perch or something, do not remove it, she will be REAL mad! LOL Must move it to another area. She could get pretty upset if you removed her most favorite toy. But try to switch up the rest. I would rather have 5 toys in my cage at a time with 5-10 others that I switch up every couple weeks, than 10 toys in their cage all the time. Birds get bored with the same old same old. That's why you have all different toys and leave some out. So then when you do a switch up, you take out a few toys, and replace them with something new. Then in a couple weeks you take out a couple toys again, and put in those old ones you took out before. The birds almost forget they had it before, and suddenly realize they have it again, and how fun it is! (you do the same thing for kids so they aren't bored with their toys all the time!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
More great info, Candace.
She eats from my mostly through the cage, but will also let me reach into the cage if it's a treat that she really likes. She's still VERY skitish about it, but will get close enough to grab a couple of bites. If I move my hand the slightest bit, she darts away. Baby steps, I guess.
Thanks again to all for the great information.
Keep it coming if there are any more thoughts.
 

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Candance good info for Jim. how long have you had your bird? It's great how we can come here and offer info that we believe can help someone else. Thanks to Dave for the oportunity!
 

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Memmy, we have only had the parrotlets for almost 2 mnths now. But we had a green cheeked conure for over 2 yrs before that. Everything I know is from research I've done and other forums I frequent. Been at other forums for at least 3 yrs now doing my research on birds. You can get a lot of good (and bad) info, so you have to carefully sort thru it all. I love having the chance to share the knowledge I've built up with others, and hope that one day they pass it on too so we can keep helping make birds lives better and better with each person. I've had a lot of trial and error with my conure too. And have seen loads of things that have and haven't worked with other ppl's birds.

I tend to not trust well known vets for their word on birds. I've noticed that a lot of them seem to endorce certain brands too often, and it seems that they are almost bribed by certain (BAD) companies so they can sell more stuff, because a "vet" recommended it. Like Dr Foster. I'm sure he's a great guy, but the stuff on that website of his is questionable at the least. I've also seen WAY too many vets recommend Kaytee (I believe that's the brand I'm thinking of, I'll double check that) and they are terrible! They have so many preservatives that are totally harmful to your bird in their feed, and not to mention that their the ones who sell that grit crap and the sand perch covers (which are terrible for birds).

If you want grit for your birds, get the stuff they sell in Austrailia, it's not rocks and oyster shell for your birds to get lodged in their crop. It's more a mix of essential minerals and vitamins that a bird needs (stuff that comes from clay and soil etc.). It's way different than what they sell here in Canada or the US.

I'm going to go and make sure that it's Kaytee for sure, in case my memory has failed me for some reason (happens when you have kids!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Are the sand perch covers bad?
I have them on 1/2 of my perches, and Katy hangs out on them WAY more than the non-covered ones?
They are made by Avian.
 

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Jim those sand perches will break down the bottom of her feet after a while. You probably need to exchange those for different ones. Katy is young and after a while it will start to show up. They were designed to maintain their nails. They do more harm than good. Miss Katy is a lucky girl , a whole lot of little birds don't have owners who even care to ask. Good job Jim.
 

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Candance you said your memory goes because of the kids HaHa. I had my son when I was 33 and lost my memory Ha then he moved from home at 21 and I got it back and now I am 54 and I've lost it again. It doesn't seem quiet fair does it;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK, I'll take them out tonight.
She also uses these to sharpen her beak on.
What should I get for her to use for her beak?
Thanks in advance for being patient with all of my stupid questions. :confused:
 

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Jim your not asking stupid questions. If your new at caring for a p'let then how are you going to find out if you don't ask. You know this forum is full of advice so when I give you info feel free to disregard it. Well, I have a cuttlebone in B.Jo's cage and I see her sharping on it occasionally.If I could tell you one thing if I may....don't worry, your common sense will go a long way, You can make having her a complete science project or you can just put yourself in her little shoes and enjoy her. I mentioned that I move B.Jo's cage alot and some people leave their cages in one place, I wanted to be more clear and explain that I have a fear of her getting injured and I don't let her out until I can secure the room(no ceiling fan, no dogs etc.) So her cage is about 20 by 20 and if I am in the kitchen cooking she goes too and if I'm on the computer she is too .If I forget her she reminds me. After all these years I still am not comfortable just leaving her out, I don't want her to get spooked and get injured. I put her by a window to look out at the outside bird feeder while I'm at work and I cover a corner of the cage with her cloth so she can have a cozy spot and when I get home we interact and I bring her around the house with me when I'm gonna be in a room for a while. That's what i do. Everyone develops their own style you will too. There are a thousand ways just like with raising kids. Mem
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks, Mem. I have a cuddle bone in there also, so maybe she'll use it more without the sandpaper.
Now that she got clipped today, and a clean bill of health from the vet, we let her out this evening and layed on the floor with her.
After she checked out the room a while, she climbed up my leg. I layed my hand on my leg and slowly moved in. She actually let me rub her beak and throat a little before moving away.
I moved my hand and my wife put hers on my leg. She slowly moved hers back in and Katie let her scratch the back of her neck for a little while before pulling away. It was a great night of progress.
We still can't get near her in her cage yet, though. Well, not without offering a treat and then it's eat and run. We have to leave her door open and draw her out with a little millet. She really loves that stuff.
Tonight actually gave me hope that we might eventually get through to her.
 

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YOU GOT HER!!!!! I told you, congratulations you and your wife are now proud owners of one fabulous little parrotlet who got her her self scratched and nobody hurt her and in that little head she is processing this . I'm so proud for both of you. Hey they are so smart she will be so curious about the head scratch she'll be back. please tell your wife that I am happy for ya'll. Shy little Katie you did good cher"
 

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Yay!!! That is great that you got to scratch her! What progress you are making, that is fantastic. And good for you that you got her OUT of the cage AND got her to come to you! You 2 should be proud of yourselves!

I will find a link for it Jim, but there are these things called Sandy perches. It's a manzanita branch covered in a special rough coating and is specifically made for birds, and very undestructable (which is what you want so they aren't eating it).

Here's a link so you can see what I'm talking about:
http://squawkstore.com/store/index.php?cPath=162_42
This has all sorts of pedicure perches, and any of them would work great. And again, you can find this stuff elsewhere too, I just like this place a lot and trust it even more!

You should get one like this whenever you can, I would recommend only one probably, depending on the size of your cage you COULD get 2, but only if you have a very large cage. And good for you for taking those covers out, they are not good for birds at all. You did a good thing there.

And like Memmy said, there is no such thing as a dumb question. No matter how simple it may seem we were ALL there once and know how it is, that's why we are here to help other ppl out when they are in that place too. We never think that any question is dumb, we are only super happy that the person is on here asking in the first place and taking initiative to find out more about their bird so they can take the best care of it that they can.

And again, I agree with memmy in the dangers of a house. With our conure, he was out on our shoulder all the time. If we were home, he was out with us. We have a cat, but both of them knew to stay away from each other, and the cat had been trained since a kitten to not attack the bird. That being said, we NEVER left an opportunity for something to happen either, cause accidents do happen. Boogie (our conure) was never out when we were cooking, and he was always on our shoulders or on something that was higher up, he was never level with the cat. And he was always right by us being watched. The only times he wasn't on our shoulder was when we were watching tv, and he'd run around the back of the couch behind our heads. Or run around us.

With the parrotlets now, they are too flightey and spook too easily to do that yet. The female is getting better and can be brought out for a bit on a shoulder, but definetely not the male. We have an enormous cage for them tho, so they have way more than enough room in there for the time being. We are just working on taming them more right now.

If you don't have other pets, or have them put away while your parrotlet is out, then all is safe and sound for letting her run around to her hearts content, or even fly around (as long as fan's aren't going).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
We got her out again last night, and after a LONG time of all three of us on the floor, she finally got on my leg again. She really likes chewing on my jeans. :)
My wife and I were both able to scratch her head for a very short period, before she got spooked and backed away, trying to nip at us while retreating. I'm not thrilled about the biting attempts, but I feel it's progress none the less.
Her cage is still TOTALLY her domain, though. Even when offering a treat, she just moves close enough to grab some and then backs away. If the contact isn't her idea, it isn't going to happen. I'm not so sure "step-up" will ever be an option.
I'll search locally for the sandy perches this weekend while we're out. If I can't find them I'll try to order one from the link you posted, Candi. Thanks, they have a lot of interesting looking itmes there.
Thank you both for your help, once again.
 

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Hey Jim, I thought this may make you feel better. Every single time that I change B.Jo's water and seed she runs over and bites me. Not hard but she doesn't like me with my hands all up in her cage. I don't blame her I would be aggravated too. Is Katie a green rump? Bitsey Jo is and she is so sweet to me and then she is so tough with me. Green Rumps have there own personalities from what I have read. What kind is she?....mem
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That does make me feel better.
Also, I guy I work with has a Quaker that he hand fed thatis now 5 years old. He told me that she also still bites him when he goes in the cage for her.
If she'd just stop running away and come out to play more often I'd be thrilled.
Yes, I'm pretty sure that she's a green rump. Light green face and chest, dark green back with a little light blue behind her eyes and I think also under her wings. Does that seem right?
If I ever get new batteries for the camera I'll post a picture.
I bought a set of Tinker Toys today and made her a little jungle-gym to play on when she decides to get out of her cage. I looked at the pre-designed play-sets, but I figured that with these we can re-arrange them to help keep it interesting. Plus, since they are for very young children who chew on things, they are colored with non-toxic dye.
She'll probably hate it, but I had fun building it. :D
 

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Jim did your parents tell you that your bird is a girl? Let's put this out there for everyone to weigh in but if there is blue by the eyes is that a male? The female green rump is yellowish between the eyes and I may be wrong but no blue by the eye. I'm gonna check some of the photos on this site and see. I could be all wrong. I'll help you find out...mem. I forgot to tell you the tinker toys idea is brilliant.

Jim go look at little Wendal, does Katie have that much blue. If she is a true green rump female I don't think she'll have bright blue on her face. I could be seriously wrong, you ought to check though she could be a variation . Green rump females are pretty plain jane( no offense to all the little girls out there)
 
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