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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I brought a pair of parrotlets 3-4 weeks ago and let them out the cage everyday... the problem I have is they just fly over to the perches I set up around the living room for them and stay there unless they get moved ( the fly when we go to pet them).

I am a first time parrotlet owner and following all tips and tricks I have researched bit they still won't explore and just sits there as well as not wanting to be petted (one can go to bite)

Any advice for me!!
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum! You state that you are a first-time parrotlet owner - have you owned other parrots before? Parrots are different than other types of animals. Petting, for instance, is a privilege that humans have to earn through carefully building trust with the bird, and even then some birds never learn to trust fingers. The first months with a parrot are all about building trust. Your birds don't trust you, which is a smart move for a small prey animal. You have to work with them to teach them that you are good and safe.

You said you bought a pair - are they male and female together? Are you intending to breed? How old are they? While some parrotlets enjoy sharing a cage with another parrotlet, most are not happy sharing. As they get older, there is a chance that one violently attacks the other over the space. This is a common trait for parrotlets in particular, who often are happiest as only birds. It is also significantly easier to bond with the birds with one-on-one time. It is very difficult to build a relationship when you are approaching two parrotlets together - the bond of trust only comes with the individual attention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well I got told they are both females but my yellow one has white feathers forming by her eyes... they have bonded very well and won't go anywhere without eachother... I sit next to them and talk and they eat when I eat but when they are out the cage they are difficult to put back in ( should I not bring them out so its not too stressful for them when I put them back in the cage) and also they don't explore... they will both sit on the perches I have put up for them up high all day if left. I'm assuming that's because they don't trust me yet.
 

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Well I got told they are both females but my yellow one has white feathers forming by her eyes... they have bonded very well and won't go anywhere without eachother... I sit next to them and talk and they eat when I eat but when they are out the cage they are difficult to put back in ( should I not bring them out so its not too stressful for them when I put them back in the cage) and also they don't explore... they will both sit on the perches I have put up for them up high all day if left. I'm assuming that's because they don't trust me yet.
First you guys are in early days so stuff like this is common depending on where they have come from. Mostly things just take time. Parrotlets are prey creatures and they know in their instincts that most things on the planet want to eat them or casually kill / hurt them. You are being observed and eventually they will decide if you are a parrotlet eating monster or not.

If I understand correctly you have a pair of young female parrotlets, you are their first owner and you have had them for about 4 weeks so these birds are only a few months old.

What are you feeding them? Have you had any luck finding their favorite treats yet? A food that they will risk much to eat? With my guys over time it was walnuts for my Jules, Sunflower seeds for my Bo, for my current parrotlet Rio has not been real food oriented so we have been sort of out of luch but lately he seems to be getting into pecan nuts. So with young birds you may have to try many things over time because they are growing and changing and so are their tastes and desire.
 

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You are right. You need to give them more time to get used to you and trust you. I have had my baby bird for five weeks and he still does not trust me completely. It takes a lot of patience to gain their trust. Because your birds are not returning to their cage on their own, for now, I would stop letting them out their cage. It is not good that they are out all day without food and water. Parrotlets have very high metabolisms and need to eat regularly. They also need to have water available at all times. You having to put them back in their cage is very stressful on them. It also damages any progress you have made. To help them to bond with you better, I would put them in separate cages as Dana suggested, and work with each one separately. How are they when you approach their cage? If they back away, then you should continue spending time with them like you have been doing, When they get to the point of coming over to see you and remaining calm, then you can try feeding them millet through the cage bars. You can also offer them a sprig of millet inside their cage. Hold a long sprig at one end and offer your bird the other. Gradually, over time, you should be able to move your hand closer and closer until they are eating from your hand. This can take a few days to several weeks depending on the bird. To train them, you will have to separate them. Another reason to separate them is because of hormones. Any female bird that shares a cage with another bird (regardless of its sex or species) can/will see it as a potential mate and that can increase the possibility of egg laying. You do not want your females laying eggs. There is a ton of information on the forum to help you, and of course, if you have any questions, feel free to ask! It takes time to learn how to take care of these little guys, you will catch on! :)
 

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One of the things I did early on was decorate my cage so the outside was a bit like the inside. I had coop cup with food and treats. Rope perches and other perches on the outside of the cage. Made it easy for them to fly to it, land on it and play on it on the outside.

I also have a few perch sites with food and treats around so they have different places to sit and eat. Gives them a few options of where to go.

As for you, wear clothes that makes it easy for them to land on. Clothes with a loose weave like a double knit or a sweater. They are going to chew it up so you want something that they can chew on and poop on that will not upset you.

Keep spending time with them, Especially eating around them or with them.

Also, some of your problem is that you have two new birds at once. They can bond with each other and not you. You may want to separate them a bit. Maybe do a little one on one time with each bird alone. Maybe take them into a different room for 10 minutes or 30 minutes and see how they take it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
First you guys are in early days so stuff like this is common depending on where they have come from. Mostly things just take time. Parrotlets are prey creatures and they know in their instincts that most things on the planet want to eat them or casually kill / hurt them. You are being observed and eventually they will decide if you are a parrotlet eating monster or not.

If I understand correctly you have a pair of young female parrotlets, you are their first owner and you have had them for about 4 weeks so these birds are only a few months old.

What are you feeding them? Have you had any luck finding their favorite treats yet? A food that they will risk much to eat? With my guys over time it was walnuts for my Jules, Sunflower seeds for my Bo, for my current parrotlet Rio has not been real food oriented so we have been sort of out of luch but lately he seems to be getting into pecan nuts. So with young birds you may have to try many things over time because they are growing and changing and so are their tastes and desire.
I know that they like spray millet and not really interested in any other treats yet but I'm still exploring with that... one of them will move towards it onto a stick but won't stay on long especially if the other one ain't on the stick
... I just want to do right by them and worry when they look bored just sitting there... I also have 2 5 year olds which because of the noise don't help lol
 

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Hi there and welcome to the forum. I agree entirely with the others - it is very early in your relationship and patience is so important right now. Don’t rush things. You will have them a long time and getting it right now will definitely help you in the future.

It sounds like you have a lot going on in your home. These little birds are prey in the wild and they will view you and your 2.5 year old as predators who want to eat them. Think about their size compared to yours and you will see how intimidating it can be. The noise of a child can sound like a hunting animal to them and without the protection of their cage, they can feel very vulnerable. They are not domesticated pets like cats and dogs - they are wild creatures despite being raised in a human environment. Earning their trust will be the key to your success with them. See the world from their perspective, not a human one. It will help you to know how to react with them.

They sound like they have bonded to each other so it will be difficult to have them bond to you. Parrotlets are kind of “one trusted friend” birds and if they have another Parrotlet, they will bond with that bird. Single parrotlets bond very strongly to their human, if that trust is earned.

I agree that you should have them in separate cages for now, if that is possible, and they should spend part of their day in their cages. You will need to watch your 2.5 year old as well. These birds are incredibly fragile and if they fly at your child, which they may, they can get swatted and injured easily. Parrotlets are also well known for being bitey birds, so beware of your child’s fingers around them. He or she will not soon forget a bite from one of these little birds.

I think you will want to reset a little and start a little more slowly. It will be a little more challenging for you with two of them, but it will be really worthwhile if you take your time. Don’t expect much from them right now. Just let them get adjusted to you and their environment. Spend time taking quietly to them and being close by. Help your 2.5 year old learn to be gentle and speak gently to them. My 3 year old grandson knows to speak softly to my Kiwi and I have shown him how he scares her when he is loud. He is doing much better and learning how to approach her despite his young age. My responsibility is to ensure Kiwi is always safe and not afraid. She trusts me for this as yours will trust you. So take your time!

Let us know how it goes!
 

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See how it goes. If you find them more active and exploring when they are in their cages, the try what Ozzie suggested and have some perches and food/water cups on the outside of the cage so they can explore but feel like they are in the safety of the inside. Baby steps! Try to do this when your child is having a nap or otherwise distracted. Start there and let us know how things are going.
 
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