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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So i got a Green parrotlet from a local pet store around 11 days ago and she likes my face and will happily tweet at me when i walk in but training her to step up onto my finger hasn't been so successful, I've taught her to step up onto a spare perch and she does it everytime i ask but it's a mix of she always goes to bite my fingers the second they appear no matter the speed i take and the pain when she does bite me doesn't exactly help my confidence either so i was wondering if any parrotlet veterans had any tips for getting her to trust my hand/finger.

Thank you in advance if you do.
 

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Here's a classic formula that works for many birds, but it is of course trial and error as all parrots are different.

You've already gotten to the perch step up stage by 11 days which is fantastic! Great progress.

Number one tip is at the beginning, try not to force anything. If the bird is not interested in training at the moment, come back to it later. They won't really learn if they are not in the mood. Second, do short and frequent training bouts. Maybe like 10 mins max 3x day a day or more. Bird don't want to spend hours doing training, they get bored. When they get bored they get nippy and naughty.

To get to the hand stage of step up, try feeding some treats to the bird without asking to step up. Usually the most successful is a sprig of millet because you can hold one end and adjust the length of it. Just go slowly, letting her eat some treats without asking for anything from her. Eventually you should be able to get your hand a little closer each time, then you can work on step up with the hands/introducing clickers.

Re: biting, don't let your confidence be shaken by biting :) Especially when they are in the cage, they are more likely to bite. Parrotlets are small and they only have a bite to defend with, they are quite nippy. Depending on how old your bird is, this may get worse around the 8 month to 14 month mark as they become rebellious teenagers. I still get bitten and my bird is three. Some of it is learning body language, but it's in their nature too so don't be too upset.

What's her name?? How old is she? Any pictures??
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here's a classic formula that works for many birds, but it is of course trial and error as all parrots are different.

You've already gotten to the perch step up stage by 11 days which is fantastic! Great progress.

Number one tip is at the beginning, try not to force anything. If the bird is not interested in training at the moment, come back to it later. They won't really learn if they are not in the mood. Second, do short and frequent training bouts. Maybe like 10 mins max 3x day a day or more. Bird don't want to spend hours doing training, they get bored. When they get bored they get nippy and naughty.

To get to the hand stage of step up, try feeding some treats to the bird without asking to step up. Usually the most successful is a sprig of millet because you can hold one end and adjust the length of it. Just go slowly, letting her eat some treats without asking for anything from her. Eventually you should be able to get your hand a little closer each time, then you can work on step up with the hands/introducing clickers.

Re: biting, don't let your confidence be shaken by biting :) Especially when they are in the cage, they are more likely to bite. Parrotlets are small and they only have a bite to defend with, they are quite nippy. Depending on how old your bird is, this may get worse around the 8 month to 14 month mark as they become rebellious teenagers. I still get bitten and my bird is three. Some of it is learning body language, but it's in their nature too so don't be too upset.

What's her name?? How old is she? Any pictures??
Oh she's called Monika and around 5 months old from what the pet store said and i'll grab a few photos when i get home.


She'll happily eat out of the palm of my hand and when i just give it to her directly it's just when there's no food in the fingers that she gets all bitey, her beak usually can't bite my finger fully but it's when she does manage to get a loose piece of skin she bites down as hard as she can and boy does it hurt. I do understand she needs to check her a perch or what would be my finger is stable enough to stand on via biting but she's pretty ruthless when she does.
 

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Oh she's called Monika and around 5 months old from what the pet store said and i'll grab a few photos when i get home.


She'll happily eat out of the palm of my hand and when i just give it to her directly it's just when there's no food in the fingers that she gets all bitey, her beak usually can't bite my finger fully but it's when she does manage to get a loose piece of skin she bites down as hard as she can and boy does it hurt. I do understand she needs to check her a perch or what would be my finger is stable enough to stand on via biting but she's pretty ruthless when she does.
Oh wow, so you're already far along! and that's only 11 days in.
I had the same thing when Monty was young - he didn't want to sit on me if there was no food available. He eventually came around. He still does a biting that isn't hard when he wants to go somewhere or do something or when I'm not doing something he wants, it's in their nature. but yeah, their big bites can HURT....

Since you're at this point already you could maybe introduce clicker training, if you feel she's ready. get her to associate the clicking with a treat and it'll give her something to focus on that isn't nipping.
 

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Welcome to the forum!! Monika sounds like quite the little lady! The advice you have received so far is great! Remember...Patience is the key!

Since Monika spent her life in a pet store, no doubt she has has her fill of human hands prodding and fingers poking at her. Add all this and the fact that parrotlets, in general, have an innate fear of the human hand, so you have to take it slow. She is at least 5 months old, so she is maturing. Soon, she will be going through her " terrible twos ". This is the time when puberty engages her hormones and she may start to bite harder and get a little meaner. This is temporary. Each p'lett goes through it differently. Some do not change at all, but some get mean for a month or two. Just be patient. Males can get really bad!

One thing about a female p'lett....as you bond with her and get to know her a little better, you will have the urge to tickle her and play with her and tease her, etc. What you must try to not do is touch her below the neck, on the wings, on the tail, on her chest or feet. What I mean by touching her is skritching ( scratching) her or tickling her in those sensitive places. This will make her hormones kick into high gear and she will interpret your actions as mating and she most likely will start her egg laying process.
So, she can step up and you can carry her around on your finger, but be careful about getting her excited.

Every time you talk to her, use her name, Monika, a lot. Get her to know her name. Say things like, " Hello Monika...you're so sweet! " or " Monika, how are you? " or " Monika, your mommy's little sweetheart! "

Get us some close up pics of Monika. Make sure we can see her tail and her wings.

David and VIcki
 
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