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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone - I am new to the site and new to parrotlet ownership. Although I did months of research before bringing my parrotlet home, I guess nothing really prepares you for the real thing. The baby's name is Milo and he is a 3 month old pacific. I brought him home yesterday. I visited him a few times at the breeder before picking him up. I purchased him at 2.5 months but I was having 20 guests over on Christmas in my small apartment so I left him at the breeder until yesterday to avoid overwhelming him.

He appears healthy and was very easily handled at the breeder yet a bit skittish. I handled him there as well as the shop owners and he was able to step up and no biting was observed the few times I went to visit. He was VERY active in his cage (with a sister), eating seeds and playing with toys.

I purchased him a larger cage than what he was in because the latter was way too small. I filled it with different types of toys and a variety of perches. He seems to like the "nail file" perch best as it is the highest. I will post a pic of the cage setup and would appreciate any suggestions if something should be changed.

I do have a few questions to determine whether the behavior I am observing is normal:

1. Yesterday he explored his cage and played with some of his toys but today he is just sitting silent on the highest perch. He has been on this perch for the past 4 hours with the exception of when I took him out (about 15 minutes). He is looking around but not moving his feet or body. Is this normal?

2. He stepped up in the breeder's shop but will not step up now. He seems petrified of my hand but will very willingly accept scratches if I go around the back of him. Last night he sat on my lap in a towel and let me scratch him for about 20 minutes. I then put him back.

3. Today I took him out because he was not eating. I saw no seed shells on the catch tray or in the food dish. When I took him out, he happily ate from both the palm of my hand and by me handing him individual seeds. I also have millet in his cage.

4. I have not seen him drink or go near the water. I put another shallow dish on the bottom of the cage. Neither bowl of water looks disturbed. Is there anything else I can do?

5. Today when I had him out he flew to the floor from the couch. When I went to scoop him up, he bit me hard enough to draw blood. When he flies to the floor should I just a perch to get him up until he gets used to my hand? The breeders did it so effortlessly with no biting.

Sorry I know this is very long I am just needy for advice!!! Any would be appreciated. Thank you!!!!
 

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Okay,
1.) He is settling in give him some time.Pearl ,my bird, did that too now not so much

2.) again give it some time you have to gain trust and eventuallly he will step up in your home it is a new environment

3.)& 4.) make sure he knows where the food & water dishes are

5.)Pearl she bites whenever one finger and says step up so i curl my hand and say come here and that works wonderfully for me at least pearl does fly alot but i just pick up because she knows not to do that and pictures please? i see you tried to post one but i cannot see it
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the advice!! I know the picture upload isn't working... I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Pearl is so cute!
 

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Cute! The picture is working just fine for me;)

Questions 1 and 2 sound normal to me. He's new and young, his whole world changed. Give him time to settle down and get used to the new home, especially a home without other birds.

3 and 4. Try putting his food and water dishes up higher for him. He's probably not sure about his new cage yet and is staying up higher where he feels safer. Also, if you don't have similar dishes as those from his breeder, I would suggest getting a similar one and see if he'll eat out of those. Something else to consider is to get a gram scale to weigh him once a day. If he starts losing weight, he may need supplemental hand feeding or be seen by a vet as they can't lose very much weight before becoming sick.

5. As for flying away and needing to get him. Yes, you can try a perch. Or just give him a few minutes to deliberate about his problem (i.e. being on the floor) and try presenting your finger again to see if he will step up. That way, you get to "save" him. Or you can give him a treat(i.e. seed, millet) to distract the beak while you ask him to step up.

Welcome to the forum!
 

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I would suggest not waiting too long to start supplementing with the hand feeding. According to some past posts, young birds who were recently weened tend to stop eating on their own when moved into a new home. The change in surroundings seems to confuse them. A few of our members have lost their birds fairly quickly because they've stopped eating on their own. Your new little one may need some reassurance in the form of formula. You should definitely contact the breeder ASAP to get some guidance. Congratulations and best of luck with your baby. He is a beauty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you so much for all of the advice. I did see him eating the millet a little while ago. He is 3 months old - is hand-feeding still appropriate at this age? The food and water bowls are quite low in the cage and are annoyingly built into the cage walls so they cannot be moved. I will have to get new dishes that I can hang anywhere. The scale is a good idea, I will invest in one. He is making little peeps and squeaks now...
 

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You should be fine with those feed bowls. As far a water goes, you will hardly ever see him at the water dish. I worried about that too, when I first brought mine home. now that he's talking to you is a good sign he's getting comfortable. You're on your way!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to give an update on my baby. It is his 4th day home. He has been eating more on his own, he found his food bowl but avoids the water bowl. If I hold the water bowl in front of him he will take a few sips, so I guess I will continue doing that until I am satisfied that he has located it on his own.

He seems to be moving around his cage more but only to get to his millet and food. I have several different toys in the cage and he has not touched one. If he is not eating he just sits on the high perch. Is this normal after 4 days?

He appears to be very content once out of the cage and sitting on a shoulder, but getting him out in the first place is challenging. He will only step up when outside of the cage and runs away from hands in the cage unless he is getting scratches. We never force him out or grab him but rather will put a bar or perch in that he will step onto to get him out. How can we teach him to step up in the cage onto fingers?

He seems to love cuddling and burrowing hair when out of the cage which is really cute.

My biggest concern right now, however, is that he will not eat any of the fruits or veggies I have offered him. He is only eating millet and his seed mixture. I have tried apples, green pepper, red pepper, raspberries and cooked pasta which he was apparently eating with the breeder. He will nip at the food but then ignore it. I want to make sure he is getting veggies and fruit in his diet... what can I do???

Thanks everyone =)
 

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It took Peapod a couple months before she really played with her toys. I introduced a lot of foot toys (Ok as big as her) when she was with me. I just put a pillow on my lap and let her explore them. I think it helped her take more of a interest in the toys in her cage.

Parrotlets don't drink a lot of water so don't expect to ever see him drinking a ton.

As for step up from his cage. I'd keep working on it outside of his cage until he just does a automatic step up. Like Peapod has two people in our household she doesn't care for. If they put their finger out she will bite them. If they put their finger out and say step up. She does it without thinking and doesn't bite.

As for veggies......good luck! Some birds eventually get it, some don't. There are bunches of tips on the net. A lot of people recommend a birdie bread. Its how I get Peapod to eat pellets. The "flour" is really ground up pellets.

And give him time, he's a wee little thing! I'm sure in time he will do most of what you want but you've had him four days! It takes quite a while for any bird to settle in and adjust to routine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update

Thanks.... I am being as patient as I can :rolleyes: but I just want a safe way to get him out of his cage. Today is day 6 of him being home. He seems to be getting more comfortable so I attempted to get him to step up in the cage today and he tried biting (very hard nasty bites). He is fine with me sticking my hands in the cage to refill food/water, move toys, and even to pet him, but as soon as I extend my finger near his chest he lunges at it, even if there is a treat in store.

To get him out, I have to wait until he climbs out on his own, which is a long wait, sometimes hours, lol, and even then it is a challenge to get him off the top of the cage. He hates being on the floor, even if there is millet or toys. So if he flies to the floor, he steps up easily with no prompting. He will even do a ladder with my fingers with absolutely no prompting, but it seems to be more out of desperation to get to my shoulder than responding to my prompt. Once he gets to a shoulder if you try to get him to step up onto a finger he bites.

I just find it strange that he happily accepts pets and treats from fingers but if those same fingers go near his chest or feet he attacks them. Maybe this is normal! I know I need to give it a lot more time, but I want to develop good habits from the get go.

Anyway, I posted a video of him on YouTube sitting on my husbands shoulder and being pet by me. He certainly did not mind my fingers in this situation. I will also post videos of behavior when I can so the pros on here can tell me if maybe I'm doing something wrong. The link is below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwLY9WPtd8M

Thanks again everyone!
 

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After 10 months, our little guy, kiwi, won't touch anything, but seed and pellets. I'm curious as to what others have to say. He doesn't even like crackers. Furthermore, I thought he would pick up new foods after watching our conure, but just tries them and drops them. We had to break him of sitting in my wife's hair. it was all he wanted to do, and became clear he was hiding as much as he was comfy.
We're totally jealous you can pet you r bird, too. kiwi doesn't like it much yet. Try millet training to get him to come out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes the hair is a problem! I started putting mine up because it is so long and he literally gets tangled in it and will bite if you try to remove him from his "fort".

I will keep trying the millet to train him. Right now maybe it isn't appealing since there is tons already in his cage. Why leave when already in paradise right? Yesterday I gave him a honey nut Cheerio and he practically inhaled it. I'm not sure that it's the healthiest thing but an occasional treat. Maybe try it?
 
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