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Discussion Starter #1
So, I am happy to say that my boys are slowly starting to eat more veggies! So far they seem to like bell pepper, carrots and rocket lettuce. I also decided to order some Versele-Laga Nutribird pellets at my local pet shop (they didn't have it in stock, but could order it for me, thankfully!). So hopefully I can give them both pellets and seeds in hopes of getting them on a better, more balanced diet.

Sadly, though, I have two issues in my bonding and training Loki and Marvel, that I'm not really sure what to do with. I hope some of you can help me out!

First of all, my bonding with Marvel and Loki seems to have come to a stop. :( I am not sure what is the reason for this. It could have something to do with them getting in their 'terrible two's', but perhaps it's due to the clipping?
They both love millet. Especially Loki seemed willing to do about anything for it! I got him to fly to my hand a while ago to eat some (before I clipped them). The other day, I taught him to climb into the slinky, which he now does a lot during the day! :D I was hoping that they would love it enough to use it as a treat for training, and help them get used to my hands more.
But since their wings have been clipped, they seem to have become more flighty whenever I come up to the cage. I have to be honest and say that it's a little frustrating, because I felt like I was finally making a little bit of progress. And now they don't seem to want to be near me at all, if it can be avoided. Apart from Loki learning to climb into the slinky, my only "victory" in the training bit, is them eating millet off the open door of their cage. (With the door swung into the room/away from the cage)
Do they just need some more time to 'get over' their experience from being clipped? Do they feel more easily threatened, or more insecure because of it? I did catch and clip them in a towel in hopes of not making their fear of my hands any worse.... Is there something else I'm not doing or not doing right? :confused: I know I have to be patient, and I am trying my best at that. (I'm not always so good at it :rolleyes:) Any tips would be very welcome!

Then, my second issue:
In order to get them used to being on/with me, I get the both of them out of the cage during the day for short periods of time. I use a towel to catch them, since they haven't learned to step up yet, and usually let them sit on the towel on my lap or belly. After a while they'll calm down and will just sit. I've even gotten in a couple of scratches.
But the thing is, whenever they are on my lap, they chew on the towel. They chew on it so much, that they have made several holes in it!
It's the main reason why I keep them on the towel in stead of just on me/on my clothes. (I've been bitten until I bled by the both of them before, and I don't really look forward to that again, haha :D)
Whenever they start chewing on the towel, I try to tell them "Loki/Marvel, stop." and put my finger on their beaks. Sometimes I have to turn their heads a bit to one side if they don't stop chewing, sometimes they will stop once I touch their beak. Usually, they'll stop for a while after I take my finger away from their beak again, but eventually they'll get back to chewing on the towel again.

Am I using the technique right? I've only had a few lunges at my finger (flattened out, feathers raised, beak open like a raptor...) but mostly they seem to be okay as long as I just follow through with it. They haven't bit me since, but also haven't really had a chance to bite...
And the chewing on the towel, how should I interpret that? Is it them trying to preen me/my clothes? Or are they trying to bite? They will chew on the threads of the towel until they create a hole in it, you can see them from a distance. I guess feathers are probably stronger than cotton threads on a towel, so it could be preening. I just don't want to do the wrong thing and make them angry/scared of me while out of the cage!!

I can try to make a video of one of them doing the chewing on the towel when they're on me. Maybe that helps getting a clear idea of what it is they do. Thanks in advance for any help, advice, or tips anyone can give me! :)
 

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Glad to read both are eating better.
Chewing of a towel is due to nervousness of the bird. I had a female that did it a whole lot on one towel. She wasn't used to be handled and I had to use something to keep her a little calm, poor thing.
Seems like the two birds are bonding with each other rather than you??
Get one out at a time, away from each other if possible, as many times as you can to bond better. Bribe with favorite foods-----Nutriberries (a pellet/seed mix in small balls) hand-fed seemed to help with bonding. Best to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
They are definitely bonded to eachother, which is fine, as I got these two brothers together because I wanted them to bond not only to me (due to a very irregular schedule) but to eachother as well. But I do hope I can get them to bond to me (and others!) a little more, too!

I do take them out separately, but generally I'm sitting with one of them on the couch near the cage, so they would probably still be able to see eachother. They can definitely still hear each other when I sit there. Marvel is a bit more nervous than Loki when out of the cage, and will call out a lot at first. They calm down after a few minutes though, except for the chewing.
Maybe I should try to keep them out of eachother's sight when I have one of them out of the cage! Good tip, thanks! :) Would you suggest I take them into a different room altogether, or would that be too much of a shock to them?

And I'll have to see if I can get my hands on some nutriberries! Millet works for now, they do really love it and will even follow my hand around the cage a little to get to it :)
I don't think a whole lot of stores over here (the Netherlands) sell nutriberies, cause I've been having trouble finding them. I had the same problem with pellets, but luckily I ended up being able to order a brand that has pellets specifically for lovebirds, neophema's and parrotlets, through my local pet shop :)

Is it okay to keep them in the towel, despite the nervousness and the chewing? The one I currently use is striped, 'parrotlet green' and white, but I could try a different colour if that might help?
I've held them in the fleece blanket I use to cover their cage at night (it doesn't let through any drafts when I leave the window open - our house gets warm easily!) but stopped doing so because it is so warm. Also, the blanket is black, and I read that dark colours might stress them out.


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So many questions, and such long replies. I'm sorry!
I always try to give as much information as possible, because I think it would help others think of solutions more easily. But the results are these superlong posts.... Oh well :D
 

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I cover my guys cage with dark towels at night. I continue to do so even now. I was told that the 12 hours of sleep was necessary. Is it possible that since you are no longer covering thier cages that they are not sleeping as much when they are entering their terrible two stage? This might make them less friendly too.

I can not help on the hand thing, my guy wont step up and will only go on my hand when outside of the cage.

I can agree on them being separated when you are working with them, my opinion is it would not bother the bird to be in a different room for training sessions.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Rizzie, thanks for your reply. I will try to spend out of cage time with them where they cannot see eachother.

I do still cover their cage at night with black fleece blankets. It's necessary because otherwise they won't sleep in early enough, as lights will be on in the room untill past their 'bedtime', and also because otherwise I will wake up too early, beause they wake up early thanks to the sun! :p

I stopped using the fleece blankets for holding them in, when they are outside of the cage for training and bonding. I feared they might get scared because the cloth is so dark. I also worried that they might overheat when held with the fleece, especially now that Summer is really starting.

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Sidenote, but kind of useful info as to explain why I fear overheating:
I know quite a lot of birds have a pretty high natural bodytemperature. Due to this, canaries for example, best are held a certain way (during checkups, when giving medicine, or when figuring out the bird's sex, for example) to lessen the risk of them overheating, which can easily result in death when not noticed on time.
Since I obviously wouldn't want to risk anything like that with my parrotlets, I switched from using a fleeceblanket to hold them in, to using a towel.
 

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Gee Lore, if you talk to much than I really have a talking problem. ;)

I think it sounds like your doing fine. I have mixed feeling about grabbing the birds to get them out, because sometimes it's useful and sometimes it's not. You really have to feel it out and see if it's helping or hurting you. It sounds like it's working ok if they end up sitting with you.

I would not worry about them overheating LOL (sounds funny) I have had Melody snuggled up in my bath robe more than once nice and toasty. She's fine. If a bird gets to hot (from illnes or whatever) they raise their wings up to try to cool down. It would have to be way more extreme I think.

Chewing is totaly normal. Especially on a towel and at their age. I never realized it could be nervousness but that makes sense. It's also like teething, at that age they just chew chew on everything. Including the post we just had about fingernails.
I say let them chew on the towel to their hearts content. Parrots chew. Its good for them. As Melody got older she moved from the softer items to destroying her perches. :D she still chews on her daddys t shirts. They look like Swiss cheese.
She also likes paper, try giving them some coffee filters or tissue paper, or toilet paper rolls. I let her chew asing as its not hurting anything. Personally, I have never had much luck with gentle beak, but I know when and how to touch her beak in such a way that conveys "shut it" and that works for me.

I also think taking them out separately would be great bonding experience.

The last thing I will add is, Parrotlets have moods and phases from day to day just like us. Nothing is ever set in stone, so your not going to "mess them up". You might feel stuck one day and then realize they just had a bad day. And sometimes without even trying to hard things just fall into place. I'm sure you have realized by now you kind of have to figure them out as you go along. :p
I still am..... Just don't let develop any really bad habits. Like playing on the floor or something dangerous should be a zero tolerance.
 

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Hehe, well in that case....!! :D ;)
No, but I do need to be careful not to ramble too much. Giving as much info as possible can be good, but if it's too much, I doubt anyone can give me any tips anymore.

I do get what you mean about figuring them out as you go along, though. And the term 'paront' is starting to make more and more sense, too. So far, my only experience was babysitting, but now it sometimes feels almost like I am raising two toddlers or something, lol :D

Good to know overheating is not really an issue! I guess I could have known though, as they do originate from South America ;)
Also definitely good to know that the chewing should be normal, too. I will focus more on them being gentle about it, then. Poor towel though, getting all chewed up! I'll see of they take an interest in paper towels or coffee filters to chew and destroy. The inside rolls of toiletpaper shpuld be no issue to collect some, since I have 14 roommates :D
My boys are still learning to play with the chewtoys they already have, but those are harder materials.

Tomorrow is time for bonding! I left to visit my mom's this morning and will stay the night. Let's hope they enjoyed their day of 'quiet time' and are both in a good mood tomorrow when I get home! :)

It's really so reassuring to read all the comments. Thanks so much guys
 
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