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Discussion Starter #1
Skittles never like Scritches much(he's about 10 months and I've had him for 8) and because he didn't like them much when I first got them I didn't want to ruin his trust and be too persistent about cuddling/Scritches. However, after a sort of recent posts about pin feathers and how you can help your plet with them I tried to have him let me touch his head so then I could give him Scritches and eventually build up his trust and he would let me remove his pin feathers. But everytimey hand gos near his face he pushes it away with his beak or bites it. I've tried this many times but he just doesn't like it. I understand birds are not dogs and don't like to be pet but skittles has had pin feathers for awhile( and a lot) so I feel bad and want to help.

So, what I'm asking is how can I build up his trust in order for him to let me give him Scritches and help him with his pin feathers? Any advice?

Also for the pin feathers he only likes to take baths independently and doesn't like if I help him. I'd rather him let me touch him anyways to bond more and build up more trust. Sorry this was kinda long. But thanks in advance :)
 

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Well, sometimes, when they have lots of pins, they're real itchy (but they're sensitive too!), so if you blow against the feathers it can help. That way when they turn their head for you to better lightly blow on the itchy spot, you can sneak you finger in there.

Otherwise, Noodle has never let me scritch him, I just make sure that he has plenty of toys and perches that he can rub up against and that seemed to help (well, that was before I got Indi, now Indi mostly does it for him:) )
 

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Darwin doesn't generally like anybody touching him, either. BUT he loves my laptop because it's warm, and every time he gets on it, after about five minutes, he starts getting sleepy and relaxed because he's all warm. That's when he wants scritches :D

So, maybe you could try helping Skittles relax--if he doesn't want to sit on a laptop, you could get him a little heat lamp, or put him in your lap on top of a heating pad, or even get an electric blanket for evening snuggles! Then, once he's relaxed (and sleepy--you might want to try this at night close to bedtime), slowly approach the side of his face with one finger from the side (NOT from above; this will probably scare him) so that he can see it the whole way towards his face. Gently try to scratch his cheek and see what he does. It may take a few tries before you get any success.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
 

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I think those are great suggestions. I hope that it works out for you, please let us know if you've had any luck or not. Just remember patience, patience, patience. lol
 

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Hi, mine does not like being touched/held, she does not even step up. The way I advanced into scritching stage was by getting my fingers (index and thumb) pinched and holding a seed. When she got used to eating the seed from my pinched fingers, then I started doing that without the seed, she would still put her beak in between my fingers. That gave me an opportunity to start rubbing her beak between pinched fingers. Then, I slowly advanced my fingers from just rubbing the beak to rubbing the side feathers of the beak. This went on for a while. After some sessions, I ventured my fingers further to the back of her head.

I was pleasantly surprised one day when I was doing my work and she was sitting somewhere close to me or on me. I suddenly felt something warm on my finger. To my surprise, I saw she had come close to my finger and was leaning her head onto my finger nail with her eyes closed!! begging to be scritched!

But perish_song is right, they have to be relaxed and not hyper at the time you decide to do this.

Mine still does not let me go any where beyond her head, or below her beak. But I am happy to sctrich her head for now.
 

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My parrotlet also doesn't like to be touched

I have a three and a half month old blue male parrotlet named Izzy. He doesn't like to be touched, although he comes running to hop up on our fingers. I think it's because at the parrot store they kept grabbing the babies out of the cage, chasing them around to get them. I worried at the time that we would have problems from that. Thank goodness it' not aggression.

It's our dearest hope that one day he will accept physical affection. To be fair, he kisses us on the nose a lot.

It seems that people agree that the best place to start is with his beak, is that right?
 

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The being relaxed part is key I think. Virgil's not the slightest bit afraid to be touched, BUT he absolutely DOES NOT like skritches in the morning. He's all wound up and he doesn't want any part of it! If I try and skritch him he'll tolerate it for a couple seconds then get all jumpy and try and get away.

BUT in the evening, when it's close to bedtime, he turns into a bug puffy ball of feathery cuddles. That's when I get some good time with the pinnies. He just rolls his little head every-which-way so that I can get to every little spot! It's soo cute.

Bedtime cuddles seem to be a common thing with these guys, so be patient but start trying at night when he's winding down for bed.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all of the replys! Sorry it's been so long. I've been so busy the past few days!

So I've tried giving Skittles scritches a few times at night when he was relaxed and with food to destract him. The first time after awhile i got to touch his head for a second or two and thought i was improving. The next day was no different then the first though. I noticed he didn't mind as much when i pet him on the back? I thought that was a little odd? Unfortunatley the last few days Skittles has been extremely "bitey". I'm not sure if i should continue trying to give him scritches if I loose his trust. He has so many pin feathers though! and he certainly doesn't like to go in the shower still or have me give him a bath. What do people mean by misting their birds? Also anymore advice at making Skittles more hand tame would be appreciated! Oh, I forgot to say the last month or two Skittles has been biting if i reach my hand into his cage and when i take him out he bites my finger before stepping up.
 

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It is my understanding the petting them on their back (or tail or rump) arouses them and is generally not a good idea.
The first step to help with taming is to get skittles used to fingers by having him accept food from fingers or palm. Next you can look into clicking training and guide the bird onto your finger over a period of time using clicker training.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oops, I didn't know about the back thing... Skittles does take food from your hand and is clicker trained and does lots of tricks(ladder, wave, basketball, turn around, somersault, ring toss, walking through a slinky, peekaboo, answering a barbie telephone, getting barbie cookies out of the oven, kisses, etc.), the only problems with hand taming I'm having is him allowing me to give him scritches(so i can eventually preen his pin feathers), and sometimes he bites my finger before stepping up in his cage.
 

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Oh, sorry, if he is doing tricks and all, sounds like you have an AWESOME birdy :D

Some birds just don't like being scritched/snuggled. But if you really want to persist, you can try giving it scritches at a time that he is likely to accept them, e.g. mine would let me scritch her head when she is preening herself, not other times.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oh, sorry, if he is doing tricks and all, sounds like you have an AWESOME birdy :D
Thanks...He is!!!!:D
Some birds just don't like being scritched/snuggled. But if you really want to persist, you can try giving it scritches at a time that he is likely to accept them, e.g. mine would let me scritch her head when she is preening herself, not other times.
Ok, I'll try giving him scritches a little more, ut if he doesn't lie it I'll stop. The only thing I'm worried aout is all ( a LOT) of his pin feathers. He bathes on his own, but if I try to bathe him myself he flys up my arm. A lot of people hear say to try misting them. What do they mean by that?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks!! I'll definately get one and try it out!:)
 

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Some birds will bite a finger before stepping up to make sure it's stable before they try...
 

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My first P-let Riddler, didn't like tickles/scratches at first, then one day at about 4 months he just insisted on getting inside my palm and just rolled over in my hand. My IRN hates to be touched, however when he molts he starts rubbing himself against me (hand & forearm) like a dog. Chico my new P-let, loves my hands and scratches, on day 2, I placed him in a towel and repeatedly petted his head and gave him scratches to get him to stop biting my hands and get accustomed to my hands and me touching him.

that being said, I tried the same method with Threio (IRN) years earlier and although it stopped the hand biting he still doesn't like to be touched. He prefers to initiate touching only.
 

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Congrat's on your baby!

Sounds like you've got some pretty good advice, but just to give you a little boost of hope:

My bird Lola has been on this earth for 5 years, and rarely seen hands. Her idea of hands was: to be grabbed so she could be crammed in a tiny cage and taken to the vet/sanctuary where I got her, or to be poked by 4 young children in her previous home. I have had her for exactly 1 month and 1 day now, and she is almost completely hand-tame. My trick was to keep her home as her "safe spot" and hand-tame her when she was on the floor, away from the sight of her cage. And it's worked. Now I can take her out (with a perch still, we'll work on that) and hold her for hours at a time. Seriously, check out our post under "Parrotlet Talk". She was 5 years old and a rescued p'let, so technically 3rd home for her. And she already steps up and loves scritches. I'm POSITIVE that in time your baby will love it too. :)
 
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