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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! I'm very happy to have found this group. I got a baby parrotlet about 1.5 months ago from a breeder. At first she was very scared and biting me hard but has made a great deal of progress. The breeder told me to handle her as much as possible, which is what I have been doing. At first she did not want to come out of the cage at all but has become more willing. However, I still have to pick her up and bring her out. Once she is out she is happy and loves me scratching her neck. After reading more about it I saw that most people go very slow and never "force" their parrotlet to come out of the cage. Should I stop picking her up and bringing her out? Should I just wait until she climbs onto my hand on her own and then bring her out? Like I said, she is happy with me when she is out and she is very friendly with me coming to the front of the cage when I talk to her. She definitely doesn't seem scared, but I want to make sure I'm handling her the right way. Also, she appears to be going through her first molt....is it normal to for her to be a little extra grumpy? She seems itchy and loves when I scratch around her neck gently. Thanks so much! :)
 

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Welcome! It is recommended to allow a new bird to come out on their own. Since you are picking her up and taking her out, you are not forcing her in any way based on your description. That is great that once she is out, she appears to be happy and enjoys neck scratches.

They do tend to become more moody when they molt, since it can be itchy for them.
 

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Sunshine is my second parrotlet, I was determined to do "the right" things with this one. I have had him since November 30th When he is out of his cage and can not see it he will step up and allow head scritches. In the cage I can usually get one foot on a step up.

He comes out and hangs on the side of the cage by me but if I move he climbs back in his cage.

I was talking to the owner of the bird store I got him from and telling her how slow things were going and she said what are you waiting for? just take him out, hand raised birds are used to the interaction.

Well I did on Sunday. I had my hand there for the step up and I curled around him and scooped him up. I shut the cage door. I held him for a bit letting him climb thought the tunnels of my hands. He would fly to his cage and I would have him step up and bring him back to my seat nest to his cage. We did this about a dozen times, then I opened the cage and he was able to go back in.

Yesterday I put my hand in and he was stepping up like mad. He stayed there until I moved my hand then he climbed back to his cage. Tonight I scooped him up again and took him out and did the tunnel thing and he saw sitting on my belly and I was petting his head. He climbed to my shoulder then flew to his cage.

I rearranged some of the toys in his cage, (he does not play with them anyway) and now he can see me clearly from his favorite perch.
So far so good.
 

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There is a difference between picking up and grabbing. My Lilly absolutely does not mind being picked d up, I put my hand around her and my fingers under her feet. If your bird does not seem distressed or freaked out I think it's fine. Otherwise try to entice her out of the cage. Millet usually does the trick. Totally normal to be cranky during molting, letting you scratch her neck is an excellent sign she trusts you so whatever your doing your successfully bonding for sure.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you everyone for your responses. We are making fantastic progress and, like everyone always says, you really have to just give them time to trust you.

One other thing we've noticed is that she's still not totally willing to get on our hands. But she really easily and readily will step on our arms to come out. Should we be discouraging her getting on to an arm since that what she might think is what she needs to do? Or should we consider it a good first step towards working up to standing on our hands and eventually learning step up?
 

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I would consider the fact that she is wiling to step onto your arm a good sign! Some birds prefer to step onto an arm, open palm, fingers, and so on. I would continue to work with her on step up and acclimating her to your hands.
 

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Voluntarily placing herself on you is the goal, whether it is a finger, hand, or arm. Let her step onto your arm and that should help her learn that your hands are safe things.
I had a cockatiel for 17 years that didn't like fingers, so in order to get her to step up you had to approach her from behind and she would step backwards. It was a bit weird to explain to people, but it worked, and she was happy out of her cage that way. Every bird is different, but stepping on to an arm is forward progress for sure!
 

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MAJOR improvements in the last few days. It's funny because we'll go weeks thinking we aren't making progress, then one day she just wants to hangout on the laptop all day.

We like to leave the door open and she plays on the toys on top of her cage. Yesterday, for the first time, she decided to fly to the laptop and hangout on the keyboard and peck at the key caps! She's also really in to hanging out on shoulders and nibbling at stubble on faces and necks.

thank you everyone for the advice. We're taking it slow and its working out really really great. She's still not the best with hands but arms, shoulders and even wrists she's kind of ok with. I think its just going to take time before she'll be stepping up.
 

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MAJOR improvements in the last few days. It's funny because we'll go weeks thinking we aren't making progress, then one day she just wants to hangout on the laptop all day.

We like to leave the door open and she plays on the toys on top of her cage. Yesterday, for the first time, she decided to fly to the laptop and hangout on the keyboard and peck at the key caps! She's also really in to hanging out on shoulders and nibbling at stubble on faces and necks.

thank you everyone for the advice. We're taking it slow and its working out really really great. She's still not the best with hands but arms, shoulders and even wrists she's kind of ok with. I think its just going to take time before she'll be stepping up.
yes it is like that. They are a cautious species. If you can watch you can see them puzzling things through then a decision will be made and onward we go.
 
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