My journey with my new baby P.J.
Posted 06 June 2011 - 12:18 AM
I was advised to handle him every day whether he acted like he liked it or not. Well the first week I didn't follow that advice, instead I just sat near him, talked to him, all the normal cautious stuff. He didn't act too frightened around me and seemed to be okay for the most part with my hands in his cage, however he would "run" from my hand if I tried to get too close. He would occasionally come out of his cage explore the room a little but quickly make his way back to his cage. I just gave him time and space.
The second week I decided to do things different, and take the advice of the people I bought him from. I had read about how IRNs had to be handled every day or they lose their "hand tameness" so the advice made sense. But how do you handle a bird that doesn't seem to want to be handled? Well I decided I was going to do figure out a way to do it. I took a little bit of time, talking to him constantly, and eventually got him onto my hand. It took several attempts as he would grab anything that was near him (perches, swing, cage, etc.) on the way out of the cage. After several attempts I got him on my hand and then I used my other hand to cup over his body so he wouldn't fly off. Of course I already had the room where I was taking him prepared. I had fresh food and water in his bowls on a play gym in my downstairs den. I held him loosely to my body with one hand and loosely covered his head with the other and talked softly to him the entire way there. Once there I held him for a few minutes before putting him on the gym where we talked and played for about an hour. I used the same process to get him back to his cage.
I did the same thing the next night. A few days later I introduced him to clicker training. The first night we just did the click then reward. The second night we repeated that then started target touch training. Yesterday on his 14th day we went outside for the first time to get some sun, and had our first bath (spray bottle) that he truly enjoyed. The times we did it inside he never seemed to really like it.
What I've noticed about P.J. since starting these exercises is that he now spends more time outside of his cage, and is more vocal. He had even flown over to me and sat on my shoulder. Today was an amazing day. We started with some clicker training (downstairs again), he sat on my hand right in front of my body for over five minutes where we just looked out the window and talked about what we saw. He took a nap outside of his cage on the banister near his cage, took another bath outside, visited a few new rooms (while sitting on either my hand or my shoulder- which was a first), and played in my room in front of the window for over an hour. P.J. spent more time outside of his cage in other rooms than in his cage today. That was a first.
I am so delighted that I took the initiative to get P.J. to come out of his cage that first time and go to another room. Even though I am sure it was a little scary for him, I think going through it and realizing nothing bad is going to happen to him while he is with me, helped a great deal towards him learning to trust me. Each day it gets a little easier. He definitely is more outgoing when he is away from his cage. I'm attaching some pictures from our wonderful day.
Posted 06 June 2011 - 02:38 AM
My question, though, if PJ is flighted, do you have him on a harness while outside?
Posted 06 June 2011 - 02:48 AM
Posted 07 June 2011 - 02:36 PM
At one point his housemate Kiwi (a GCC) was on the playgym in front of the window and P.J. flew from my bed to the playgym and ate some of the things on the base while Kiwi was eating from the bowl. He is starting to tolerate Kiwi more and not show so much aggression which is great progress for him.
P.S. He will step up on just about anyone now, and not bite. He won't necessarily stay though. Sometimes he would rather be on his play gym or looking at a mirror but that is fine.
Posted 08 June 2011 - 08:21 PM
Posted 09 June 2011 - 01:31 PM
And I have to say... I'm not even a bird, and I'm jealous of that play gym!
lol When I move house in a week, I'm going to have a lot more space, and I'm totally gonna go on a birdy-toy/playgym shopping spree for Shiloh and Diesel
Sherbie [RIP] :(
Posted 09 June 2011 - 01:51 PM
Posted 12 June 2011 - 12:53 AM
Here is a video made with my iPhone capturing some of his play on the table. YouTube - P J
Watch in high definition if you can.
Posted 12 June 2011 - 03:28 AM
Posted 12 June 2011 - 06:20 PM
Is this a pretty big step for your bird to come to you like P.J. did this morning?
Posted 15 June 2011 - 02:46 AM
I read that birds "travel" together and how that is a big part of bonding, so I thought I would try it out. He was very playful with his toys when we got home, it even seemed like he was trying to get Kiwi to play with them with him, but of course he didn't. Here are some pictures and video from his trip to the office. YouTube - P.J. goes to work.wmv
Posted 15 June 2011 - 01:34 PM
It's odd...it seems that each new adventure we experience together, like going to a new room, going outside, or now going to work, that has the possibility to be frightening, makes him more outgoing, friendly, and even more trusting.
Posted 15 June 2011 - 10:20 PM
Later I took him to his new favorite play area on top of the table behind the couch (so I could clean up the mess on my table). He started bluffing at me over a toy and I decided to leave my hand where it was to see what he would do. He softly bit me a few times, not even amounting to what I would call a pinch. After about four "bites" he stopped. I picked up another toy and moved it and got no reaction from him. I think maybe what I think is bluffing may be just his idea of play, I'm not sure but this gamble today turned out okay. My hands and fingers are all perfectly fine.
Posted 16 June 2011 - 11:40 PM
We worked on a little training tonight. He is stepping up pretty good, and will even walk half way up my arm from his training perch to touch the target. Right now he is enjoying a plate of rice, beans, and veggies. He worked hard for his dinner.
Posted 18 June 2011 - 06:00 PM
He still does not ask for affection but I can occasionally stoke his back or give him a kiss on the back of the neck. He still loves his showers, and doesn't seem to mind car rides. He and Kiwi are getting more used to each other. Kiwi stood up to him the other day and now P.J. doesn't try to bully him anymore. P.J. is sitting on my right shoulder preening himself as I type this. It's been a great first month, and hopefully soon he will get more affectionate with me.
Edited by Ariahna, 18 June 2011 - 06:05 PM.
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