New Parkeet and New Bird Owner Need Help
Posted 23 January 2012 - 02:02 AM
I'm posting because I followed the procedure for teaching him to step up, first to a perch, and then to your finger the first few days and he seemed to be learning nicely (but he would only cooperate for a few minutes at a time and then lose interest). Although he would only do this inside his cage and would fly away and perch somewhere high whenever we tried to take him out. A few days later, after doing tons of research I clipped his wings because he was flying into walls and falling down . I clipped them for his safety and also hopped it would provide us with more time to work with him out of the cage if he wasn't always flying away from us.
I think the wing-clipping traumatized him (although there was no bleeding and over quite quickly) because he really seemed to hate me after that and would breathe heavily anytime I went near the cage. I left him alone for about a day and approached him slowly after that. Since then I follow the same steps of having him step up to a perch while saying "up" several times a week, but he will only do it about 3 times before he has had enough and walks or climbs away. I still can't take him out of the cage without him flying away. I clipped neatly all the way to the 2nd wing line including the first two wings that are often left for aesthetics, but he can still manage to fly across the room! He still runs into walls and furniture and I'm afraid he's going to hurt himself.
A couple other things he does behaviorally is that he will not play with any of his toys. He has two colorful chew toys with little wooden blocks that we got from the pet store, a mirror with bell on it, a baby rattle that hangs on one of his perches, some colorful rings that hang down, a ladder and a swing, but he does not mess with ANY of them. All he does is sit on a perch (we have two different sizes in 4 locations and he seems to use them all equally. I never see him drink any water, although he will eat his seed and spray millet in front of me.
Lately he has been getting more vocal. When he chirps or sings I usually answer him by whistling or making kissy noises at him. But this past week that has not been enough his calls continue to get louder and more angry sounding in a matter of minutes. Today, for no apparent reason, he began what I would call SCREAMING, making that raspy ACK ACK ACK sound SO loud. I've tried going over to his cage and opening the door to practicing stepping up with him, but he is hardly ever up for that anymore! he almost always walks away after only 1 or 2 tries.
His cage is 18 X 18 x 22 and it sits in the quietest corner of our sometimes not-so-quiet living room. I have two boys age 4 and 5 so when we are home in can get quite loud in our small living room. Do you think I should move his cage to bedroom where it would be quieter? I have him in the living room because I read they like to be around people and where the traffic is. I hardly ever go in the bedroom I could put him in, but if someone has reason to think that will help I will try it (although we'd miss looking at him and talking to him all the time!)
So what do you think I should I do? I really really want to bond with him and have him be comfortable with people. I'm not content just watching him sit in sit in his cage. I am frustrated because I want to bond with my little budgie and I feel that he is frustrated too but I don't know what he needs or how to help our situation.
If there's any information I've left out that would be helpful just ask and I'll answer as soon as possible!
Posted 23 January 2012 - 02:31 AM
Posted 23 January 2012 - 02:41 AM
also as far as the training goes at night make sure his food dish is empty...try in the morning BEFORE you feed him! open his cage and put the seed into his food cup and hold the cup right infront of his cage opening...say step up and let HIM come to his food. when he does put the dish back into cage with the the bird, give him praises and repeat this DAILY. after you have him doing that on command place your finger between him and his food dish or treat in a perch position and repeat step up. eventually he should learn that "step up" gets him something he wants and he will want to do it. just make sure not to scold him if he doesnt, stay patient and reward him when he does what you are asking him to do. It may also be that he is afraid of you and all humans for that matter and his cage is his security blanket, If you can get him out of his cage and in a different room perhaps. then using his food dish (a familiar and comforting item) try and get him to step up on the dish, then again when he has done well with that put your finger between him and the dish and see if that works. he just needs to learn that you pose him no threat and to associate you with things that make him happy, such as food and treats.
my son's parakeet was the same way and also came from a chain store....he now steps up like a champ and recalls like a boss lol! (granted it took a while, but he did get the hang of it
hope this helps!
Posted 23 January 2012 - 02:51 AM
Posted 23 January 2012 - 02:59 AM
Posted 23 January 2012 - 04:18 AM
Oh, another thing I'd like advice on is fruits or veggies that they like to eat...I've tried apple, oranges, pears and cooked carrots. He doesn't seem to realize that these are edible as they sit in his cage untouched. I even tried to show him it was food by eating some myself but still no luck. I'd also like suggestions of human foods he might like so that we can eat together as I read this is a very good way to bond with a bird. Thoughts?
Posted 23 January 2012 - 04:26 AM
I like A Guide to Companion Parrot Behavior and The Parakeet Handbook.
Let us know how he does
Posted 23 January 2012 - 05:34 AM
As previously mentioned, allow him to come to you! Here's one blog that shows how you can do it.
Living With Parrots Cage Free: Bucky and Strider - Millet Eating Fiends!
And here are a couple of videos on how I got my budgies to come to me. This was first thing in the morning prior to refreshing their food dishes.
1 Bird in hand Leads to Many
The main thing is, if you do it right, it doesn't take much work!
And here's a few threads that may be of help!
Converting Parrots to a Healthier Diet - Tips
Bird Safe Fresh Foods & Toxic Food Lists + Sprouts
Completed journal of my battle to get a stubborn tiel to have a good diet.
BTW, I would not recommend providing mirrors to him, but bells, yucca toys, balsa toys, pony beads and toys with popsicle sticks I would highly recommend!
Posted 23 January 2012 - 07:56 PM
Monica.... Well, that sure was one disheartening opening you wrote... Are all the moderators on here so encouraging? I feel your response was more criticism than actual advice. I'm actually not even sure you read my entire post as I stated that I clipped his wings more for his own safety because he was flying into walls, crashing and falling down. AND that even after clipping him, he can STILL FLY. So..... If you're going to criticize what I did while trying to act in the best interest of my bird I'd appreciate at least an ALTERNATIVE solution and that you read my post entirely.
As you might be able to tell you're post really struck a nerve. If all the moderators attempt to shame and belittle inexperienced bird owners on this site then I will just find another forum.
Posted 23 January 2012 - 08:46 PM
Yes, I am pro flight, but I also understand the necessities of a proper clip. Not knowing how many you clipped, well you may want to try trimming a few more primary flights. Don't cut into the secondaries (near his body). You want to try and slow his speed, but not impede him so much that he can't fly at all, and the simple act of trying to fly may result in an injury.
My advice is to leave him in his cage. If you can, get him a larger cage, but for now, leave him inside the cage and work with him. Feed him by hand (did you see the blog post I linked to?) and when he's *willing* to come to you for food, reliably, for at least a couple of weeks, then try and see if he'd be willing to come out of the cage, to you, for a reward.
I have learned that it's better to supervise a parrot but not chase them if they get out. If they are flying away from you when you approach, they don't trust you yet. Move slowly and talk. If you have a play gym for him (once he trusts you enough to not fly away), you can put neat and interesting things there for him to play with and eat. Let him sit there while you do things around him that don't directly involve him, such as something on the computer, or reading a book, watching tv, etc. Let him see you in a non-threatening way while he is outside of his cage. Speak with him some but don't try to interact with him too much. Once he starts to warm up to you, you can increase your interactions with him.
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