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Hand taming a parrotlet...advice?


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#1 MaWags

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 04:11 PM

Hi everyone! I'm a new mommy to a Pacific Blue Parrotlet named Dudley. Dudley is only about 14 weeks old and my breeder gave him to me at an incredible price because this little guy is VERY shy and isn't hand tame. He's all the things you think about when you think parrotlet; cute, pretty, silly, playful with his toys, etc. But he darn nears kills himself running from me if I try to take him out of the cage or fix a toy or something. I have to towel him to take him out, and then hold him with the towel to calmly pet his head and talk to him. I have only had him about a week now (actually less) and have been doing this twice daily for about a half an hour at a time. I have to keep him toweled because he flys away and is difficult to get back.
I would love some advice on hand taming him. I am very determined to help him trust me (us). He currently lives in a 'keet cage, but that will change today. He is in my den, along with two 'keets in one cage, and my brown-throat conure in another.
Thanks!
MaWags (Terry)
Mommy to:
Rocky (17 yr old kittie)
Bella (9 month old dutch bunny)
Droxy (11 month old brown bunny)
Phenix (6 month old brown throat conure)
Dudley (10 week old Pacific Blue Parrotlette)
Sunny and Jay (3 year old parakeets)
"Grandma" to:
Styx (12 week old Green-cheek Cinnamon conure)
Plum - beta fish
George Loyd (who knows how old striped turtle)
*whew*:biggrin:

#2 chapala

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 12:54 AM

Rather than towel him and force him to submit to handling, I would suggest bribery with small pieces of millet spray if he really likes that. Work up to him eating from your hand through the cage bars, and then through the open door of the cage. Then you can work on step up, very slowly and patiently. It's not the quick way, but it lets the bird choose the pace, and the bird learns he can trust you. Just my opinion, but I think that's the best way to develop a good relationship with the bird.
Reta
Kali, Grey bird

#3 MaWags

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 02:52 PM

Thanks for the idea! I just found out he likes the millet today - put him in his new cage and he went right to the millet spray I hung in there - he also liked the dried papaya.
MaWags (Terry)
Mommy to:
Rocky (17 yr old kittie)
Bella (9 month old dutch bunny)
Droxy (11 month old brown bunny)
Phenix (6 month old brown throat conure)
Dudley (10 week old Pacific Blue Parrotlette)
Sunny and Jay (3 year old parakeets)
"Grandma" to:
Styx (12 week old Green-cheek Cinnamon conure)
Plum - beta fish
George Loyd (who knows how old striped turtle)
*whew*:biggrin:

#4 chapala

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 02:58 PM

Most P'lets love millet spray! I would suggest you take it out of his cage and only offer it from your hand (small pieces), using it as training treats That way, he will begin to associate you and your hand with good treats, instead of negative things like being grabbed and held. A little step at a time is what you're aiming for, rewarding each little move in the right direction. When he eagerly eats out of your hand, then you can put one hand on a perch in his cage, leaving it still, while holding the millet on the other side of the fixed hand. First you want him to lean over your fixed hand (reward!), then take a step up on the hand and keep rewarding. Don't be in any hurry to bring him out - the point is to take your time and let him build up confidence in you, that you won't force or hurt him. This might all take weeks or even more than a month, but it will happen with patience and consistency. Remember - look for the tiny little steps in the right direction and reward those.
Reta
Kali, Grey bird

#5 RNieman

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 11:54 PM

That bird is so pretty, I hope to get a blue one later in the future.
Anyway, I've heard wonderful things about this video: YouTube - Training Your Budgie(s) it is being done with parakeets but everyone says it will work fine with a parrotlet too.
Good luck

#6 rkelly2808

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 02:54 AM

Tweet is our 14 month old Pacific Blue parrotlet that we brought home from WA the end of April. Tweet has never been handled so we are taking it very slow with him to gain his trust. I sit by his cage and talk to him multiple times a day and now he is actually playing peek-a-boo with us and not running to the back of his cage and hiding. He'll come out of hiding to his perch and begin chirping to the sound of my husband whistling. :14: I agree with not toweling him as he will not trust you, toweling should be a fun game later with him if possible.
We have two amazons and the wee parrotlets are small replicas of them. Just take it slow and you'll see results. :thumbup1:
Pepper-DOB 1980 -Adopted 01/2004-29 years old-YNA
Zazu-DOB 04/20/2002-YCA
Tweet-DOB 01/2008-Parrotlet

#7 Sally

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 01:17 AM

They need lots of time to get used to us. If you let them slowly bond by earning their trust, it will be worth it. We all had to do this. They are so little and need us to take our time. Weeks and weeks sometimes. They slowly learn to be our good buddy.:14:

Giving the millet and any other treats they love is a great thing. Also talking, singing etc. Things to get them to enjoy being with us is great.


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#8 Powder

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 09:19 PM

I've learned that these little birds like consistency and routines. So, at the same time every day I would spend time w/ Pickie....doing what you are already doing...and eventually they figure it out that you are a friend. Slow and careful and eventually they gain your trust. Food is a great way to get them to understand you are a friend. It took 6 months before my little one would actually jump onto my finger wanting to come out and play...and once that was learned it went a lot faster...I had treats outside of the cage that were better than inside the cage...and just recently I saw a post w/ a bowl and how fun that was. It took a week before Pickie got the guts to jump into the bowl for the treats...but now has fun jumping in and out. And now all I have to do is put my finger out and he knows he's going for a ride and no harm will come to him. Figuring that their life span is 15 + years, the first year is very important to the friendship for the future.
Little Jimi Hendrix, green singing finch
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Coco, misfit mutt
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Lava, hen
Ruby, hen
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#9 AbigalesMom

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 02:45 PM

Every evening around 8pm Abby knows it is time to snuggle in my hair as I game:) She has a play stand with treats and toys by my computer, but prefers to snuggle into my neck and in my hair...where she will stay for hours. It is def part of her routine.

#10 jenseits

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 03:28 PM

I agree with what everyone else is saying. Be patient and be gentle. Let the little guy come to you, rather than you forcing yourself on him.

Forcibly toweling him to pet him is the fastest way to make sure he doesn't enjoy being petted. Remember, you're a zillion times bigger than him. That's got to be pretty scary to a prey animal who is instinctively cautious.

Instead show him that he has the choice to come to you, and he will be amply rewarded if he does. Giving him that choice, and being consistent in your interactions with him, is what's going to build trust.


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#11 Kiwi and sky

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 04:33 AM

My parrotlets are scared of me and they fly around the cage running into wall and im afraid itl hurt them so i leave them alone but i want to be ablE to hold them (i have two a blue and a geen (sky and kiwi) i got the second one because they were in the same cage)

#12 Powder

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 01:12 AM

How old are they? I've heard that if there are two it's harder to get them to warm up to you...since they already have a best friend to preen their feathers and enjoy company with. Holding them is fun for us...not so much for them...unless they learn to trust you, and that takes lots of time and effort.
Little Jimi Hendrix, green singing finch
Little Wing, Baby Parrotlet 1/20/12
Peanut, JRT
Coco, misfit mutt
Penny, JRT
Squash Blossom, hen
Lava, hen
Ruby, hen
Misc. fish

#13 hopelilly16

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 05:14 AM

Hey I have a green female parrotlet, i had this exact same problem almost.. she started out nice.. and than as time went on she got very aggressive and would attack my hand - and fly away. I contacted my breeder where I got her and she advised me to clip her wings.. she told me sometimes parrotlets have too much freedom when they can fly and they get saucey and start to not like you.. after i clipped her she did a 100% flip after she realized she couldnt fly she like submitted to me lol she is VERY nice and sweet and cuddly, I would say clip his wings and sit on the floor with him and let him come to you maybe have some millet with you to tempt him.. as you guys bond and he starts to warm up to you you might not have to clip him again when his wings grow back.. depends on his attitude with you..

I understand alot of people are against clipping.. but I CHOOSE to clip them... its a matter of safety..

let us know how it goes! :)




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