My very first pet Budgie
Posted 10 February 2010 - 04:46 AM
I don't really know much about taking care of birds, i got money from my mom for my birthday and so i really wanted a bird. I'm not sure how to start training it to step up, i have petted it a couple times.
Any advice would be helpful
Posted 10 February 2010 - 09:15 AM
I'd sit by the cage and just talk to him. Maybe offer him a millet spray through the bars if he'll take it. Once he seems at ease with you, I'd open the cage and see if he'll come to you. Reward every time he lets you pet him with a treat, and reward him when he does anything else that you want, even if it's just one step towards you. Never force petting on a bird if they don't want it.
Stepping up is a very easy command for birds to master. Start with a small perch (a bit of wooden dowling works very well), and push it gently against his stomach just above his legs to trigger the step up response. Before you do it, tell him to step up, and if he so much as puts one foot up reward him. He might step up straight away, or it might take some work.
A good way to practice when he's stepping up is to get two perches and 'ladder' him; you get him to step up on one perch, then put the other up higher and get him to step up. Repeat for as long as he's willing to concentrate. If he loses interest stop immediately.
Once he's more used to you you can replace the perches with your fingers.
A very good way of training a bird to step up quickly is to clicker train them. This involves buying a 'clicker' (they go for about $5-10). Start training him with the perch, and the second he puts one foot on the perch, click and offer a reward along with vocal praise (when I was clicker training my nanday conure I would give the order 'step up', and then when he put his foot on my finger I would click and say 'Inca, good step up!'. He was already very tame when I got him so using a perch wasn't neccesary).
The key to clicker training is to click the second he performs the desired action; don't click after or before, click exactly as he's putting his foot down on the perch. The consistant noise the clicker makes sends a clear message that that particular action was marked by a click and then rewarded.
I've taught other birds to step up before I learned about clicker training, and it took about one to two weeks for the birds to master the step up command. It took 3 days to train Inca with a clicker.
Cockatiels: Harley, Flash, Ivy, Jinx and Mozart
Nanday Conure: Inca
Blue Quaker Parrots: Che & Eden
Sun Conure: Thandy
Gone but never forgotten: Quinn (Cockatiel) & Sati (Blue Quaker)
Posted 22 December 2011 - 09:19 AM
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