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IRN Training and care,

Discuss the methods and techniques of clicker training, target training and bonding. These are usually the first steps in training a young parrot.

IRN Training and care,

Postby Mehul93 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:45 am

Hi,

So I brought home a IRN 2 days ago, have him in his cage which has ample room for him to grow into.

I know he's still getting used to the new environment and will take time to build trust but whenever I go near he cage he starts to fly across his cage. He does the same when I go to change his food and water and only put my hand in the cage once a morning to do that. I currently sit next to him while working and speak to him/ or out loud so he gets used to my voice. He currently spend most of his time perched on the left hand side ontop of the food bowl, he doesn't move around his cage much like he did when I first got him. He has toys in the cage so it's not like there's nothing to keep him distracted.

I was wondering is there anything else I could do to calm him down when I try change the food?

Also in terms of food he's currently on fresh fruit/veg and a 1/4 cup of seed mix. I've been looking around and seen that the seed mix isn't as nutritionally balanced, so I have ordered ZuPreem 230353 Natural Medium Bird Food. I've heard a fair amount of reviews saying they have had good results with their IRN taking them.

I want to try bathe him aswell, but again getting near his cage standing is an issue. Would a bowl of water at the bottom of his cage work? Misting again would cause issues.


Also want to add that his tail feathers have this white stuff on it, again I guess this is because he can't bate himself? Any ideas?

Any help is appreciated!
Mehul93
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 4
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Indian ringneck
Flight: Yes

Re: IRN Training and care,

Postby Pajarita » Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:10 am

Welcome to the forum. We need more info. How old is the bird? Is it a baby or a rehomed adult?
If rehomed, what were his living conditions (diet? living alone with humans or with other IRNs? in his previous home? It sounds as if this is not a hand-fed bird and, if it is parent-raised, what you need to do is tame the bird first although I do not know of any IRN's in USA that are not hand-fed as the species is more aviary than companion and unless they have imprinted to humans, they don't do well in captivity when they live just with humans (meaning, without companions of their own species or a very similar one). Please reply to these two questions as the answers change the way to tame/train it completely.

For now, I would suggest you stop sitting next to him and even looking at him (how do you know it's a him? Is he older than 2?). Do spend time in the same room as his but never stare at him and do not get close to the cage, simply sit, work or do whatever you need to do in the room ignoring him completely. Move around the room talking/singing/whistling but, when you look at it, do it out of the corner of your eye, never looking straight at it (this is something that only predators do). Avoid putting your hand inside the cage as much as possible - cages are made in such a way that you can always change the water and food bowls without having to put your hand inside of it.

The other thing you can do is make it so he doesn't feel so vulnerable and you do this by making sure the cage is in the right place: close to a window (for exposure to dawn and dusk) but either against a wall or with a large piece of material draped in the back making a 'solid wall'. Because he is so scared of you, I would also cover one side of the cage (giving him a little 'safe corner').

I would not recommend you free-feed any type of protein food (seeds, nuts, pellets, nutriberries, avicakes, etc). For one thing, IRNs are mostly frugivores so they eat very little protein and too much of it destroys their livers and kidneys - and, for another, if you do, you are pretty much shooting yourself in the foot in terms of taming, training and even befriending the bird. You need to have a good high value item to use as gift, reward or treat and, if you free-feed protein food, you do not have any food item that is of a very high value to the bird. I do not feed pellets. I've done research on parrot natural diets for over 25 years and have concluded a long time ago that pellets are not and never will be the best dietary option for them (I can elaborate why, if you wish) but, if I did, I would not feed them to any species of parrot that eats mostly fruit and would only choose Tops because they are the only pellets that are made without soy and of human grade ingredients. I feed gloop with raw produce for breakfast and a mix of seeds and nuts which depends on the species (I've had IRNs which I took in already with liver damage because of the wrong diet they were given and their dinner was a good quality budgie seed during the spring and summer and a finch mix for the winter). But the right diet depends on the age of the bird because a baby or a juvenile would need more protein as well as soft foods served fresh and warm twice a day while a healthy adult would require their 'normal' diet and an older bird might need liver and kidney cleansers if it was free-fed protein food so knowing the age and prior conditions is essential.

So, tell us, how old is the bird? Was he parent-raised or hand-fed?
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17777
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: IRN Training and care,

Postby Mehul93 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:36 am

Removed as I've replied in the thread
Last edited by Mehul93 on Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mehul93
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 4
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Indian ringneck
Flight: Yes

Re: IRN Training and care,

Postby Mehul93 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:37 am

Pajarita wrote:Welcome to the forum. We need more info. How old is the bird? Is it a baby or a rehomed adult?
If rehomed, what were his living conditions (diet? living alone with humans or with other IRNs? in his previous home? It sounds as if this is not a hand-fed bird and, if it is parent-raised, what you need to do is tame the bird first although I do not know of any IRN's in USA that are not hand-fed as the species is more aviary than companion and unless they have imprinted to humans, they don't do well in captivity when they live just with humans (meaning, without companions of their own species or a very similar one). Please reply to these two questions as the answers change the way to tame/train it completely.

For now, I would suggest you stop sitting next to him and even looking at him (how do you know it's a him? Is he older than 2?). Do spend time in the same room as his but never stare at him and do not get close to the cage, simply sit, work or do whatever you need to do in the room ignoring him completely. Move around the room talking/singing/whistling but, when you look at it, do it out of the corner of your eye, never looking straight at it (this is something that only predators do). Avoid putting your hand inside the cage as much as possible - cages are made in such a way that you can always change the water and food bowls without having to put your hand inside of it.

The other thing you can do is make it so he doesn't feel so vulnerable and you do this by making sure the cage is in the right place: close to a window (for exposure to dawn and dusk) but either against a wall or with a large piece of material draped in the back making a 'solid wall'. Because he is so scared of you, I would also cover one side of the cage (giving him a little 'safe corner').

I would not recommend you free-feed any type of protein food (seeds, nuts, pellets, nutriberries, avicakes, etc). For one thing, IRNs are mostly frugivores so they eat very little protein and too much of it destroys their livers and kidneys - and, for another, if you do, you are pretty much shooting yourself in the foot in terms of taming, training and even befriending the bird. You need to have a good high value item to use as gift, reward or treat and, if you free-feed protein food, you do not have any food item that is of a very high value to the bird. I do not feed pellets. I've done research on parrot natural diets for over 25 years and have concluded a long time ago that pellets are not and never will be the best dietary option for them (I can elaborate why, if you wish) but, if I did, I would not feed them to any species of parrot that eats mostly fruit and would only choose Tops because they are the only pellets that are made without soy and of human grade ingredients. I feed gloop with raw produce for breakfast and a mix of seeds and nuts which depends on the species (I've had IRNs which I took in already with liver damage because of the wrong diet they were given and their dinner was a good quality budgie seed during the spring and summer and a finch mix for the winter). But the right diet depends on the age of the bird because a baby or a juvenile would need more protein as well as soft foods served fresh and warm twice a day while a healthy adult would require their 'normal' diet and an older bird might need liver and kidney cleansers if it was free-fed protein food so knowing the age and prior conditions is essential.

So, tell us, how old is the bird? Was he parent-raised or hand-fed?


Hi, thanks for getting back to me!

Alot of useful information for me to look into!

It's only 6 months old, so yes I can't really say it's a "him"! It was not hand-fed at all, which is why I guess it is untamed.

Ok cool, I'll stop sitting next to him and just spend some time within the room. Should I limit myself to how long I am in the same room? In terms of changing his food/water, I have bowls inside the cage, I have no way to change it without having to put my hand inside. Could you suggest another way?

The cage is against a wall in a position that gets light from sunrise and sunset, however, it is not directly next to a window.

In terms of feed should I not feed the pellets I've ordered then? If so should I carry on with the seed mix and fresh fruit/vegs? i should also add that my IRN tends to avoid eating the fresh fruit/veg. Is thee anything I can do to encourage it to eat that more? MAybe not feed seeds till later in the day?

What is the simplest recipe/method to make gloop? I've just come across another thread you have posted on about this so will have to give it a thorough read, but something simple for now with a method would really help me out!
Mehul93
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 4
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Indian ringneck
Flight: Yes

Re: IRN Training and care,

Postby Pajarita » Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:42 am

Well, you are going to have a hard and long way to tame it because, at six months of age and not hand-fed, he knows for a fact that you are not only not his family but also a predator and the window of opportunity to change this is long gone. I hope that you are not talking about a bird poached from the wild because these birds suffer terribly in captivity and, if you are in India, it's not only illegal for you to keep it (a big problem because all good avian vets will refuse to treat it) but the poaching is so very bad that they are, literally, pushing their indigenous species to extinction with all the trapping and killing they do... My own country of birth literally trapped almost all the wild red crested cardinals for captivity and now seeing one is such a rare thing that one of my cousins actually emailed me that she had seen one after years of never seen a single one.

Gloop is just a mixture of whole grains and frozen veggies that are either chopped into small pieces or of a natural small size (like fresh corn and peas). Any whole grain would do as long as it's not cooked too soft... millet, wheat, barley, oats, kamut, spelt, milo (aka sorghum), red and/or black rice (or brown Basmati rice), etc all work well. I also add the black beluga lentils because my birds like them a lot.

As to how long to stay in the room... well, I never do when I have a new bird. I just do what I need to do and simply ignore the new bird completely. As long as you do not look at it and act nonchalantly, the bird will slowly lose its fear of you. Nothing 'calms' a prey animal's fears more than being consistently ignored and having exactly the same routine every day.

As to how to 'fix' the cage problem... I really cannot help you on this. I do not know of a single bird cage that does not allow for dishes to be switched from the outside and I am not very good at 'fixing/adapting' things so I do not know what to tell you except that the only cages I've seen that do not have the little trap doors for the bowls are always homemade and no good. I don't mean to offend but homemade cages are usually not safe and they all fail one way or another - it's either that they are not made of a safe material (people use wood and galvanized chicken wire for them) or the design is faulty (square openings instead of bars, doors that are not secure or of the wrong size, they have no 'trap doors' for the bowls, no grates, etc). So, my advice to you is get a proper cage for it: a nice BIG flight cage, tall enough that the roosting perch is at your eye level when you are standing up (this is essential for the bird to feel 'safe' in your presence), with the right bar gauge, easily removable bottom tray, doors for the bowls, etc. Cages are not cheap (although the prices have come down tremendously in the past few years) but it pays to invest in a good one because it will last for a long time and will make your and your bird's life much easier in the long term.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17777
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: IRN Training and care,

Postby Mehul93 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 12:04 pm

Pajarita wrote:Well, you are going to have a hard and long way to tame it because, at six months of age and not hand-fed, he knows for a fact that you are not only not his family but also a predator and the window of opportunity to change this is long gone. I hope that you are not talking about a bird poached from the wild because these birds suffer terribly in captivity and, if you are in India, it's not only illegal for you to keep it (a big problem because all good avian vets will refuse to treat it) but the poaching is so very bad that they are, literally, pushing their indigenous species to extinction with all the trapping and killing they do... My own country of birth literally trapped almost all the wild red crested cardinals for captivity and now seeing one is such a rare thing that one of my cousins actually emailed me that she had seen one after years of never seen a single one.

Gloop is just a mixture of whole grains and frozen veggies that are either chopped into small pieces or of a natural small size (like fresh corn and peas). Any whole grain would do as long as it's not cooked too soft... millet, wheat, barley, oats, kamut, spelt, milo (aka sorghum), red and/or black rice (or brown Basmati rice), etc all work well. I also add the black beluga lentils because my birds like them a lot.

As to how long to stay in the room... well, I never do when I have a new bird. I just do what I need to do and simply ignore the new bird completely. As long as you do not look at it and act nonchalantly, the bird will slowly lose its fear of you. Nothing 'calms' a prey animal's fears more than being consistently ignored and having exactly the same routine every day.

As to how to 'fix' the cage problem... I really cannot help you on this. I do not know of a single bird cage that does not allow for dishes to be switched from the outside and I am not very good at 'fixing/adapting' things so I do not know what to tell you except that the only cages I've seen that do not have the little trap doors for the bowls are always homemade and no good. I don't mean to offend but homemade cages are usually not safe and they all fail one way or another - it's either that they are not made of a safe material (people use wood and galvanized chicken wire for them) or the design is faulty (square openings instead of bars, doors that are not secure or of the wrong size, they have no 'trap doors' for the bowls, no grates, etc). So, my advice to you is get a proper cage for it: a nice BIG flight cage, tall enough that the roosting perch is at your eye level when you are standing up (this is essential for the bird to feel 'safe' in your presence), with the right bar gauge, easily removable bottom tray, doors for the bowls, etc. Cages are not cheap (although the prices have come down tremendously in the past few years) but it pays to invest in a good one because it will last for a long time and will make your and your bird's life much easier in the long term.



So I've actually purchased it from a breeder here in London that breeds all different types of birds. So it's not wild caught or anything, it is used to people but obviously not tamed.

Perfect I'm actually about o head out now to buy stuff to make for tomorrow morning.

In terms of attention I can go about my normal day, and ignore it and keep and Check on it from the corner of my eye.

When should I actually start paying attention and making an effort to tame it? I've read other threads that have said spend 15 mins near the cage talking to him without looking at him a few times a day. When should I start doing that?


With the cage I purchased this one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07PWNXP98/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 As you can see it has 2 doors, top and bottom and I've placed different metal bowls that hang on the sides
Mehul93
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 4
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Indian ringneck
Flight: Yes

Re: IRN Training and care,

Postby Pajarita » Tue Nov 17, 2020 3:10 pm

I am afraid that you got yourself a bird from a bad breeder. Not that any breeder of parrots is good, mind you, because commercializing a living being with feelings is not what one would call a 'good deed' or a favor to the animals but there are degrees of 'badness' and not hand-feeding is a sure sign of not good at all because it shows a complete disregard for the animal's wellbeing in captivity. See, the thing is that taming never achieves anything closer to what imprinting does and nothing you can do or not do is going to change that. You can tame a parent-raised bird but the bird will never develop the kind of bond with humans it will need to be semi-content in captivity - the ONLY option for happiness in an IRN that was parent-raised is for it to be an aviary bird that lives with another of its own species. I am sorry to burst your balloon this way but this is not my personal opinion, it's a scientific fact (do research on sexual and filial imprinting on highly altricial social species and you will see).

Now, this does not mean that the bird cannot learn to relax in your presence or that it will never trust you at all! You can get that but it will take a loooong time, a lot of work, a lot of patience and, in the meantime, the bird will suffer because it won't have anybody or anybirdy. Again, I am sorry to be saying these things to you because it's obvious to me by what you posted that you do want to give the bird a good home and that you were not aware of the huge difference between a parent-raised and a handfed parrot so you never really consider having a bird living and suffering all its life in your home but highly social species need not only constant company and interaction with others and a lone parent-raised bird does not have this. Again, not my opinion, it's a scientific fact that highly social animals have certain needs that territorial animals do not. You can keep a very happy canary all of its own but there are no happy parent-raised parrots all of their own. The only way a lone parrot is content in captivity is when it's a companion species that was hand-fed and has been cared by a loving human with excellent husbandry.

As to the sitting for '15 minutes without looking at the parrot'... well, in all honesty, I do not know how that improves your chances because sitting next to a scared bird in a cage is a form of flooding (after all, the bird cannot avoid being closed to you so you are, in truth, forcing the bird to accept your company and not giving it any choice at all). I do not do that. I actually do not do anything when I get a new parrot that doesn't trust humans. I simply allow time and consistency to do their 'magic'. Parrots are highly intelligent and they think the same way that humans do -meaning, they put two and two together and get a four out of it. If you want to do it, I would think you will have to wait until the bird is no longer afraid of you so when you see that the bird does not move away from you (or your hand) when you are close, when it starts perching on your head when it's out flying, you can start sitting next to it when it's in its cage... but, again, I do not see how that would improve anything because, by then, the bird is no longer afraid of you. I'll tell you what I do (and not only with parent-raised birds but also with birds that were abused to the point that they fear and hate all humans). I leave the bird in its cage for 2 weeks or so without paying any attention to it. I clean the cage, put fresh food and water and simply walk away and do my own thing. During those two weeks, the bird starts to relax because it sees that day after day after day, I do not even look at it (I do look at them but they don't see me doing it), it gets used to the right diet, I figure out what its high value item is and it gets used to the same exact routine every day: windows uncovered when there is the smallest amount of light in the sky (with NO artificial lights on, of course), cage doors open for them to come out to fly (they never do come out immediately because there is not enough light for them to fly but even when there is light, some of them wait a minute of two before they leave the cage) and, once there is a bit of light, I start cleaning the cages -again, no artificial lights on. I take out the bowls and remains of the fresh produce they got the day before, change the paper at the bottom, scrape the poop and food off the perches, etc), then I put out fresh water followed by fresh produce and finally, the gloop. Immediately after putting out the gloop, I turn on the ceiling lights and start putting them back in their cages so they can eat their breakfast. They stay in for about 15 or 20 minutes and then they come out again and stay out until they go back inside at 2:30 pm this time of the year (I close their cages so they cannot go back inside and munch on gloop -there is raw produce easily available for them to eat, just not gloop- because this way, they are a bit hungry and go back willingly). They then get dinner at 3:30 pm (this time of the year, the days will start getting longer after Dec/21 when we have the winter solstice and the time of their breakfast and dinner will change with the seasons). The trick is to teach a parent-raised bird which does not step up to a hand or a stick to go back into its cage when told to but, again, consistency, persistence and -most of all- patience always wins - especially when bribed with their high value item :lol: .

It is easier for me because the parent-raised birds see the handfed ones interacting with me without any fear whatsoever and, because they have companions of their own (the quakers have each other and the GCC loves Epuish, a male white belly caique with whom she flies around, cuddles up to, allopreens, etc), they are not lonely. But the other reason why it is easy for me is because I have no expectations whatsoever in terms of making them my 'pets' so I don't put any effort whatsoever in 'taming' them... it just happens. I don't have 'pets', I have companion animals that live with me and which I take care of. I am just here to give them as good a life as I possibly can and not because I 'want' a parrot - which is not the norm when it comes to parrot ownership. I do the same with my dogs and cats - if they need a home and I have room, I take them. And so I have dogs that require diapers because they never did learn to go outside and one that requires a muzzle when he goes to the vet because he never did completely 'shed' his aggression for strangers, cats that don't like other cats (because they were not socialized properly when kittens), cats that don't like people (because they were feral cats that lived in the street and were never socialized to people) and parrots that cannot be handled. I've been doing this for many, many years and have learned that love and time have a way of fixing things if you don't rush things. There is a saying in Spanish: "Dale tiempo al tiempo" (give time to time) And it works every time.

As to the cage you got... well, it's a passerine flight cage (for canaries or finches), that's why it doesn't have the little trap doors. I have flight cages too but mine have little doors in the front and the sides.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17777
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes


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