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2 Birds very different when it comes to Target Training?

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

2 Birds very different when it comes to Target Training?

Postby bmsweb » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:47 pm

We've had a female budgie LeeLoo for about 5 months. She is great and only ever bit the day i put her in her cage. Since then she's been great and can be handled by anyone.

This week we got a Cockatiel and when he bites he draws blood! So hence the reason I came here. I read the article on Taming etc and it was truly great. Its been less than 24hours since we started and the progress has been amazing with our Cockatiel.

Since we've had such great results in such a short time we thought why not also train our Budgie. Well this is where it gets interesting. She has no interest in the target stick at all. She literally does nothing and has no interest in biting the target. We tried again with her before she ate and still no luck. I have no idea who to get her interested. Do I let her go without food for longer? I mean I tried before she ate first thing in the morning, so I assume she would have been hungry.

Thanks again for the great videos on Youtube and the info on this forum!

Cheers
Paul
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Re: 2 Birds very different when it comes to Target Training?

Postby Michael » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:42 pm

Yeah, withhold food for a few hours. For instance if the budgie normally wakes up at 8AM and eats at 9AM. Don't feed anything till noon and then try the training.

However, there is a big difference between encouraging exploratory behavior and triggering known behavior. Starving the bird won't make the bird touch the stick, however if it is mildly hungry, touching the stick and getting reward is more likely to get remembered than getting a treat when it didn't care. That being said, you should start with the target stick just about 1/4 inch from the budgie's beak and just wait. If nothing happens in 3 minutes, touch the stick to the budgie's beak, click, reward, then wait again. After about 5 touches of stick to beak if there is no further progress stop. Try again when the bird is hungrier and it might remember that stick touching beak = treat. It will wait for the stick to come touch it but you won't move and the bird will have to reach for it. Start very small and work your way up. Don't expect the budgie to walk to touch the stick the first time. First 1/8 inch, then 1/4, 1/2, etc.
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Re: 2 Birds very different when it comes to Target Training?

Postby bmsweb » Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:50 pm

Thanks Michael,

I will try looking at the times she normally eats and aim to make sure she doesn't have food in the cage at that time and try again. In thinking about you said, the time I tried this morning she normally wouldn't have eaten anything until around 9:00am

I tried around 8:00am on the assumption that she hadn't eaten overnight which was a mistake on my behalf.

I must stay the Target training with our Cockatiel has been amazing. Its less than 24 hours since we first tried with him yesterday after reading your tutorial on this. He has progresses so much its amazing. For the first time he is actually beginning to eat millet from my finger! Haven't had him on my hand yet but it can't be too far away. Still can't get him down to the lower perch but we are getting there. He is at a point where he will go anywhere I have the target except down to the lower perch.

Thanks again Michael.

BTW: My son and I have watched All of your youtube videos.

Cheers
Paul
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Re: 2 Birds very different when it comes to Target Training?

Postby Frederica » Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:56 pm

Please don't keep the bird hungry!

Training with cockatiels or budgies should work wonderfully with red millet.
Just give him a spray of red millet "for free" in his cage.
When he's eaten that, you can start conditioning with bits or grains of red millet - usually cockatiels or parakeets will soon do anytging they can to get some, even though they have had their ususal food and, at leat mine ;) , even though they've had yellow millet for free, too!


A bird that is hungry is most unfocused and will not really concentrate on any excercise it is learining.
A bird just craving for "chocolate" i. e. red millet in terms of cockatiels/ budgies will stay very focused on the excercise that teaches it how to get more of the millet!

Best,
Frederica
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Re: 2 Birds very different when it comes to Target Training?

Postby bmsweb » Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:43 pm

Thanks for the info Frederica,

I've never tried Red Millet, for that matter I've never even seen it before, but I will look out for it. In all honesty we haven't done much with our Budgie Leeloo. Jazz the Cockatiel seems to be doing really well. Has no interest in biting anyone anymore and is sweet as :) Getting him tame enough to handle has been our main focus.

I haven't let any of the birds go hungry so please don't worry about that. If there is any thing to be concerned about, is my 10 year old son who wont leave either of the birds alone when he's home. Mind you they seem to love playing legos with him. In fact the last couple of Days Jazz has been reluctant to go in his cage. So all is positive here.

I will try to track down some Red Millet next ;)

Thanks Again Frederica.

Best Regards
Paul
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Re: 2 Birds very different when it comes to Target Training?

Postby bmsweb » Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:46 am

Hi Frederica,

I finally found some Red Millet and its less messy than millet spray but he doesn't seem to be going crazy over it. I'm still looking for a good treat replacement for him. The only thing he seems to go crazy over is my Black and silver HP laptop!!

The problem I'm having with millet is once he eats the first one, he's distracted with skin/shell that's left behind and it takes a while to get his attention.

He can do Target and Turn on command so far

Cheers
Paul
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Re: 2 Birds very different when it comes to Target Training?

Postby Suzzique » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:44 am

What about hemp seed? I've heard a lot of people use it for training. Alex is totally not food motovated so he gets a Woo-Hoo when he does what I want. :)
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Re: 2 Birds very different when it comes to Target Training?

Postby bmsweb » Sat Feb 13, 2010 5:40 pm

Thanks Suzzique,

I'm still VERY new at all this and I think I've been training Jazz as much as he's still training us! I will hunt around for some different treats and keep and eye out for it.
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