Trained Parrot BlogParrot Wizard Online Parrot Toy StoreThe Parrot Forum

Mixed messages & fear...

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

Re: Mixed messages & fear...

Postby pchela » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:51 pm

Hi... as Michael said, this bird was probably hand raised and then not interacted with once weaned. Some birds revert quickly to being skittish after some time not being handled. Ringnecks are one that will go wild more quickly than others.

I didn't read the entire thread but I'm going to offer advice anyway. Hope this hasn't already been said.

First, never, never force the bird out of his cage. This will only make him scared of you. You want him to trust you. (Lots of people will argue with me but I'm just going to have to say that I'm right on this one. :D ) You were doing everything perfectly to start with. Sit by the cage and talk to him, sing to him, whatever. You'll be able to tell when he is paying attention. Offer him treats through the bars. Start using your bridge for future training whenever he takes a treat from your hand. For instance, you offer a nut, he takes it, as soon as he takes it say "good!" or use your clicker or whatever your bridge is. Be consistent with this. He will start to associate the bridge word with happiness (his treat) Leave the cage door open all of the time when you are home. Put some of his favorite treats outside of the cage to entice him. Eventually he will start coming out on his own. Once he does, let him sit on top of his cage, or where ever he wants, and talk to him etc as you were doing through the cage bars. Don't try to force him to step up yet. Let him get comfortable outside of the cage. Put some toys out... maybe he'll start playing. After he seems somewhat comfortable, then I'd start trying to train him with the step ups. I think Micheal posted a good tutorial for teaching step ups? You don't have to use a clicker as the bridge... you could use a word. I personally use the word "good" as a bridge but that's personal preference. It will take lots of patience but you can succeed! Don't give up on him. If you gain his trust you will have a friend who adores you for the next 30+ years! Ringnecks can be good little talkers too. He is young so it shouldn't be too hard to gain his trust. Good luck! With patience and persistence, you'll soon have one of these adorable little birds...
"I bet the sparrow looks at the parrot and thinks, yes, you can talk, but LISTEN TO YOURSELF!" ~ Jack Handy ~ Deep Thoughts
User avatar
pchela
African Grey
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 1281
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal -Pippin
Red Belly - Nicholas
Lesser Jardine's - Rupert
Timneh African Grey - Isabeau (Ibby)
Flight: Yes

Re: Mixed messages & fear...

Postby Bephlam » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:04 pm

Thanks for the great advice!! :)

I knew I was right to begin with, but as I have little experience with indoor birds...I trusted the so called 'experts'...and I fear I have terrified my little friend. He's definitely scared of me now...he'll let my partner put her hand in the cage (although runs away) but when I go near he's squawking at me! :(

Your advice is fab, and I'll follow it...as I have Michael's...but my only problem is...I can't leave the cage open all the time, we have dogs and cats...and because he's not predictable...I can't let him just roam free. I need him to trust me, and come out safely...and then I can work on getting the dogs used to him!

So, do everything else, but leave the cage thing until he's able to stop being so flighty when I approach?
I love to talk about nothing. It's the only thing I know anything about...
User avatar
Bephlam
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11
Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Indian Ringneck, and a selection of chickens (which probably don't really count!)
Flight: Yes

Re: Mixed messages & fear...

Postby Michael » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:26 pm

Bephlam wrote:I can't leave the cage open all the time, we have dogs and cats...and because he's not predictable...I can't let him just roam free.

:roll:
User avatar
Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6220
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: Mixed messages & fear...

Postby Bephlam » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:01 pm

what does that signify Michael?

The parrot will be able to have time out of his cage, but only when he can be safely returned to his cage should this need to be the case. At the moment I can't get near him, so how I'd ever get him back in his cage without stress to him and myself is unknown.

Suggestions welcome...but faces just confuse me.
I love to talk about nothing. It's the only thing I know anything about...
User avatar
Bephlam
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11
Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Indian Ringneck, and a selection of chickens (which probably don't really count!)
Flight: Yes

Re: Mixed messages & fear...

Postby pchela » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:59 pm

Do you have a "saferoom" that he could be in with the cage open and the dogs and cats could be in another room? Maybe move his cage in a safe room for an hour a day and let the door stand open while you talk to him etc?
"I bet the sparrow looks at the parrot and thinks, yes, you can talk, but LISTEN TO YOURSELF!" ~ Jack Handy ~ Deep Thoughts
User avatar
pchela
African Grey
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 1281
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal -Pippin
Red Belly - Nicholas
Lesser Jardine's - Rupert
Timneh African Grey - Isabeau (Ibby)
Flight: Yes

Re: Mixed messages & fear...

Postby Bephlam » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:05 pm

Yeah, I could do that...but wouldn't it scare him moving his cage from room to room? He gets very stressed when we just stand next to the cage, never mind move it?

I know I sound negative...I'm far from it, just don't know if I'm explaining his fear/behaviour accurately. Feel I've made such a huge mistake with grabbing him, that I'm terrified of making matter worse.

Ok, so lets say I have an hour of 'parrot time' each day in the lounge (where he is)...I open the cage, and out he comes. How do I get him back in...if he just starts flying about like a mad man! :shock: He does panic...and just flap about uncontrollably when I open the cage, so can't imagine how he's going to react if he's outside it and I stand up...or walk near him.
I love to talk about nothing. It's the only thing I know anything about...
User avatar
Bephlam
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11
Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Indian Ringneck, and a selection of chickens (which probably don't really count!)
Flight: Yes

Re: Mixed messages & fear...

Postby pchela » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:20 pm

Yeah... that's the reason for the safe room. He might fly around and panic. Almost all birds that I've encountered will step up onto your finger or at least a wooden stick (perch) if they are on the floor. So, if he were to panic and fly to the floor, you should be able to get him and put him back in his cage. Does his cage have a play top? Ideally, he'll come out of his cage and sit on the play top. Sometimes they can be lured back in the cage with another treat. Have you tried getting him to step up onto a stick? Also, are his wings clipped? If he's already scared, it might be a good idea to move his cage to a private room that can be shut off until he gets more comfortable. The other animals in the house are probably adding to his fear. Is that a possibility?
"I bet the sparrow looks at the parrot and thinks, yes, you can talk, but LISTEN TO YOURSELF!" ~ Jack Handy ~ Deep Thoughts
User avatar
pchela
African Grey
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 1281
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal -Pippin
Red Belly - Nicholas
Lesser Jardine's - Rupert
Timneh African Grey - Isabeau (Ibby)
Flight: Yes

Re: Mixed messages & fear...

Postby Bephlam » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:30 pm

His wings aren't clipped...I was given mixed advice about this. People said he'll reply on me more to get him around if they are clipped, and as such I should do it...however, at the same time they were telling me to give him time to settle in to his new home, so not to stress him. Surely being caught in a towel and packed up in a travel cage, taken to a vet and man handled would stress him?

He won't step up on to anything...the minute I open the cage he's gone, climbing all over the bars and hanging upside down etc. If I just stand still and sing to him whilst my hand is in there he'll eventually calm down, but the closest he'll get to me is on the far side of the same perch! :lol:

He doesn't appear to be scared of the other animals at all...the dogs don't even look his way, and the cats have yet to even notice he's in the house! :lol: They are so used to birds (chickens) being indoors in brooders and cages, etc.

He happily eats when we eat and if we're watching TV or something he comes over to his food bowl and eats. If he can't get a clear view of us, he'll move and tilt his head to watch what we're doing. But, the minute we approach his cage, he's off his perch and climbing the walls again. To be honest, the lounge is probably the best room for him anyway...but I am concerned about catching him again if he decides to take a flakey whilst free. :shock:

I'm generally just worried. Remember, he's only been with us 15 days! But this squawking at us when we put a treat through the bars is new...so I'm worried he's getting aggressive of his 'home'.

Thanks for all your advice...I really do appreciate it. Just my nature to poke holes in things and ask tons of questions...because if I don't, sure enough the worst case scenario will happen and I'll be left clueless! :D

B x
I love to talk about nothing. It's the only thing I know anything about...
User avatar
Bephlam
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11
Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Indian Ringneck, and a selection of chickens (which probably don't really count!)
Flight: Yes

Re: Mixed messages & fear...

Postby pchela » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:03 pm

No problem! I like to try to help people out if I can.

So, you're right that clipping his wings now would probably just stress him out more but it is easier to control them when they are clipped and it would certainly help solve your problem of having to catch him and put him back in his cage. Clipping is the only solution I can see to your being able to get him back in his cage if he flies off because a bird who is on the floor is much more willing to step up onto a hand or at least a perch. If you can figure out a way to keep him flighted and leave his cage door open so he can come out on his own, that would be ideal but it may not be feasible.

It is a good sign that he stretches his head to watch you guys while you're watching t.v. or whatever. He's interested in you. Some birds do become cage aggressive which just means that they will defend their cage if you stick your hand in there. That's okay... their cage is their home and they should absolutely have a place that they feel safe and they know won't be invaded. Another reason for you to not stick your hand in and grab him and pull him out of the cage. 15 days is not long at all. Lots of birds don't settle in for months. Is the lounge the safe room? If there aren't any dangers in the room would it be bad to allow him to go back to his cage on his own if he flew around? He will go back to eat etc eventually but I understand that you can't just let him roam free. I hate to towel them or chase them because it adds to the distrust. I'm afraid the only way to know what he'll do is to try it though.

This link sounds like a similar situation to yours but I'm afraid it may not offer much more advice than what's been offered here. http://en.allexperts.com/q/Budgies-3463 ... bird-1.htm
"I bet the sparrow looks at the parrot and thinks, yes, you can talk, but LISTEN TO YOURSELF!" ~ Jack Handy ~ Deep Thoughts
User avatar
pchela
African Grey
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 1281
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal -Pippin
Red Belly - Nicholas
Lesser Jardine's - Rupert
Timneh African Grey - Isabeau (Ibby)
Flight: Yes

Re: Mixed messages & fear...

Postby Bephlam » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:52 am

Well today I think we see a little improvement. I removed his food (going to be feeding him twice daily). He looked a little lost, and hungry (walking along the bars of the bottom of the cage looking at the tray below trying to access the dropped food!!). Anyway, we put a piece of apple through the bars in the cage (not holding it) and he came right over and took it...we of course did the holw "Good boy" thing. We repeated this a few times, until he was coming almost immediately...but if we approach he'll still back off.

He seems more interested when we approach the cage though...still moving away, but clearly looking to see what we've left. Right now I have a monkey nut through the bars next to me, I'm not holding it...just doing my thing on the PC. He's not approached me for it yet...but he's keen...and is well aware it's there.

Hopefully this will begin the process of him associating us with good things, instead of negative!
I love to talk about nothing. It's the only thing I know anything about...
User avatar
Bephlam
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11
Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Indian Ringneck, and a selection of chickens (which probably don't really count!)
Flight: Yes

Previous

Return to Taming & Basic Training

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

Parrot ForumArticles IndexTraining Step UpParrot Training BlogPoicephalus Parrot InformationParrot Wizard Store