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Need help with m new alexandrine

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

Need help with m new alexandrine

Postby kristielee8 » Thu Nov 05, 2015 4:50 am

Hi I've just gotten a Alex and have not had it sexed but people have said it looks to be a male. My issue is I'd gotten it from a lady who had brought it described as hr and has had it for three weeks he is now eleven weeks old. She couldn't get near him he would flee and scram at her when she tried to approach and was very scared of her. She persisted for the three weeks to gain it's trust but then gave up and put him up for sale as an aviary bird only or for someone who has the time to put into him to try to tame him. He had never bitten her or so she had told me. So I decided to take him on. I've had him now for three days he is eating warm food off a spoon for me he does seem scared of me trying to get my hand near him but he doesn't run away he kind of sqwarks at me and has progressively gotten a bit more aggressive as in to bite me he has gotten hold of my finger on a couple of occasions but only clamps slightly down but let's go so I've stopped using my hand to get him out and now use a perch instead. I put him on a play stand he doesn't interact with any toys only sometimes just having a little nibble on one specific toy apart from that he just stays in the one place and really does not move. I stand near him close to him and talk softly to him and keep eye contact with him while I do this. When I do get him to step up onto my hand he does not stay there he tries straight away to climb up to my shoulder and sometimes onto my head which I stop him from doing because I don't want him to get into the habit of climbing onto my head all the time. He is just so very quiet and I feel so sorry for him and just want to gain his trust. Please if there is anyone who can give me some type of advice as to what I can do to get him to trust me I'd really appreciate the help. I do offer him treats he never takes them he looks at them and when I walk away will eat them. I really want him to come to trust me and I don't want to give up on him either.
kristielee8
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 10
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Alexandrine
Flight: No

Re: Need help with m new alexandrine

Postby Wolf » Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:12 am

Please do not read this wrong as this is just my own processes at work, I tend to look at and address the problem areas first and work towards the areas that you are doing well in.
First thing that you need to change is direct eye contact, in his normal environment only a predator looks at anything in this manner so he freezes and hopes that you will not see him as he is very afraid that you have him in mind for your next snack. Look at him and watch him from the corner of your eyes, for now.
I can understand your aversion to him being on your head as I don't care for this either, mostly because they poop and I don't like it in my hair although it is probably good for it. However it is their nature to want to be as high as they can be when on you and so I let my birds ride my shoulder as much as they want, besides for me it is one of the most natural places to move about with the bird on me, I do, however keep my face turned slightly away from them as a protection for my eyes.
Many people use a perch to bring their bird out of the cage and it is a good way to go as it is more comfortable for the bird especially in the beginning, but I do not normally reach into my birds cages except to clean it and to change out food and water. I open the door of the cage and call the bird after I back off a step or two and allow the bird to come out as it is ready to. I add calling their name and a come here or something similar so that I start teaching them to come when called, later on when he is flying this coming when called is referred to as recall.
You can use the time standing near his playstand to teach him about his toys since he does not even know what they are. You do this by playing with the toys yourself and it will help you to avoid direct eye contact as well, he will watch what you are doing and learn what toys are and how to use them in this process.
The biggest thing that you are doing that is right and the most important at this time is that you are trying to go slow and take your cues from the bird. You are a little impatient but that is normal. Still wait for the bird to relax before proceeding to the next step. if you are offering a treat in any of this and if he does not take it from you then just put it where he can get it easily and take a step or two back and give him the chance to go get it, even if he does not go after it leave it for him, once you offer him a treat leave it for him it is his and he needs to know that you are not going to take it back. I am glad that you are giving him time out of his cage, he really needs that. I would set up a chair and table of some sort that you can sit at and read or fiddle with toys for him or do other thing without you being focused on him as this will help him to get accustomed to you and allow him to relax, it will also use his natural curiosity to your advantage as he will begin to move closer so he can see what you are doing. If you are playing with one of his toys or playing with a treat for him, do not give it to him, let him come to you and allow him to take it from you if he will, but don't just give it to him.
now it is difficult at this early stage to talk about what you are doing right as you are somewhat limited as to what you can do until he begins to relax and trust you, but that doesn't mean that you are not doing well and there are also other areas that you can look at and improve during these early times while waiting on your bird friend. Such things as researching his diet, identifying favored foods to use as treats, learning to make sense of his body language including posture and subtle feather placements as well as adjusting his schedule and teaching him to eat new foods. There is no lack of things to do. Tell us if you will what he gets to eat and when he gets it and we can help with his diet. Tell us when he gets up in the mornings and when he goes to sleep at night and what he does all day long and we can help you with his schedule. The more information that you share with us the more we can help you and the more accurate our suggestions will become.
Wolf
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 8679
Location: Lansing, NC
Number of Birds Owned: 6
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal
African Grey (CAG)
Yellow Naped Amazon
2Celestial Parrotlet
Budgie
Flight: Yes

Re: Need help with m new alexandrine

Postby Pajarita » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:10 am

Well, first of all, there is no way anybody can tell if a baby alex is a male or a female so I hope you chose an unisex name for it :lol:

Now, baby parrots don't really play with toys. When they are babies, all they do is cuddle with their siblings and parents, eat, sleep, poop and look around so I would not worry about his lack of interest or even try to make him play with them.

What babies do need is to spend A LOT of time with a warm body so I suggest you do just that (and this means hours and hours). They need the closeness and perching on a play stand doesn't give them anything in terms of what they need to grow in a well-adjusted way and could make the bird grow up disaffected. I don't like birds on my head, either (I don't think anybody does :D ) but I allow them to do it if they want. Most of them merely use the top of my head as a landing strip and climb down the side to perch on my shoulder but I do have one that stays there - and I let her. Parrots are not domesticated or genetically inclined to obey or even please anybody but themselves so, in order for them to feel semi-content in their unnatural life as a human pet, the owners need to make concessions - lots of them! It's not easy to live with a parrot but, fortunately for us, there are pay-offs.

Another VERY important thing at this age is diet. Please give him two different types of soft food served fresh and warm daily on top of the handfeeding you are doing. They not only need the nutrition in them, they also need the comfort they bring.

Aside from that and in terms of behavior, everything Wolf recommended is good. Patience, persistence and love always wins the day!
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11880
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: Need help with m new alexandrine

Postby kristielee8 » Thu Nov 05, 2015 6:28 pm

Hi and thank you both for the help I really appreciate it. Ok so today I'm going to change the direct eye contact I've been doing. I have had success this morning with offering a treat (I'm so use to referring to the bird as him even though it's has not been sexed yet and we have chosen a name that is not sex based his name is Booga) which amazingly he took straight from my hand and I was so overjoyed that this happened. So next after time and him use to taking the treats from me when he is ready I will start the target training him. And also I have been putting him up on a table near me but will start to play around with the toys and see how he reacts but I won't worry about him taking to them yet this will come in time. And yes pajarita I forgot to mention that when I have been getting him out I have been holding him close against my chest and talking softly to him which I was tossing it up in my head was I doing the right thing by doing that and I will continue to hold him close now as he seemed to kind of nuzzle my chest area when I did this. As for the diet and routine area of his life I have been getting him up at 6am I bring him into the kitchen area with all of us where I start to make his breakfast. I make him out of the same bowl everyday (trying to keep a routine) his hand raising mix to which this morning as I was feeding him for the very first time he was making like a clicking noise from his beak and a baby type of squeaking noise and walked to the spoon instead of me putting it near him. Then after that I chop up some fruit a little bit of Apple, orange, some grapes and banana I've also put in some mixed nuts and dried fruits. During the day he has a bowl in his cage which has pellets and a small amount of seed and then in the late afternoon I offer him vegetables. I have been giving him broccoli, pumpkin, cauliflower, carrot, also brown rice. Then I put him to bed at about 6pm at night and that is the routine I've been keeping with him.
kristielee8
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 10
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Alexandrine
Flight: No

Re: Need help with m new alexandrine

Postby Wolf » Thu Nov 05, 2015 7:39 pm

If it were me I would forget about the dried fruit. I am not a fan of pellets and do not use them for any of my birds.
Now all of my birds are adults and were adults when they came to me so I do not have much experience with babies. I feed my birds, all seven of them, a fresh fruit, a fresh vegetable and a fresh leafy green and a home cooked food we call gloop for breakfast and for all day eating and then a good quality seed mix for dinner. I feed the seeds for dinner as it is the highest in fat and protein for dinner because they do not eat at night and the higher protein food helps them to not be as hungry come morning as it lasts longer in their body than does the lower protein foods that they eat more often.
So what does your bird do all day long? how much time does it have out of its cage daily to exercise and explore its home also how much one on one time does it get with you every day? Is there someone giving Booga another feeding of the hand raising food during the day?
Wolf
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 8679
Location: Lansing, NC
Number of Birds Owned: 6
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal
African Grey (CAG)
Yellow Naped Amazon
2Celestial Parrotlet
Budgie
Flight: Yes

Re: Need help with m new alexandrine

Postby kristielee8 » Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:18 pm

Hi wolf I will get him off the pellet mix and dried fruits this is I think only day four of me having him so I'm glad I'm getting advice now while it's early days. Also I'm in Australia so have no idea what the gloop is could you please let me know how to make it. I am introducing as many different types of fruit and veg as I can and he is a good doer which is completely opposite from what the previous lady told me. She said he pretty much only ate apple and was not interested in anything else which I think just came from her couldn't be bothered to put the time into the poor bird. Also please if you don't mind I'd love to know the seed mix ingredients you are using and I'll try to source them here. So in the mornings we do breakfast I have two kids one is two years and my other is six years old and I have Booga in the kitchen up on a table with us while I get the food ready for al of us and he watches what's going on also during this time his cage is open and he has been moving around the cage a hit more now like climbing on the roof and side of the cage. During this time I make up his hr mix and feed him then offer all the chopped fruit to him. Then I move him to the lounge room and we head out to do school drop off and when I get back I open his cage up again and today stood beside his cage playing with his toys moving them around and making them do the noises etc. He was quite interested today and when I walked away I could hear him having a bit of a go at one toy. Then I get him out and put him along with a blanket and some toys and then I stood with him today side on to him as not to make any direct eye contact and spoke with him. I offered him some pumpkin seed and sunflower seeds and he took several from my hand today and was making a soft baby like sound and when I'd walk away he would call out to me I didn't run straight back to him but stood where he could see me. It's now after lunchtime here so I've been putting him outside with a cover over half of his cage to get some fresh air and sun. I bring him back in about 3pm but I spent a lot of time outside doing things around the yard near where he is and talk to him while he is out there so he is not just left alone and my daughter is also present and chats to him too. Then when I bring him back in I again pull him out and place him with some treats and toys until just before the sun goes down and make the hr mix again and give him that the put him to bed. Ok hope I am doing ok and I really appreciate the help.
kristielee8
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 10
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Alexandrine
Flight: No

Re: Need help with m new alexandrine

Postby kristielee8 » Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:20 pm

Sorry I forgot to mention that yes I am doing all the hand feeding as my partner leaves very early and gets back in the late afternoon but in saying this he does interact with him when he comes home from work so he can get use to him also.
kristielee8
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 10
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Alexandrine
Flight: No

Re: Need help with m new alexandrine

Postby Pajarita » Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:47 am

I don't feed any dry fruits, either - well, actually, let me re-phrase that, I do but only the ones that are naturally dried and without any sulfites, like raisins, dates, figs, currants, cranberries, etc and I only use them in the gloop or the birdy bread.

I would not use sunflower seeds with him. I would use a budgie mix for dinner and, once he is old enough to start training (and I would wait until he is a juvenile for that), I would use the sunflower (or maybe, better still, safflower) seeds as rewards.

Now, as to the schedule, it's very important that you allow him exposure to twilight and that means no artificial lights on so, please, don't make him go from night to bright light by turning on the lights early in the morning or when the sun is setting. Birds are photoperiodic (a long word that means that they use light to determine the seasons) so their endocrine system is regulated by the quality and quantity of light they receive. So, for a bird to know when he is supposed to start or stop producing sexual hormones, when it's time to molt, migrate, eat, go to sleep, etc. he needs to follow the sun (think of the birds in the trees). They have an internal clock that tells them when there are enough daylight hours for babies to be born (different species having different number of hours which is called the species point of refractoriness), for example, but this internal clock is like a stop watch which gets 'started' with the different light at dawn and gets 'stopped' with dusk light so, if you don't expose them to the change in light spectrum (the different colors of light) that happens at twilight, the stop watch doesn't quite work as it should.
Aside from that, your schedule sounds pretty good and the only change I would make is to put perches and branches on the outside of the cage so he can climb up and sideways from it. I would also try to do some light chores with him on my shoulder (they love cuddling against our neck), it would give him more one-on-one time without you having to change your routine much (I have one on my lap and another one on my shoulder as I am typing this).

Now, as to the food, what you are offering is good but I would recommend you offer him some more soft foods for him to peck at during the day. Gloop (this is a dish made out of cooked whole grains, pulses and chopped veggies -there are recipes in the diet section) is a wonderful soft food for both babies and adults (this is what I feed all of mine in the morning along with fresh produce) can be one of them but you can also use cooked pastina (the tiny noodles used for soup), couscous, oatmeal (regular or Irish -aka steel cut oats), polenta (cooked cornmeal), etc. All of them should be mixed with veggies and fruits and, at the beginning, it's easiest for them to eat with baby food mixed in instead of chopped up anything. A couple of them should be served fresh and room temperature or warm twice daily. They not only provide excellent nutrition but comfort to them.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11880
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: Need help with m new alexandrine

Postby kristielee8 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:18 pm

Excellent I canno tell you how happy I am that I found this forum and sought advice here tank you all so much for your help with this and I will keep you all posted on his progress.
kristielee8
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 10
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Alexandrine
Flight: No

Re: Need help with m new alexandrine

Postby Pajarita » Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:18 am

We are glad to be of help, my dear.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11880
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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