Trained Parrot BlogParrot Wizard Online Parrot Toy StoreThe Parrot Forum

Confused with my Lovebird

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

Confused with my Lovebird

Postby Mariepey88 » Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:50 pm

Hey guys!


So, I have acquire a baby lovebird on the weekend.

She/He is super sweet little one and a heck of a smart cookie! (Let's per say it's a she to make this easier Lol)

I got her DNA tested, nail trimmed and just a reclip on the wing feathers that had become very long.

She was a nipper when I got her. But I saw the old owner and he would move away and squeak when she nipped. I giggled when I saw that! ;) LOL Shes done this three times with me, with decent strength, and i never budged a bit and since the third time which was on the first day I got her, she never even offered a opened beak at me! I think we might have that understanding now that actual biting isnt going to work with me. :)

She is scared of hands a bit. She will willingly step up and not bite at all but sometimes you have to move around with her to get her to do it. If she is on the ground, I can be a foot away and tell her Up UP and she comes right on! She seems EXTRA comfy on my shoulder. She loves car rides, she likes to go outside and will willingly sit on my shoulder/hoodie for a long time. After a couple days of working with her I manage being able to get her to take a treat from my hand. Which is fantastic! Tho, she will not take it unless shes in or on her cage or on my shoulder.

What gets to me is all the confusing information I find on the internet...

1 - She appears to be extra comfy on my shoulder. She will sit happy, will take her favorite treat from my hand and I can get her to step up on my hand when I want her down. I seem to read everywhere that I may run into trouble later on by letting her do that?? Is it really a dominance behavior or is she honestly just comfy? She has not offered to nibble at my neck, face or ears either. Plus I dont encourage her either to do so, meaning I dont give her kisses and carry around something else to munch on if she decides to try to munch on me to deviate her attention.

2 - With her cage, I put my hand in and offer to step up and she seems just fine with it. I seem to read that I should teach her to come to the door. I do have a perch that extends to the outside of the cage so she can come out as she please when I am home. Would you recommend to keep going inside her cage or teach her to come out on her own? I hear Lovebird gets very territorial aswell. Would me keeping up 'intruding' her cage might avoid the territorial behavior down the road as she will accept me or actually make it worst??

3 - I get very confused on the 'time to spend' with her. what th extent of that? I read as much as I can read on hand taming and seem t be heading in the right direction but some places tell you to back her and let her be throughout the day and some places tell you as a baby to never leave er alone..??? How much is too much??

4 - Light. I get so confused!!! People say 10-12, some say 14, some people say too much creates hormones problems, not enough creates agitated and grumpy birds.. Honneslty, I know I have to go along what my little one tells me and to also create a routine but there again, whats too much and whats not enough? What if she falls alseep on me around 7? Does that mean shes ready for bed? What If she moves around crazy at 9 pm after I put her to bed??

5 - She itches A LOT and chews her nails kinda. She grabbs her nail and rub it on the inside part of her top beak. And like all the time. When she is in her cage, she paces on the bottom back and forward like a crazy person when Im not home...?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?


Some insight would be highly appreciat3ed!!

For the curious..

- She was on a seed diet, Hagen stuff, and I am slowly conversing her into pellets. She only ever had apples and now shes been exposed to a ton of different fruits and veggies already and LOVES it! I pick the sunflower seeds out of the seed mix and keep them to give it to her as a treat
- She has a decent cage. 25x17x14 which is getting upgraded to a huge Kings cage Fly economy one. She also has a bunch of toys in there. NO MIRROR or NO BEDDING material and NO NEST box/hutt
-I work 730- to 5 pm and come home for lunch for one hour. In the morning I open her cage and have her on my shoulder while getting her breakfast ready. At lunch she out munching with me and at night shes out again with me or playing n her own on the window seal. On the weekend so far shes out almost all the time
- I attempted a bath.. BAD idea. We had a mini draw back. I havent yet tried a mist or the shower thing yet. Thinking she needs it but isnt yet comfy with that it looks like


Help?! :)
Mariepey88
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Lovebird
Flight: No

Re: Confused with my Lovebird

Postby liz » Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:56 am

1 On your shoulder she is at face level and away from your hands so she is not afraid of you. The only trouble I have when Myrtle is on my shoulder is that she uses my ear for a handle. She travels through much of the day on my shoulder while I do house work. That means she is some times out of balance and needs my ear. She does not bite but has been using pinching to get back at me when I tell her something she does not want to hear.

2 Most birds claim their cage as their private space and don't want to let human's invade it. If yours does not fear your hand in it then you are okay. When my birds were caged I would let them out to fly while cleaning their cages.

3 They always need one hour more than you are able to give them.

4 Rambo tells me when it is bed time. I turn their light off at 7pm so they will be able to feel sundown. Though I feed my birds at 7am, Their light does not come on until 9am. My rooms have a lot of windows so they do get the sunrise and sunset they need.

5 Dry air is causing the itch. When it is dry they have trouble getting the feather wax off. I use an air filter to catch most of the dust. I also use a humidifier for 2 ours a day with the filter off.
Usually the mate takes care of the wax but my Amazons do not have mates. Rambo presents his head to me to help get the wax off. The only time Myrtle does it is when she is feeling hormonal.

Wrong diet can be contributed to their problems. Pajarita can help you with that though there are so many posts about it. Wolf helped me get the correct lighting for them.

I am your first responder but their are many others in this forum with more knowledge than I have.
User avatar
liz
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 7137
Location: Hernando FL
Number of Birds Owned: 10
Types of Birds Owned: DYH Amazon Rainbow
BF Amazon Myrtle
Cockatiels: Shadow Tammy Flutter Phoenix Jackie
Andy Impy Louise
Flight: Yes

Re: Confused with my Lovebird

Postby Mariepey88 » Tue Jun 14, 2016 7:43 am

Liz,

Thank you so much! You're an angel! It's so nice to talk with people that have genuine experience!

I realise that each bird is different and each individual even within same species have their own personality and I'm just looking for "human to bird" manners. Not looking to correct her at all but looking at a way I actually can work with her and make things work. And obviously, avoiding mistakes would be even better! Lol

I love what you have responded. It does give me some light in a couple directions for sure. I am way up in Alberta Canada and right now, even tho this is going to sound weird, this is the WORST possible time of the year... It's like around 4 am and it does not get dark till 11pm!! I hate it!! It makes it hard for everything! That said, I am working around it to somewhat creat dusk and dawn because it here way before I'm up or way after in in bed. So far, the lighting is working pretty good I believe. She is by the windows and see gets lots of natural light! After supper yesterday again we were playing outside :)

The humidifier idea is great. I have read that a couple of places aswell. Alberta is seriously so dry! Would that help her with the chewing her nails aswell? How do you present a bath like misting to her?

The other thing I forgot to ask yesterday, she does NOT chew at all on anything :( I got her lots of toys, applewood stick , toys that are made to chew, a cardboard box and cardboard roll.. But she won't chew at all. Her beak appears to me a bit long and very pointy, and I mean very pointy. Isn't that not quite normal? Aren't they suppose to chew on everything!!? I guess at least she isn't chewing on me at all lo which is good but still..?

So for the shoulder thing, I guess I will let her be. Almost sounds like unless I run into trouble, she's fine! And I love to hear that. After working with her on the step up and taking treats for me, she gets to shoulder ride and she just lovessssss it :)

Crossing my fingers on the whole puberty thing.. I see some conversations says that when they get maturity, husbandry is what really makes the difference in them become bad vs staying nice!?

Thanks again guys!

Xxxxxx



:);):) PS... She/He has a name now!! It is.. Nitrous! Lol. We are race car people and the little baby runs and I mean roadrunner run along the window ledge during the day and seriously, looks like she's on Nitrous! Lol it's adorable :) :swaying:
Mariepey88
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Lovebird
Flight: No

Re: Confused with my Lovebird

Postby Pajarita » Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:21 am

Welcome to the forum! Now, your questions:

1. Shoulder - there is no such thing as dominance behavior in parrots. It's not hard-wired into their genes because they don't need this trait as they did not evolve to live in a hierarchical or dominance society. She likes your shoulder like all birds like shoulders: because they are high (safety), a comfortable place to perch (roomy and steady) and close to your face (they know 'you' are your face).

2. Cage - I believe that it's best to allow them to come out on their own. I can actually put my hand into all my birds' cages (even the wild-caught amazons) and they would not attack it but I only do it when it's absolutely necessary and I ALWAYS say "Excuse me - excuse me' while I do it. I respect the fact that the cage is (or can be if they want it) their 'safe and personal' place so I only intrude when I must and I always let them know I am going to do it by asking for their permission. Lovebirds (females, mostly) can be very possessive of their cage so it pays to allow them their own 'space' from the beginning.

3 - Time - Baby birds, just like any other baby of any other species, need to feel safe and the only way this happens is when they have somebody they can trust with them so, yes, they need you to be there all the time for them. As to adults, I would not recommend having a lone lovebird, I think it's much too hard on them as nature made them so intensely pair oriented (there is a reason why they are called 'lovebirds' in English') but, at the very least, it will need 4-5 hours of out of cage time and 2-3 hours of one on one.

4 - Light - There is no set number of hours, they need to follow a solar schedule just like any other bird in the world. Think of chickens: up with dawn and to bed with dusk and you get the idea. Birds are photoperiodic which is a big word that means that their entire endocrine system marks the different seasons (periods) through the amount of daylight hours (photo = light) they get. Short days means resting season when they don't produce any sexual hormones, long days mean breeding season (this is what people mean when they talk about hormonal issues). The trick to keep them healthy is to expose them to dawn and dusk because it's the different kind of light that happens during twilight that turns on or off their 'internal clock' so when you see the sun halfway down to the horizon, you need to turn off the artificial lights in the room where she is kept and allow night to fall naturally and, in the morning, she needs to go through the entire dawn period (until you see sunrays coming into the room) before you turn on the artificial lights (which, by the way, should be a good quality full spectrum -meaning a CRI of 94 or more and a Ktemp between 5000 and 5500).

5 - She is still growing her plumage so, yes, she itches. Nothing to worry about that. And they do clean their nails and even scratch themselves with them. The pacing is anxiety because she is all alone (adult parrots were not created to be ever alone and it's much harder on the babies).

Now, on your other comments. I don't believe in clipping birds unless there is a medical reason for it but, even when people decide they still want to do it, it should not be done when they are babies because if you don't allow her to learn how to fly, her muscles and tendons will atrophy, the neural paths they develop through flight will never happen (they have to do with decision making as well as spatial skills) and she will suffer from stress (a bird that cannot fly is a sitting duck for predators and that creates a lot of anxiety, especially when they are all alone without the safety of a flock around them).

I also don't like pellets, especially for the small species. I know a lot of people would argue that pellets are good for them but I've done a lot of research on this and have concluded that they are, most definitely, not the best dietary option for parrots. I had a flock of over 30 lovebirds for years and they were all, without exception, excellent eaters -they loved gloop, fruits, greens and veggies. I recommend you do a more in-depth research on this subject before you make up your mind but, in any case, babies need soft food and pellets don't qualify (they are hard and super duper dry and they don't resemble anything a baby bird might eat in the wild) so, even if you will stick to the pellets when the bird is grown, please consider giving her two different kinds of freshly prepared, warm soft food twice a day. She might look like an adult but she is still a baby and needs baby food.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15077
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: Confused with my Lovebird

Postby Mariepey88 » Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:17 am

Pajarita,


Thanks for the great advice!

Tho, I have to disagree with the 'keeping lovebird in a pair" is best. I did a lot of research on the subject and they say that this is a myth. I also have talked with my vet, the breeder and a reputable experience bird keeper around my area and A lovebird can be just fine with no lovebird mate and will bond just fine with human companion aswell.

For the diet, I seem to read a lot that pellets are the best and seed to be avoided. I see everywhere that seed diet bird have cancer and acid issues. There again I did lots of reading and information out there is confusing and contradictory. Lol.

She is roughly 6 months old. I should get a phone call back from the original breeder to know her hatch date today :) At that age, does she still requires soft food? Like I have mention, she gets a lot of fresh fruits and veggies aswell as crushed pellets and her seed diet still..

For the clipping wings, everyone seems to have different opinions and I totally respect that. With the breeder, she 'learned' to fly and she is comfortable with the landing. I see that there's a lot less possibilities or injuries aswell as run aways. The clipped wing thing has been such a debated for years and I dont want to start another debate about it. At this point, clipped wings suits us the best!

There again, I was reading about the shoulder thing and was reading some saying it is to show that they are boss or the relationship has they are sitting higher than you and other say it just comfort.. UGH.. :shock: Maybe i will just let her be! Until she starts munching on my ears! Lol She appears comfy everytime! So comfy she pooped down my shirt this morning... LOL :lol: :lol:

I expose her nicely to a LOT of different things and situations. I want her used to the world instead of being scared with it all. So far shes doing amazing and I am starting to recognize her screeches and screams aswell. Yesterday we were outside and her talking become quite disturbed and high pitch. I knew something was up and when I looked up I saw another bird perched on the electrical line by the shed. I immediatly moved away and she stops the screeching.

I think Nitrous and I are doing pretty good! It's just that the info out there is confusing.. It so nice to hear from other bird owner and experienced people aswell!

No matter the opinions and beliefs, I still think we are all doing it for the love of our birds! We want the best for our babies! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Mariepey88
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Lovebird
Flight: No

Re: Confused with my Lovebird

Postby Pajarita » Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:41 am

Yes, the information out there is conflicting and it's not easy to figure out what is right and what is wrong. Personally, whenever I find something that contradicts something else, I go to nature for the answer. All parrot species, with the single exception of the English budgies, are undomesticated and that means that the pet ones need EXACTLY the same conditions as their wild counterparts do. I firmly believe that Mother nature ALWAYS knows best so I always try to emulate what that particular species evolved to need. I suggest you do in-depth research on this species (and that means going to field biologists, ornithologists, etc reports).
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15077
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: Confused with my Lovebird

Postby Wolf » Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:23 pm

I think that at this point that the only thing that I want to contribute to this is taking your bird outside with you unless it is wearing a harness or is in a cage is a recipe for disaster. All it takes is one gust of wind or one time of something scaring her for you to lose her. So to be honest it is not recommended that you take any bird outside unless it is contained in a cage or is wearing a harness.
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: Confused with my Lovebird

Postby seagoatdeb » Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:21 pm

All i want to add is that dont worry about what people say about how many hours of sleep a parrot gets at night. There are so many species of parrots and they all slept different hours, so they are generalizing. Let parrots have daybreak light to dusk, just like they have in the wild and they will be healthy with that. They will take parrot naps during the day if they need it, so they will get the sleep they need. I am in the BC Okanagan, and it is really dry here. i was born in Alberta, but this is so much dryer....I had chapped lips for the first year all year....lol...I absolutely adore my humidifier.

I am more leneient with clipping and if you do a clip please make it a mild clip so the parrrot can still fly as it needs to for its health. Do you have any pics of your sweet little Nitrous?
User avatar
seagoatdeb
African Grey
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 1255
Location: Kelowna, BC Canada
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Red Belly Poicephalus and a Meyers Poicephalus
Flight: Yes


Return to Taming & Basic Training

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

Parrot ForumArticles IndexTraining Step UpParrot Training BlogPoicephalus Parrot InformationParrot Wizard Store