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My terrified little conure (please help)

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My terrified little conure (please help)

Postby Jakeelias93 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:40 pm

So to keep it short and sweet i purchased a baby 6month old conure from a lady that didn't really take the time to hand tame them.
I knew this before i bought but i never expected the amount of patients i would need taking on this challenge. I have no plans of getting rid of the bird but my wife has lost all hope for our little GCC nova.
I have tried other forums but they really don't help aside from telling me to be patient. i get that patients is needed, but so is knowledge.

What i am asking is... If my conure will not let me even get close to her with my hand (even with treats), then how do i go about teaching her that my hand means good things and not bad things. I have tried spending 10 minutes with my hand in the cage not moving and that seems to be helping a little bit. and when i say little. i mean after 8 minutes she will start to move around the cage while still not going anywhere near my hand.
I also bought a glove because i heard that covering your hand might help. Still not working. So i need direct tips on what i should do. Should i stop feeding her and only let her get food from my hand? should i stop putting my hand in the cage at all? i don't know what to do.

i have had her for about a month and the only thing that has changed is that she now doesn't try to escape like a wild bird anymore, she watches me very closely and keeps her distance.
Jakeelias93
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Re: My terrified little conure (please help)

Postby liz » Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:38 am

You are basically forcing yourself on her. Limit time in cage. It is the only thing the bird thinks belongs to him and you are invading his space.
Put a perch up at your eye level and keep your hands away. Your bird will start making contact with you.
Spend a lot of time near your bird without trying to interact with it. Put the cage in the room most used. You can watch and talk back to the TV, read aloud, sing, or just fold clothes. It will all be interesting to him and give him time to learn about you without you pushing him.
You have taken him from his world and put him in yours. It is all Alien to him just as you are. Just give him time.
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Re: My terrified little conure (please help)

Postby Pajarita » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:20 am

Welcome to the forum, Jake and GCC! You are correct, telling you to be patient without giving you any instructions doesn't help you or the bird so let's see if we can help your bird a bit but, first of all, let me tell you that a month is NOTHING when it comes to parrot timetables. It's a lot to us, humans, but nothing to them.

Liz is right, you have a baby that has been taken away from everything it knows and which made it feel safe so it falls to you to convince it that your home is a good one and that you are the bringer of good things and not a giant alien who wants to hurt it. Unfortunately, you have made things worse for the bird and yourself by putting your hand in its cage. This is called a flooding technique and they are now no-nos in the parrot world. A flooding technique is any method of taming or training that imposes our will on them without giving them the chance to choose. When you put your hand in its cage, the bird has no choice but to accept it for the simple reason that it cannot get away from you - it's your way or the highway and it doesn't work with parrots in the long term because they don't understand the concept of obedience, submission or discipline. Dogs do and although I would not recommend a flooding technique with them, either, it doesn't hurt the relationship the way it does with a parrot. You see, parrots don't live in hierarchical social groups where there is a leader or alpha, they are all 100% equal and no parrot imposes any rules or behaviors on any other parrot so, when you try to do it, all you are doing is confusing/upsetting the parrot and convincing it that you are not good. Also, gloves are not good. They are now considered so bad that even people with parrots that bite hard are discouraged from using them. Parrots seem to have a difficulty accepting hands so anything that disguises the fact that these things hanging at the end of our arms are part of us or makes them scarier are not recommended.

This is what I would recommend: open the cage door at dawn and let the parrot come out on its own. If you have a door that opens to the side, put a perch outside the cage that is easily reached from the door itself. If you have a door like a 'moat bridge' (the kind that opens down and locks in a position parallel to the floor), you don't need to but I would still put branches tied to the side of the cage going up so the bird can climb and go high (there is safety in height). Is the bird clipped or flighted? Because a clipped bird is an insecure bird and insecure birds take longer in trusting so I hope your bird is flighted both for its and your sake. Offer it a nice piece of fruit (GCCs are mainly fruit eaters in the wild so they need to consume large portions of them every day and should never be free-fed protein food) but, if it doesn't take it, just put it somewhere where the bird can reach it easily and just walk away - same thing with any treats you offer during the day. These offerings are not rewards for anything done well, they are tokens of friendship and goodwill and should be given just because. Spend as much time as you can in the same room that the bird is in - and, I am warning you that, for GCCs that means 4 to 5 hours a day. GCCs are one of the neediest parrot species there are so they need an inordinate amount of time spend with them or they become screamers and biters. Talk, sing. whistle, offer it a treat and just keep it company. Don't ask it to step up or anything at all and don't stare at it, always check to see what it's doing out of the corner of your eye because staring is something only predators do. In time and as the bird learns to trust you implicitly, you will be able to look at it straight but not for now because it doesn't trust you at all so you want to reinforce the fact that you are not going to hurt it and give it time to make up its mind about you.

I assume that you are offering soft food every day so what you can do is do it from a spoon (it's a great bonding technique) but you will have to wait until it starts taking treats from your hand without any hesitation before you start.

Now, just reinforcing something that I mentioned at the very beginning of this post: give it time. When people said you need to be patient, they meant months and not weeks. It takes a parrot about two years to feel 100% comfortable and settled into a daily routine (and this only if the daily routine is always the same!) so, as you can see, patience is essential with them so, please, tell your wife not to give up, that the game hasn't even begun yet! :lol:
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Re: My terrified little conure (please help)

Postby Tman007 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:25 pm

I will have ti agree with the ladies here. By sitting near the cage with your left or right side facing the cage read o book to your parrot. Get a peice of millet spray get YOUR favorite snack and sit there an make a fuss on how great it tastes and see if your parrot starts to come over see what you are doing.Thats what you want let him come to you to see what you are up to. Also this may sound funny but lay down next to his cage and talk to him and see if he come down to look at you. As for the millet when he comes cloe to you stick the millet thriugh the bars and see if he takes some and tell him how good he is..
It takes a great man to give advice tactfully
But a greater to accept it graciously

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Re: My terrified little conure (please help)

Postby Wolf » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:14 pm

I would like to add just one think to what has been shared with you on hand taming your bird at this time, and that is that once you offer the bird a treat do not ever take it back. This may not sound very important to us humans but it is important to the bird. If you offer the bird a bite of millet and it does not come over and take it break of a short piece of it and place it in the birds food dish. In this way the bird learns that once you offer it something that it is the birds and will not be taken away from it. This will help the bird to learn to trust you more.

At least this is what I think and it appears to me to work well.
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Re: My terrified little conure (please help)

Postby Navre » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:48 pm

Also, I would avoid the glove. Birds tend to hate them, and a GCC can't really hurt you. I mean, they can bite, and hurt, but they can't do any damage.

Birds that are hand shy might first learn to step up to a forearm.
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Re: My terrified little conure (please help)

Postby liz » Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:07 am

I don't agree with the glove. It just isn't natural. The bird cannot smell or taste your hand.

It does not matter if they came from a good place. A bird coming from a very bad place (mine are rescues) will still be scared of the new place no matter how much better it is. Myrtle came from a very bad place. She was skinny, dirty, clipped and scared enough to shiver and cry when I got too close. I had the advantage that Rainbow was there to help her and teach her.


Story time: I took my kids and their cousins and one of their cousins to the museum. I did not know much about the extra kid. He seemed excited just like the others to be there. We got on the elevator to the 2nd floor and everything was good. When the other kids got out the extra would not get out. It was like the 2nd floor was in the Twilight Zone. These kids ranged between 8 and 10 but he had never seen or known of an elevator. I had to teach him and reassure him at the same time by taking him up and down until he took my words for it. It took all of us to do it.

You have to teach you baby that you will not eat him and reassure him that he is in a safe place.
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Re: My terrified little conure (please help)

Postby Jakeelias93 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:07 pm

HOLY SMOKES... what you guys told me is probably polar opposite to what the other site told me to do. They said clip the wings... spend time near the cage, hand feed it, and don't stop.

Which really sucks because that means I've been doing everything wrong. At least now I know I suppose. Thank you for all the replies! I'm sure nova will thank you as well when she becomes a tame little bird.

I suppose my next step would be to keep the cage open and just give her time alone. I have been inside her cage a bit just letting my hand rest but I will stop that asap.

It is amazing how much bad information is on the internet
Jakeelias93
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Re: My terrified little conure (please help)

Postby Wolf » Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:03 am

What you have no doubt run into here is that there is a lot of outdated information still circulating on the web. There are studies now being done with parrots that were not even considered 25 years ago. That is about the time that world wide air travel opened up the exotic animal trade and made it financially feasible to do studies of this nature and the results of the more long term studies are now in the process of coming in and being made available to the public.

As for handtaming your bird here is a link that explains what I feel is one of the best ways to handtame a bird. viewtopic.php?f=11&t=15840

Hope this helps.
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Re: My terrified little conure (please help)

Postby Pajarita » Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:39 pm

Wolf is correct. Lots and lots of outdated information but the problem with it is compounded by the fact that people, not realizing these methods are obsolete, keep on repeating them as if they were gospel even when they don't really work.
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