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New Lovebird Owner!! Need Taming Advice.

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

New Lovebird Owner!! Need Taming Advice.

Postby birbie » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:46 am

Helloo!! This is my first forum post as I am a new bird owner!! Recently (like a month ago), I took in a pair of lovebirds (their names are Chia & Flax). I got them from a friend of mine who couldn't take care of them anymore due to her parents being annoyed by the birds for waking them up at 4 am in the morning. I got them a brand new cage that is 18"x18"x57" with new toys and cage accessories. I'm also feeding them a diet that consists of pellets, seeds, fruits, and vegetables!!

When they first arrived I gave them a space in my room that receives decent lighting and I left them alone so they could settle into their environment. I did my research and many of the sources I found said to 'start' and 'try interacting' with them on the second or third day. I started to sit close to them (but not too close because I didn't want them to be uncomfortable) and I would talk (as in reading a book out loud BUT NOT TOO LOUD). I did this for a week straight, but there still seems to be no progress?? There was also this other method that suggests a bird can be tamed by forcibly presenting a perch in front of it and like keep bugging the bird to step up ?? I didn't try this method since I was worried that it would stress both of them out.

I tried cleaning their cage last Sunday, and when I did (I brought them to an empty room) they both just flew out and started to squawk like crazy and flax would just fly around and bump into walls and fly again!!

So I was thinking ?? Do I separate them and train them individually would that make the entire process smoother? or easier?? I don't want to do this since both of them are already bonded? ? ?

They're around 6/7 months old and I don't know their genders

I'd really appreciate the help!! Thank you :swaying: :swaying: :swaying:
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birbie
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Peachfaced Lovebirds
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Re: New Lovebird Owner!! Need Taming Advice.

Postby liz » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:31 am

Welcome to the forum.

You have babies. It is so good that they came as friends and not single. The best thing you could have done for them was to let them fly. That is what I always did with my new ones. It is so natural and so needed for their health and they know you were the one who opened the cage for them.

Make sure you parrot proof the room. Walls do get in the way at times but they are babies and will learn. Don't use your ceiling fan, keep shier curtains over the windows until they learn what they are. This time of year I would open the window and let them learn to land on the sill.

You should be feeding veg, fruit and a gloop or softened grain for breakfast. Some serve chop which would be good for little birds. I don't mix mine. I serve it as I would a person with the food separated on a plate so I can see what they are actually eating.

Also keep in mind that they are not wild. They are scared. You are a giant predator who probably wants them for lunch. Let them fly around you and enjoy your babies.
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Re: New Lovebird Owner!! Need Taming Advice.

Postby Pajarita » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:55 am

Welcome to the forum! First thing you need to do is to have them sexed because you can keep a male and a female or two males but you cannot keep two females together because, eventually, one of them will hurt or even kill the other one. People will tell you they have two females together and they get along but I cannot begin to tell you how many times I've heard of people coming home and finding one of them dead even though they 'got along'.

Now, assuming you have a 'good' pair... One thing you need to know from day one is that you will never have the kind of relationship with them that you can have with a companion parrot. Lovebirds can learn to trust and love you, they will learn to step up, they will ride your shoulder, they will kiss you and maybe even cuddle against your neck but, after an hour or so, they will want to go back to the other bird. They are an aviary and very flighty species and you can't go against Nature. Having said that, it doesn't mean that you cannot have a wonderful relationship with them! I recently rehomed a pair of a female that had been found in a balcony and an ex-breeder male I got for her and, although the male had never had any real interaction with humans, he had learned to trust me and was even perching on my head and shoulders of his own initiative - I never tried to teach him to step up because, to be honest, I don't see it as a necessary thing. He came out every day for flying and went back into his cage on his own when I put the food there and that was good enough for me.

Now, as to taming them. One week of talking to them is nothing (and I do mean NOTHING). It takes months for a bird that has not imprinted to humans to learn to trust one so keep on doing what you are doing for as long as it takes to get them used to you. You will know they are when they get close to the side where you are sitting (your head needs to be at their same level always, never 'looming' over them) and take treats from your fingers from in-between the bars. The trick about the treats is that you cannot free-feed protein food (seeds, pellets, avicakes, nutriberries, etc) because, if you do, they will not be interested in the treat and if you don't have a high value item as a reward, you will never get anywhere with them in terms of training. So you need to switch their diet to something like gloop and produce in the morning (they LOVE greens and fruit!) and protein food for dinner. This way, you can identify the food they cannot say no to and use it only for training rewards (most likely, it will be sunflower seeds).

I am a bit confused as to their cage... is 57 the height and 18 the width and the depth? Because, if it is, I am afraid that the cage is not large enough for them. They need much more room than that because the vertical space is pretty useless (you will see that they spend all day long up on top). This is the kind of cage I recommend: http://www.qualitydiscountcages.com/hq- ... cage.htmls.

So, let's recap: 1) sex them - 2) see if you can get them a flight cage - 3) change their diet and 4) keep on talking to them for as long as you can every day (you can also sing or whistle to them and even just sit watching TV or doing computer work - the idea is that they get used to your physical presence) and, after you have switched them to the better diet, you can start offering them treats from your fingers and allowing them to come out to fly for two hours or so right before they get their dinner (I could do it both in the morning and in the afternoon, after a while but start with dinner, only).
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Re: New Lovebird Owner!! Need Taming Advice.

Postby birbie » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:21 pm

Thank you both for the advice.

Pajarita I was wondering what kind of 'gloop' I can offer to my lovebirds? Are they okay with quinoa, white jasmine rice etc. I don't really have any gloop recipes right now ??
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birbie
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Flight: Yes

Re: New Lovebird Owner!! Need Taming Advice.

Postby Pajarita » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:55 am

Quinoa is good - I use it during the warm weather monts to increase both the quantity and the quality of the protein in the gloop. The batch I just made has a mix of the three colors (white, brown and yellow) of quinoa. But I would not feed birds white rice (no real nutrition, mostly carbs) unless I wanted to fatten a very skinny bird (like when they are getting over a disease and have lost weight). I use whole grains like wheat, hulled barley, oat groats, kamut, spelt, farro, etc and, although I also make my gloop with rice, I don't use white or brown, I use red and, sometimes, also black. You can try using Kashi's 7 Whole Grains Pilaf. It comes with three bags inside so you can make a small batch of only one bag. I don't use it because it has rye and some of my birds do not like it but other people have used it successfully with their birds.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11874
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: New Lovebird Owner!! Need Taming Advice.

Postby Trick or 'Tiel » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:18 pm

I knew white rice was no good for birds but brown rice too? I have always used brown, black, and red rice and had no idea that brown rice wasn't good either!
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Re: New Lovebird Owner!! Need Taming Advice.

Postby liz » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:07 am

I use at least 4 grains in their morning food. I put it in a thermal cup with boiling water to soak over night. I rinse it in the morning and add frozen vegetable to it. They really like peas and corn.
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liz
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 6522
Location: Hernando FL
Number of Birds Owned: 13
Types of Birds Owned: DYH Amazon Rainbow
BF Amazon Myrtle
Cockatiels: Shadow Tammy Tommy Maggie Lacy Flutter Phoenix Jackie Andy Gimpy Louise
Flight: Yes

Re: New Lovebird Owner!! Need Taming Advice.

Postby Pajarita » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:43 pm

Trick or 'Tiel wrote:I knew white rice was no good for birds but brown rice too? I have always used brown, black, and red rice and had no idea that brown rice wasn't good either!


The problem with brown rice is that it's too high in arsenic (even the organic ones) because, in USA, farmers used to use it as pesticide not realizing that it doesn't disappear from the soil for a loooong time so, now, many years after it was banned as a pesticide (45 years and counting), the crops still show up with high levels of it and rice seems to be one of the worst ones. There is one brand that is a bit better than others and it's the Lundberg one (cultivated in California) but the brown Basmati or Jazmine cultivated in India or Indonesia is OK. I don't use it because the red is the most nutritious with the black coming second.

See this: https://www.livescience.com/23330-arsen ... rigin.html
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11874
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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