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Help! Taming my non handreared eccy parrot

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

Help! Taming my non handreared eccy parrot

Postby EmJako » Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:34 am

Hello :),
three weeks ago I brought home a beautiful 1 year old male Eclectus parrot. He was hand reared for the first 6 months of his life until the breeder did not have time for him and sold him to a local pet shop until I brought him home, so he has not been handled for the past 6 months and is now hardly if not at all tame. I Believe he has settled in well and he enjoys a chat with me so long as I am not too close and he also loves to jump around his cage and play with his toys so he doesn't seem worried about his new home. I can also stick my hand in the cage and place a piece of fruit only a couple of inches away from him on his perch with out him getting more than a little weary, any closer and he will try to bite. He also has a calcium perch in the corner of his cage which he will not let me near, whether it's trying to place a bit of fruit on it or my hands are near it outside of the cage he will try to bite.
As well as all the other nonsense he talks he sometimes starts squawking when there is nothing around him and I'm not sure if he is upset or whether he is just imitating wild birds he can hear outside like he does with the cats and dogs?
I have had quite a few parrots in the past, all of which were handreared so this will definitely be a bit more of a challenge. And I understand that because of this it will take much longer and require a lot of patience. I would like to know if anyone has anyone has any particular tips on the steps and stages I need to take in taming my eccy and the signs to look out for when he is ready and comfortable enough to move on in these stages of his taming?
Sorry for the essay and Thank you so much in advance for anyone who can answer my questions I absolutely adore him and I hope you can help me to tame my eccy and to help let him know that he Is in a safe and loving home and to help create a beautiful relationship between me and him.
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Types of Birds Owned: Cockatiel
Eclectus parrot
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Re: Help! Taming my non handreared eccy parrot

Postby Pajarita » Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:32 pm

Hi, Em and ekkie, welcome to the forum [you did not tell us what his name is].

Now, just a clarification: your parrot was hand-reared because he was hand-fed so, although he was not handled frequently by it's own human [which is terribly unfortunate for him because it traumatized him for life], he is imprinted to humans and do not need 'taming'. It might take you longer to win him over but, as a bird that was not SEVERELY neglected or abused, he is perfectly 'redeemable'... it's just a matter of doing the right thing and waiting patiently for him to make up his mind that you are worthy of his love.

Now, as to what is the right thing, well, for one thing, you should not be putting your hand inside his cage. This is a no-no with all parrots that were bought or adopted when already a juvenile, young adult or full adult. It can only be done with babies and then only babies that have been well treated by the breeder. You need to earn the trust that will allow you to go into his cage when he is in it - you haven't yet and that's why he tries to bite you when you do. I would strongly urge you to stop doing this because you are not helping your cause by it - quite the contrary, you are teaching him that you will do whatever you want regardless of what he wishes or doesn't wish and that, in a nutshell, is the reason why pet parrots learn to bite humans. You see, parrots are not naturally aggressive. They don't have the gene for it because they are not predators so they don't need violence to survive [kill a prey so they can eat] or belong to a hierarchical society where lower individuals need to fight their way to the top [for better food and procreation]. Parrots only bite [or attempt to] to defend or protect themselves, their mates, their babies and their nest. But they are very smart, they study situations, reach conclusions and learn from past experiences so you do NOT want your parrot to reach the conclusion that you will not listen to his wishes and learn that the only way for him to get you to listen is for him to bite you. It's the old 'slippery slope' and you do not want to go that way.

All my parrots came as adults and from somewhere else, some of them with biting issues and these issues have all been resolved with patience, respect, consistency and persistence. Your parrot is very young and still malleable so if you do the right thing, he will be a loving companion to you for many years to come [well, not as many as with other species because all ekkies die young due to their specialized diet but a good 15 years for sure].

Put his cage high enought that his roosting perch is at your eye level when you are standing up, make sure that the back is solid [either by being placed against a wall or by draping a thick material over the back of it], don't stare at him [only predators do that], spend as much time as you can in the same room his cage is, talk, sing, whistle and, every now and then, offer him a treat without asking or expecting anything in return. And don't put your hand in his cage when he is in it -clean it when he is out of it and offer the treats from the outside of the cage and, if he doesn't take them, just leave them there for him to take and walk away.

Now, you did not ask about these things but I feel compelled to mention them because ekkies are the most difficult species to keep healthy and happy in captivity and these are diet and light schedule. Ekkies require a super specialized diet: very low protein, very low fat, very high moisture and super duper high fiber of the right kind - this means they cannot be free-fed any protein food which is true of any parrot but, with ekkies, it also means that you cannot feed it pellets at all. Some of them are also intolerant of salycilate so you will need to make sure he doesn't get produce that is high on it [and this is super difficult because virtually all fruits you get in the supermarket are high in it as they are picked green!]. And, because they have the longest breeding season of all parrots, you will need to be super vigilant of its solar light schedule or he will end up overly-hormonal all year round.

Ekkies are outstandingly beautiful birds [I had a redsided male -Romeo- and a Solomon female -Elsa, poor Romeo was a MEAN [he was the very first parrot I heard growling to people] plucking/barbering mess and Elsa only loved men and hated all women] but, in truth, it was a huge disservice we did them when we bred them for the pet trade because they are waaaay too difficult to keep healthy and happy in captivity [rescuers use to refer to Laurella Desborough, one of the first ekkies breeders here in USA, as Cruella Desborough :lol: ] so, please, do a lot of in-depth research about them and their proper diet - and I don't mean go to a breeders or a 'fluff' birdsite where people who never did any scientific research give their own opinions, I mean REAL research like studies, field biologists reports and.or blogs, etc.
Norwegian Blue
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Location: NE New Jersey
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