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Bird vs Everything

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

Bird vs Everything

Postby Nautlass » Sat Aug 08, 2020 4:36 pm

I am a first time buyer owner and I'm learning as I go. I'm busy throughout the day so beyond quality time and true basics like finger-perching and recall, I've kept training on the back burner. However, I'm now in a situation where I can't hold it if any longer. I have a Parrotlet and I was aware of by their temper when I got her, but it's getting out of hand. My bird will attack anything (and I mean anything) that isn't a hand. If something is near her cage, she attacks. Something in my hand, she attacks. Something making noise, she attacks. I've looked for several resources to try and find a solution but nothing close to my current predicament. If anyone has any advice it would be much appreciated.
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Re: Bird vs Everything

Postby liz » Sat Aug 08, 2020 6:21 pm

Find a rescue and get her another bird. She is scared but is safty in numbers.

The shelters try to work with them and learn their personalities so you wll have that advantage
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Flight: Yes

Re: Bird vs Everything

Postby Pajarita » Sun Aug 09, 2020 10:46 am

Welcome to the forum and I am sorry you are having such a hard time with your little bird but Liz is 100% correct. It's a sad fact that people think that all parrots are the same but they are not. There are avicultural classifications -like parrot versus conure or parakeet -and, in this case, companion versus aviary. Your bird is not a companion, it's an aviary. And, I suspect, parent-raised which is the most common because, to make a long story short, handfeeding them is A LOT of work that never pays out in the end because they never imprint to humans like companion species do. It's the way they are and nothing can be done about it. Companion parrots bond so deeply to their human that they can be content with their owner as long as they get proper care but aviary species never are. They are OK when they are handfed babies but, once they reach adulthood, they need a companion of their own species (at the very least, they are happier in flock).

You mention 'quality time' but that's for dogs or cats that are happy being in the same room you are and your paying attention to them for a couple of hours a day. To a parrot, quality time means 24/7/365. It's genetically programmed into them and nothing you can do or not do will change it because although you can change evolution (domestication process), it takes hundreds or even thousands of generations to accomplish it - and even then there are things you cannot change.
There are species of companion parrots that resign themselves to getting the short end of the stick easier than others - an amazon will do better being alone for a few hours than a cockatoo or a green cheek conure, for example. And there are species of aviary parrots that although they don't do better, will not be as aggressive - cockatiels are one of them. But parrotlets are not known for their patience or their forbearance. They are very similar to lovebirds and if you don't give them what they need, they become little mean warriors.

Unfortunately, there is no training that is going to make a bird happy when the poor thing is miserable (and make no mistake, birds that are so aggressive do it because they are deeply unhappy and no longer trusts you so they attack as kind of a 'pre-emptive strike' - they are taught by us to be aggressive because we don't give them any other way to tell us that something is very wrong). Not that this means there is no solution because there is! But the solution entails EXCELLENT husbandry (strict solar light schedule with full exposure to dawn and dusk, right diet -which means you cannot free-feed any protein food, etc.) and lots and lots of out-of-cage time (birds needs to be flighted, it doesn't work if the bird is clipped) and lots and lots of hours of one-on-one. After a couple of months of this done consistently every day, the bird will calm down BUT it will never be happy unless it has a mate -which, by the way, does not mean that it will forget all about you... that is another fallacy that people repeat without actually knowing what they are talking about.

If you are able and willing to change your entire husbandry, we can tell you what you need to do but, in order for the bird to be healthy and happy, you will still need to get a mate for it.
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