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Parakeet Bonding Advice

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Parakeet Bonding Advice

Postby Megan » Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:02 pm

Hi, my name is Megan and I have a small, violet parakeet named scooter. I've had her for about a year and an half, and I have a very good bond with her. She loves to cuddle up to my neck whenever I spend time with her outside the cage. Although I enjoy cuddling and taking naps with her, it seems the only thing she wants to do when I spend time with her. I've tried to do bring out some toys and play with them, but she looses interest with them quickly and only wants to go back to my
shoulder and sit there. I've seen so many other videos with pet owners and their parrots or parakeet playing with them. But scooter seems never interested, nor does she like me touching her. Which i respect but am surprised because I've had her for so long. I wanted some advice on how to do other things with scooter and try to get her to be interested in playing when we bond, besides just sitting on my shoulder which is what she tends to do. Thank you!
Megan
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Re: Parakeet Bonding Advice

Postby ParrotsForLife » Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:22 pm

Id consider her sitting on your shoulder and doing things with her there as bonding, What kind of Parakeet is she? I assume because you have a English Budgies that she is an American Budgie lol.Some parrots aren't interested in what you would call a toy, Some prefer to shred and make noise and some like a mixture.
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Re: Parakeet Bonding Advice

Postby liz » Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:39 am

Megan, your bird is still afraid of something. I can turn Myrtle upside down and interact with her. She even asks me for tickles. She will not however let me touch her head or back. She is very bonded to me and has been with me for about 6 years now. She is 7. She does play with toys or the boxes they come in but will call "Ma" if she has not seen me for a while.
She still does not let me touch her head or back. She still has a fear of that.
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Re: Parakeet Bonding Advice

Postby Pajarita » Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:44 pm

Welcome to the forum! You say you've had her for 1.5 years but was she a baby when you got her or an adult? Is she clipped? Does she live with another budgie or is she alone in her cage? What kind of diet is she on? I am asking because the answers will help us understand the situation better.
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Re: Parakeet Bonding Advice

Postby Megan » Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:57 pm

To answer Pajaritas question: When I got her, she had all her feathers and was grown up but her cere hadn't turned color quite yet. She is not clipped. She lives with a English budgie, Sr. James, he's very sweet. She has lived with other parakeets in the past. A long time ago, I had to separate her from the cage because Sr. James and another female, Lacy, we're going to lay eggs. (During that time was when I bonded with her. I kind of became her friend when she didn't have any). Her diet consists of fruit, vegetables, grains, and seed. Hope this helps!
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Re: Parakeet Bonding Advice

Postby Wolf » Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:36 am

For the most part parrot seem to be the happiest when they can just hang out on us, their chosen human, it seems that most of the time that this is all that they really want to do, which actually stands to reasons since they are so flock oriented and in their natural environments are never alone and don't want to be. They derive a fair portion of their sense of safety and security as well as that of well being by being in contact with us or their mate or flock, it is haw they are put together mentally and emotionally.

As for toys and all of the other things that you mention, parrots do not actually have toys and such in the wild and although it does appear that they play with things in their natural habitats they are really just practicing skills that they will use for the remainder of their lives. For this reason you can understand that these things do not come naturally to them, so if we want them to play with toys we must take the time to play with the same toys with them so that we can teach them how to play with them on their own. You might want to consider target training as this is the easiest way that I know of to train a parrot to perform tricks and to play with toys. The target training allows us to get them to move where we want them to and to touch or pick up items that we want them to and to even put said item where we want them to, it is the basis for nearly all trick type training that I am aware of.
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Re: Parakeet Bonding Advice

Postby Pajarita » Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:32 am

Well, Megan, I have to tell you that it seems to me that she has a very good life as it is and, if she was mine, I would be very grateful to have gotten her to bond with me to the point that she perches on my shoulder and cuddles against my neck (she sounds delightful!).

Now, I realize that most people want their pet to be super interactive and to do cute things but I am not like that, I just love them and enjoy them as they are, without any bells and whistles. You could try target training, as Wolf suggests but, for that, you have to stop feeding her seed during the day and feed her only cooked whole grains (mixed with veggies, if at all possible) so you can use the seeds as rewards (she should still get her seeds for dinner).
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Re: Parakeet Bonding Advice

Postby Polarn » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:50 am

Im with you there Pajarita, kind of. I'm a bit split on the training aspects of pets. I like the relationship as relaxed and natural as possible but on the other hand working the mind does so so much for any species I beleive to counteract boredom etcetera... However saying that I've only really done any type of training with julia for the past week now. as soon as she started venturing down from my shoulder and started reachnig over my desk for some goodies, I figured it was time to get a clicker and start with her (shes been with me since 2013) and wel so far she hasnt been bothered enough about the treets to steal em from me, always had an open bag on the desk and I give her a treat every now and then for just being nice while i'm working. Now a week later she has learnt a couple of tricks and its annoying because even if i try to just give her a treat for being cute she has to do something for it, most time she just blows me a kiss. But I'd say with a pet/companion, of any sort if they seem to show interest in training I consider training a form of play wich is a bonding experience and beneficial for both parts. But being that I kinda like birds to be natural as in I am not a big fan of talking birds, prefer the screams haha. it is slightly weird to have a bird blowing me kisses every time she wants a treat, on the other hand as soon as she starts blowing kisses I know she is motivated and wants to do any other thing or learn something new.
So far during the past 7 days:
-we introduced a clicker
-put the kissing sound on que (gimme a kiss)
-target in and out of cage(including entering and exiting cage)
-wave
and today weve introduced spin around wich i still have to kinda do the visual que kinda large.
She still has all the food she can ever need, so I think part of her inclination of training is the interaction and the reward. But she is one of them who will grab a finger and play tug a war or grab a ball and lay on her back on the middle of the floor fiddling with it.. Just saying if they find it a fun interaction I think it is a good bonding experience and beneficial for them excerting some mental energy figuring out exactly what they did for that clicker to click, much as a foraging toy.
And yes a realize that by modifying feedings etcetera I could have gotten her interested a lot earlier, but it hasn't been that important to me with her since she has been social and able to use harness etcetera, whereas earlier with Polarn for example I used training as taming, where he found flying on que etcetera rewarding I could get him to fly back and from me and we used that as a starting point for stepping up and handling, so with him I found the training to be an important part because I knew that getting him to not be afraid of me and stuff around him would be benefitial for him, and the training gave him something familiar to focus on while introduced to new situations. Anyways this turne into a ramble haha.

In short tho, I wish my lil baby would be happy sitting on my shoulder and cuddle up against my head. She demands slightly more attention than that... She is sat on my shoulder or the back of my chair all day tho but its a constant interupting work to give her something to play with. And I'd say a bird happy with perching on the shoulder is most likely a content bird. And if you wan to try training, I know for the budgie and cockatiel I had all I had to do was not give any millet in their normal diet and they would do whatever for milletspray..
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Re: Parakeet Bonding Advice

Postby Pajarita » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:06 pm

Oh, don't misunderstand me, Polarn! I am not against training but it depends on the species of bird and the purpose as well as the training itself whether the exercise will, indeed, enrich their life or it's done mostly for the human's benefit. My birds know lots and lots of commands - of course, they sometimes choose not to follow them but then, I had the same degree of success with my kids so their 'disobedience' is not something that I am not used to :lol: I don't have training sessions with them and I don't use clickers, targets or even rewards. I just react the same way and with the same words every time they do an action and give them praise if they obey my command or tell they they are bad birds if they don't and get up and make them do it. This 'make them do it' might sound as if I am flooding them but I don't - I am talking about, for example, their not perching on Pookey's cage because she gets all bent out of shape when they do so, if I hear her complaining (she makes a special kind of call when they do) and I tell them to 'shoo' (they know this means they have to fly somewhere else) and they don't do it, I just get up, walk over while saying they are bad birds, and make them step up so I can move them to another spot. If they do it, I tell them they are good birds. And, believe it or not, most of them they do it although, sometimes, they wait until I start to get up (just like kids pushing the parent's buttons :lol: )

You have a single macaw with only you for company so yes, having daily 'training' sessions will, indeed, keep her entertained. But this thread is about a budgie, a little aviary parent-raised bird - which are always VERY flighty!- that has a bird companion of her own so it's not the same thing. And I still think it's a wonder that she cuddles on her human's neck like that! I certainly never had a budgie doing that with me.
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Re: Parakeet Bonding Advice

Postby Polarn » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:35 pm

agree altho the budgie I had did cuddle on my shoulder every now and then, but felt enrished by doing recalls on que rather than just flying back n forth, for me whenever i do teach something its a dual edge, like for the budgie for example who constantly flew back n forth putting it on que made it less impulsive kind of so made it eaier to move in and out of the house etceterea without her flying to me as i opened the door. Like for me any training kind of have to fill a purpouse and to me.. its basically enriching the life for an animal or making it safer. Altho I consider tricktraining etcetera for any animal in most cases are stimulating, and thats where the clicker comes in for me, so instead of entertaining with a foraging toy that puts out a reward every time a wheel is turned etcetera, capturing behaviors seems to get them really thinking and trying to figure out what caused the click. as in the wave she has picked up during the past couple of days, is nothing more than a click whenever she raised her left foot. capturing that behavior as it naturaly occoured. And wel las i said only done training with her the past couple of days because it kind of seemed like the right time, but as company for her.. well shes a cuddlebug (sometimes think she should be white and have a crest the way she acts... both good n bad behaviors).

But yeah get what your saying, kinda wish mine would be happy just sitting on my shoulder being content. would make my work so much easier haha.

And as far as the clicker goes, old habbits die hard and been using one forever, think im not wery good with verbal phrase, plus I find it a lot easier timing a click that timing a "good" :)
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