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My parrot hates me

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My parrot hates me

Postby lunno » Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:56 am

Image


This parrot belonged to my grandmother, although she didn't care about it at all, someone would just give it food and water, and that's about it. He was always alone in his cage on the balcony.

Now my grandmother has died and the parrot ended up in my house since nobody else wanted it, I am trying to befriend him but it has been a total failure. The parrot clearly dislikes me and is scared of me. Unfortunately, unlike dogs, it is not easy to understand his behavior.

I have tried to give him lettuce leaves, slices of fruit to make him trust me, but when I do that, he bites the food not for eating it, but as if he were attacking it. The food drops on the floor of his cage and he keeps "attacking" the food. When I put my finger close to his cage, as if I wanted to caress the parrot, he bites it and if i move around he climbs on his cage clearly mad.

I have also tried showing him videos of parrots or making him listen to other parrots singing but nothing works. I don't know, I am sad about this bird, all his life in a damned cage and hating it. I don't think I can free it otherwise I'm afraid it'd die early on.

This parrot was never let out of his cage, and although I've read online that it'd be a good thing to do, this bird is small and I'm afraid that if I do I wouldn't be able to catch it again.

When I approach him, he always makes a sound with his beak (I don't even know if it's a male or female though), it's like a click and it seems to me like a threatening sound. I have looked on youtube trying to find a video of parrots doing that sound but I didn't find it.

What can I do to save the situation ?
lunno
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 2
Number of Birds Owned: 0
Flight: No

Re: My parrot hates me

Postby Pajarita » Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:59 am

Welcome to the forum and thank you for trying to better this poor bird's sad life.

It's hard to tell from the picture because the light is not too good but it seems to me that you have a female turquoisine which is a species within the group called grass parakeets. Now, these birds are aviary so, in reality, they do not bond to people very deeply and, taking into consideration that this poor thing has been severely neglected for some many years, it will take A LOT of work, patience and time to tame it. Not that it cannot be done, mind you! We can give you lots of pointers on how to achieve this but it will be a project and half, that's for sure.

But this does not mean that you cannot improve its life in the meantime. The cage is completely inadequate (WAAAYYY too small), these birds are flighty and they need flight cages so they can flit from one branch (the cage also has the worst perches!) to another if there isn't enough room for it to fly (which would be the ideal situation). Please get her a nice flight cage, tall enough that the roosting perch is at your eye level when you are standing up and place it against a wall in a spot where it gets natural light from a window and set it up with natural tree branches (and don't worry if they are not straight or perfectly parallel to the floor and make sure there are different diameters from thin to a bit wider -these is good exercise for her feet and legs), just make sure the wood you are using is safe. If you cannot place it against a wall, drape some sort of material (large towel? a quilt?) on the back of the cage to create a fake wall (this makes them feel safe). Make sure her diet is the right one. Parakeets cannot be free-fed protein food but they can eat cooked whole grains mixed with veggies, accompanied by raw produce in the morning (leafy greens and fruit) with just one teaspoon of finch seed mix for dinner. If you have a room where she can be let out of her cage in a safe manner and you feed her correctly, she would go back to her cage on her own when you serve her dinner at dusk - and that's another thing, she needs to be kept at a strict solar schedule with, at least, 2 hours of dawn and dusk so her endocrine system is healthy.

Now, as to taming her. Do NOT put your finger next to her cage, do NOT put your hand in her cage if you can avoid it, do NOT offer her food from your fingers. You are invading her privacy and imposing something she doesn't yet want from you. The first thing you need to do is to show her that you can be trusted, that you will respect her wishes and privacy and that you are the bringer of good things only (food, water, light, company, treats, etc). The way to prove this to her is to spend as many hours as you can in the same room as she is just talking, singing, whistling to her but never stare at her, just act nonchalantly, do your own stuff (play video games, read, whatever) without concentrating on her and, every now and then, offer her a treat. I usually recommend a high value item which is usually protein but, going by what you told us, I am afraid she has been fed way too much protein for years so you will have to come up with something different (maybe a birdy cookie?), if there is nothing you can find that would tempt her, use a tiny piece of a millet spray. Offer the treat to her once and wait about 5 seconds, if she doesn't take it from your fingers (from outside the cage), stick it between the bars and walk away because this is not a reward or a bribe, it's a gift from you to her - a token of your desire for friendship. As time goes by, she will start looking forward to her treats (as long as you don't free-feed protein, of course) and one day, she will take it from your fingers after moving closer to the side of the cage where you are standing. This is the first step in establishing trust which, in turn, is the first step in a good long-term relationship. When you get to this point, we will tell you how to proceed further.

But, in all honesty, the very best thing you can do for this bird is to get her a large flight cage, change her diet (I would also give her a multivitamin/mineral supplement unless she has been eating pellets all along which are not good for these birds but they do have vitamins/minerals in them AND liver cleansers -because free-feeding protein messes up their liver something terrible) and get her a mate of her own species because no matter how hard we try, we can never make aviary birds happy living just with a human.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15554
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: My parrot hates me

Postby lunno » Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:31 am

Pajarita wrote:Welcome to the forum and thank you for trying to better this poor bird's sad life.

It's hard to tell from the picture because the light is not too good but it seems to me that you have a female turquoisine which is a species within the group called grass parakeets. Now, these birds are aviary so, in reality, they do not bond to people very deeply and, taking into consideration that this poor thing has been severely neglected for some many years, it will take A LOT of work, patience and time to tame it. Not that it cannot be done, mind you! We can give you lots of pointers on how to achieve this but it will be a project and half, that's for sure.

But this does not mean that you cannot improve its life in the meantime. The cage is completely inadequate (WAAAYYY too small), these birds are flighty and they need flight cages so they can flit from one branch (the cage also has the worst perches!) to another if there isn't enough room for it to fly (which would be the ideal situation). Please get her a nice flight cage, tall enough that the roosting perch is at your eye level when you are standing up and place it against a wall in a spot where it gets natural light from a window and set it up with natural tree branches (and don't worry if they are not straight or perfectly parallel to the floor and make sure there are different diameters from thin to a bit wider -these is good exercise for her feet and legs), just make sure the wood you are using is safe. If you cannot place it against a wall, drape some sort of material (large towel? a quilt?) on the back of the cage to create a fake wall (this makes them feel safe). Make sure her diet is the right one. Parakeets cannot be free-fed protein food but they can eat cooked whole grains mixed with veggies, accompanied by raw produce in the morning (leafy greens and fruit) with just one teaspoon of finch seed mix for dinner. If you have a room where she can be let out of her cage in a safe manner and you feed her correctly, she would go back to her cage on her own when you serve her dinner at dusk - and that's another thing, she needs to be kept at a strict solar schedule with, at least, 2 hours of dawn and dusk so her endocrine system is healthy.

Now, as to taming her. Do NOT put your finger next to her cage, do NOT put your hand in her cage if you can avoid it, do NOT offer her food from your fingers. You are invading her privacy and imposing something she doesn't yet want from you. The first thing you need to do is to show her that you can be trusted, that you will respect her wishes and privacy and that you are the bringer of good things only (food, water, light, company, treats, etc). The way to prove this to her is to spend as many hours as you can in the same room as she is just talking, singing, whistling to her but never stare at her, just act nonchalantly, do your own stuff (play video games, read, whatever) without concentrating on her and, every now and then, offer her a treat. I usually recommend a high value item which is usually protein but, going by what you told us, I am afraid she has been fed way too much protein for years so you will have to come up with something different (maybe a birdy cookie?), if there is nothing you can find that would tempt her, use a tiny piece of a millet spray. Offer the treat to her once and wait about 5 seconds, if she doesn't take it from your fingers (from outside the cage), stick it between the bars and walk away because this is not a reward or a bribe, it's a gift from you to her - a token of your desire for friendship. As time goes by, she will start looking forward to her treats (as long as you don't free-feed protein, of course) and one day, she will take it from your fingers after moving closer to the side of the cage where you are standing. This is the first step in establishing trust which, in turn, is the first step in a good long-term relationship. When you get to this point, we will tell you how to proceed further.

But, in all honesty, the very best thing you can do for this bird is to get her a large flight cage, change her diet (I would also give her a multivitamin/mineral supplement unless she has been eating pellets all along which are not good for these birds but they do have vitamins/minerals in them AND liver cleansers -because free-feeding protein messes up their liver something terrible) and get her a mate of her own species because no matter how hard we try, we can never make aviary birds happy living just with a human.


What an amazing reply! Thank you very much for the time you've put in to write all this down.

Just a few questions to clarify my doubts:

1. Is there a way to determine if it's a female or male? You sounded unsure about it and if I have to buy a mate for it, I need to be sure that it's a female so that I'll buy a male.

2. Does the mate need to be of the same species or can it be something similar/any kind of bird as long as it's of the opposite sex?

3. As far as the cage goes, would something like this be appropriate? I found nothing as tall as my eyes.

Image

4. You've mentioned protein a lot, but I don't know if the bird has ever been fed that, it was always fed the bird food that you buy at the shop, so there are those seeds and that powder, I'm not sure about what it is exactly.

5. Should I keep the cage inside or outside on the balcony?

6. What kind of food is a "treat" for a bird? A carrot? A banana? A biscuit?

7. Is there a way to determine how old this bird is? If it's old, is it ok to buy a baby mate or does the mate need to be approximately of the same age?
lunno
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 2
Number of Birds Owned: 0
Flight: No

Re: My parrot hates me

Postby Pajarita » Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:43 am

OK, replies:

1) If it is a turquoisine (which I am pretty sure it is), it's a female because they are sexually dimorphic (it means that the males look different from the females) and the males are much more colorful.

2) It's always much easier to make them bond to a member of the same species but the opposite gender (especially when it comes to aviary species) but, if you cannot find a turquoisine male, see if you can find a male of another grass parakeet species that resembles the coloration of the turquoisine males.

3) That cage is too narrow (aviary species need room to fly a bit so their cages should always be what we call flight cages) but don't worry too much about the total height of the cage because you can always put it on a tall stand. But, if you look at flight cages, you will see that they are all, at the very least, 5 ft tall - which is not tall enough as a person's face but you can always bend over a bit whenever you stand next to it. The 'eye level height' is, mostly, a temporary thing until the bird starts to bond with you because, once it trusts you completely, it won't mind you being a bit higher.

4) When I say protein food, I mean seeds, pellets, nutriberries, avicakes, etc. Unfortunately for the parrots and us, the keepers, the pet industry decided to call seed mixes 'parrot food' when, in reality, parrots are not natural seed eaters. The do eat seeds and they do eat nuts but they eat more plant material (buds, leaves, sprouts, etc) than they eat seeds because, in the case of grass parakeets, for example, as the name indicates, they eat grass seeds (which are the lowest in protein of all the seeds) but grass does not produce seeds all the time. No plant produces fruit or seeds all year round. So free-feeding (filling up a bowl with food in the morning and leaving it there all day long) protein food to them is never a good idea because it's not what they evolve to eat and, taking into consideration that pet birds are not exposed to the elements and do not need to fly for miles and miles foraging for it, they actually need less protein than even the wild ones eat. I feed gloop and raw produce for breakfast and all day picking and, for dinner, at dusk, they get a measured portion of a seed or a seed/nut mix. For a grass parakeet, the seed mix should be a finch one and not a parrot one because it's the lowest in protein.

5) Parrots need company so they should always be kept inside UNLESS you live in a climate that is almost identical to the one in their natural habitat and you have a flock of them and none has been handfed.

6) A treat is always some sort of protein food. For a grass parakeet, I would use safflower or a small piece of a millet spray.

7) There is no way to know their ages. Birds don't age like mammals do and the ONLY thing that changes with age in pet birds are their feet and legs. The skin gets scalier, their toes become gnarled and you can tell it's harder for them to move them due to arthritis.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15554
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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