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How to tame my scared lovebird

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

How to tame my scared lovebird

Postby jaxyboi666 » Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:37 pm

I need help with my new pet bird, she is a lovebird and is very scared of me, but she lets me put my hand in her cage to give her food, while she does not let my mom, she is a little over a year old and we got her from my moms friend who did not want her anymore. When we got her her wings were clipped,and i am guilty for some of the reason why she is not stepping up on my hand and getting very scared, because when i got her i took her out of her cage. now i know now that i was not supposed to do that,but was too excited. We do not know her past,for she has two missing toe tips,and we think that she has experienced trauma. when her wings were clipped she was in her cage and i did not want her to be in her cage so i was grabbing her out of her cage gently,however when her wings grew every time i would try to take her out she would go crazy! she is so very scared of me,i try to sit by her and let her try to go on a perch,and i try everything but nothing is working. Can someone please figure out how to get my bird tame.
jaxyboi666
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 2
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: lovebird
Flight: Yes

Re: How to tame my scared lovebird

Postby Pajarita » Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:03 am

Welcome to the forum, Jaxy and lovie (you did not tell us her name and how you know it's a girl). Well, you have two problems here:

1) (and this is a problem everybody has with lovebirds) is that you have an aviary, parent-fed bird and not a companion, human-imprinted one. This makes a HUGE difference because this is a bird that will never be completely happy living alone with a human (because she is aviary and that means that, once they are sexually mature, they will need companions of their own species while companion species can, with good husbandry, be content living with a human).

2) I am sorry to say that you made the situation worse by grabbing her because instead of making her trust you, it made her distrust you so you are now on a negative number instead of just zero so it will take longer to bring her back to a good place with you.

Now, the most important thing is to be VERY patient and consistent. Start by NEVER grabbing her again and try, as much as possible, to keep your hands out of her cage (can't you put her food and water in it without putting your hand inside?). Spend as much time as you can during the morning and the early afternoon (because these are the times, during the day, that parrots interact with each other) in the same room as she is. Talk, sing, whistle and, every now and then, give her a little treat. If she doesn't take it, just leave it where she can reach it and walk away because this is not a reward or a bribe for her to do anything, it's a gift from you to her. In order for the treat to work (meaning, that she will eventually be so tempted by it that she would overcome her resistance to having anything to do with you) you need to feed her correctly and that means no free-feeding protein food (this means do not put a bowl of pellets, seeds, nuts, avicakes, nutriberries or whatever in her cage from early in the morning and leave it there all day long). She needs gloop and raw produce in the morning at dawn, and a bit less than a tablespoon of budgie seed for dinner at dusk. This is not only the healthy diet for her, it will also help with taming her because she will want the seeds or little pieces of nuts (better than seeds) you can give her as treats during the day.

Open her cage and let her out for a couple of hours BEFORE dusk (this time of the year, you would do this around 3 pm) and do not try to approach her, let her do her own thing. If she wants to come out, she will and, if she doesn't, just keep on doing it every day until she does. What I do is always use the same phrase when I open their cages - I say 'Come out? come out?" so they learn what it means and what is going to happen. Telling birds what action is coming helps with the chronic stress of captivity because it gives them a sense of control over their own lives. Once she is out (she will, most likely, climb to the top of her cage) just kind of ignore her - stay in the room and verbally interact with her, offer her a treat, etc. Another thing, her cage should be high enough that her highest perch is at your eye level when you are standing up. Putting cages lower than our heads makes them nervous because no prey animal likes a giant predator looming over them -especially when it's a clipped bird that cannot fly away from danger. Also, her cage should be against a wall because this makes them feel safe as they know that no predator will come from that side. If it cannot be against a wall, drape some sort of material on the back of the cage making a fake wall.

Once she comes in and out of her cage without a problem (she will go back into it for her dinner - but, again, for this to happen, she cannot have protein food during the day), starts taking treats from your hand and appears eager for your company (she will come to the side of the cage where you are and look at you with attention), you can start training her to step up to your hand - which we will cover when it's necessary. Now, I warn you, this whole thing is going to take a loooong time so do not lose patience and try to rush things because, with birds, rushing is the worst thing you can do. Parrots take forever to trust but it does happen if you are patient and do everything right.

One more thing, she needs to be kept at a strict solar schedule or she will become hormonal and start biting.

Last but not least, do remember that lovebirds are aviary so they never bond the same way a companion parrot does and that she will only be happy if you get her a mate (because you cannot keep two female lovebirds together, it needs to be a male/female or two male pair for it to work). There is a reason why these birds are called 'love'birds and it's that they really and truly LOVE their mates with a passion, they kiss each other, they sleep leaning against each other's sides and they are never far from each other (in Spanish, Italian and French, this species is called 'inseparables' precisely because of this trait). A lone lovebird is never a happy bird and an unhappy bird is never really healthy. So, please, do consider her future happiness...
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15384
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: How to tame my scared lovebird

Postby jaxyboi666 » Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:38 pm

I know that she is a girl because i can feel her pelvic bones,also her name is pip. There is no possible way that i can not put my hand in her cage to feed her. I open her cage door every day at around 3:00 there is a way however that i can open her cage in the morning.My mom only puts her hand in the cage to feed her on the weekends when im away.she is fine with me putting my hand up to perch to try to get her to step up. most days i put a little treat on my hand and try to get her on my hand.she is always so interested when i open her cage door. And i am not as patient as i should be. i do not yell at her or anything like that,but i dont spend as much time with her as i should. Thank you so much for helping me i talk to you about my progress with her in about a month. thanks again!
jaxyboi666
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 2
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: lovebird
Flight: Yes

Re: How to tame my scared lovebird

Postby Pajarita » Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:49 am

Oh, my dear, you have been misinformed. The pelvic bone separation as a way of sexing a bird is a myth. The margin of error is so wide that you might as well guess the gender. It simply doesn't work at all... not even for breeders that have handled hundreds of birds. There are only three ways of sexing a lovebird:
1) if you are dealing with a sex-linked mutation
2) DNA
3) if the bird has laid an egg

And, if I were you, I would stop putting my hand in her cage to try to make her step up. Most pet birds, and especially lovebirds or any other opportunistic breeder species, consider their cage their nest and none of them takes it kindly to humans (or other birds) invading it. Instead of putting your hand inside the cage, put it at the open door - it serves the same purpose while being respectful of its nest. You might not know this but sticking your hand in a bird's cage in an attempt to tame them is considered a flooding technique and no longer recommended.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15384
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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