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Getting my bird over his fear of hands

Discussion in 'The Training Court' started by Duel, 12/19/18.

  1. Duel

    Duel Meeting neighbors

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    I have a 4 month old fischer lovebird and he's my first bird. I got him with his wings clipped and he was handfed by the breeder I got him from. So far I've bonded with him in every way possible and he's not afraid of me but rather my hands. If I put him down on the floor and walk around the house, he'll follow me around and if I lay down on the floor he'll come to me and climb onto my chest and even when I have him on a table he now goes up to me and jumps on instead of how he used to go to the opposite side of the table and try try to get off. The only problem is that he's afraid of my hands. If he sees my hand approaching him even if its one finger sticking out he walks away though if I manage to get my finger in front of his feet he immediately steps up and has no problem stepping up from one finger to another. All whats left for me to do now is to get him to not fear/run away from my hands. I've tried holding millets in my hand and he goes up to eat it and I thought I can use it to distract him to pet him so that he can associate getting pet with food he leaves the food and backs off instead when I try. Any ideas you guys have?
     
  2. expressmailtome

    expressmailtome Ripping up the road Administrator Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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  3. sunnysmom

    sunnysmom Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    I would just keep hand feeding him treats and taking things slow. You can even have him step up on a perch if it becomes an issue. My foster parrotlet has a hands issue too- and he can step up, but I have a feeling in his case, he was grabbed a lot. So it's just going to take some time to teach mine that I'm not going to grab him.
     
    iamwhoiam, Revali and BlueDoraBarry like this.
  4. Duel

    Duel Meeting neighbors

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    Something I forgot to mention is that even though he's afraid of my hands, if I were to be wearing a long sleeve and cover my hand in it and reach into his cage like that, he goes up to my arm and climbs onto my sleeve for me to take him out.
     
  5. Lady Jane

    Lady Jane Joyriding the Neighborhood Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Try to perch train him to get him out of cage. Covering your hands will make matters worse. Little birds on the floor is quite dangerous. Set up a stand or some area for him to play out of cage and not on floor. Also be patient.
     
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  6. Monica

    Monica Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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  7. Duel

    Duel Meeting neighbors

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    Ok guys, its been a while so its time for an update I guess. I've tried the experiment where I take out his food while he's asleep and in the morning I refill it after he's eaten from my hand. After a few days of it he now automatically waits for me at the bottom of the cage since that's where I rest my hand with the food for him to eat from. Whenever he's on my shoulder I'd hold a single seed in my finger and hold it close for him to approach it and take a bite every here and there so he thinks my hands are more friendly. Lastly when it's late and he's sleepy he doesn't run from my hand due to being tired/sleepy so I would take him out of the cage in my hand and start scratching his head and it seems to be working especially since he's started his first molting. He closes his eyes as I scratch his head and when I happen to stop he turns around and just stares at me so I guess he always wants me to continue? Either way whenever I see him at the edge of the cage wanting to get out I offer him my finger to step up and he stares at it a bit, gives it a nibble, then finally steps on. Progress I guess.
     
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  8. ashbirdlady

    ashbirdlady Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    :super:
    Yes! Definitely progress. Make sure to keep rewarding him each time he does what you want
    Good Job!!
     
  9. emalyne

    emalyne Checking out the neighborhood

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    i took in a princess parrot that had been neglected, he had a terrible fear of hands.
    Feeding treats will help but it will take forever, you can get him used to your hands in a day by doing this:

    - put him on a stand or wherever you train him, I personally sit on the couch and have my bird on my knees when bonding training.

    - start with placing your hand next to him and hold still, everytime he flinches or pulls away, you pull away too, then return your hand. Continue this until the presence of your hand isn't a bother.
    Wiggle your fingers around him, twist your hands, show him all the ways your hands move.
    - wait until he's relaxed then hold your hand flat and high above him. Slowly lower it every now and then. If he bites just pause and hold still, when he calms move your hand away and praise . This one will take some time but its important that he recognizes your hand isn't a threat, even when its coming above him.

    - once he starts getting used to your hand moving, try holding your hand flat next to him, then slowly cupping it over his body, praise when he doesn't react to it. Eventually you should be able to cup your hand around him.

    I also do a 'claw' movement with my hand, over my bird and next to him, he'll just sit there and preen himself while I do this. it looks like your pretending to grab them but what its doing is getting them used to the motion of your hands and realising even the scariest thing they'll do really isn't scary .

    I kept 'clawing' at my birds head then he eventually smooched his head into my hands, first time I ever got to touch his face, now he loves head tickles.
     
  10. Duel

    Duel Meeting neighbors

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    Oh uh this was a long time ago and now he practically loves me taking any chance he can to get out of the cage and fly over to me as well as lowering his head every time my finger approaches him to tell me he wants me to pet his head. He'll be turning 1 year soon in 5 days!
     
  11. Monica

    Monica Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    It's kind of cool to see how far you've come since you first arrived! :)
     

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