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How do I tame a lovebird?

Discussion in 'Behavior Byway' started by Duel, 11/7/18.

  1. Duel

    Duel Moving in

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    Hi everyone I'm new to the forum and recently got my first pet/bird. The bird I have is a male lovebird (DNA tested) and was born Aug. 21 2018 so it's still a baby plus it was raised by getting hand fed. So far I got it a 68 inch bird cage and always make sure its food and water is still good. The problem is taming it, whenever I stick my hand in the cage it immediately starts screeching climbs to the top corners since its wings were clipped when I got it. On the other hand when I take it out and put it on my shoulder hes completely fine and when I'm holding him in my hand he immediately stops trying to get out of my hand once I start petting him so that's good I guess. He also loves to snuggle between my arm and body whenever I'm wearing a long sleeve shirt. I've also tried holding him to my stomach and petting his head and he seems to stay still and sometimes playfully nibble at my hand not a hard bite. As for introducing fruits to his diet I tried putting an apple slice in his food bowl but he wont touch it and goes for the food right next to it tough he has no problem with millets. So my question is, how can I get him to not run away from my hand/ start training him to step up and how should introduce him to new fruits and vegetables? Also I made sure to do research on what he can and cant eat so I got that covered.
     
  2. Cassiopejaz

    Cassiopejaz Rollerblading along the road

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    first of all have patience..it can take time.

    try to find a candy he loves, and use positive reinforcement.

    talk to him, just be near him...when he seems accepting that u are Close to him show him ur hand with a candy and let him take it...in beginning he most likely wont take it...but the more u do it the better it will go.

    (ofc dont stick in ur hand in the Cage)

    This can take time, its up to him...dont rush it.

    when he is okey that u have ur hand near him try to get him to step up on a stick and everytime he does something good reward him so he knows that he does something u want and that he gets something he like by doing it.

    i am sure someone can explain it better but its how i trained my 2 bad boys..and Toby step up without problem...Jack does to but he aint that in to sitting on my hand :D
     
    Last edited: 11/7/18
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  3. Garet

    Garet Rollerblading along the road

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    Do not stick your hand in his cage. None of my birds like that, and it's a good way to get bit.

    Just let him come out on his own. Earn his trust by offering millet, and try laying down quietly on your phone. Let him come to you.
     
  4. Duel

    Duel Moving in

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    Ok then should I leave him eat millets for a while then after a few days just stop giving him millets and let the only way to get more is to step onto my finger?
     
  5. Garet

    Garet Rollerblading along the road

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    Millet is a treat, you don't need to give it to him for a few days.

    Stepping up is a big thing for such a small bird. Work on gaining his trust before you try it. I have several birds who still aren't quite sure about stepping up, but they're slowly starting to explore my fingers and will land on my head, back, arms, shoulders, ECT. I've had them for months, and some have been with me for a year before stepping up. Mind you, my babies learned faster than my adults.

    Getting their wings clipped at such a young age can make them fearful of hands. It takes away their primary defense against a threat, throws off their balance, and negatively effects their confidence. Be gentle and understanding and you both should have a positive relationship.
     
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  6. Duel

    Duel Moving in

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    Well then my last question is what's a good way to introduce/hand feed him new foods to him like fruits and vegetables? I tried holding rice in the palm of my hand and he would try eating it but keeps dropping it from his mouth. Another time I put an apple slice in his food bowl but he only went for the seeds around it. The breeder I got it from hand feeds all his baby birds so when I have my hand approach him with anything that might look like food he's not as scared as when my hand approaches him while empty. Would maybe holding a banana slice for him to nibble on be a better approach or should I just put it in his cage and hope he tries eating it?
     
  7. metalstitcher

    metalstitcher Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

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    I agree with @Garet do not try to reach in and grab your bird. That is a very scary thing for a little bird like a lovie. They are very strong willed and it is going to scare them. It will make him not want to trust you. He may seem like he is fine when he is out but it could be misleading.

    How long have you had him for? I would start with just being in the room with him and talking with him. I do this with my shy guy who is 17 yrs old and he is totally okay with it. Once he see's my hand he gets all hissy with me so I always keep my hands behind my back when I talk with him.

    You need to take it slow and day by day. Let him do things on his own terms and don't rush it. It takes time to earn their trust and like @Garet said when they are clipped that young it does make them more afraid of things.

    As for the food I would introduce new foods in a separate dish in the mornings after he has had his morning stretch and see what he likes. Sweet potato is a good start and some corn, beans and maybe a little banana. Lovies are picky eater at least my two are because they are set in their ways. After an hour take it out and put in some pellet and see how it goes. Offer fresh veggies 2 times a day once in the morning and then for dinner. It will take some time but hopefully he will start to like them. Mine about starved themselves so we had to go a different route.
     
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  8. Duel

    Duel Moving in

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    Alright so after meeting the birds breeder again he told me that my lovebird is a Fischer Breed and that he was born Aug 21 2018 this year so 10 days from this comment he'll be 3 months and I got him DNA tested so I know its a he plus I got him october 28th. I tried introducing him to pellets by leaving him a disposable plate at the bottom of his cage with it and surely enough it worked on getting him to try it and now he likes it and I'll use that method to introduce him to veggies and fruits next. When I was going to change the plate in his cage while he was next to it I noticed he immediately lowered his head down almost to the floor, at first I thought he wanted me to stroke his but on 2nd thought I thought it might be a sign of fear so I didn't touch him. Just to be sure this was a sign of fear right?
     
  9. Rain Bow

    Rain Bow Sprinting down the street

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    It maybe the cut (s), serving of fruit/veg. My Buddys an Amazon & he didn't eat things unless they were cut a certain way. Ex: a cucumber or banana slice were to big. but cut into quarters (as a triangle) & yum. It had gotten to the point where certain things I was sure he did n't like was actually the cut he didn't like but he was 20+ years old & I inherited him. I had no idea what was/ used to be for him. Your guys a chick still, I'd just be sure that the size is comparable to his.

    As far as the stepping up patience yes, a favorite treat. Don't forget the most important thing...

    Have fun, take the pressure off of you & him. It will happen in time probably when your least to expect it. Carve 5-10 minutes of straight time to try step up thru your day with him. Don't do it under pressure or with other stressers around, other people or kids. Just you 2. Its a big event when it happens celebrate it! Give a hoot & hollar bird whislin style. If you have fun they will too!I

    Welcome!

    :gbh: Rain
     
  10. Garet

    Garet Rollerblading along the road

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    Ah, Fischers! Mine are really flighty compared to my other birds.

    What was he doing when he lowered his head? If he had his beak open and was staring at you while making a puffing/hissing noise, that's him telling you to go away.
     
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  11. Duel

    Duel Moving in

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    He just stood still with his head down, beak closed and didn't make a single sound. I tried to see if he would react to my finger slowly approaching to pet him but he was just a statue. I'm not sure if he was testing me by allowing me to preen him or he was so scared he froze. Also whenever I do put my hand in the cage whether its for changing/ refilling the food and water bowls he would immediately chirp louder than usual and climb to the top corner of the cage or go to the opposite side of the cage from where my hand is.
     
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  12. metalstitcher

    metalstitcher Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

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    @Garet I know the hissing thing all to well with my shy guy lol. He hisses at me for everything but then he wants me to play with him just as long as I am not in the same room as him o_O
     
  13. Duel

    Duel Moving in

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    I did a little experiment and left my cage door open until the bird jumped out and tested how it reacted to different approaches. When outside of the cage it doesn't react to the sight of my hands as badly when its in inside and then I tried leaving for a bit then coming back but this time with my hands behind my back so it doesn't see it and it didn't react at all. I then tried acting like a fellow bird trying to preen it by petting its head with my nose and he stood still without making a single sound though I noticed his feathers were shaking so I think he was scared. Of course later I rewarded him by holding a branch of millets for his patience and let him eat from it for a bit. Did the wings shaking as if it was shivering mean he was scared?

    EDIT: I just remembered something and I think it's why he gets scared easily. The breeder tends to use a net on any birds that flew high up in the room to get them back so I think he the bird is scared of people?
     
    Last edited: 11/12/18 at 9:48 AM
  14. Garet

    Garet Rollerblading along the road

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    It's really hilarious to hear, isn't it? Rex and Krem will hiss at me... While sitting on me.

    It does sound from both your descriptions like he was scared. Sometimes, they're just too afraid to hiss and it takes them a little while to trust you enough for that. In those situations, it really is just best to let them come to you. And a lot of times, they find it even scarier when you put your hand near them in their cage.

    I'd get a nice perch and put it up high. Slinkies are also grand for that, as they can sort of hide in it without it causing nesting behavior. If I have to reach into his cage, Rex always goes in there and glares at me from 'safety'.

    I would avoid reaching in for him unless it's an emergency. Even my budgies, who freak out if I change their dishes, are far more tolerant of hands outside the cage.
     
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  15. Duel

    Duel Moving in

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    Ok and what do you think of the experiment I tried with my bird? I also tried taking him outside for a walk since he can't fly and had him stand on my finger. The whole time he seemed to like it making his whole body puffed up and fuzzy. I think I'll do that more often to gain his trust.
     
  16. metalstitcher

    metalstitcher Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

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    @Garet It is funny because he acts all tough but if I put anything and I mean anything in his cage he wiggs out and thinks it's going to eat him.
     
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  17. Garet

    Garet Rollerblading along the road

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    I think you should keep it up with the nuzzling and handling outside of the cage, but I don't think you should take him outside of the house. Krem had a really bad clip and he still made it a good 30+ feet and landed on the side of the road.
     
  18. Duel

    Duel Moving in

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    The farthest he can fly from me inside the house is 5 feet and the only time he flies upwards is when he jumps off my hand but then immediately starts to descend I think the breeder clipped his wings very short for me plus it seems he's going to start molting soon (some stray feathers are starting to stick out more than others) so I think I'll let him enjoy outside a bit more before he regrows his wings.
     
  19. Duel

    Duel Moving in

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    The farthest he can fly from me inside the house is 5 feet and the only time he flies upwards is when he jumps off my hand but then immediately starts to descend I think the breeder clipped his wings very short for me plus it seems he's going to start molting soon (some stray feathers are starting to stick out more than others) so I think I'll let him enjoy outside a bit more before he regrows his wings.
     
  20. Garet

    Garet Rollerblading along the road

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    Krem basically had no flight feathers thanks to his clip when he made it to the road. They were so short, I was starting to worry that the follicles were damaged to the point that he'd never regrow them. Inside, he fell like a rock. Outside, he caught the wind, which was enough to carry him that far.
     
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  21. Duel

    Duel Moving in

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    Oh yeah I forgot to think about the wind. Well now all what I need to focus on is working making him not want to run away from my hands since he runs from it while out of the cage but if I put my cheek right next to him to wear he can reach out and bite it he doesn't even react at all like he's ok with it. Also is there any thread you can direct me to that mentions all the good and bad foods for lovebirds if there is any? Thanks thats all I need.
     

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