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How do you know when to pet?

Discussion in 'Bird Boulevard' started by annoellyn, 10/11/18.

  1. annoellyn

    annoellyn Meeting neighbors

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    There was one time that I was doing the finger scitchy bend and Jupiter bowed her head I thought, so I tried to give her head a little pet. But no lol she chased my hand down to give me a good bite. But I don't know how to tell when she's okay if I touch her. She seems super comfortable with me, she has even flown to me twice so I'll take her around the house and feed her. And every day she immediately hops onto me from her cage. But I'm probably just being an impatient bird mom.
    But I got her a shower perch so excited to see how she likes it. She really enjoys playing in a bowl of water.
     
  2. Max83

    Max83 Walking the driveway

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    mine too bows their head, but my CAG sometimes does this for the purpose to being pet and bite you! She's a nippy girl..you have to read his mood from other signs of body language :) you'll learn with time and...blood from your finger. Good luck!

    Your parrot seems to definitely search your attention but maybe isn't confident enough or something in the surrounding scare him/her.
     
  3. Feather

    Feather Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    In general, I find the head bow is just part of it. I wait for the bird in question to come closer and fluff their head feathers. If the head is bowed but the feathers flat, I don't touch. This works for most, but it can differ bird to bird.

    With my own?

    Skyline, I can prompt for scritches by wiggling my finger at him. He'll bow his head and inch towards me, and his little crest rises ever so slightly. He makes a heartmelting chittering noise when he wants to be petted.

    With Zyda, I wait until she's practically begging for scritches. She'll land on my shoulder and incessantly nudge the top of her beak against my neck and make her "PET ME ALREADY!!" beep, and only then will I know it's actually safe. :hilarious:

    Rowan usually skips the head bow altogether. The feathers on the very top of his head go up and he'll stare at me intently. I can pet the very tip top of his head, but only for a little.
     
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  4. Peachfaced

    Peachfaced Biking along the boulevard Super Moderator Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Tailgating!!! Vendor I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Start by petting your bird's cheeks with something like a chopstick/smooth stick. When the bird puts their head down for the impending scratch, rub your fingers together and then scratch with the stick.

    When I rub my fingers together, Rupert associates that with "want scritches?" and he will poof up his head for them.
     
  5. annoellyn

    annoellyn Meeting neighbors

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    Yeah he's likely not comfortable yet I guess. He was giving himself long slow scratches with his feet, closing his eyes and everything So I wiggled my finger and pet his head. Nope lol. But I didnt get bit, I dodged it.
    I think he's still too nervous Even if I wanted to try petting him with a stick its doubtful he would let it near him. He backs up pretty good at anything new I show him at the moment.
    I just have to be patient lol
     
  6. Monica

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

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    You pretty much need to get to know your bird....
















    Unless you have a Bibi! ;-)

     
  7. enigma731

    enigma731 Jogging around the block Avenue Veteran

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    I think it's also pretty common for a bird to ask for scritches and then lightly nibble/nip you if they want you to stop or if you do it in a way they don't like. It's just a part of their body language.
     
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  8. Peachfaced

    Peachfaced Biking along the boulevard Super Moderator Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Tailgating!!! Vendor I Can't Stop Posting!

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    :lol: There's no arguing with bird logic:

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. MuhammedAli

    MuhammedAli Hit the Road

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    You can look at birdtrick.com/store

    They teach you a great method to overcome biting.
    Sometimes scratches are not seen as rewarding but annoying.
    So how can you solve this?

    Requirements:
    • A clicker (not necessary, but highly recommended)
    • Treats (that are easy to consume and not super large for them)
    • Yourself
    • Your bird

    1. Is your bird completely aggressive to you? Does she lunge at you if you are at the other side of the room? Then the reward will be you leaving her alone.
    2. If she can step up and you want to pet him then the reward will be treats and praise.
    1.
    So if it is the first case then do as followed.
    Get to roughly the distance before she starts to react to you. So get to the edge when she starts to react slightly, stay there.
    Wait till she has calmed down.
    Then click and leave.
    Do this until you have closed the distance to the cage.
    Apply this method by bringing your hand closer to the cage, each time she starts to show signs, moving around, swaying their head. Wait there until she has calmed down, click and go away. Do this until you can open the cage without her showing any discontent or reaction to you.

    If you fear a bite yet then get a perching stick and slowly bring it closer. Using the same method above.
    If she is comfortable with the stick being the distance needed to step up.
    Then the next step is introducing a treat.
    Get a treat and initially position the treat behind the perching stick so that the bird needs to move his body a bit to the front to get the treat. The trick here is is to take it slowly and not getting your bird freaked out. Then eventually when she steps up say step up and if she gets on the stick click and reward. And put her back.
    Reinforce this a couple of times and associate the stick with being stepped upon.
    This stick will come handy if you need a bird to step up and she is hormonal or nippy. You can avoid a bite this way.
    The trick is not to force but gently encourage it with positive reinforcement.
    Eventually you can bring her out of the cage with the stick. You want to place her on her cage or somewhere she trusts.
    Let her stay there, enjoy herself. Give her treats occassionally, win her trust.
    Now keep reinforcing good behaviour and the key is not to force.
    This is how you tame a bird.
    Eventually you can replace stick with your hand and repeat the process.
    Of course sessions must not be rushed. A few times a day is okay.

    If she is okay with you stepping up and she trust you but she does not like being pet.
    Then what you can do is apply the same method but with treats and a clicker.

    Now what you want to do is bring your hand closer to her head or back wherever you want to pet her. until she starts showing signs of discomfort, fluffing up, raising neck feathers, swaying back and foreward, directing her beak towards you.
    get into her discomfort a bit, don't rush, wait till she calms down, click and give a reward. Move closer step by step.
    Eventually put your hand on her head or back. By repeating the same process.
    You can then increase the duration and pet. Then give a reward and stop.
    By using this method you can also put your hand on her back and put her on her back on your hand ofc. Step by step
    Sorry for the long post.
     
  10. enigma731

    enigma731 Jogging around the block Avenue Veteran

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    Your mileage may vary, but I feel like if you're literally having to trick train your bird to let you pet them, then maybe you should just respect their boundaries and not pet them.*

    *That's not the same as initial taming, where you might use food rewards to help a fearful bird overcome their shyness.
     
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  11. Monica

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

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    I don't like Bird Tricks.... but birds can be taught to enjoy getting scritches even if they never enjoyed them before.



     
  12. enigma731

    enigma731 Jogging around the block Avenue Veteran

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    I do agree with that for unsocialized birds. Like...some birds enjoy scritches but don't know that they do or are too scared at first. But others are hands-off birds as part of their temperament. I just think it's a fine line between socializing a bird and training them to do things solely because the owner prefers it. Does that make sense?
     
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  13. annoellyn

    annoellyn Meeting neighbors

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    Absolutely, if Jupiter doesn't enjoy being pet I'm fine with that. But I do need her to let me touch her in other situations that might arise. But at the moment any physical contact is all on her end without a hard bite. BUT I've only had her a week.
     
  14. MuhammedAli

    MuhammedAli Hit the Road

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    You can train her to be okay with towels and make her like her.... it is not force because she learns to like it. Like when a kid gets a present from the dentist or watches fishes and movies at the doctor
     
  15. MuhammedAli

    MuhammedAli Hit the Road

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    But I won't force you to adopt my style.
    Each his own if you are okay with not being able to pet your animal then that is your choice.
     
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  16. Laurul Feather Cat

    Laurul Feather Cat Cruising the avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    My first cockatiel taught me, when she wanted scritches, she would ask for them by knocking her beak on my fingers or on a surface in front of my fingers. When I watched my other cockatiels later when I had a flock, I would notice they would ask one another for a scritch by bending their head toward the surface they were standing on or even, as Gracie taught me before, tapping the surface with their beak. So I use an almost universal signal to my birds and curve my index finger in a crescent and tap it on the surface the bird is standing on and then hold my index finger above their head and wait to see of the bird presents itself for scritching. This works for every bird in the room except my new lovebird.

    Even Emmie CAG will respond to my curved finger and tapping and allow me three swift, scritches through the cage bars onto his head. Any more than three and he bites me.
     
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