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Make parrotlet less fearful of pionus

Discussion in 'Behavior Byway' started by Known Space, 9/15/18 at 3:51 PM.

  1. Known Space

    Known Space Meeting neighbors

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    Ok so to prefix this entire post:

    I do not intend to make them friends. I never got the pionus to keep my parrotlet company. I never intend to have them out together unsupervised: and by that I mean, direct supervision. Not just being in the same room with them. They'll never on the other side of the room together

    So a brief history:

    I've had a parrotlet for over a year now, she's my lovely little friend and I love her. Very welcoming of new people and new birds so it seems.

    Then there's my pionus, he finally joined us in the main room a couple of weeks ago. He's lovely and affectionate, loves to preen me and seeks me out constantly and wants to befriend everyone. Me, my girlfriend and my parrotlet. But mostly me. He's still learning to step up without me hodling a perch and he has the attention span of.... something with a very short attention. He's target trained, but I'm honestly not interested in formally training him much at this point since he's just too young and distractable for it .

    As soon as my bronze-winged pionus joined the room, my parrotlet was REALLY itching to meet him and even tried to squeeze herself into his cage (I didn't let her). She's not territorial about anything except for her cage at all.

    However, when I first let my pionus out he had the audacity to sit on my parrotlet's cage. My parrotlet isn't cage aggressive towards my girlfriend or me at all. But to strangers she is. And I decided that both birds had to be out together to avoid territorial conflict. She also managed to sneak in a little bite in his foot through the cage bars when I wasn't quick enough.

    In spite of that, my pionus was still POSITIVE he was gonna make friends with her. But she grew increasingly scared of this big, hulking bird just taking off and flying around at his leasure.

    My parrotlet is basically constantly scared of him, but she's gotten a lot less cage territorial as of late. My pionus actually spends MOST of the time observing everything from her cage (which I will discourage when he gets more consistent at stepping up), and she's just fine doing her thing unless he gets close when she's eating. Still, when she's on a surface and she lands directly besides her, she tries to shoo him away aggressively. So at times, he does open his beak at her. But only after a day's worth of being shood away by her.

    They never aggressively seek each other out though. My pionus has like these moments where he'd rather just sit and observe from a distance. And my parrotlet is a huge cuddlebug and likes nothing more than to just sit against or on me and fluff up.

    Tonight, I tried making my parrotlet perform tricks and reward those, while giving my pionus treats as they were standing next to each other. I did that for like 5 minutes and... they were completely fine.

    Since the main problem seems to be fear and not territoriality, I can really only reduce the problem to fear at this point. My parrotlet is just scared of this young, huge bird who has no clue how to approach her carefully. What's the best way to get her desensitized to his flying around?

    I was originally planning to introduce them when my pionus was fully willing and trained to step up, enabling me to introduce them more carefully. But that didn't happen when he once got out during a taming session.
     
  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. Feather

    Feather Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    I don't think the problem is your parrotlet's justified fear. You should not be allowing your birds to be together at all.

    There's a huge size difference here. I would personally prefer to see your parrotlet on her guard about the pionus and avoid him as much as possible. Don't wait to train him to stay off her cage. It's already become a habit and the longer it goes on the harder it will be to break and the more distressing it will continue to be for your parrotlet. You may end up needing to house them in separate rooms. She's not happy with him being there and there is nothing that will change that.

    How old is he? Is he a baby? Your pionus hasn't reacted to your parrotlet's protests *yet.* I can nigh promise you it will only take him getting irritated once for you not to have a parrotlet anymore.
     
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  4. Feather

    Feather Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    Also, no bird is too young to be trained. That's when he's the most impressionable and you might be surprised how far working with him while he's still so young will get you. Almost all of my own maximillian's training took place before he hit maturity because that was when he was most eager to please and it also set a nice stage for training him in his adulthood as well.
     
  5. Known Space

    Known Space Meeting neighbors

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    No, as I've already said: my parrotlet is fine with him on her cage now. And I must stress: THIS IS IN THE ORIGINAL POST. I appreciate any help, but only that that is targeted at what I'm describing.

    She's only irritated when he gets close to her when she's eating in her cage, on the other side of the bars: this is her being food possessive and she does this to me and my girlfriend as well when she's eating. It's not her being anxious about him or cage-territorial.

    She's also scared of him flying around above her, most likely the noise and the sudden moves. But most of the day we don't really experience problems here considering their general behaviors.

    I'm already in the process of teaching him to consistently step-up, but he has a skiddish predisposition and he needs time to really gain trust. More than a lot of other parrots. Desptie his age. If I can't teach him to step up without spooking him, I'm not gonna stress him out either. This isn't optimal, but all things considered, this is my best current option all factors considered.

    Not gonna happen. Because no bird will ever be outside of my reach with the other bird near. And when my pionus is more fully trained, I may not let both out at the same time. Them being out now together is actually the safest since I can at least fully control my parrotlet. I wouldn't be able to do that when my parrotlet is caged and my pionus isn't.

    My pionus is about 17 weeks old now.

    I'm not training them to get along, I'm training them to be less anxious when both are together with me. And so far I'm actually seeing progress in this simply from feeding them at the same time and making my parrotlet perform tricks.

    I'm not saying he won't be trained at all. All interactions are training. I'm saying I can't fully formally train him now because he isn't as food-motivated as an adult bird and he has trouble keeping his attention on one task for more than one minute. Nothing you will say about this can change my mind about what I'm seeing in my pionus with my very own eyes, sorry. Resistance to formal training is often seen among younger birds. Yes, my parrotlet, when I got her, was very receptive to formal training. Some very young birds are not. I'm already training stationing on command to his cage in my own way, for example. I will continue to train stepping up, and eventually recall and wearing a harness, but likely not formally until he's a bit older. This may be in a week or two from now, or a month. I don't know, it depends on how receptive he is to training sessions. However, I know that if I were to push him now further than I am, he will be gey very stressed. And I know for a fact that my only attempts at ridding him from her cage right now would lead to stress for him. However, since she isn't stressed about him being on her cage anymore, I don't think this is the worst current situation.
     
    Last edited: 9/16/18 at 2:29 PM

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