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New Parrotlet Please Help

Discussion in 'Parrotlets Place' started by Roman914, 5/7/19.

  1. laracroft

    laracroft Meeting neighbors

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    Sounds like you're doing really well! As for your first question, some people will tell you differently, but I am of the opinion that no, you should not do this. This video sums up my feelings on the subject better than I really could:

    You're trying to build a relationship with your bird, and doing that will not go smoothly if you're forcing or making him uncomfortable. You want him to associate you with good things. Flock Talk, BTW, is an excellent resource, and she has a video all about teaching step up that might be helpful, as well as one about basic parrotlet care.

    A contact call is a good sign! It's basically your bird asking, "Where'd you go?" and means he's starting to feel better about you. Try calling back to him to let him know where you are.
     
  2. Gribouille

    Gribouille Sprinting down the street

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    my parrotlet never liked millet, but sunflower seeds he would have done anything for. You just have to be careful not to give too many of those seeds per day, because they are so fat.
     
  3. harpersmom

    harpersmom Sprinting down the street

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    Good.
     
  4. fashionfobie

    fashionfobie Rollerblading along the road

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    One of mine will do anything for a sesame seed or tiny walnut crumbs. :)

    I think it is SUPER cute that your daughter is reading to him. What a fun way to motivate her. She can read for her little bub. :cantsee: She is going to be the best reader in her class!


    I am very please with the info provided on step up. It is a request not a command. :) It is great to read all of the improvements. I am sure if you continue this way things will improve. In time Rio will have many more positive memories and the few negative memories, the mistakes, will become less meaningful.
     
  5. Roman914

    Roman914 Moving in

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    Watched the video thanks. We are laying off on the step up.

    We made some progress today. He came out on his own three times.

    This morning, he came out on his own, and stepped onto my wife arm, and crawled up to her shoulder. The only probem was, we had to get our daughter from school, and he had already been out for awhile and we couldn't get him back into his cage. He runs from our hands, and we didn't want to force him to do anything. We ended up having her lean her shoulder onto the cage area, and then he ran from my hand, jumped on the cage, and ran into the cage to get away from my hand. I have no idea what other option I had, since a treat wasn't working, and after trying for a while we couldn't get him in his cage.

    Then....

    This afternoon he came out again, while my daughter and wife were at the mall so it was just me. He came out of his cage and went to the ground, walking around. Him and the cockatiel shared some millet withouts getting in a fight. I fed him sunflower seeds from my hand. He got to the point where he would bite the seed directly off my finger. Then he jumped onto my arm. He hung out on my sweatshirt, biting it on and off for a while, and then jumped onto my opposite arm, and climbed to the back of my hand, up to my face and gave a small little bite to my nose, then stared at me super close to my face.

    I had him hang out on my shoulder for about 30 mins. A couple times i had to move my hand to nudge him a little because he was biting my neck really hard. My cockatiel does the same thing from time to time, and we just move him off our shoulder if he does that, but I didn't wanna grab Rio or force him onto my finger.

    Everything was pretty smooth until I had to put him back. I tried to get him off my shoulder with some millet, but when my hand got too close he flew to the floor. He wouldn't step on my finger, and I think he was full from the sunflower seeds and millet from earlier. Then he stepped on the millet, flew to the couch and hid behind the cushion. I tried to get him to step onto a pencil but he kept biting it. He was running from my hands, and I ended up cornering him and getting him to step onto my hands.

    Getting him back in his cage I hope I didn't loose too much ground. I didn't know any other way to do it.

    When he went back in he seemed okay, and played with one of the toys. But he is still very wary of me putting my hand in. I had to take my son to baseball, but when I got back I tried to give some millet. He was just as scared of my hand as always.

    I really hope I didn't loose too much progress..
     
    Last edited: 5/10/19
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  6. PacificPaulie

    PacificPaulie Strolling the yard

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    @Roman914

    Hello and welcome to the forum my friend! I'm going to be honest and tell you right out I am not as experienced as most of the folk who have responded to you (some of them respond regularly to my posts and I've grown to trust their guidance very much). However, like you, I am very new to P'let companionship so the little information/guidance I can share is based on my very recent experiences with my Paulie.

    First off, your P'let is absolutely gorgeous! :heart: Secondly, I am so grateful for your family's value of commitment... Already, Rio sounds like he's in a good family dynamic oriented towards growth and understanding. Lastly, I want to encourage you that already you sound like you're on the road to progress toward a trusting relationship with Rio.

    Little bits of guidance I can give are similar to what you've already been told. First, give Rio some time to adjust. Second, exercise patience. Third, don't be stingy on the treats ;). In a (good) sense, Rio ought to be spoiled for treats. My recommendation is to try a variation of nuts (no peanuts though). My P'let is crazy about nuts and if they work as well for Rio as they do my Paulie, your relationship is bound to develop quickly (when paired with patience and understanding of course).

    Also, check out YouTube... More specifically, flocktalk on YouTube. Her presentation is a little, um, disorganized, but her information is legitimate and informative.

    Hope this helps!

    ***Just read your last thread. It sounds to me (and remember, I could be terribly wrong cuz I'm not as experienced as everyone else) that Rio is greatly enjoying his time with his people; so much so that he doesn't want to go back in his cage. When you can, try to take your time putting him back... But don't beat yourself up too badly when you have to get him in his cage. Just keep making the strides you are with him, take your time putting him in his cage when you can, and I'm sure it'll balance itself out.
     
    Last edited: 5/10/19
  7. Gribouille

    Gribouille Sprinting down the street

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    When I had to put twitter in his cage, I used to shake a little box of sunflower seeds and give him 3 when he was in. At bed time he usually went in on his own, but during the day it was much more complicated if he had decided he wanted to stay out. I always manged in the end, but it was not always in a very educational way.. Sometimes, you just have to, and can't wait until they agree. But he was very tame and didn't hold grudge for one misstep once in a while. As you are in the establishing phase of your relationship you have to be more careful and maybe plan a little in advance that you'll have to leave, begin to try and get him to go back maybe an hour before you have to go so you are on the safe side. Always reward him for complying, and as you said in you last answer, be careful not to give treats for "nothing" because when they are full of them it doesn't work when you want them to do something.
     
  8. laracroft

    laracroft Meeting neighbors

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    Sorry I didn't respond to your question earlier, though you've gotten some good responses. I would like to add that you could start looking for things your bird is motivated for that aren't food as well, such as a favorite toy. Try lots of different types of toys, pay attention and see what he likes. Does he prefer shredding, or throwing things, or bashing bells? My Micah absolutely adores head scritches and pill bottles. (Yeah, you read that right. He loves tossing them on the floor and rolling them and the rattle they make. No idea why, but it makes him happy). Rewards don't always have to be food. Just as often, I'll reward Micah by rubbing his head (don't try this one yet, I think, but once Rio is a bit calmer about hands maybe he will like it too) or rolling around a pill bottle or his ball. And if he's being stubborn about stepping up, I'll wiggle my finger in the way that means 'head scritch' or rattle a pill bottle. You have to sort of shift your thinking from 'how can I make them do this' to 'what will make this something they WANT to do'. You'll get the hang of it in time, for now I agree that a bit more planning ahead than you might usually have to do will help a lot. Nowadays getting Micah where I need him goes quickly, but at the start it took ages.
     
  9. Roman914

    Roman914 Moving in

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    I just wanted to give a quick update and get some advice on where to go from here.

    He is at the point right now where basically every time we open his cage he comes out right away. He either flies to the ground and runs under the couch or sits on top of his cage. If he is hungry we can calm him down from running with some treats, but if not he basically freezes and runs away from us and our hands.

    Typically what he has been doing once we get him to stop running away is he jumps on our arm, and climbs up to our shoulder. Then he basically freezes and stays there until we put him back. He is very quite on our shoulder and shows little energy but that seems to be where he is comfortable. Its really difficult to get him off because he runs from our hands.

    If he is hungry, he is moderately motivated by treats. If he isn't hungry, nothing seems to motivate him, he isn't interested in any toys or paper to rip or anything.

    Where do we go from here? We leave in a week to go out of town for about 7 days, im affriad we will lose our progress. Also, we need to start getting our living room back, which means we need to think about moving his cage back into my daughters room.

    What are your recommendations?
     
  10. laracroft

    laracroft Meeting neighbors

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    My biggest recommendation at this point is for patience. It's been... two or three weeks since you brought him home? That's really not much, and you've made good progress, especially considering you were set back by poor advice. Keep doing what you're doing, work on getting him used to you and his new home. And while he may not be interested in toys now, you may see that change as he gets more comfortable. It sounds like, though he's happy to come out, he still doesn't really feel secure outside of his cage. I think that because he either 1. stays on his cage or 2. runs under the couch which sounds like he's hiding. Also, you described him freezing up on your shoulder, which isn't the norm for a parrotlet who's comfortable with his surroundings. Remember that, where a puppy might instinctively think humans are to be trusted, a baby bird won't. His instincts are saying that something here might want to eat him, it takes time for him to learn differently.

    Can I ask why you need to move him out of the living room? Because the quickest way to get him comfortable is to just spend time with him, whether he's in his cage or not. You don't have to be paying attention to him constantly, just hanging out in the same space will help. Not that you CAN'T have him in a bedroom--Micah is in mine, but the thing is, it doubles as my office and so that's where I spend most of my time when I'm at home. I doubt your family spends most of your time in your daughter's bedroom.

    It's not really ideal to be leaving at this point, but I don't think it's the end of the world, either. Tbh, you may lose some of your progress, but you have to think long term here. You can gain back any ground you lose. That said, I don't know where you're going, but if you're driving it might be worth looking into if your birds can come along.
     
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  11. Roman914

    Roman914 Moving in

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    Hi thanks for the response.

    We have the bird cages in our kids rooms. We don't really have a good set up in our living room for them. We already have a cage where we have two budgies that are paired up and pretty much wild other than eating treats from our hands.

    Our cockatiel is basically out and with us when we are home and we wanted the same for Rio. The only time we have the birds in the cage (except the budgies) is when we are gone. We have a living room perch, and they get almost unlimited attention by us and the kids.

    We live in California and we will be in New York so we can't bring any pets. My cousin will be staying at our house and watching the animals, but I don't think she will take out Rio is he is so skittish.

    As for Rio, when he is the cage or when we walk out of the room he calls. But when he is out he freezes. I just had him on the ground and I worked with him for about 45 mins. I got it to the point where about 50% of the time I approached him with a sunflower seed he ate it instead of running. Then when he got full he ran under the couch. He stayed under until I left the room, when called for me. When I came back he froze up, and eventually after I stayed still he jumped on my arm and climbed up my shoulder.

    I put him on our living room perch and he stayed there until my daughter got home. Then she got him to jump onto her arm, and he climbed into her hair and has been there for about 1.5 hours now and doesn't seem to wanna come out. So as he is putting frosting on cookies right now and Rio is just held up in her hair and seems content.

    It will be nice when he loosens up and we can see him play more and have a personality, and it would really help to get him more acquainted with our hands. But I get it. I won't rush, and I will take your advice and be patient.

    Thanks!
     
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  12. laracroft

    laracroft Meeting neighbors

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    Oh wow, that is the cutest image. Pictures?
     
  13. PacificPaulie

    PacificPaulie Strolling the yard

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    @Roman914
    You said Rio was hand raised, right? I'm beginning to question just how much Rio was socialized with his (previous) humans. It really sounds like he was left to socialize with his siblings with minimal contact from his humans or, if there was contact, it was forced on him.

    Now remember, I'm new to P'lets too, but my experience has been quite different. I've never struggled with getting Paulie out of his cage or him freezing in response to our movement. I've had Paulie since he was about 3wks old, which is why I'm beginning to question Rio's human socialization. Him being so frightened of hands...I don't know, that doesn't sound right from a (genuinely) hand raised bird. Maybe someone else with more knowledge can chime in here...

    In regard to your leaving, you will probably lose some progress. However, while away you may also gain some new perspective and be more encouraged to try again on your return. :heart:

    Also, something that has just dawned on me... Try getting him to step up onto a perch/stick! If this works then you might be able to continue working with his fear of hands without the potential of losing progress every time you've got to put him back in his cage. Once he gets more comfortable with hands, you could fade out the perch/stick.
     
  14. fashionfobie

    fashionfobie Rollerblading along the road

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    It sounds to me like Rio's wings may have been clipped. A parrotlet without flight is stressful enough for a high energy bird. A scared parrotlet without flight can not fly away and take action the way they want. Running under the couch is a very scared little. If Rio could fly he would jet off to a curtain or something when he felt overwhelmed.

    I do not have new advice other than patience. SLOW the expectations down. Don't push him and let him decide what he wants to do. Connect some ropes or climbs to the cage so that he can decide when to come down and he can decide when he wants to go back up.
     
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  15. fashionfobie

    fashionfobie Rollerblading along the road

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    How has Rio been lately? Any progress with trust building?

    :fairy:
     

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  1. Roman914