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New Plum Headed Parakeet - Advice needed

Discussion in 'Ringneck and other Keet Street' started by Ncphillips2, 2/2/18.

  1. Ncphillips2

    Ncphillips2 Meeting neighbors

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    Nicole Phillips
    Hello, I'm new here at Avian Avenue. My name is Nicole and I recently brought home a new female Plum Headed Parakeet that my kids have named Pickles. She's lovely and I'm thrilled with her, but have a few questions about interacting with her in this first week home.

    To give you a little background info, this is our second bird. We sadly lost our Green Cheek Conure a few months ago. He was a wonderful little fellow, and my daughter was especially attached to him (the new bird was actually a gift for her upcoming birthday) While I loved him, and still miss him, he did drive me ABSOLUTELY CRAZY!! He was our first bird, and we did everything wrong with him from the start which resulted in a bird who screamed all day for attention (like seriously, ALL. DAY.) and refused to play on his own. It caused serious issues in the family because my husband couldn't take the noise (how in the world could something that small could be that loud! :wideyed:) I know now that I caused most of the issues from the start. I let him be with me constantly from day one. He was naturally a "People Bird" and I let him ride around on my shoulder wherever I went. Plus, we got him in the summer when my kids were home from school. They were 5 and 8 and absolutely fascinated with him. So of course they were at his cage of messing with him all the time too. Since I work from home, I would be here with him all day and therefore he bonded strongly with me, and became angry when my husband was around - also not ideal.

    All that to say, I'm trying to be much more deliberate with how we handle this first week home. I am coming at this with more info, but would still greatly appreciate some advice. I chose this lovely lady in particular because they are more independent. (The store also had a sweet cinnamon conure that I loved, but I was afraid to travel down that road again:scared2:) She came home two days ago. I have given her more space and alone time and tried to be more cautious about over doing it with holding her. She is not as naturally inclined to want to be with people, but she's in no way aggressive. She will step up easily, but is more timid and scares fairly easily. So here's my question(s) for you.

    1. How much time should I let her spend with me? Like out and about with me? Like I said, she's not afraid, but also not super excited about any of us. Would she benefit from more time being handled or less?

    2. I obviously want her to bond with me, but I don't want a situation where she is so bonded that she gets mad when other members of the family are around. I've been trying to be a little more distant during the day, and let my daughter in particular be the one to give her treats, and spend time talking to her from outside the cage. (My daughter LOVES her and would happily spend hours talking and singing to her) Is this the right approach?

    Thank you in advance for any suggestions. I know that was a long post, but I really want to get off to a better start this time.
     

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  2. alshgs

    alshgs Rollerblading along the road

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    Leave the cage door open. I have a male plumhead parakeet. He’s flighted and flies wherever and whenever he wants. Drop treats in the bowl as you walk by and say good morning, good night, talk to her throughout the day, ect.

    You shouldn’t have a problem with her getting mad with other family members are around. Plumheads are great pet birds as they are usually not aggressive, are independent but also like to spend time with their family members. Tuki will land on anyone, take treats from anyone, ect. He flies to you when he wants to preen your hair, ect.

    Take your time and don’t rush things. She will be fine. Like I said, they don’t get mad when other family members are around. They are generally a very easy going species.
     
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  3. Ncphillips2

    Ncphillips2 Meeting neighbors

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    Nicole Phillips
    Thank you. I appreciate the feedback.
    She will sometimes make a sort of croaking sound (that's not exactly right, but close) I initially took it as an agitated noise, but she'll also do it when my daughter is talking to her and she seems perfectly content. I assume she's just "talking"?
     
  4. sunnysmom

    sunnysmom Cruising the avenue Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award I Can't Stop Posting!

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    I don't know how much plum heads actually "play" but I think independent play is important. Maybe you can set up a play area near where you work so she is still out with you (once she adjusts more to your home) but she is kind of doing her own thing. When I'm home, I always have my bird out but luckily he'll play for big chunks of time on his own. He just wants to be able to see me.
     
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  5. Elrav

    Elrav Meeting neighbors

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    Beak grinding sort of sounds like croaking and is a commonly accepted as a sign of contentment.
     
  6. alshgs

    alshgs Rollerblading along the road

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    Mine doesn’t really play. He likes to fly and observe. His favorite thing to do is shred and forage. I usually put broken toys in a bowl and and throw some nutriberries in there so he has something to forage
     
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  7. Ncphillips2

    Ncphillips2 Meeting neighbors

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    Ok. So it's day 4 and I'm not super sure how it's going. She WILL step up without any trouble and spend time with us, but I don't get the impression she's too thrilled to do it. If her cage is in sight, she's straining to get back to it (leaning toward it, raised wings). She also opens her mouth at us and makes a sort of quiet squeaking/croaking sound. She did this routinely if we approach the cage or ask her to step up. Like I said, she WILL step up, but she's obviously not too excited to do it.

    I'm trying to strike a good balance between "alone time" and "out with us" time. She's probably in or on her cage about half the day, and out with us for the other half.

    We created a seperate perch for her so she can be in different rooms without necessarily being held. She seems to enjoy it, but again as long as we're not trying to handle her or we get the open mouth thing again.... And today I did have trouble with her nipping at my son a few times.

    So what should I do? Leave her alone more? Spend more time with her? I'm having a hard time knowing what to do with a bird who seems so indifferent to people. Of course, my other bird was a conure, so I had the exact opposite problem there. I just don't know if more time alone will just make her even less social.
     
    Last edited: 2/3/18
  8. finchly

    finchly Biking along the boulevard Mayor of the Avenue Vendor I Can't Stop Posting!

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    It’s only Day 4. Relax. Give her time to settle in.

    Your children are absolutely beautiful. I love that they are enthusiastic about their new friend.

    I would leave her alone (ambient attention) — don’t stare at her, but do drop off a treat as you go by (speak briefly/keep going) and read to her or talk or sing. Have the children do the same, and teach them not to stare at her like a predator would but to look off to the side, and to keep their ‘wings’ down.

    Yours is not as extreme as mine were but you might read this.
     
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  9. Ncphillips2

    Ncphillips2 Meeting neighbors

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    Thank you! The kids have been really good with her. My daughter especially takes instructions well and seems to have an innate ability with animals. I actually let her have the perch/bird in her craft room. She spent an hour or so coloring and singing to the bird. It went very well. Pickles was content to preen herself and just watch.
     

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  10. AkasyaEllric

    AkasyaEllric Sprinting down the street

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    Plum heads in general take a long longer to get a trust bond than most other birds, especially compared to a GCC. They also aren't typically as cuddly, they're more, "hey I'm happy hanging out", then "love up on me!". I've had Diggle since June and he's bonded more to my husband and daughter than me, but, he also doesn't hate me or try to go after me, he just tries to go to one of them if they're around. He still tries to get back to his cage when he's had enough out time, but he's also still relatively young, he doesn't even have the juvie gray head yet. He also HATES being touched. He will withstand it for a few minutes but then he's done and turns around to let you know to stop. He lets my daughter pet him the most, but she's also his favorite person, but he still lets he know when he's done.

    Overall what I guess I'm trying to say is that, at least in my experience and from what I've read, they take a while to trust, they definitely let you know when they don't like something, and they want their alone time as well. Sounds like you're going about everything the right way though! :) Congrats on the addition!
     
  11. Lady Jane

    Lady Jane Cruising the avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Welcome to AA. Do you think the youngsters may frighten her? Reason I say this is because children have quick movements. Is she used to the cage and the toys yet? She needs a place where she feels secure.
     
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  12. Ncphillips2

    Ncphillips2 Meeting neighbors

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    Actually, she seems to really like the kiddos. My daughter especially. I have even moved her cage to the playroom and now she's "singing" in the mornings. I wouldn't normally recommend this kind of arrangement, but my kids are especially good with animals (we have a small zoo here with dogs, cats, horses, chickens, and the occasional goat)

    She LOVES my husband. However she can't stand me, which I admit is disappointing. I understand I shouldn't take it personally, but it is.....well....disappointing. I'm her main care giver so we're together alone most of the day. I'm hoping it will get better. I try to avoid handling her as this always upsets her (if I do it, she's ok with my husband and actually calls to him to be held, and she flew to my son once). I talk to her as much as possible, and of course I'm bribing her with treats at every opportunity. She's typically out on her "playpen" so it's easy to give her a treat or two....or three
     
    Last edited: 2/20/18
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  13. Lady Jane

    Lady Jane Cruising the avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Its strange how our birds pick a person for their favorite one. Mind you she could change next month and prefer you.
     
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