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Tips for scritches/touch

Discussion in 'The Training Court' started by SoCalScoot, 4/10/19.

  1. SoCalScoot

    SoCalScoot Checking out the neighborhood

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    Hello All,
    I've been lurking in the forums for some time reading some great advise to assist with my new Green Cheek Coco. I'm hoping for some tips on normalizing touch as much as I can ( I know some birds just don't end up very cuddly).
    Coco came with a pretty strong fear of hands. After a couple months of discovering favorite treats (I also work from home so he's stuck seeing my face all day) my new messy Green toddler now easily accepts treats from hands and has now begun to step up and working on reinforcing the behavior when he does it. He is getting more comfortable with stepping up but still is wary of hands anywhere else around him other than going to his beak with something yummy.
    As I continue to work on the step up does anyone have any tips for working on normalizing my hands to touch slowly? Where to start, spots to avoid (every now and then his tail feather will accidentally touch me and I get the stink eye from him). Appreciate all the advise on patience on this forum it's been such an amazing help.
     
    MagpieDragon likes this.
  2. sunnysmom

    sunnysmom Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Welcome! Birds should only be scratched on their heads/necks/faces. Anywhere else can give them the wrong idea.... You can try to scratch him as you are hand feeding him. Just don't force it. Even now, I always ask my cockatoo if he wants scratches and use a hand gesture. Sometimes he does. Sometimes he doesn't.
     
  3. AutumnRain

    AutumnRain Sprinting down the street

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    Just continue to go at his pace. If he seems really uncomfortable with what you're doing and is getting more fearful, slow things down. Make sure to move very slowly around him so he will start to feel safer around you. Most birds hate fast, sudden movements. Continue giving him treats by hand. Also, any time he relaxes when your hands are near him, be sure to give him treats for that (multiple treats during this so he will know being calm around your hands is a very positive thing for him).
     
    SoCalScoot and sunnysmom like this.
  4. Teckechick

    Teckechick Ask me for a photo of my bird, I have to post one! Celebirdy of the Month

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    +1 to what the others have said!! Our Jenks is not afraid of hands and will cuddle up in my hands, crawl around in them etc. He however is just starting to really like getting head scratches. It has been slow going, we have had him almost a year now. He will now lower his head when he wants scratches (something he started on his own) Just be patient and go at your little ones pace. Also I do have to mention that some birds may never want to be scratched.
     
    SoCalScoot likes this.
  5. Kodigirl210

    Kodigirl210 Rollerblading along the road

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    Are you using a training perch or your fingers for the step up? Some birds that are afraid of hands - it’s more a finger thing. So if you present the back of the hand or fist and present that to step onto, they have no problems. Normalizing the hands can also be done with leading or treats. Take some spray millet and place a few in the palm of your hand and leave your hand on a flat surface like the top of your desk. Then take a little sprig of millet and lead him, while keeping your palm flat on the desk, from the desk and across your fingers into your palm where his next treat is waiting. You can also see if you can lead him over your wrist or across your forearm or around and over your hand. Anything where the leading is more his focus than the environment. Eventually he will realize he’s standing on a hand or walking across fingers but if you do it enough it should become something that is routine and something he doesn’t have to be afraid of. Over time you could bend a finger and leave the others flat until he’s comfortable with that and then simply add fingers until it’s an obstacle course. The more inert they are right now, the less he will focus on them. And that’s really all you’re trying to do is desensitize or demolish whatever bad memory he has of them. Best of luck!!
     
    SoCalScoot likes this.
  6. SoCalScoot

    SoCalScoot Checking out the neighborhood

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    I started with a perch and he's progressed to stepping up and standing on my finger though still a bit tentatively. I think desensitizing is probably the key, I don't want to push him and reset him back to square one about hands. Going to keep positive reinforcing the step up, leading, and standing on my hands and just being around me and hope time will bring him a better comfort level. Appreciate all the feedback.
     
    katebf38 likes this.
  7. katebf38

    katebf38 Sprinting down the street

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    My pineapple gcc started out by allowing a few rubs right on the top of his head. Now he lets me scratch his head, neck and cheeks. In fact, he’ll fall on his face asleep with a good massage. That said, if he’s not in the mood, he soon let’s me know by scolding and trying to nip.
     
  8. Kodigirl210

    Kodigirl210 Rollerblading along the road

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    The breeders I got Isen and Pippin truly hand raise their babies. So both birds we got could be manipulated in every way. We could pick them up, put them on their backs, grab them fully around the body. They look for scritches and want to be wherever you are. My first rescue parrot tho was very touch adverse and hand adverse where coaxing and desensitization were the name of the game at the beginning. We were happy buds once she got over it. Like everything it just takes time and commitment. You sound like you have both in great quantity. :)
     
    katebf38 likes this.
  9. Proudparront

    Proudparront Moving in

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    Never scritch your bird below the neck area, otherwise you are sexually frustrating your bird and telling them you are their mate. To scritch, gently move their head feathers upwards and backwards, and she can also give them cheek rubs!
     
  10. Farlie

    Farlie Rollerblading along the road I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Farlie as a baby was very cuddly and loving but after he got sick a few months ago he no longer wants much loving at all anymore. I approach him with my index and thumb rubbing against each other to get a head scratch. He'll only let me scratch his head 4 or 5 times and that's all he'll accept. Once he gets that, he's done for now.
     
    Kodigirl210 likes this.

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