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Twitter

Discussion in 'Parrotlets Place' started by Gribouille, 10/20/17.

  1. Gribouille

    Gribouille Moving in

    Joined:
    7/10/17
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    13
    Hi!
    I've been around some months ago to ask about parrotlets and now I got a blue little one named Twitter since October 7th. He was 7-8 weeks old then.
    He is already very comfortable with me, like to get feathers service with scratch and cuddles. We have a special moment in the bathroom every day where he can fly, see himself in the mirror and play peek-a-boo. He climbs on my finger when I pick him from the lamp, and he can also fly to it. He climbs if I put one finger in front of the other like steps.
    I have tried to let him fly in the kitchen, where he has his cage, but there he would only fly to some high places and sit, not interested in coming to me then.
    He did bite much the first days but I -hopefully- taught him not to, and he is much better now.
    However today he didn't want to come out of his cage for our cuddle and play time, he had a temper tantrum when I insisted. We had a discussion about that and agreed that we would wait a little. He came later on and had a nice scratch-my-new-feathers-clean-please session.

    I feel that we have acheived much already and I'm very happy about that. I have 2 budgies I never could tame so I'm delighted with Twitter, but I also notice that he is much more clever and needs more stimulation, so I would like to start training him to do tricks but I don't want to go too fast either.
    I have the 2 wild budgies in the living-room so I can not let Twitter fly freely to be with me all the time, he comes out only for cuddle time. He hears the budgies but has never met them and I'd rather not let them since the budgies are very bad influence on new babies that are supposed to get tame. We had a baby budgie last winter, he was tame when he came, they turned him into a rogue in two weeks, had to send him away...
    So, back to Twitter. Is he still too young for training? Should I wait for him to be more comfortable with us before we begin to "work"? If it isn't too early, what should we begin with?
     

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  2. Familyof12

    Familyof12 Jogging around the block Santa Coco ROCKS the SOCKS

    Joined:
    9/25/17
    Messages:
    782
    Location:
    Santa Clara, California
    Real Name:
    Liz
    I have two parrotlets too. Twitter is adorable! You've done a lot with your new friend/companion! I have Carmen (female/green) and Diablo (male/blue). They are kind of their own people. They aren't like the budgies but more like their cousins the Amazon. They are more mellow compared to the budgies I have that's for sure! They are territorial like crazy and will not have a problem killing any other birds or biting off toes, feet, etc. if they get angry.

    I don't force my birds out of their cages. I just open the door in the mornings and let them decide when they want to come and join me. Sometimes they are cuddly and others I'm the plague. Other times I feel the human servant that brings room service and does the housekeeping.

    The best is when they are playing with me and each other. I've been lucky, I never knew that keeping budgies and parrotlets don't work together and just put them all in the same room. The budgies seem to be much better fliers than the parrotlets. Mine all get along and if they could, they would sleep in the same cage. I don't allow it as I don't want them to wake up and freak and attack the poor little budgies.

    Keep the parrotlet away from the budgies so you can bond together but be careful! As I stated they are territorial. If that parrotlet decides you are his/her mate, they get extremely jealous and won't allow anyone else to be near you. It sounds like you are doing great! Having little parrots is really different from the bigger birds. I adore ours.

    The only training I've done so far is step up, down, kiss and they know when I ask them to calm down they will. We have just finished perch training and they took very well to it. Now I'm working on recall. I'd like them to come to me when I call. We do this inside the room, with lots of millet for treats. They don't get millet otherwise. The avicakes and nutriberries I use for foraging to keep them busy.

    Twitter is adorable. Please post more photos if you can! I'd love to see them!

    Here Carmen and Diablo. IMG_0888.JPG
     
    TikiMyn likes this.
  3. Gribouille

    Gribouille Moving in

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    Hi! And thanks for your answer, your small friends are very cute!
    I've tried to keep Twitter as little territorial as possible. I want him to allow us inside his cage without biting. My youngest son got bitten quite much though so he removed his finger and now Twitter knows he can make him leave him alone. I'll have to work with him but he comes home before me and tries to take care of his little friend while waiting for me. We can't let Twitter out without being with us because of the budgies, he is not allowed in the living room and they are not allowed in the kitchen. The budgies are supposed to leave us at some point so I don't want them to bond.
    Usually Twitter agrees to come out for "training", if he is not in the mood I go and do something else before I come back, then he agrees. Now we have long cuddling moments where we nearly fall asleep together, him being well tucked into my hand haha!

    How do your parrotlets play together or with you? We play pee-a-boo with the blue bird in the mirror, that's very cute when he streches himself to peek into the mirror! And he can fly almost vertically like a helicopter, I think he flies very well, although not budgie-style.

    I've tried to train him to step up but he won't always (I use praise, not treats, should probably start with that). That's about it for the formal training, I have mostly focused on him being safe and not biting but I want to start something more educative and stimulating. How do you train them?

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Familyof12

    Familyof12 Jogging around the block Santa Coco ROCKS the SOCKS

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Santa Clara, California
    Real Name:
    Liz
    I'll try to answer all of your questions. Feel free to mail me directly with questions too. I would like to do the same with you if you don't mind!

    When we first brought Carmen home, we basically just changed her liner, food and water. We said hello when we walked in and good bye when we walked out. When she bit (she used to attack us when we first got her-she was very abused) us, we would not pull our hand away quickly (hard to do but you have to) and say in a calm voice "Ow, that hurt. Please be nice." and do it again. You have to trust them in order for them to trust you. So I just took the hits. After one evening in particular, I went in to put her to bed and she was sawing my hand and I said "ow, that really hurts, please be nice." She drew blood (it was dripping off my hand) and got a bunch in her mouth. Oh man...she shook her heat to rid herself of all the blood. Her face got covered in it. She hasn't bitten me since.

    Diablo got the same treatment but under quarantine. He was the extreme opposite. Super nice. Loved to be cuddled. What a cuddle bug! So for 35 days, he was a sweetheart. We were like, he is so perfect! Then he met Carmen. Now, they are hormonal. No cuddling, no touching except to step up/down. They are being cage territorial but neither bites. They cooperate grudgingly, like teenagers being told the same.

    Having one was wonderful for me. Not so wonderful for Carmen. I could tell. Now she is extremely happy and lets me know with a new vocalization just for me (soft chirps-almost like she's saying thank you) but lets me know with body language, no touching. She defends Diablo like crazy. Can't get near him otherwise you have to deal with Carmen!

    I give treats ALWAYS for step up or down. I can tell them how beautiful they are all day, they will grind their beaks, blink slowly at me, and puff up to almost show off (Carmen does her soft chirping at me) but will not move a centimeter without millet or straight sunflower seeds or something. Millet is never given to them unless we are working together. Gold rule is to know how to get them motivated. If you can figure that out, then the first step is done.

    I use Diablo. I'll get him to step up. Then Carmen is forced to do it. No one else can do this in my home but me. Carmen will attack anyone else, including the dogs. They are terrified of her. If they see a green flash they haul down the hallway looking for be to slide under.

    They are small and cute but their personalities once they grow are pure Amazon like their cousins with the same attitude. I believe people believe because they are small, they will be docile, they aren't as you know. If Twitter is biting, something is being done incorrectly. I promise you. They give lots of warnings before they bite. You have to force them into a corner and they will bite. I suggest keeping your son away from Twitter until they get to know each other. Have your son be the one to give millet. Have him keep his fingers away from the Twitter for now.

    I'm so glad you got him! He is adorable! You will have so much fun and he really is a big bird in a small body.
     
  5. Gribouille

    Gribouille Moving in

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    Hi, thanks for the good advices. Do you think your birds will continue to behave if you stop giving them treats? Maybe it is possible to give them each time at the beginning but less later on until they do it "for free" after a while? Or will you have to give them a treat each time you want them todo something for the reste of their lives? With dogs, they'll be happy just with praise, would need treats for more advanced tricks but they are quite easy. I haven't tammed any bird to that level before (just to the point they'll feel safe and be happy with me) so I'm not sure what to expect.
    If I remember from your presentation on the other post, Carmen is 2 or was 2 when you got her? Diablo is 1 year younger, right? So none of them were babies when you got them, is there an age to start training?
    Twitter tries to bite whoever will come toward him. If he recognises the sign for tickling, he may offer his neck, but sometimes he will continue to show that he will bite if we come closer. My son gets to cuddle with Twitter but I haven't seen them together yet, since I am so late home and I got my kids every other week (but they can come in the afternoon too so I don't always see them, although Twitter does!). I will see how it goes if he comes during the week.-end
     
  6. GracefulWolf

    GracefulWolf Moving in

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    Yes, at the beginning when you’re bonding and getting to know them, treats are needed. I’m sure at this point you have no issues getting Twitter to step up. They just kind of gradually wean off the treats and begin to step up on their own without issue. Training should begin at the start.

    I’ve had parrotlets for 7 years, from baby up. So I’m experienced with all the stages. The reason Twitter is biting is because he doesn’t trust you guys yet. You need to allow him to grow comfortable that you won’t hurt him. If he is still threatening to bite when you come near now, you need to backtrack a little. Buy some millet. Hold it out from one end and let Twitter eat the other end. Over a week or two, slowly move your hand closer so eventually he is eating right next to your hand. Then feed him finger treats. Hold a nutriberry or sunflower seed out and let him take it from your fingers. Then he will learn that fingers being close to him are not going to hurt him, and they bring yummy treats. His trust will grow and then he will allow you to come near and pick him up because he will know you won’t hurt him.
     
  7. Gribouille

    Gribouille Moving in

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    Hi GracefulWolf, and thanks for your answer! Now my last message was a while ago so things have changed and Twitter is now quite tame. He eats from our hands and has no problem coming to us. Still likes to taste and bite sometimes but he knows it is not OK. I think he just likes the consitence of our skin... He particularly loves to bite the skin between my thumb and index finger, around nails, or ears... Not biting really hard but I still want him to stop since he can be annoying sometimes, and it happens that he bites too hard. He can also bite kids he doesn't know, especially if they are a little afraid, which is not helping them being confident either.
     
  8. GracefulWolf

    GracefulWolf Moving in

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    I’m glad to hear things are going well! Yes, all birds like to nibble on us lol. It’s common for them to not be comfortable around new people. Maybe have them give Twitter a couple treats before they try to hold him.
     
  9. Gribouille

    Gribouille Moving in

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    they don't hold him, he just lands on them and bites their fingers or ears. I am usually not back from work so it is difficult to know how it happens.
     
  10. GracefulWolf

    GracefulWolf Moving in

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    Hmm. If he didn’t want to be held or touched, he wouldn’t land on them. Especially not just to bite them if they were leaving him alone. Hard to know without you having seen it. He could just be nibbling or playing too hard. Adults and kids that aren’t used to birds have a hard time telling between bites and play nibbles in my experience from when I have let non-bird people hold my boys.
     
  11. Gribouille

    Gribouille Moving in

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    that could of course be the case, because they are afraid, they would think he is biting as soon as his beak touches them... ;) They 9 year-olds who never have touched a bird so...
     

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