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Continue what I'm doing or not?

Should I continue taming in this way?

  • Yes (Reply something please!)

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    7

VelocirapGirl

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So some might know I have a lovebird. Now, he is still scared of hands.
Grab a snack since it'll be a long post.

So when I first got him I made the mistake of putting my hands in the cage the very first day when I should've left him alone to settle. The next day I got his wings clipped because they were fully grown out and when I got home I took him out of his cage to run around my house and of course that was a mistake too. so I didn't do that any more but I kept putting my hands in his cage for a few minutes a few times every day and eventually i started hand feeding millet, but not exactly. I took an entire thing of millet and held it in the middle. He would eat it from my hand like that but ate it against the side of his cage on his sleeping perch. eventually he did it on his usual perch, and hen I started ripping a single piece off of the millet and he ran a little at first but i stayed patient. Not long and he didn't even move when my hand was in the cage like cleaning his cage or changing his food, however if I went at him he would move away and squeak a little. then he let me touch him a few times when he was very sleepy and not really aware of what was going on. when I gave him millet he stayed completely still and ate it, me holding onto the tiny thin thing at the end of the piece. then I started using a broken drum stick (for drums) to have him step onto it. It was irritating since the drum stick was pretty big and my cage isn't huge. so he got on it and ate the millet, and sometimes got on himself. I stopped since I didn't really see a point for the stick since i already had a small trust bond with my bean and I could've just went from giving millet to giving millet with a finger in front. He was a little scared since he didn't like hands so he was reaching for the millet but then shimmied away. i would've kept doing this but I was being very silly and just kept giving him millet because I couldn't push myself to stress him out even the tiniest of bits. My dad and I went back to the store to tell the staff our problem, and they said we just had to get him out of the cage and into the bathroom so he learns he couldn't fly and that we wouldn't do anything to him with our hands. Now I didn't really want to do this but plan A hadn't worked and this was our only plan B so my dad ended up having to catch him while he tried to get away in his cage and carried him to the bathroom and did what the staff said. we did this twice that day. the next day again. (We also did this because his wings had to be clipped soon and it would be better if he was tame when he got them clipped.) The next day 3 times. and now it's today. I feel like e lost my dad's and my trust because I was gonna unlock his cage and he already was shimmying away so I didn't even open t and just locked it again. i think he's mad at us because he won't eat millet from our hands any more. I think it's too late to turn back now, but should I continue or is there a way to save it? I feel really bad for my poor little bean but it's not working. is he cage bound? he's not territorial of his cage but he runs away from people like he doesn't want to come out. Will he learn to step on my finger and come out when he wants to or?
 

HolliDaze

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I say you were doing it right the first time. Do everything possible to avoid touching him without his "consent". Imagine that he is a tiny person who is convinced you plan on eating him. If you had a limp (his wings are clipped) you'd still try to get away. He needs to learn your hands are safe without them trying to "eat" him. 80% of pet store employees have never owned a bird and there is little training on animal care beyond what they do in store. You lost any trust you had when you look him into the bathroom. To get it back, you gotta start over.
 

VelocirapGirl

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I'm worried since his wings gotta be clipped soon again because he will try to fly off, and I think it's too late to start again. What do you think? I agree with what you said but I'm not sure it will work out :( I think he's doing okay with hands so far it's only been 4 days.. I think once he's on my hand he's still scared but he calms down and doesn't want to leave my hand but when he does he doesn't wanna go back. Sounds like me when i was little :lol:
 

TikiMyn

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No try a totally different approach. With this approach you are teaching him you do not respect his space, can’t Be trusted and that he is totally powerless over his life.
Don’t force him to do anything. You want to build trust, to have him come to you because he likes it.
Drop a treat in his bowl every time you pass by the cage or enter the room. You can use a Tiny piece of millet. Don’t offer millet at other times. Sit by his cage at a distance he is comfortable with(=no signs of fear) and read/talk/sing to him. Talk softly to him, don’t move too fast but reeaally slowly. If he shows fear, stop what you are doing and back away while softly telling him something sweet. Don’t look directly at his eyes. This should get you started.
Look into clicker training and target training, they can help a lot. Barbara Heidenreich is a great animal trainer and has Some great advice on her website.
This article @Lady Jane shared a couple of times is really informative:
Flock Call - It's their choice
Also, cutting his wing feathers won’t do anything to build trust. It will teach him he is powerless and can’t Get away from you, for a prey animal that is traumatic. He stops trying and just Lets it happen, but not because he wants to. You are much better off letting his flighted grow in so he knows he can get away if you are too scary. If you move slowly and make yourself a positve thing for him, he won’t flee. He Will start coming towards you to investigate instead.
Congratulations on getting your lovebird. What is her name? Post a picture when you get a chance!
 

VelocirapGirl

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His name is Mr. Bean :D and yet again I agree with you but I also forgot to mention he's 8 months old so he's a little harder to work with. I've only had him for 2 months too... I had his trust before but also if he gets his wings grown out he will definitely fly off.. my house isn't bird proofed either and I really can't... Thank you both though I'll take your advice and try to do as much as possible... My dad is the one who is taking him out anyway so my little bean doesn't like him as much as he likes me. he calms down a little when I'm holding him instead of my dad
 

TikiMyn

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I have build trust with an old abused cockatiel, a lovebird with a biting problem who was over a year old, and lastly an 8 month old parent raised lovebird who had little positive human interaction. The first two were unclipped and we build a perfect trusting bond, the last one is Fëanor and he was clipped by his previous caretaker but could fly with his clipped wings within a week or two. I would like to alert you that with a gust of wind he can be gone, even clipped. Fëanor grew to be a very strong flier with clipped wings and would fly through the entire living room. So please be carefull anyway!
If he is going to be clipped make sure defiantly to give him opportunities to walk away. Let him choose to be with you. That Will do wonders for your relationship:)
I see! Love his name and he js defianlty a cutie! Lovely colors he has:)
 

BeanieofJustice

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Mr. Bean is very cute! And I like the name.

There was some thread on this forum where they showed a clipped bird flying, but I cannot find it. Just something to keep in mind.

You've had some great advice given to you already, and I agree with Robin. I don't have a lovebird but it took my Sam about a year to develop any trust with my mother, and he started off hating her. She would speak softly to him, drop treats into his bowl, and eventually he decided to become friends with her.

It sounded like what you were doing at first was working; when I helped out at the rescue where I got Sam, she had this cage with 9 flighty, male, 15-20 year old cockatiels. Because I had to scrub out their cage, and I wanted to avoid traumatizing them, I made sure to give them millet and treats whenever I had to go near their cage. Mind you, none of these birds had been handled in a good ten years or so, she just put them in the large cage and ignored them besides feeding and cleaning. I was there for... maybe a year or so? I just put millet in my hand and waited, and eventually they calmed down when I would open the door. And in the end, at least one of them would step up and cuddle with me and the rest were mild degrees of acceptance or tolerance. Mind you, I visited 2-3 times a week for anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on how much time I had. Just a story for thought.

TLDR; Giving them a choice is the best way to mend trust, everyone makes mistakes, just being gentle, patient and letting him get adjusted is the best way to mend your relationship with him.
 

Fergus Mom

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@VelocirapGirl - Monique - First of all - here's a big WELCOME from me and my flock < Ha ha I had to retype Flock, as it said Glock! NOT my Glock! LOL :heart::welcomesign:

Might you consider reading this thread on Avian Avenue and having your Dad read it before you resort to clipping wings again?
It's a GREAT read! Good luck with that sweet Mr. Bean!
I'm debating clipping my birds' wings. | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum
 

Lady Jane

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If you take flight away from him he is absolutely dependent on you for everything. This will most likely lead to more frustration for both of you.
 

Cynthia & Percy

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welcome
 

finchly

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@Fergus Mom don’t shoot! :hehe:

When you say your house isn’t bird proof, what about your room? Can You make just one room safe for your baby? Our home is actually not ‘bird proof’ and our cockatiels do fine.

Maybe put a perch on the outside of the cage, then leave the door open. Stand away from the cage and offer millet if he comes out. Or just ignore him and let him explore!
 

VelocirapGirl

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thank you everyone so much!! was expecting hate and glad there wasn't any. :AArocks: Just a problem - Anyone know "Birds and More"? That's where I got Mr. Bean from. I bet he was in that cage his entire life, so does anyone think that he just doesn't want to be out of his cage? I'm worried that he'll want to stay in his cage his whole life and that I'll need to get another lovebird that's more tame to show him that hands are okay. In some birds it's monkey see, monkey do, right? there are multiple problems for that consideration though :chin: I won't start saying anything about it since it's only a thought and way deeper into the future so I shouldn't be thinking about it now. What I was also thinking is that i need something that's near his cage but out of it so he sees good things come with being out of his cage. Any ideas? His favorite treat is millet and whenever he's out of the cage he's too stressed/alert to eat it so I don't know what to have for him out of the cage that will encourage him to want to come out.
 

VelocirapGirl

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I know this is sad but I have a 2/3/4 room house. 2 since the kitchen is pretty much the living room and there's a bed room and I don't really count the bathroom as a room. 4 if you count the kitchen as it's own "room," which it definitely isn't, and the living room, the bed room and bath room. I only have 1 bed room. It's definitely too big and there's too many places to hide and it's hard to move things around. the main room is way too large since its a small kitchen connected to a little larger living room with no doors or walls separating it. (lol, just a line on the floor!) the safest place is the bathroom which I could probably bird proof, but it's the smallest bathroom ever. 3 people can barely fit in it how ever there's the toilet (behind it) and it's dusty everywhere.. am I over protective or?? also a small little update, Mr. Bean is eating as we speak. I Give him lots of broccoli every day since he loves it so much.he was already eating when I came home so i went the fridge to get him more broccoli and washed it up then I went to his cage to put it in his food bowl and I think he either saw the broccoli or knew i was gonna give it to him, and moves away slightly then just watches me as I open the small door and put the broccoli in. as soon as I am maybe 5 feet away from him he goes and 'attacks" it :) he loves broccoli a lot! He was very calm too.
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metalstitcher

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Welcome to the avenue. Lovebirds are very stubborn and losing their trust is hard to get back. You need to start over with a new tact like @TikiMyn suggested. The age shouldn't matter but you do need to take it slow and not force anything on him. Lovies will hold a grudge like no other. Just take it slow with him, try reading to him but don't sit too close to his cage when you do it. Just where he can see you, drop his favorite treat into his cage as you walk by. The little things go a long way.
 

NirAntae

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Much as others have said...
You were right on track with what you were doing originally.

What the petstore employees told you to do, completely destroyed the trust you'd built. It's not your fault, you were going off the best information you had available; though they should have known better. It's like a dog trainer still recommending spiked choke-chains and dominance training... yeah, you might get an obedient dog, but you're unlikely to get a loving, trusting companion out of it, and we know better now.


His age is irrelevant. Lovies live a good 15 years, so 8 months is nothing. Again, it's like saying an 8 month old puppy is untrainable - except lovies are even more intelligent. Will you have a harder time of it because of his poor start? Well, yes, certainly. But care and patience and above all, gentle trustworthiness, will win the day.
 

metalstitcher

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Your guy looks like my girl lol and she's a little terror fluff ball but I love her so much.
 

VelocirapGirl

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Just a little update on Mr. Bean: I took your advice, and looked even more into it. He's more trusting of me now and will hop over to my hand if I'm holding a treat in the cage :) It might be stressful for him but I'm going to move him into the bedroom, I believe the area there is safer and easier to make safe for him to explore so I'm just going to completely make the bedroom a safe place for him to be able to fly around and explore since I'm not clipping his wings anymore. I'm afraid he'l get stressed out that his cage isn't in the spot it used to be in, but it's for the better since my living room has so many places he could get stuck in or do something dangerous in and it's also attached to the front door and don't want an accident to happen with him. The bedroom is also a square/rectangle and the living room has spots where he could be and I wouldn't be able to see him. My cat is also currently not allowed in the bedroom for other reasons so it's good for him to not be around my cat because they both want to attack eachother, lol. I also taught him a "trick" haha. I put the drumstick I was talking about anywhere in the cage and he will hop onto it (and chew on my fingers lol) so all I need to do is establish that relationship with him but change the stick for my fingers as soon as he is comfortable with it. Thank you Avian Avenue for helping me!

:bpflb:<< Mr. Bean
 
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