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Getting my bird to like Head Scritches!! Help

treengyn

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Hi!
I’ve had an Indian Ringneck Parrot for 6 months now, i’ve tamed her a bit but she doesn’t let me give her head scratches and I really want to figure out how to train her to like it.

She often lets me kiss her, and she likes to go on my shoulder, but she is still scared of my finger and tends to feel threatened every time my finger is near her and tries to bite my finger.

I’ve tried getting her used to getting booped on the nose. Sometimes she lets me and sometimes she doesn’t.

Please help me!!
 

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Pixiebeak

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:greet13::welcome2:
Hello and welcome!
Congratulations on your beautiful bird!!!

It sounds like you have done really great job with her! Really!

I dont think this species is big on hands on love and scritch
 

Xoetix

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I don’t know that you can train a bird to *like* it - I imagine a lot of it comes down to the bird.

But if she’s gone from untamed to tamed in 6 months, especially when I’ve heard/read females can be a little… we’ll say “spicy”, you’re doing amazing.

Just keep being patient, keep rewarding her for allowing affection at all from you, and you’ll probably get there eventually :heart:
 

Kiwi's Dad

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@MnGuy might be able to tell you about his experience
Some birds will never want to cuddle or want scritches but if you continue the training you've done with her, she should be more open to hands.
 

treengyn

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:greet13::welcome2:
Hello and welcome!
Congratulations on your beautiful bird!!!

It sounds like you have done really great job with her! Really!

I dont think this species is big on hands on love and scritch
Hii! thank you so much! i’ll continue to try my best :( she does love cuddling, just scared of my hands :(
 

treengyn

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ye
I don’t know that you can train a bird to *like* it - I imagine a lot of it comes down to the bird.

But if she’s gone from untamed to tamed in 6 months, especially when I’ve heard/read females can be a little… we’ll say “spicy”, you’re doing amazing.

Just keep being patient, keep rewarding her for allowing affection at all from you, and you’ll probably get there eventually :heart:
Yesss! you are so right! she does love giving me cuddles on my shoulders, and she loves playing with my hair !! she just hates when my hands are near her :( thank you for the help and support! :laugh::heart:
 

treengyn

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@MnGuy might be able to tell you about his experience
Some birds will never want to cuddle or want scritches but if you continue the training you've done with her, she should be more open to hands.
thank you so much!! appreciate it heaps! :smuggrin:
 

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My heart bird, Gizmo, adored me but was terrified of hands. I never was able to scritch her, but she would cuddle with me and we loved each other fiercely. Touch is a very small part of our relationships, and we can't force them to like it.
 

aooratrix

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All birds are different. She may never like it. I've seen Daniel Walther on FB use a feather duster to acclimate a macaw to touch, but I don't know enough about him to recommend that. If your birds wants tactile interaction, she'll let you know. You may have to accept her as a non-touchable bird. Some are like that.
 

treengyn

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My heart bird, Gizmo, adored me but was terrified of hands. I never was able to scritch her, but she would cuddle with me and we loved each other fiercely. Touch is a very small part of our relationships, and we can't force them to like it.
Aww that’s so cute!! Yeah my bird tends to go on my shoulders a lot and just hangs with me and plays with my hair! I guess that’s her way of showing me love !
 

MnGuy

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If she's still scared of your finger, I wouldn't try scratching her at all.

Does she step up on your finger? If not, I would work on that and get her stepping up reliably before trying to scratch her.

Ringnecks aren't known for loving scratches, so it's important to keep that in mind. I adopted a 7-year-old ringneck, and he came in already liking his head scratched (He says, "Scratch, scratch, scratch."), so I don't know how helpful I can be. However, it still took him some time to accept scratches from me.

I also have a CAG, another species not known for liking head scratches a ton. It's important to regulate your expectations and behavior to your bird's preferences and cues.

For both my ringneck and CAG, there are key factors that I look for before trying to scratch their heads:

- Most of the time during the daytime, neither want to be scratched and I don't force it.
- Both almost always only want their head scratched in the late evening. My grey wants scratches once in a blue moon. My ringneck wants scratches almost every day.
- My grey prefers to be scratched while perching on her cage.
- My ringneck prefers to be scratched while perched on my chest.
- I always say, "Scratch?" and hold up my bent index finger before touching the birds, and only scratch if they lower their heads and fluff up their feathers.
- For my ringneck, any sudden movement from above often startles him. When I want to scratch him, I usually touch my finger to his beak lightly and then run it up onto the top of his head.

Good luck.
 

treengyn

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T
If she's still scared of your finger, I wouldn't try scratching her at all.

Does she step up on your finger? If not, I would work on that and get her stepping up reliably before trying to scratch her.

Ringnecks aren't known for loving scratches, so it's important to keep that in mind. I adopted a 7-year-old ringneck, and he came in already liking his head scratched (He says, "Scratch, scratch, scratch."), so I don't know how helpful I can be. However, it still took him some time to accept scratches from me.

I also have a CAG, another species not known for liking head scratches a ton. It's important to regulate your expectations and behavior to your bird's preferences and cues.

For both my ringneck and CAG, there are key factors that I look for before trying to scratch their heads:

- Most of the time during the daytime, neither want to be scratched and I don't force it.
- Both almost always only want their head scratched in the late evening. My grey wants scratches once in a blue moon. My ringneck wants scratches almost every day.
- My grey prefers to be scratched while perching on her cage.
- My ringneck prefers to be scratched while perched on my chest.
- I always say, "Scratch?" and hold up my bent index finger before touching the birds, and only scratch if they lower their heads and fluff up their feathers.
- For my ringneck, any sudden movement from above often startles him. When I want to scratch him, I usually touch my finger to his beak lightly and then run it up onto the top of his head.

Good luck.
Thank you so much for that!!
I’ve been training my bird to step up! she’s been stepping up lately, she’s very used to going on my arm and then going up on my shoulder, so whenever she steps up to my finger she goes onto my shoulder, so i guess she’s still a bit scared of my fingers.

I’m hoping from getting her used to stepping up onto my finger, she will be less afraid of my fingers. :):)
 

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It's important to know IRNs don't Allopreen. Physical touch with most Asiatic parrots is reserved for their bonded mate, but even when in the nest they don't even sit close to each other! @fashionfobie has some really cool pictures that show this if she's willing to share.
So if your bird is not asking for pets I wouldn't try to train her to like them.
 

SumitaSinh

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always say, "Scratch?" and hold up my bent index finger before touching the birds, and only scratch if they lower their heads and fluff up their feathers.
- For my ringneck, any sudden movement from above often startles him. When I want to scratch him, I usually touch my finger to his beak lightly and then run it up onto the top of his head.
This is the exact case with my Amazon... It's always upto him. Also, Asiatic parrots are not very cuddly type, that's what I have read.
 

fashionfobie

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I would stop worrying about body/head touch. For asiatic parrots body and head touch is a very intimate touch, usually reserved for mating and courtship. I would focus on the good progress you made and the trust you are building. Having your bird feel safe stepping up will be a much better expectation.

Since body touch is stimulating and at times confusing for IRN it can quickly develop into a fear of hands.

I personally have never touched my asiatic parrot's head or body. He is a plum head. He never expects this touch and I never surprise him with it. The mutual respect of personal boundaries goes very far. He is my buddy! Hangs out with me all day, rides me around via my shoulder, arm or head. We have a great full life. I never ever feel like I'm missing out. Seeing his happy chirpy face is all I care about. :) Touch is overrated.
 

fashionfobie

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And for evidence here is a rather embarrassing photo of us together earlier this week.. first he made sure to fill my hair with cork bits.. then propelled down my hair which he messed up! I didn't need to touch him a pinch.

PXL_20230118_045645368.jpg
 

Pixiebeak

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Ringnecks are prone to be fearful of fingers.
 
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