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Harness alternative

frogfoot

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I currently use an Aviator Harness for Ruby. Training went well for the most part, we took it step by step as suggested. Recently, my sister babysat her and tried to roughly get her in the harness, and now she has all these bad memories with the harness and won't tolerate it anymore.

Anyway I know I can start over with her training, but I want to know if there is an easier alternative to wearing the harness. The material is heavy and thick and I can't imagine it's comfortable. To my understanding, the reason that we can't restrain our parrots with jesses like a hawk is because their legs aren't robust enough to withstand a sudden stop when they reach the end of their leash. So is there any reason why we can't use a leg leash attached to a stretchy elastic band like the Aviator harness uses? She tolerates her legs being touched and I think the whole process would be much less stressful for her. Of course, above all I want her to be safe.

What are your thoughts?
 

Odin

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I have no advice, I just want to see what is said, I am only starting to show Boo his harness. So I am going to be at step one with you.
 

karen256

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It actually used to be quite common to use parrot leg chains, that hooked onto the band. I even have some older 1950s parrot books that describe training a bird to wear them (but even these older books also warn that keeping a parrot on a chain permanently is cruel, the chain can make the band cut into the leg, ect.). But anyway, leg chains or leashes are mostly considered unsafe for parrots today. King's cages DO sell some metal parrot jesses but most people seem to think they look potentially dangerous (I haven't heard of any actual injuries from them though).

Parrots have fairly strong legs, but they aren't as strong as raptors. Hawks kill prey with their talons and can carry off prey that weighs as much as they do. With parrots, there's more risk of them breaking or dislocating a leg.

Also, hawks are less destructive than parrots, so the anklets can be nice soft leather without fear of them chewing them off within the hour. With parrots, you would need something metal - like leg bands - and those can eventually cut into the foot with the weight of a leash.

There's just no real ideal option.

I do kind of wish that they made a lightweight version of the Aviator harness, for training, and for birds that are less destructive.
 

frogfoot

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Yeah Ruby doesn't really chew, so maybe I can fashion a pair of soft leather jesses for her, with an elastic band instead of a metal one?? I think the danger of breaking/dislocating a leg comes from the sudden stop at the end of the chain in the case of a metal leg chain. I would never leave her unsupervised, of course, I just want to be able to bring her on walks and outings with me occasionally.
 

gibsongrrrl

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I would definitely ask an avian veterinarian about the jesses before using them. I wouldn't risk it, personally.
 

Becky1964

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My Macaw used to put his head down to put Aviator on, but he is constantly chewing on them, going through 4 so far! Seriously thinking of the leg harness. Always under my supervision.
 

sootling

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Honsesly, if you use anklets correctly theres rlly no problem!
 

Hankmacaw

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You are very wrong in that assumption Kat. You may want to read the comment on these threads throughout the years. No one, nor any vet that I know of would ever give a positive answer to the question of using jesses.

New Parrot Jesses | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum
May 10, 2012
Harness alternative | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum
May 12, 2016
Kings Cages Parrot Jesses | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum
May 29, 2018
Falconry Anklet :) | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum
Feb 25, 2013
More results from forums.avianavenue.com
 

Sunni Tiel

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I wouldn't risk it. Too many things could accidentally go wrong.
 

Hankmacaw

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@Becky1964 I have been using the Avian Web harness for more than two years for that exact reason. My GW could chew through one in short order. Even though it was easy to get the Aviator on her. She wasn't able to chew through the Avian Web harness.
 

Sparkles!

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Honsesly, if you use anklets correctly theres rlly no problem!
Dangerous and incorrect.
There is 100% absolutely no reason in this day and age any parrot should be shackled or jessed.
I don’t give two rips where you live, or what species you live with. It’s a horrid, barbaric practice that can produce absolute heinous injuries. And shame on you for saying it can be done “safely”.
 

Zara

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Maybe we could try conversing respectfully?

Explaining and educating will help bring people in and teach them. Negative posts and attacking will only push them away.
 

Sparkles!

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Maybe we could try conversing respectfully?

Explaining and educating will help bring people in and teach them. Negative posts and attacking will only push them away.
You are correct. It’s a sore spot with me. I have picked up the shattered pieces of way too many handicapped birds due to the antiquated thinking that shackles and jesses are appropriate and safe on parrots. And while not all owners who use them have any clue that they’re unsafe, when people actually advocate for their use— I get my dander up.

Apologies for my brash words. I remain steadfast in my belief for safer alternatives.
 

Gigibirds

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Well, I tried something with one of my birds once. They had that metal leg band/tag that most birds have, and I very loosely crocheted a 'leash'. It was super stretchy (bc I loosely crocheted it), and I attached it to the leg band. This bird was VERY closely bonded to me, and I had enough confidence in her to take her outside even if she wasn't wearing anything! (but I didn't want to risk it) She was trained to not randomly fly off, and even if something did scare her, her natural response was to go and try to hide in my hair. She did that every time, and NEVER tried to fly when she got scared! So anyways, I attached it to the leg band, and I took her out. She was just calmly sitting on me, and she didn't care about anything at all! I just fed her some treats and we were outside for a little bit, and then before she could get scared/bored/nervous, I took her inside again! It worked like a dream. Now I would not recommend this for anything less than a basically perfectly trained bird, who doesn't fly when they feel threatened, and I would never use it for longer than 10 minutes. But for that little while, it worked very well! With my awesome and cooperative bird, it worked like a charm. But I wouldn't use it as a long-term solution. It was just an experiment! I do not recommend them, but it did work pretty well for my experiment the one time I ever tried it.

My best idea for an alternative for you and Ruby is just a little carrier! A little see-through bird-backpack would work wonderfully for an eclectus. There's no harness, no hassle, and none of my birds have ever minded them!
 
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sootling

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Dangerous and incorrect.
There is 100% absolutely no reason in this day and age any parrot should be shackled or jessed.
I don’t give two rips where you live, or what species you live with. It’s a horrid, barbaric practice that can produce absolute heinous injuries. And shame on you for saying it can be done “safely”.
Maybe we could try conversing respectfully?

Explaining and educating will help bring people in and teach them. Negative posts and attacking will only push them away.
Based on what experience or evidence would you assert this so confidently?
You are correct. It’s a sore spot with me. I have picked up the shattered pieces of way too many handicapped birds due to the antiquated thinking that shackles and jesses are appropriate and safe on parrots. And while not all owners who use them have any clue that they’re unsafe, when people actually advocate for their use— I get my dander up.

Apologies for my brash words. I remain steadfast in my belief for safer alternatives.
Omg im so srry! I didnt mean to say that! Idk what came over me, i have schizophrania and sometimes see stuff, im so srry to all, how do i delete thsat?
 

sootling

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Argh! I cant spell! I meant schizophrenia.
 

sootling

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The days are blending together...
 
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