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I'm not sure how my bird feels about me

hankfrank

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I recently got my first lovebird of 9 weeks old. I've never owned a bird before so I have no experience in handling her. When we got home, she got loose, we were both panicking and I had to grab her to get her back to the cage. Now she's scared and very cautious every time my hand is near her. However, when I let her out she really enjoys sitting on my head, so I don't think she completely hates me. She loves getting out but it's a real struggle for the both of us to get her back as she won't let me touch her. So my questions are:

1. How can I get her in the cage without scaring her even more than I already did?
2. Should I stop letting her out and train her to get used to my hand first?
3. Currently I'm letting her out on her own (I open the cage door and wait for her to come out), should I use this chance to use my hand to bring her out? (She's scared and I'm scared too so it's more like a cornering situation)

Thanks for the help!
 

Shezbug

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You never want to grab your bird (unless it is a matter of life and death), your bird needs to have choices and also be certain that your hands will not be a problem- trust is the most important thing when it comes to a positive relationship with your bird so you need to learn body language and listen when your bird shows it is scared or not liking what you are doing.

You let it out on its own (never grab it to remove it from the cage) and you either figure out the favourite food and use that to lure the bird back into the cage (letting it return on its own) or you time things so your bird is only let out when it is still a little hungry so it will choose to return to the cage for food.

There are some really great resources and tips in the training court... The Training Court
 

hankfrank

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You never want to grab your bird (unless it is a matter of life and death), your bird needs to have choices and also be certain that your hands will not be a problem- trust is the most important thing when it comes to a positive relationship with your bird so you need to learn body language and listen when your bird shows it is scared or not liking what you are doing.

You let it out on its own (never grab it to remove it from the cage) and you either figure out the favourite food and use that to lure the bird back into the cage (letting it return on its own) or you time things so your bird is only let out when it is still a little hungry so it will choose to return to the cage for food.

There are some really great resources and tips in the training court... The Training Court
Thank you! When I asked the person I got the bird from they told me to catch her and hold her close to my chest so I kept doing that for a while thinking she's grown into it. Hopefully with patience and love I'll gain her trust back.
 

Zara

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the person I got the bird from they told me to catch her and hold her close to my chest so I kept doing that for a while thinking she's grown into it.
That is called flooding. Most people disapprove of this method. I would stop doing that, and instead opt for more hands off interactions. Talking to her, offering millet through cage bars when she´s in there.

3. Currently I'm letting her out on her own (I open the cage door and wait for her to come out), should I use this chance to use my hand to bring her out?
Let her come out of her own accord. If you put your hand in there and she doesn´t feel comfortable, or gets frightened she will likely start charging and biting.
You could set up an external perch near the cage door entrance to make entering and exiting the cage a little easier.

She's scared and I'm scared too
Try not to be scared of her. Confidence will give her a little reassurance :)

1. How can I get her in the cage without scaring her even more than I already did?
I have a very hands off hen, and I tap her cage and tell her ¨home time, a la casita¨ she goes back in. I´m not sure how we ended up there, but we have come to a mutual understanding over the years.
Set up an empty bowl in the cage so that you can leave treats in there for when she returns, and also so you can pop treats through the cage bars and into the bowl during caged time.

I had to grab her to get her back to the cage. Now she's scared and very cautious every time my hand is near her. However, when I let her out she really enjoys sitting on my head, so I don't think she completely hates me.
She doesn´t hate you at all, you said it yourself; she is scared.
Try to give her some space to regain some confidence with you, be very patient with her. And don´t push, if you see her leaning back or flaring her nape feathers, be sure to back off.
 

hankfrank

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That is called flooding. Most people disapprove of this method. I would stop doing that, and instead opt for more hands off interactions. Talking to her, offering millet through cage bars when she´s in there.


Let her come out of her own accord. If you put your hand in there and she doesn´t feel comfortable, or gets frightened she will likely start charging and biting.
You could set up an external perch near the cage door entrance to make entering and exiting the cage a little easier.


Try not to be scared of her. Confidence will give her a little reassurance :)


I have a very hands off hen, and I tap her cage and tell her ¨home time, a la casita¨ she goes back in. I´m not sure how we ended up there, but we have come to a mutual understanding over the years.
Set up an empty bowl in the cage so that you can leave treats in there for when she returns, and also so you can pop treats through the cage bars and into the bowl during caged time.


She doesn´t hate you at all, you said it yourself; she is scared.
Try to give her some space to regain some confidence with you, be very patient with her. And don´t push, if you see her leaning back or flaring her nape feathers, be sure to back off.
Thank you so much, this is really assuring and thorough! The hen story is so cute, she’s lucky to have you :)
I stopped flooding after I found out how stressed it made her. I can feel she’s slowly getting more relaxed with me. I’ll follow your tips and be gentle with her.
 

Zara

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she’s lucky to have you :)
I'm pretty sure she couldn't care less :lol: and I take care of her, let her out to fly and buy her toys and make her perches.. And my partner is her fave person :rolleyes: obviously
 

Emma&pico

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Hi and welcome

pico hates going back in his cage @Vmax posted a really good idea on another post to attach a perch to cage door pico goes there for his toy or a treat and I shut the door it’s been working if I carry him back to cage he knows he’s going home so he flys off

indie is a no hands bird still a baby but she will fly to my arm I have to have long sleeves on though she will come for millet I get her back in cage by putting treats in her toys then she comes back in her cage

a perch on the door and outside the cage helps loads indie comes to perch outside then I offer my arm she comes and upto my shoulder

talking and offering treats through cage bars as helped indie loads helps with cage aggression too

good luck with your new baby
 

hankfrank

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Hi and welcome

pico hates going back in his cage @Vmax posted a really good idea on another post to attach a perch to cage door pico goes there for his toy or a treat and I shut the door it’s been working if I carry him back to cage he knows he’s going home so he flys off

indie is a no hands bird still a baby but she will fly to my arm I have to have long sleeves on though she will come for millet I get her back in cage by putting treats in her toys then she comes back in her cage

a perch on the door and outside the cage helps loads indie comes to perch outside then I offer my arm she comes and upto my shoulder

talking and offering treats through cage bars as helped indie loads helps with cage aggression too

good luck with your new baby
Great tips! Thank you :)
 
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