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Issues Taming Peach-Faced Lovebird

LizBet

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Hi all,

Cornelius, my peach-faced lovebird, - who is 10 weeks old - is my first pet bird. He is fully hand-reared and very tame, I’ve had no issues with biting.

I was able to hold him with no difficulty at the store both on my shoulders and on my hands but now I am unable to hold him at all. I’ve tried making him comfortable with millet spray but I’m not sure he knows how to eat it.

He has been in my care since the day before New Year’s Eve. Any and all advice is very welcome!
 

Aves

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birdy.929

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it will take a while to get him comfortable with you! remember, this is a new and scary environment to him, and he’s only been with you for a couple days. i would continue trying to feed him treats (millet, nuts, fruit, whatever he likes) and teach him that you aren’t going to hurt him. then, you can start opening the cage door and let him come out on his own. it may take a while for him to feel comfortable coming out, but it is important to let him do it on his own terms. once he’s out, do something that will show him that being out of his cage is a positive experience (treat, toy, etc). after he is more comfortable around you, then you can start trying to ask him to step up. this may take him a couple days, a couple weeks, or even a couple months, but the most important thing is to move at his pace, and to not push him farther than he wants to. i wish you luck!
 

LizBet

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it will take a while to get him comfortable with you! remember, this is a new and scary environment to him, and he’s only been with you for a couple days. i would continue trying to feed him treats (millet, nuts, fruit, whatever he likes) and teach him that you aren’t going to hurt him. then, you can start opening the cage door and let him come out on his own. it may take a while for him to feel comfortable coming out, but it is important to let him do it on his own terms. once he’s out, do something that will show him that being out of his cage is a positive experience (treat, toy, etc). after he is more comfortable around you, then you can start trying to ask him to step up. this may take him a couple days, a couple weeks, or even a couple months, but the most important thing is to move at his pace, and to not push him farther than he wants to. i wish you luck!
thank you for the advice! Progressively, he has been getting more comfortable with my hands but he does seem to “reset” every day - he is more likely to eat pasta from my hands in the afternoon as he is quite jittery in the mornings.

Could you recommend a certain type or style of toys which are suitable for out-of-cage use? My bird doesn’t appear to be motivated by food the majority of the time.
 

birdy.929

Walking the driveway
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you can use any type of toy your bird likes! there are wonderful vendors on here and you can also make your own toys from cardboard, paper cups, cupcake liners, ect. my lovebird especially likes chewing up newspaper.
 

Pat H

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Apple River, IL
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Hi all,

Cornelius, my peach-faced lovebird, - who is 10 weeks old - is my first pet bird. He is fully hand-reared and very tame, I’ve had no issues with biting.

I was able to hold him with no difficulty at the store both on my shoulders and on my hands but now I am unable to hold him at all. I’ve tried making him comfortable with millet spray but I’m not sure he knows how to eat it.

He has been in my care since the day before New Year’s Eve. Any and all advice is very welcome!
I have found my lovebirds LOVE to be 'man-handled' so to speak... they snuggle tightly in your hands, or 'hide' in your shirt or hair. My husband would roughly tickle their stomach... they are a 'hands-on' bird!
We sure LOVE our lovebirds [past tense, since for the 1st time in 30 years we don't have one]!
ps-- get back w/ me when he starts going thru his 'teething stage' ... easy fix...
 

Leih

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You can also sit near his cage and read to him, I did that a lot with my lovebird, Aoife. She is my first bird, too, and she took a long time to trust me. She also was 5 months old and unsocialized, so it may go faster for you. At first she wasn't food motivated and didn't play with any toys. After about a month she finally started to "bird" ;) Its very important to let him set the pace, remember that birds are prey animals, are not domesticated, so they naturally are going to be afraid at first. Their trust truly has to be earned. Absolutely do not just grab him and force him to accept it, that's called flooding and some places and people will recommend it, but think of how you'd feel if someone forced you to accept their embrace. Birds are very smart and you'll soon get to experience that! Millet is usually the best choice for first introductions, and Nutriberries, but he may not be interested for awhile just because he's in a strange place. My birds were in a parrot shop that was so noisy, so coming home with me, its quiet here. I played videos of birds chattering to help her relax here and there.
Keep us posted on how he's doing! I love the name Cornelius!
 

LizBet

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I have found my lovebirds LOVE to be 'man-handled' so to speak... they snuggle tightly in your hands, or 'hide' in your shirt or hair. My husband would roughly tickle their stomach... they are a 'hands-on' bird!
We sure LOVE our lovebirds [past tense, since for the 1st time in 30 years we don't have one]!
ps-- get back w/ me when he starts going thru his 'teething stage' ... easy fix...
Thank you for the advice!! The only birds I have actively interacted with prior to my lovie are cockatiels and Indian ring necks who seem to have such vastly different personality types, but I really am falling in love with my lovebird - he is such a sweetheart.

I’ll be sure to do so, I haven’t heard of a teething stage before!
 

LizBet

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You can also sit near his cage and read to him, I did that a lot with my lovebird, Aoife. She is my first bird, too, and she took a long time to trust me. She also was 5 months old and unsocialized, so it may go faster for you. At first she wasn't food motivated and didn't play with any toys. After about a month she finally started to "bird" ;) Its very important to let him set the pace, remember that birds are prey animals, are not domesticated, so they naturally are going to be afraid at first. Their trust truly has to be earned. Absolutely do not just grab him and force him to accept it, that's called flooding and some places and people will recommend it, but think of how you'd feel if someone forced you to accept their embrace. Birds are very smart and you'll soon get to experience that! Millet is usually the best choice for first introductions, and Nutriberries, but he may not be interested for awhile just because he's in a strange place. My birds were in a parrot shop that was so noisy, so coming home with me, its quiet here. I played videos of birds chattering to help her relax here and there.
Keep us posted on how he's doing! I love the name Cornelius!
Thank you for the suggestions! I’ve spent the better part of the morning reading to him or at least speaking aloud and he seems to find comfort in the noise. I’ve spotted him playing with his toys while I’m on the room for the first time which is great progress compared to how timid he used to be. He came from quite a noisy bird store as well so the parallels between your bird and mine definitely make sense.

thank you! the name Cornelius was originally suggested to me as a silly little joke but I thought it had a certain charm to it. I’ll be sure to keep everyone well posted on him.
 

TheBirds

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Can you put him on your shoulder or your chest while you kinda relax together on the couch? I brought my second Lovebird home the same day as you, and s/he seems to enjoy snuggling very much (even if hands ARE still very scary!). A favourite spot seems to be right in my hair against my neck, it must be nice and warm there :xflove:

The top of my cage (Vision) actually detaches from the base, which has helped immensely to access the new arrival (in that I'm not having to chase him around the cage through access doors.. although I know better to even try that!). Once the top comes off, he'll usually cautiously pitter-patter over the floor area to see what's going on :)

Congrats, and good luck!
 

LizBet

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Can you put him on your shoulder or your chest while you kinda relax together on the couch? I brought my second Lovebird home the same day as you, and s/he seems to enjoy snuggling very much (even if hands ARE still very scary!). A favourite spot seems to be right in my hair against my neck, it must be nice and warm there :xflove:

The top of my cage (Vision) actually detaches from the base, which has helped immensely to access the new arrival (in that I'm not having to chase him around the cage through access doors.. although I know better to even try that!). Once the top comes off, he'll usually cautiously pitter-patter over the floor area to see what's going on :)

Congrats, and good luck!
I don’t think my bird is quite confident enough to willingly go on my shoulders yet as he seems to greatly prefer the safety of his cage. I’ve tried luring him outside with food or just keeping the cage open while i work in the same room. For now, just to work at his pace, I’m content to let him feel more comfortable where he is but I’m very excited to be able to snuggle with him one day!

your bird sounds like an absolute joy to be around!
 

Pat H

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Thank you for the advice!! The only birds I have actively interacted with prior to my lovie are cockatiels and Indian ring necks who seem to have such vastly different personality types, but I really am falling in love with my lovebird - he is such a sweetheart.

I’ll be sure to do so, I haven’t heard of a teething stage before!
That's just how I referred the occasional early nipping to my buyers... when they start learning the 'power of their beaks' !
 

Zara

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Welcome to the Avenue! 1.welcome signs.gif

Could you recommend a certain type or style of toys which are suitable for out-of-cage use?
I have a little stand here on my table, it has a couple of little hanging toys and some toys in the tray at the bottom. My birds can go there and forage, or pull out toys to play with. Little ¨Foot toys¨ are perfect for playing with together on the table top, obviously lovebirds don´t hold them with their feet, so they are technically ¨beak toys¨. If you are looking at buying toys, check out LMBT , they sell selection boxes where you choose the amount you want to spend, and you can request a variety so your bird can try different things. The owner @Mizzely knows what little birds usually like :)

Keep spending time talking to your bird, if you are leaving the cage open, an external perch can help.
Sometimes it will boil down to curiosity - you play with a little toy with a bell in, and see if it peaks Cornelius´ interest.
Be sure to offer lots of treats; you c an give millet, sunflower seeds, sesame seed, a little piece of a smashed almond.

10 weeks old is a good age. Weaned but still a little baby that is easier to create a relationship with :)

think of how you'd feel if someone forced you to accept their embrace.
Ugh! The sister-in-law at Christmas :cautious: :grumpy:

A favourite spot seems to be right in my hair against my neck, it must be nice and warm there :xflove:
I wonder if it brings comfort as it reminds them of being back in the nest...?
My little ones all love that place, and they put their chests to my neck, like they do to the nest wall.
I´m sure the hair covering them gives them a sense of security :)
 

Pat H

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Zara-- I always enjoyed the Lovebirds in my long hair-- UNLESS it was more than 3x of the little darlings-- my hair would be knotted SO BADLY!
Sure miss those guys... :hug6:
 
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