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My birds love me sometimes, but hate me most of the time... help!

X.rei

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Iker Abrego
(Sorry for this essay worth of text).
A month ago i got a beautiful lovebird couple, they're from the pet store and are pretty bipolar. My female (5 months old) was the first one to get close to me, and let me feed her through the bars, while the male (7 months old) took a bit more time. Since day 1 i noticed that they were really angry and irritated in the morning, and I'm still confused why. We keep them under the stairs since there are a lot of plants there, but i don't think they like it so i might change the location.
Every video I've seen mentions how they shouldn't be in the cage all the time, but my house has a lot of glass and really tall roofs, so they can easily fly away, and idk what to do.
I read in an article that a "good" taming technique was to leave them without food for about a day, and then try to hand-feed them, so it is basically what i did, both ate from my hand, but it feels like my female doesn't know the difference between my hand and food and sometimes bites my fingers but nothing i cant stand.
Here are the problems, sometimes the female will get close to me 'cause she wants treats, but a good 70% of the time she's the exact opposite. the male will flap his wings when I'm there but only in the morning, which i read is a sign of aggression so I'm not sure about that either. I am REALLY confused with my birds behavior what am i doing wrong? is it just my birds? should I return them?.
help.
 

Tara81

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Please do not leave your precious birds without food for one day. This could make them vulnerable to illness. They have high metabolisms and need to eat often. Forced interaction will not get the bird to like you more. I would assume the lovebirds diet should consist of vegetables, pellets and seeds. Not just seeds. If they only eat seeds, be sure to offer them other foods during the day as well, without taking away their seed. The male is most likely flapping his wings for exercise. Birds can be grumpy in the morning when they are still tired, or aren't sleeping long enough. Parrots need 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep. I don't really understand why you can't let them out of the cage, maybe you can show us some pictures of your high ceiling/ glass windows?
You should also teach them to step onto a perch before you let them out, to make it easier to get them back inside later. How long did you have them? Birds are not like other pets, they are prey animals and get more easily spooked. They are most likely afraid of their new home, it takes them time to get used to you and their environment. Some birds will never enjoy being cuddled or pet, but they can interact with you in different ways, like hanging out on your shoulder , playing with toys you make, training them tricks for treats.
 
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X.rei

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Iker Abrego
Please do not leave your precious birds without food for one day. This could make them vulnerable to illness. They have high metabolisms and need to eat often. Forced interaction will not get the bird to like you more. I would assume the lovebirds diet should consist of vegetables, pellets and seeds. Not just seeds. If they only eat seeds, be sure to offer them other foods during the day as well, without taking away their seed. The male is most likely flapping his wings for exercise. Birds can be grumpy in the morning when they are still tired, or aren't sleeping long enough. Parrots need 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep. I don't really understand why you can't let them out of the cage, maybe you can show us some pictures of your high ceiling/ glass windows?
You should also teach them to step onto a perch before you let them out, to make it easier to get them back inside later. How long did you have them? Birds are not like other pets, they are prey animals and get more easily spooked. They are most likely afraid of their new home, it takes them time to get used to you and their environment. Some birds will never enjoy being cuddled or pet, but they can interact with you in different ways, like hanging out on your shoulder , playing with toys you make, training them tricks for treats.
Thank you for answering so quickly!

Come to think of it since the birds live under the stairs, i don't think they get much sleep, so i might try moving it.
I've tried to train them to step on a perch that i'm holding, but they fly away immediately, I don't think they like the idea of a wooden stick coming towards them (same with target training). I've had them for about a bit more than a month they'll eat from the palm of my hand, but i really don't know what the next step is, i feel like i cant make anymore progress with them inside the cage.
Coming back to the "why I cant let them out of the cage". I cant really send you a picture but I can describe it (not sure if it helps) The house is about 26 feet total height and it has 2 floors (so each floor is about 13 feet, depending on the room) there are rooms that are way larger and taller than others and i don't really have that much walls that divide the rooms (its all "connected" not sure if that makes sense) Plus there are glass roofs and many walls, but every 2 days or so we hear loud thuds on the windows, turns out those were wild birds crashing into them, and i'm kind of concerned about that, i don't want that to happen to my lovebirds. I used to own a dove and that's quite literally how she died.
Another thing that confuses me. I give them a little bit of millet on the palm of my hand maybe 2 times a day, and so was the case today, around 9 AM i fed them, they were all puffed up and cute, when they finished it i simply stood there for about 3 minutes, then left. Not 1 hour passes, they were screaming not puffed up and all of a sudden afraid of me like I was a total stranger, not sure what to do.
Anyway thanks again for replying :birdance:
 

Zara

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Welcome to the Avenue,

but every 2 days or so we hear loud thuds on the windows, turns out those were wild birds crashing into them, and i'm kind of concerned about that,
Add some decals to the windows, it will help the wild birds and also your lovebirds.

I agree that removing food for a day is a very bad idea. I have seen many people come here with their stories and what they have tried to bond with their birds, and those who force and push seem to not do as well in creating a solid bond with their bird.
Do you have millet spray? Lovebirds love to eat it from the spray (more so than loose).

Definitely move the cage, sounds like they´re being woken during the night and not resting well.

Another thing to remember is you have a pair of birds, so it will take a little more patience to create a relationship with them as opposed to a single bird. If one is more friendly than the other, focus on that, where one goes, the other will eventually follow.
 

Tara81

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Thank you for answering so quickly!

Come to think of it since the birds live under the stairs, i don't think they get much sleep, so i might try moving it.
I've tried to train them to step on a perch that i'm holding, but they fly away immediately, I don't think they like the idea of a wooden stick coming towards them (same with target training). I've had them for about a bit more than a month they'll eat from the palm of my hand, but i really don't know what the next step is, i feel like i cant make anymore progress with them inside the cage.
Coming back to the "why I cant let them out of the cage". I cant really send you a picture but I can describe it (not sure if it helps) The house is about 26 feet total height and it has 2 floors (so each floor is about 13 feet, depending on the room) there are rooms that are way larger and taller than others and i don't really have that much walls that divide the rooms (its all "connected" not sure if that makes sense) Plus there are glass roofs and many walls, but every 2 days or so we hear loud thuds on the windows, turns out those were wild birds crashing into them, and i'm kind of concerned about that, i don't want that to happen to my lovebirds. I used to own a dove and that's quite literally how she died.
Another thing that confuses me. I give them a little bit of millet on the palm of my hand maybe 2 times a day, and so was the case today, around 9 AM i fed them, they were all puffed up and cute, when they finished it i simply stood there for about 3 minutes, then left. Not 1 hour passes, they were screaming not puffed up and all of a sudden afraid of me like I was a total stranger, not sure what to do.
Anyway thanks again for replying :birdance:
You only had them for one month, so it sounds like they are still adjusting to their new home. You should have the cage in the room you are in most often, so they can watch you and get used to you more. I am really not sure what to do with the glass roof situation, maybe someone else can come up with some ideas. I don’t know if you can buy mesh doors , or netting to attach to some of the ceiling, or just buying a really large walk in cage, or a larger cage, which will probably be pricey. What is their diet like? You can teach them step up on a perch with a stick they are familiar with in time. Choose your stick then leave it about 4 feet from the cage for a week, then the next week put it close to the cage, then the next week out it inside the cage. Slow exposure, you can do the same idea with new toys they seem afraid of as well.
 

flyzipper

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@flyzipper has high ceilings so might have some tips RE the space
I can echo what you've already said about decals for the windows.
Here's an example...

The space needs to be bird-safe to reduce risks while flying and that's true whether the ceilings are high or not. If my guys fly to a space I'm not able to reach, I'm comfortable leaving them where they are until they choose to fly back to me. When a friend's bird was visiting, I found it useful to have a long pole with a rope perch loop on the end, but my primary advice is patience. If they're safe, they'll come down when they're ready.

Overall, the OP's relationship with their birds is very new after only a month, so patience is the general advice to build that relationship. Be trustworthy and don't force them to meet our expectations, and they will learn to trust on their own terms.
 

X.rei

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Sorry for not replying for a while, I wanted to reply when i had done some progress. (quick side note, they're both around 7 months old and from the pet store which is probably why I'm having a hard time)
My family and i decided that it was too expensive to cover the windows, so what we did was bring the cage upstairs, let them out in my room (this was about a day after ya'll replied) and then at 6 or so we bring them back downstairs for sleep.
I got the male (and sometimes the female) to stand on a stick that i was holding, simply by luring it with millet spray, but here's the issue they wont stand and seem afraid of the stick if i don't have millet, but when i do have millet, they'll have no problem stepping 2 inches from my finger, so that's that. I even try for them to step on my finger the same way they do with the stick, but they slowly bite me, its not a fast nip either its like I'm a toy to them
I researched how to make them less afraid of my hand and i got the "enter your hand in the cage and leave it there until they calm down" but every time i enter the hand they FREAK OUT, they'll start flying around and screaming, after 2 minutes or so they calm down but when its time to remove it they freak out again, I've been doing this for 2 weeks and so far no improvement.
They're sometimes afraid of me, but other times sort of preen my hair? idk, their behavior confuses me and I feel stuck.
Help.
 

Zara

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I researched how to make them less afraid of my hand and i got the "enter your hand in the cage and leave it there until they calm down" but every time i enter the hand they FREAK OUT,
Yea that´s bad advice, and you have seen the result, birds freaking out and trying to get away.

Instead of putting your hand inside the cage, interact through the cage bars. Use millet and feed them through the bars, for each positive experience, trust is gained. If you put your hand in the cage and they freak out, all of the trust is lost.
 
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