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New Bird Advice?

melissite

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Hello! I'm new here, and there are probably so many threads about this already, but I figure to share my exact situation to get more particular advice. I have watched many tutorials on taming and bonding, and the general information has me going in circles with no progress.

To begin, I had a green cheek conure before, but he passed suddenly and unexpectedly. I got him at nine weeks old, and he was hand-fed and took no more than a week to tame enough to always want to sit on my shoulder and step up. Before he passed, at only five/six months old, he was already wholly bonded with my whole family and me.

There being said, I got two new green cheek conures not long after. I've had them for over two months now; a bonded pair I've named Cherry and Cola. Though, unfortunately, I had gotten them at a pet store where the cages were utterly open and accessible for people, and sadly children, to reach in. As you can conclude, they are pretty scared of hands altogether. For these months, I had gotten them accustomed to target training and will use my finger to get treats (not without scooting away fairly quickly after they get their treat). I trained them to do this when I first got them, and have gotten them to have no forward progress after this. They run away at any closeness of my hand otherwise. They were clipped at the store, but I'm allowing their flight feathers to grow back in.

They seem incredibly happy on their own, without me or the interaction. They're comfortable with my presence in the room, but no more. They show little interest in forming a bond with me. They eat, bathe, and sleep well, get proper nutrition, spend all day sitting on top of their cage or the play-stand by it. So, my overall question is, do I have any more options to work with? I'm stuck as I try to work with them every day and get nowhere. Is it for the better if I just let them be? I'm okay with that. I want what's going to benefit them the most, and if that means this is the farthest I can get to taming them, then that's okay. It would undoubtedly be ideal though if they at least got close enough to where I can bring them out of the room, they live in every so often. I certainly didn't include everything, so feel free to ask questions and link to other forums with advice that can help. Thank you so much for the concern :)

((excuse the messy cage in the photo, I clean it bidaily so it causes a bit of buildup))
 

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Fergus Mom

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Melissa, in what room is their caged housed? Do you think if you moved them to a room with more socialization it might help?
 

Fuzzy

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:welcomesign: Melissa! Hoping that we can help you.

My first thoughts are that you said they are "a bonded pair". If they are bonded to each other they probably have less reason to want to bond with you too. I think what is optimistic is that in the pic they are not absolutely together - one is inside the cage and the other on the stand. Do you know if they are male and female?

You have had them for just two months or so, and really that is no time at all! Some birds do have a phobia about hands. Being clipped and therefore unable to escape hands in that shop must have been terrifying for them. My Amazon, Ollie, also has such a phobia from being caught up and medicated for 9 months before he came to live with me. I have had him 9 years and he still won't step up on my hand or arm. No matter, I have taught him to step up on a hand held perch instead. We get by very well, and it means such a lot that he still wants to be near me and get head skritches when I never thought I'd be able to touch him.

That is great your two will take treats from you and you have been successful in target training. Keep up with that. Make sure the treats are very valuable by not having them in the food bowls as well. Train just for a few seconds here and half a minute there now and again through the day. Stop WAY before they lose interest. That way training is fun plus you get paired with the treat. They begin to look forward to interaction with you!

You want to be pairing yourself with good experiences only, so (and only you can tell) if you are asking too much by asking them to put a foot/feet on your hand to take a treat, maybe take some steps backwards and progress slower so they don't have to snatch and scoot away. Depending on how far you have got with this training, you could always teach duration (of foot/feet on the finger) by waiting half a second before giving the treat... then one second etc. But you need to constantly monitor their body language and try to maintain their relaxed states. You want training sessions to be fun/reinforcing so that they are more likely to want to engage with you the next session.

When they are used to targeting, try gradually moving the stick (if you are using a chopstick) slightly further away in tiny steps or approximations. That way they have to move half a step to touch the target, then one step etc. Soon they will be moving quite a distance to touch the stick. Maybe you will have more success target training and teaching them to step up on a hand held perch for now.

So pleased you are letting their wings grow out. :fly2:
 

JoJo&Loki

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Welcome and congrats! :welave:

Sorry to hear about your 1st bird, he was so very young :(

You’ve gotten some great advice here. Always be mindful of their body language, as long as you respect what they’re “saying” they’ll begin to trust you eventually. It may take longer, since they do have each other (that’s a good thing for them though!), but that doesn’t mean they won’t come around eventually.
Good luck to you!
 

Cynthia & Percy

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welceom
 

iamwhoiam

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Welcome to AA.
 

Zara

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Welcome to the Avenue Melissa :fairy2:

Good luck with the training :)
 

sunnysmom

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Welcome to the forum!
 

melissite

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Hello everyone! Thanks for all the wonderful welcome messages and advice, I really appreciate it :)


Elly, I tried to bring them out into my family room a couple of times now. Unfortunately, we have six children and two dogs in our household, and this makes them so nervous they start panting. For now, I think its best where they are in my room with me and my sister and some light traffic of other family members, thank you though!

Roz, I'm so happy to hear that you were able to get that far with Ollie in only nine months! It gives me hope for my little conures that through time we'll come around to like each other. They are male and female from what I can conclude. I'm trying really hard to get them to progress in target training, but my guess is that they just need to take more time than I would've expected. Thank you for the advice! I never thought about for just doing it for a few seconds, id always thought five-ten minute sessions was the route to take! I'm also really excited for their first molt so that they can fly!

Kelly, body language is definitely something I struggle with, but as you said, its a process (for me too :) ) Thank you for the help!

Again, thank you all for the help and welcomes, I'm happy to share my journey from here on out <3


(sorry of this is not the correct way to respond, I've never really used a fourm before aha)
 

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