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Not liking head scritches?

Lily’s mom

Meeting neighbors
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Does anyone else have a weirdo kid who doesn’t like them?
I’m fostering a nine year old Senegal and while he lets me touch and scratch his head (and pick him up, flip him over, etc) he doesn’t seem to enjoy head scratches. I think he’s confused as to why I try to give them to him All the other birds I’ve had either love head scratches or just are not ok with people touching them. If you have a bird like that, were you able to change their minds?
 

sunnysmom

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I had a foster canary-winged that wanted no part of head scratches. Would step up really well. Would crawl all over me and snuggle in my neck but wanted no part of scratches. He got adopted. So I don't know if he's more receptive to scratches from his new family or not.
 

Snowghost

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I've only had Paco for 4 months, he was cage bound with little socialization so he is not a touchy type bird. I wish he was but I'm just happy that he is happy. I have tried to scratch his head and managed once. We are still learning to trust each other and have ways to go. I'll watch this thread to see if anyone has any suggestions.
 

Fuzzy

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All birds are different. My budgie, BooBoo, didn't like head skritches and I respected his choice. But back then I didn't know about positive reinforcement training. I'm not sure if I could have changed his mind. I think I would have worked on him as I did with Ollie (my first example below) because I saw BooBoo rub his head on toys.

Ollie (Amazon) wasn't tame when I first got him and I never thought I'd be able to touch him. It took 6 months to gradually teach him that head skritches are good! I used what I saw. I saw that sometimes he would get a bell swinging and put his head underneath so it caught his head feathers. So after I had desensitized him to my presence and the presence of my hands, I unhooked the bell and swung it gently above him catching his head feathers. Over the months I made the chain shorter and shorter so that eventually I was skitching his head with the bell and all sorts of foot toys. Very, very gradually I began to include my fingers and always had a treat ready to give him afterwards. Eventually I could carefully skritch his head holding no bell or toy. Now he is always seeking them out and I use them as reinforcement for other behaviour.

Chico (another Amazon) would just try to attack me when he arrived. It took a long time to desensitize him to my presence and then when displaying relaxed body language I would briefly touch his head through the cage bars with my finger. When he was used to this, I then lightly caught a few feathers with my finger and brought them forward. I kept doing this now and again when he was receptive. Very gradually he realised what I was doing and began to enjoy it. A one second touch become 2 seconds, then 3 seconds. I always stopped WAY before he even thought about lunging. Over months he began to ask for them, and skritches got longer and longer. Then I tried through the open cage door with no bars to protect me or him. Now he also can't get enough of them. I use them as reinforcement to station at one side of the cage whilst I clean the other.

I guess in both cases I used careful desensitization and positive reinforcement, until the skritching became reinforcement in its own right.

Kobe (Pionus) and Bobbie (Amazon) are more straight forward and accepted them early on.
 
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