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Scared Black Capped Conure

catbav

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5/12/22
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I'm a new bird mamma and am looking for help with Kiwi, my five month old black capped. I've only had her a few weeks, so I'm certainly not expecting anything from her. But She is still terrified and bites anytime I offer her a treat. She has a large cage, lots of toys, and my other bird, Mango, who is allowed out and visits her daily by cage side, grooming her. At this point, should I completely ignore her for a week or so until she starts head bobbing to show interest, or what? When I try target training her, like I do Mango, she bites the heck out of the stick and then tries her best to bite my finger when I reward her with a treat. I'm near both cages for 3-4 hours a day, so she can see me. I know it's me doing something wrong with her, I'm just too new at this to know what!

Thanks for any advise :)
 

QB1rd

Jogging around the block
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6/7/21
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889
I would leave her completely alone for a good while until she’s had a chance to adjust to her new home without disturbances. Don’t do anything except to change her papers and food/water. Don’t watch her (it’s predator-like), but just let her be for a while.

After you’ve done this then you can start to try target training again, and go at her speed. If she’s showing you that she isn’t ready then don’t push it. Do everything with the bird’s consent.

I have a new bird too, and we go at his speed. If he doesn’t want to do something then we don’t do it and I let him go back in his home. It’s okay for it to take time.
 

catbav

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I would leave her completely alone for a good while until she’s had a chance to adjust to her new home without disturbances. Don’t do anything except to change her papers and food/water. Don’t watch her (it’s predator-like), but just let her be for a while.

After you’ve done this then you can start to try target training again, and go at her speed. If she’s showing you that she isn’t ready then don’t push it. Do everything with the bird’s consent.

I have a new bird too, and we go at his speed. If he doesn’t want to do something then we don’t do it and I let him go back in his home. It’s okay for it to take time.
I run a longarm quilting business from my home and the birds are very near the machine. Mango is fine with it, but Kiwi Squeeks every time the machine starts. She is really afraid of everything except Mango. Do you think I should move her cage into my office where it would be somewhat quieter? She would still see me several hours a day working at my desk. Mango wouldn't have access to her anymore, but maybe that's better? I could slowly move the cage back to where it currently is over a period of a week or two? The help is much appreciated. I just want to do what's best for Kiwi.
 

QB1rd

Jogging around the block
Joined
6/7/21
Messages
889
I run a longarm quilting business from my home and the birds are very near the machine. Mango is fine with it, but Kiwi Squeeks every time the machine starts. She is really afraid of everything except Mango. Do you think I should move her cage into my office where it would be somewhat quieter? She would still see me several hours a day working at my desk. Mango wouldn't have access to her anymore, but maybe that's better? I could slowly move the cage back to where it currently is over a period of a week or two? The help is much appreciated. I just want to do what's best for Kiwi.
This I’m honestly not sure about. I keep Javi in our living room so he’s in the center of our lives and literally everything that happens in our house happens around him. My last bird, a black capped, also lived there, and she was fine, but if there is undue stress than the office might be a smart move until she’s more settled, especially since she’ll still get exposure to you.
 

catbav

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This I’m honestly not sure about. I keep Javi in our living room so he’s in the center of our lives and literally everything that happens in our house happens around him. My last bird, a black capped, also lived there, and she was fine, but if there is undue stress than the office might be a smart move until she’s more settled, especially since she’ll still get exposure to you.
Thank you! I think I'm going to try leaving Kiwi where she is. She's doing better today just being ignored completely with Mango occasionally grooming her through the wire. I'm keeping the machine at a slower pace, which makes it quieter and she seems okay with that. I'll speed it up slowly as she becomes more accustomed to everything. Thanks for all your help!
 

Fuzzy

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Personally I’d leave her where she is. She’ll soon get habituated to the sound of the machine, plus she’ll see that Mango is fine with it. You could give a warning sound before you start it up so that she’ll learn what to expect. I think being in the same room as you and the interaction with Mango are hugely valuable.

When you can approach her without her showing uncomfortable body language, that’s when you can start offering her a favourite food through the cage bars. Make it a big piece to start with like the other end of some millet spray or a slice of apple, then you can gradually shorten it/make it smaller so that she gradually gets closer to your fingers. As soon as she’s taking a treat from you nicely then you can try target training. Not before as you need something with which to reinforce the behaviour and right now you don’t have very much, which is understandable.

There is no rush… do as much as you can to keep her body language as relaxed as possible - that way you’ll gradually earn her trust. If you are doing things that evoke “fear”/biting she will pair you with aversives which will erode trust.
 

catbav

Moving in
Joined
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Messages
6
Personally I’d leave her where she is. She’ll soon get habituated to the sound of the machine, plus she’ll see that Mango is fine with it. You could give a warning sound before you start it up so that she’ll learn what to expect. I think being in the same room as you and the interaction with Mango are hugely valuable.

When you can approach her without her showing uncomfortable body language, that’s when you can start offering her a favourite food through the cage bars. Make it a big piece to start with like the other end of some millet spray or a slice of apple, then you can gradually shorten it/make it smaller so that she gradually gets closer to your fingers. As soon as she’s taking a treat from you nicely then you can try target training. Not before as you need something with which to reinforce the behaviour and right now you don’t have very much, which is understandable.

There is no rush… do as much as you can to keep her body language as relaxed as possible - that way you’ll gradually earn her trust. If you are doing things that evoke “fear”/biting she will pair you with aversives which will erode trust.
That sounds like wonderful advice. Thank you! I'll absolutely try that. Our house is wide open and the birds are in the middle of it all, so I realize it's a lot to get used to!
 
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