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Taming my Parrotlet

CanPowell

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I just purchased a 7 month old Parrotlet. He is not too tame. I have read it’s best not to stick your hand into the cage and grab him, but he will not come out on his own.
How do I start to tame him, if I can’t get him out of the cage?
 

TikiMyn

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Do NOT do that! ‘Taming’ a bird means building trust, your relationship with his is based on how much he trusts you. Imagine you are a little bird, and a big strange creature with claw like hands grabs you, I would never trust that human again. You have to show him you respect him, that he is safe with you. Respect his bounderies, if he is scared(walks away from you, tightens his feathers, etc) back off and keep backing off untill he seems to relax a little bit. That shows him you Will not do anything he is not comfortable with, that he is safe.
Sit on a distance he is okay with, and read/talk to him. I would avoid prolonged direct eye contact untill later, that could be percieved as a predotary gaze. Give him a treat every time you walk by his cage, and when you enter/exit the room. If he doesn’t take treats from your hand yet, I would add a special food cup that you Will use to drop the treats in for him.
Leave him in his cage for now, forcing him out won’t do any good.
Look into target training and clicker training, those can be great to start off with trust building. You can do those while he is in the cage. There is a lot of information on that on the forum under the training court.
Post Some pictures of your cutie when yiu get a chance. Does he have a name yet?
 

finchly

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And in fact don’t ever stick your hand in your parrotlet’s cage. They hate that.

Do as @TikiMyn recommended, and also put a perch on the outside of the cage so he has a place to sit and watch you. If your room is a safe place for him and there are no dogs or cats, after a few days or a week or two start opening the door while you read or talk to him and he might come out to visit with you.

I have one that is afraid of hands, despite being hand fed so I have taught him to go to a perch, I can just tap whichever perch with my finger and he goes there. He also lands on my shoulder or arm a lot. And my head! I make a really big deal to show him I will NOT touch him with my hands.

Mine love millet so that’s my training treat with them.

Parrotlets are really smart - does yours talk yet? Mine says about 10 words and imitates my laugh, kissing noises, and certain whistle tunes. They like games and silly songs.
 

GracefulWolf

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I see in your picture you are holding him in a hand towel to try and tame him. Do not do that. If someone walked up to you, grabbed you in a tight hug, and said they wouldn’t let go until you became best friends, would you be excited to get to know them? No, you’d want the scary stranger to be as far away from you as possible.

Some great ways to bond are sit a few feet away from the cage and do your own thing. Read a book out loud, watch some TV, fold laundry, tell him about your day. Music and singing helped me a lot. Milo really opened up when I started playing music for him. Play different genres to find out what he likes. Milo loves broadway musicals and Disney music. He gets all fluffy and chirps along :p

Once he comes out of the cage on his own, a good starting point for taming is millet. It’s long so you can hold it by one end and offer the opposite end while your hand is far away. Then over a week or two, slowly move your hand a little bit closer each day. Once they can nibble on the millet next to your hand without startling, that’s when you can start offering finger treats. Sunflower seeds and nutriberries worked really well as finger treats for me. Hold the nutriberry between your thumb and index finger, let him take bites while you hold it. But you can’t skip right to finger treats because they need to learn that your hands can be close to them without anything bad happening.
 

Garet

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Yeah, grabbing and holding a bird is very bad, even with a towel. Birds are all lungs, and you can easily smother them if you grab and hold them tight. Unless there's an emergency, or you need to medicate him, don't do it.

Most birds are protective of their cages. It's where they're supposed to feel safe, not trapped and unable to escape the Big, Scary Thing.
 

Nuttyone

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I have followed loads and loads of advice on here and its amazing. All birds take time and patience. I have a parrotlet...Lewie..and im keeping a thread of the ups, downs, frustrations and worries of keeping a new bird.
Really do go through the forums there is such amazing advice, support and methods on training your new baby. However everything is slow time and at the birds pace, sometimes you will feel frustrated that hes not doing what you what when you want. Dont push it. The trust of your fid is what you want, and when you get that it is worth all the time you put in. Im still working with Lewie...its defo 1 step forward 5 back. We will get there. X
 
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