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The Honeymoon/Break in Period

JLcribber

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The Honeymoon / Break-in Period

Quote from Article: Adopting an older Bird.
When a parrot changes environment, often it also changes some behaviors. Its established behavior patterns of the past were centered around the bird's territory. When a parrot changes homes, then, there is a window in time during which it is settling in, before it has established its new territory. During that time, everything is neutral territory. That window is open for around 10-14 days. During that time, new rules and behaviors are much more easily implemented. After that magic two weeks, the parrot has reestablished old patterns in its new home.

People call me all the time about this wonderful bird they found on consignment. They brought it home from the shop and the bird was fabulous….for a couple of weeks. Then the parrot started biting/screaming/what ever. They thought the bird had changed and didn't understand why. I would explain that in reality, the bird had changed back.

Oddly enough, many sources of information about parrots tell a new owner to leave the bird alone in the cage for the first couple of weeks, to let the animal "settle in." In my opinion, this is exactly what the new owner DOES NOT want to do. After all, the bird doesn't have its own agenda established, yet. Once that agenda is established, it won't be impossible to change him -- it is rarely impossible to change a parrot's behavior -- but it will be more difficult.
- Liz Wilson
I agree that during that time, new rules and behaviors are much more easily implemented so it’s important to ‘start out’ the same way you would like things to be in the future. Things like sleep cages providing 10 – 12 hours of quiet dark sleep, interactive and alone times, should be implemented from the beginning. Do not spend more time with your bird now than you will be able to provide in the future. They will expect it.


Adopting and Living with Previously Owned Parrots: Part Two
 
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Cynthia & Percy

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thanks for the information
 

Jacqi

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I've found this to be absolutely vital information. Tiki took to a routine like a duck to water, pardon the bird pun, but I risked really spoiling her with extra "weekend warrior" time, fortunately all the forum help & the vet advice sunk in quickly & Tiki & I are better for it.
 

ParrotletPal

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My concern would be that to try to interact with them too much ... especially if they are showing fear when you try to reach in the cage ... will alienate them even more from bonding - make them even more frightened. Which is better - to play it safe and leave the attempts at handling alone - or try to handle them in order to create a bond during this sensitive 2 week window of opportunity? I sometimes feel confused about the contradictory stuff found online. Wish I could know definitively what is the best approach to bonding when they first arrive home. :confused:
 

Sharpie

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My concern would be that to try to interact with them too much ... especially if they are showing fear when you try to reach in the cage ... will alienate them even more from bonding - make them even more frightened. Which is better - to play it safe and leave the attempts at handling alone - or try to handle them in order to create a bond during this sensitive 2 week window of opportunity? I sometimes feel confused about the contradictory stuff found online. Wish I could know definitively what is the best approach to bonding when they first arrive home. :confused:
There is a happy medium IMO. If the bird is fearful or overstimulated, back off, but otherwise, handle the bird within its comfort level. If the bird wants to interact, do so!
 
M

M.C Bird Rescue

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There is a happy medium IMO. If the bird is fearful or overstimulated, back off, but otherwise, handle the bird within its comfort level. If the bird wants to interact, do so!
I agree. I do not push, I allow the bonding to take place on theyre terms. If they want interaction (which they always do eventually) they WILL come to you! Give space..being too pushy pushes them backwards..moving forward requires time and patience. You have years and years to bond and build a relationship..why rush it.
 

JLcribber

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My concern would be that to try to interact with them too much ... especially if they are showing fear when you try to reach in the cage ... will alienate them even more from bonding - make them even more frightened. Which is better - to play it safe and leave the attempts at handling alone - or try to handle them in order to create a bond during this sensitive 2 week window of opportunity? I sometimes feel confused about the contradictory stuff found online. Wish I could know definitively what is the best approach to bonding when they first arrive home. :confused:
We shouldn't really be reaching into the cage in the beginning anyway. The first 2 weeks (I find it to be longer, more like a month or two) are not about establishing that "bond" per say but rather to start your routine the way you would like it to be in the future. Being consistent with the preferred routine from the start so that there is no need to change things suddenly just when they may actually be starting to feel secure and more comfortable.
 

BraveheartDogs

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I agree. I do not push, I allow the bonding to take place on theyre terms. If they want interaction (which they always do eventually) they WILL come to you! Give space..being too pushy pushes them backwards..moving forward requires time and patience. You have years and years to bond and build a relationship..why rush it.
I totally agree with you.
 

ParrotletPal

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Long response but trying to get this right

Thanks very much ... your comments are helpful.

I did get from the original article the notion that the first two weeks are about establishing routines not overloading the bird with attention that will not be there on a regular basis. I have been doing that. Getting up and opening up the blinds in the bird room and turning on the tv and lights etc. at the same time in the morning as would normally be the case and doing the reverse at night which will be their regular routine. But I guess the part that confused me was the "Oddly enough, many sources of information about parrots tell a new owner to leave the bird alone in the cage for the first couple of weeks, to let the animal "settle in." In my opinion, this is exactly what the new owner DOES NOT want to do. I've been sitting in the room when I get home from work and just doing my regular stuff ... watching their tv with them ... eating my supper in there ... doing some work ... going on the laptop ... etc. I have opened their cage doors so if they want to come out they can [they don't yet]. I will go and stand by their cages and talk to them ... try to offer millet ... but they usually skitter away. But - this is not what I would normally be doing. I would normally not spend that much time in their room. With past birds I've really just let them out with me and they can fly around the downstairs - rest in trees and plants - or sit on the back of the couch or my shoulder/head or go back to their cages for food/drinks. I am normally around them that much but not necessarily sitting in their room with them. Should I cut back on my time in the room because this will not be the regular routine? I am just hanging out in their a lot right now so they can get used to me. JLcribber - I only put my hands in the cages to fill food and water ... I am not sure how to do this any other way? I am just a little concerned that they will figure they can always avoid me if I never force the issue. But from what I am gathering from your posts this is not the case. I know it's still early but I am willing to give them as much time to adjust that is necessary ... just want to do it in the right way. Thanks again for helping me through this.
 

JLcribber

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I think your doing great. Being in the room but not forcing anything tells the bird you are trustworthy and non threatening. It takes a little longer for them to come to you but when they do it will be on their terms and it will be because there is real trust and they choose to come to you. The bond will be stronger IMO. Reaching into the cage is fine as long as your not grabbing at them. That just breaks trust which is what the whole relationship is about.

You said "them" so I assume they are a pair. If that's the case they may not want to come to you because they have each other and don't really have a need for you.

If they were my birds that would be fine. I would just want them to be happy which ever way they wanted it. :)
 

ParrotletPal

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Hi John, I appreciate your advice. By them I mean I have a parrotlet and a linnie - in separate cages but side by side. The parrotlet was a planned member of the family ... but the linnie came to me unexpectedly. They are both about 8 weeks old. They are both shy - but that's to be expected. I also have a 10 year old cockatiel in the room. He's very friendly with me and he does come out and interact with me, etc. I have him sit on my shoulder/head in front of the other birds because I think they might see that he's safe so maybe they will be also - is this true or am I projecting what I would think into their minds? Not sure how they think really. If they don't ever end up wanting to interact - I am okay with that. It would be disappointing but it's about meeting their needs, not mine. I have my cockatiel and he's wonderful. I am really enjoying the little chatter from the linnie. S/he sounds a bit like a gerbil or guinea pig. I'll just keep sitting in there - I am on two weeks holidays starting Friday so I'll have lots more time for them. Again - thanks.
 

JLcribber

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I have him sit on my shoulder/head in front of the other birds because I think they might see that he's safe so maybe they will be also - is this true or am I projecting what I would think into their minds? Not sure how they think really.
Monkey see, monkey do!!! That's a great way to get the message across.

They "are" still very young. That is the time in their life that a lot of what they will be as adults is established. Your doing great!! :)
 

ParrotletPal

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Hi John, me again. Okay, today I left the door open on the linnie cage ... thinking this was a good idea in case s/he wanted to come out. Anyway, s/he flew out and then got paniced. I tried to cox him/her to me with millet but no luck. I tried having him step up on a perch so there would be no contact with my hands, no luck. Bottom line, I had to sort of corner him and pick him up with my hands. He was very vocal and bitey. I put him back in the cage and immediately put millet in the spot I give it to him and he right away went over to get it. I stood by the cage but he quickly scurried away unless I backed away from the cage. My guess is I should keep the door closed ... but just wondering how long I should keep it closed? ... I guess it was too soon. Hope I haven't set him back too much. Okay, just wanted to get your perspective. Thanks.
 

JLcribber

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The first time I jumped off the high diving board was pretty freaky. It wasn't so bad the 2nd time. The more I jumped off it the less scary it became.

Rushing over to get her didn't help much IMO. I would have just let her settle down on her own before going over there in a very calm manner and attempting to get her so she could realize nothing happened and it really wasn't that scary after all.

So I would not keep it closed at all. The only way to learn how to jump off the high board is to do it. JMO
 

ParrotletPal

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Thanks. Good advice. Doors open it is ... and no quick attempts to get him back in the cage. I'll let him explore the bird room.
 

Sassyjaygrl

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So question, my new bird is in a huge bird room, and there were 2 RB2's and they are both females around 8 months old, mine was super friendly through her cage but I was warned she would bite everyone when out, the other was more friendly, not as pretty. Well being a dog trainer and preferring my dogs with a slight edge, guess who I choose ;)

well of course she came right to me, and started bopping her head and dancing for me, yes I have been visiting her for 2-4 times a week at an hour or so each time, she does bite me but I have been working with it. Now 3 of the girls who work there all have stated they are much more at ease working with her because she is biting a lot less since I started visiting her.

She is in a small cage and her cage with me is 4 times bigger she will not have any other birds, and people always putting their fingers in the cage, but she is really starting to trust me where she is too. But I feel she will be different in her new enviroment and some of her biting might be from all that stress too!!

So I obviously will have more time when she is at my house to be with her cause I don't have to drive somewhere else, and I want her to trust me, so just continue doing what I am doing? She will obviously have different rules and more quiet than she is used to.
 

dolldid

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I FOUND WAITING AND LET THE BIRD DECIDE IT WANTED ME WORKED OUT BEST FOR US BOTH YES IT TOOK 5 TO 6 MONTHS OF NOT TOUCHING HIM OPENING CAGE BUT NOT ASking a thing from him just talking to him and then one day he decided to test me , I can say it was worth the wait cause we never looked back

Remember you want him he didnt ask you to bring him home so give him the choice to want you, you will be glad you did

doll
 

LindaB

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Hey all. I am new Bare-eyed cockatoo mama. I have 8 other birds, conures Irns and a caique. He is adopted from a friend, well loved, 24 years old, very sweet. Other than some occasional challenges the 7 are out most of the time, ( my 8th IRN is a one legged breeder who is super skittish and a work in progress). I have the conures at one end of the room , a threesome and a pair. The IRNs and the caique at the other. It isn't a huge room but adequate. I have various stands around. Plus
Sorry for the ramble. I am looking for the best way to introduce Bailey the Too. I have a few new to the others basket perches for him. I am fine taking my time. Does anyone else have multi species co- existing? thanks
 

sunnysmom

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Hey all. I am new Bare-eyed cockatoo mama. I have 8 other birds, conures Irns and a caique. He is adopted from a friend, well loved, 24 years old, very sweet. Other than some occasional challenges the 7 are out most of the time, ( my 8th IRN is a one legged breeder who is super skittish and a work in progress). I have the conures at one end of the room , a threesome and a pair. The IRNs and the caique at the other. It isn't a huge room but adequate. I have various stands around. Plus
Sorry for the ramble. I am looking for the best way to introduce Bailey the Too. I have a few new to the others basket perches for him. I am fine taking my time. Does anyone else have multi species co- existing? thanks
@JLcribber ?
 

Rain Bow

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All I have to add is that I wished I had listened to John's @JLcribber 's expert advice instead of trying it my own way. In the end, I ended by doing it John's way, it was past the honeymoon phase for me & Buddy.

I had to untrain my bad idea or Buddy's bad behaviors that he taught himself because I was stubborn & :no: smarter. Sometimes it has taken more than twice the time to re-teach a good behavior. I wish I had listened & it was Buddy that was the one that had to suffer (in that I mean the unlearn & relearn) because I was new & stubborn. :(
 
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