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Untame lovebird still scared of me

SnowB

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Snow
Hello :) I have had an untame lovebird for 5 months now. I have been working on taming him ever since I got him but with barely any progress. He is still very afraid and never wants to leave his cage. I don’t want to traumatize him and force him out but I worry about him gaining weight from sitting in a cage all day. I open all the cage doors for him every single day and they are open from morning until it’s time for bed. All he does is sit in the top corner. He does play with his toys and he sings/chirps most of the day but never leaves the cage. He also can’t fly and he falls a lot bcuz his balance is off (he’s been missing some nails since I got him). The pet store only fed him sticks of millet and he refuses to eat ANYTHING other than seeds. I haven’t been successful in changing his diet. I’ve tried giving him a variety of vegetables, fruits, and snacks/treats but he won’t even touch it. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’d really appreciate some tips :)
 

Gigibirds

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Try dipping veggies in millet/seed...I have the same problem with an untamed lovebird of mine in her aviary. I know how hard it is to gain their trust, and I really hope that things work out with your beautiful bird! (if that's the one in your pfp)
Maybe @Zara can help?
 

SnowB

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Snow
Try dipping veggies in millet/seed...I have the same problem with an untamed lovebird of mine in her aviary. I know how hard it is to gain their trust, and I really hope that things work out with your beautiful bird! (if that's the one in your pfp)
Maybe @Zara can help?
Thank you! That is a great idea! I will give it a try! :) and yes hehe that is the one in my pfp :)
 

Zara

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Sometimes it does just take a long time.

As said above, a pinch of seed over chopped veggies usually helps entice birds to eat. Mine like quinoa sprinkled over the top.

He also can’t fly and he falls a lot bcuz his balance is off (he’s been missing some nails since I got him)
Have you spoken with your vet about this?
Is the flight related to the nails? That seems strange. Or did the store clip him?
It´s not surprising he doesn´t want to venture out. His movement skills are poor and thats scary, it can take away their confidence.
I hope this is just a clip, and when the feathers grow back, he´ll have a big confidence boost and venture out. You can attach external perches near the door on the cage. While he is not leaving the cage, take this opportunity to spend time sitting near the cage interacting with him, feed him some treats, and talk with him.

@Leih @jzarc17 @Momo & Mido @Khizz
 

SnowB

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Snow
Sometimes it does just take a long time.

As said above, a pinch of seed over chopped veggies usually helps entice birds to eat. Mine like quinoa sprinkled over the top.


Have you spoken with your vet about this?
Is the flight related to the nails? That seems strange. Or did the store clip him?
It´s not surprising he doesn´t want to venture out. His movement skills are poor and thats scary, it can take away their confidence.
I hope this is just a clip, and when the feathers grow back, he´ll have a big confidence boost and venture out. You can attach external perches near the door on the cage. While he is not leaving the cage, take this opportunity to spend time sitting near the cage interacting with him, feed him some treats, and talk with him.

@Leih @jzarc17 @Momo & Mido @Khizz
Thank you :) I had been on a waitlist for months for the vet and once it was finally time to take him in, I could not get him in a carrier cage :( He was running away from me so fast and hid in corners in my room until I couldn’t get him at all. I had to call the vet and they canceled my appointment :( He eventually went back in his cage on his own the next day but I don’t know how to take him to the vet when he is that scared. I also feel like I just traumatized him more :( He has several perches on the outside of the cage already. Every once in a great while he will sit on the door but he won’t leave the cage. The pet shop owner said that his wings were clipped but he couldn’t remember when (seemed like it was a long time ago). It’s been 5 months since I got him, can it take this long for his wings to grow back? I’ve also never clipped his wings. And the pet store seemed clueless about his missing toenails :(

I sit next to his cage every single day and read to him (I have a medical condition so I am always home and have plenty of time to spend with him). I give him treats but I worry that too many combined with his seed diet will make him sick so I cut back on the treats recently. He doesn’t move away from me when I come to the cage anymore but he won’t eat his food if I’m there and he also runs away if he sees my hands :( I’m not sure if I should continue what I’ve been doing and just give him time or if I need to try a new approach..?
 
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Zara

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I could not get him in a carrier cage :( He was running away from me so fast and hid in corners in my room until I couldn’t get him at all.
Start in the cage. Get a teeshirt over your hand and just towel him to get him out. Is it the best way? No. but it can be done quicker, and there´s no chasing involved.

It’s been 5 months since I got him, can it take this long for his wings to grow back?
Lots depends on if the feathers were new when they were clipped. It can take a long time for a full set of feathers to moult and re-grow. Hopefully you will see some progress over the next 6 months :)
 

Leih

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Working on the hand fear, and it will get better as his overall fear decreases, but you have to try to get him to associate you (and your hands) with something positive. Are there treats that he likes? My lovebird (who is the same mutation as yours!) likes Nutriberries, hemp seeds, and sunflower seeds. I know you said you're having trouble getting him away from all seed diet, but they are great for training. It can be anything that he really likes. If you sit next to his cage and give him a treat and nothing bad happens to him, he'll start to associate you with good things. Eating is a flock activity, so if he's still afraid of you, that's probably why he won't eat when you are there. My girl was terrified of me when I brought her home, but after several months and tons of patience, I earned her trust. It sounds like you're willing to be patient, and that's great, you need lots of it! There is an article that I like to recommend to people with scared birds that I think explains how to begin building trust. I used it myself. How To Tame A Scared Bird | Parrot Training Guide | Facebeak — Facebeak

As for the vet, I agree with Zara. It sucks to have to do it that way but seeing the vet is too important.
 

Muna

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http://instagr.am/p/CNX07T-FyLp/
I was able to tame my two lovebirds following all her videos. You just need to be patient and it takes time to get them to trust you. They would wait for their chop mix and every Friday they get their popcorn treat. It’s so much fun seeing them all excited.
 

Leih

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http://instagr.am/p/CNX07T-FyLp/
I was able to tame my two lovebirds following all her videos. You just need to be patient and it takes time to get them to trust you. They would wait for their chop mix and every Friday they get their popcorn treat. It’s so much fun seeing them all excited.
That's like a video version of my article, it explains perfectly to watch their body language for anxiety, which is crucial. Thanks for posting that!
 

jzarc17

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Hey there! Don't loose hope, your little one will come around with time. KEEP DOING WHAT YOUR DOING! Your doing great! When I brought home my lovebird she was terrified of hands and of me. It took her some time to warm up and honestly, she made the most progress when I just left her cage door open and let her do her own thing and I did mine. To be totally honest, my lovebird has not yet warmed up to the idea of hands no matter who it is but the good news is it has not stopped me from having a relationship with her! These days she flies to me when she wants to she lands on my shoulders or top of my head and she loves to preen me. She is now fully flighted which really boosted her confidence and she is a joy to watch fly. Her and my green cheek like to huddle up under my chin or up to my neck and just snuggle.

I also wanted to touch on food, once you have a stronger relationship with your bird, try pretending to eat some of the vegetables or pellets, that might help! This might sounds nuts but I get out a plate and put veggies and pellets on it and set it in front of me while my birds are out and I actually do eat some of it....nuts I know. They literally watch me eat the vegetables and pellets and then they try it. No kidding.
 
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