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1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

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deHens
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Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:07 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by deHens » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:31 am

Hey Guys,

The school holidays just broke up and we have a lot of time to spend with our lovely yellow female ringneck (5 days living with us), called Mia. My brother and I want to build trust with it and make it a very family bird, so she doesn't just bond with one person.

We have a lot of spare time and we were wondering if we could do anything to help it to stop biting our hands when we go near, start trusting us, imitating our whistles, and to be able to tame it much more. We want to be able to teach it tricks and how to talk in the future but first we need it to stop biting us when we are near and to make it feel more comfortable.

The bird is fine sitting on our shoulders but takes a lot of prompting to step up onto our arm or a pole we have (I would like it to step on our fingers but she just keeps biting them). She is ok if we move our hands slowly but will bit if we reach for it to step up on our finger. I was wondering how I could get it to be less afraid of our fingers or just us in general.

We have all the time in the day and need help building trust with our lovely Mia. Please any tips, suggestions or long winded responses would be much aprreacoated, the bird means a lot to us and we just want it to be happy and more comfortable with our hands and fingers or just us in general. Please help us, time is not the issue!

Cheers,

- Jack

P.S. She was in with another female and was bitten a bit before we removed them, she was ussually the victim (the other got sold yesterday), if it makes a difference.
Mia!

deHens
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Re: 1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by deHens » Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:44 am

Can someone please help?
Mia!

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InTheAir
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Re: 1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by InTheAir » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:57 am

Hi,

Be patient with her. It takes months to build a trusting relationship. Considering she should live another 20 years, there isn't any need to rush.
It sounds like she is not very confident with hands, which is very common. Read Missk viewtopic.php?f=2&t=17246&hilit=biting and viewtopic.php?f=2&t=17186&p=95889#p95889

Spend the next 2 weeks doing things at your birds pace. If she bites you, you will know you are trying to go to fast for her. Your bird is trying to tell you what she likes and doesn't like. See if you can avoid provoking her to bite.
Remember your bird is a very intelligent creature with a mind of her own. If you want her to be a good pet you need to convince her it's worth it for her.
Bribe her to come close to your hand. Bribery is the most effective tool for these birds, they can overcome huge aversions if they know there's food at the other end.

Google target training, watch some videos on it and try it with your bird. It doesn't require a clicker, you can say 'good' or whatever you choose as a bridge - just make sure your timing is right, like with a clicker.
I do all my training without a clicker, just saying 'goodboy' as the bridge when he does stuff right and then give him a treat.
Get everyone in your family to offer her treats. Find some healthy treats she likes, so you can offer her different treats and don't have to feed her a million sunflower seeds a day.

Claire

MissK
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Re: 1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by MissK » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:20 am

Claire, I love how you referenced my prior post. I don't have time to do a bunch of posting these days, and I'm not nice enough to research back posts to give links to people. That was really quite nice of you.

Jack, remember what you've got there is a wild animal. Try and see things from her perspective and make it worth her time to offer behaviours you desire. The "search" button is at the upper right, next to the "FAQ" button. If you need help learning to use the search function, you can email me and I'll try to advise you.

:)
-MissK
-MissK

deHens
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Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: 1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by deHens » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:56 am

Thanks guys,

I know why she is afraid of hands, the breeder used to grab her in her cage to put her on his shoulder, the handling was quite rough and when he did it in the avairy she was quite scared and squaked. He thought it was ok but it didn't look right from the start.

I can kind of take it slow, its more my brother thats in a hurry. We will pace ourselves and try to get it familiar with us. Any suggestion on giving it treats? Every time I go to handfeed it off the back of my hand she always pecks fast and the food and drops it, if I do it from my palm she bites my fingers or does the same thing. Can I help change this?

Thanks for your support, btw, we get her lots of gumtree leaves, she loves hiding in them and biting them, she is very cute but she needs to get used to us.

- Jack
Mia!

MissK
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Re: 1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by MissK » Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:58 am

deHens wrote: Every time I go to handfeed it off the back of my hand she always pecks fast and the food and drops it, if I do it from my palm she bites my fingers or does the same thing. Can I help change this?
If I understand that correctly, the complaint is that the food gets knocked off the hand before she can grab it? If that is the trouble, try gluing it down with a dab of honey or plain (no salt, no sugar, etc) peanut butter.

-MissK
-MissK

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InTheAir
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Re: 1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by InTheAir » Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:56 pm

MissK wrote:Claire, I love how you referenced my prior post. I don't have time to do a bunch of posting these days, and I'm not nice enough to research back posts to give links to people. That was really quite nice of you.

:)
-MissK
Just trying to save you from having to rewrite the same thing on every thread about biting (and myself from paraphrasing the whole thing). The rest of us forum users have to give you a chance to have a social life beyond the forum occasionally :mrgreen: but not too often

deHens: It sounds like Mia has planned the school hols to me. She wants to practise taking treats from your hand for the next 2 weeks.
I'm sure you can explain to your brother that it is the first 'trick' she needs to learn, as to teach her any new tricks she needs to feel confident taking food from you and coming to you.

Also you guys can make foraging toys and watch her solve them. That's one of our favourite games to play with our bird. Try wrapping a treat in a piece of newsprint (I get it from the butcher, or occasionally beg a piece from the fish and chip shop) and placing it in her food dish. Hopefully she will soon realise that there's yummy treats in paper and you can hide them all over her cage and watch her find them and open them. Our bird probably thinks it is Christmas everyday since he is always unwrapping presents!
I peg a snow pea or a chilli to the roof of the cage so Nele has to climb up a rope to reach it.
One of my favourites is to make a paper cup out of newsprint and hang it from a short string from a perch and watch him reel it in to get the treat.
I made a foraging wheel out of a takeaway container. It took me about an hour, Nele looked at it for 30 seconds, spun the wheel and got the treat. I actually thought I was the clever one before that!
Btw you can use sellotape in your creations, its safe.

Claire

deHens
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Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: 1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by deHens » Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:34 pm

Thanks for the suggestion,

She is still very nippy with my hands even when it has a treat on it she will go for the bite, how can I work my way up to confident hand feeding and stop my bird from biting (I may be asking the samE questions but I still don't get it).

She is very scared of my hands near her even when I go very very slowly towards her with a treat on it. We have gloves so we can get it to step up on our arm or service the cage without the biting hurting. Is this ok?

Please help,

- Jack
Mia!

Ben.G
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Location: Lockyer Valley, Qld, Australia

Re: 1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by Ben.G » Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:22 pm

deHens wrote:
She is very scared of my hands near her even when I go very very slowly towards her with a treat on it. We have gloves so we can get it to step up on our arm or service the cage without the biting hurting. Is this ok?
hey Guys, it is a slow process to gain trust. It also depends on the bird itself and by the sounds of it she will have big trust issues from her previous owner :x

was the previous owner using gloves? If he was I would not use gloves with her.

to start her stepping up present a semi closed hand, with your palm facing you talk to her in a calm voice. she will use her beak when she first starts so don't confuse this with biting. if she strikes use a deep not raised voice, "no" or "naughty" and withdraw your hand.

(with not using treats)It has taken me three months with my girl "Luna" now she begs me to pick her up, I walk up to her say "hello Luna" and she lifts her leg
she is so cute. but I still say "step up" I can present my pinkie and she hops on with no beak.

so in short take your time be patient and stay calm.
hope this helps,
Ben. Qld, Aus

MissK
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Re: 1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by MissK » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:24 pm

You might also try an intermediate step of hand feeding her through the bars of the cage. She will have the opportunity to learn that you are going to give her a fabulous treat and not threaten her with your hand. When she starts following your hand (with treat) as you move it away from her, along the length of the cage, then you will know you have her attention and you can start feeding her through the bars with the door open, then through the door, etc. Remember to keep the change in criteria SMALL and let each step be very comfortable and easy for her before you raise the bar. Please remember to identify the sleeping perch and don't approach her on that perch. She needs to have a safe place nobody will bother her in.

Trial and error will teach you a safe distance and grip for hand feeding through the bars. Your Ringneck is perfectly capable of taking a tiny seed gently from between your squeezed fingers. When she will do that, I expect you will not have any more biting issues unless you upset her.

For perspective, let us imagine you and I have recently met. We see each other daily, and 75% of the time we meet, I turn my rings to the inside and smack your face. Then I stop all smacking for one week's time. At the end of one week, if you see me approach and turn my rings to the inside, will you be willing to let me close to your face? Do you now see how it is going to take some time for your bird to relax and be comfortable with your hands? You should find a different way to interact for a while. A quiet conversation is an excellent ice breaker.


Best wishes. Skip the glove.
-MissK
-MissK

deHens
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Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: 1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by deHens » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:53 pm

Thanks Ben,

I understand it requires patience and a lot of persistence, thats why these birds are so misunderstood to be "bad pets" they just need some work. I will work with my bird, so do I just command it to step up and when it does step do I reward her with treats?

Thanks,

- Jack
Mia!

Ben.G
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Location: Lockyer Valley, Qld, Australia

Re: 1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by Ben.G » Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:19 pm

MissK wrote: For perspective, let us imagine you and I have recently met. We see each other daily, and 75% of the time we meet, I turn my rings to the inside and smack your face. Then I stop all smacking for one week's time. At the end of one week, if you see me approach and turn my rings to the inside, will you be willing to let me close to your face? Do you now see how it is going to take some time for your bird to relax and be comfortable with your hands? You should find a different way to interact for a while. A quiet conversation is an excellent ice breaker.


Best wishes. Skip the glove.
-MissK
great explanation missK

Yes by all means use treats, I would also pick a word to tell your bird when it has done what you wanted it to do. :)

deHens
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Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: 1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by deHens » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:33 pm

Thanks Guys,

An excellent suggestion Miss K, I will start talking to her and making sure she is comfortable with me when I feed her through the cage, I won't use the glove unless changing the food, I think I should end putting her on our shoulders and instead let her out ontop of the cage a bit (she loves patrolling ontop of the cage). Thanks for the perspective, I will make sure to steady things a lot more now, it will take time but it should be good. I have purchased a clicker, would that be a good bridge to start with now, besides saying goodgirl and all that.

I won't rush her and takes these next few months very easy on her, only advancing in small, easy steps she is very timid and know the importance of patience with the birds.

Thanks a lot for all your suggestions,

- Jack
Mia!

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ellieelectrons
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Re: 1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by ellieelectrons » Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:11 am

Hi Jack

If you've got lent of time over the holidays, can I suggest you have a go at making her a playstand, an area you can interact with her away from the cage?

Whereabouts in the world are you from Jack?

Ellie.

Ben.G
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Re: 1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by Ben.G » Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:59 am

I assume jack you are a queenslander with the holidays starting and the gum leaves.

deHens
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Re: 1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by deHens » Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:02 am

Hey,

Im set up in Sydney, Australia. I was thinking of making a playstand while my grandfather was down, he used to be a carpender and I though a stand would be good for teaching it tricks, I don't think she is ready for the stand though, she tries to bite and I can't really touch her.

I will still build a stand for future though, I'll see when my grandfather is down.

Thanks,

- Jack
Mia!

deHens
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Re: 1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by deHens » Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:05 am

Ben,

I'm from Sydney, but the holidays have just started and we have gotten her gum tree leaves, she loves them, likes sitting im them trying to hide or biting the leaves off the branches, she loves them and its very cute.

- Jack
Mia!

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ellieelectrons
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Re: 1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by ellieelectrons » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:13 am

A playstand provides neutral territory away from the cage. You can put it beside the cage so that your bird can go there on her own.

Ellie.

Ben.G
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Re: 1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by Ben.G » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:30 am

jack

No worries, I just looked at the school calendar it says Qld is the only ones on holidays :oops:

My Luna does not have a cage inside, she lives next to my bed on a thing I made.(I can email you a pic if you like, pm me your email)

Luna is my alarm clock :P we make a coffee together and have a chat and when she had enough she will fly back to her perch or hang around the window and talk to her mates in the aviary.
She has free range of the house, Whether this is a good or bad thing I'm not sure. it seems to be working for her though.
I just hate seeing birds cooped up :evil: personal preference


Ben

deHens
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Re: 1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by deHens » Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:37 am

Thanks guys,

I've been looking at target training and I will start when I can feed Mia through her cage, my grandfather is coming down in a couple of days so I will persist on building a training perch with a quick trip to bunnings. Looking forward to target training, feels very sucessful!

Hopefully by the end of the holidays My family can see improvements in the bird, especially the biting!

Thanks for all your support and suggestions!

- Jack
Mia!

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Redzone
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Re: 1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by Redzone » Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:02 pm

Hi Jack, might I suggest that you look into getting a couple of Barbara Heidenreich's dvd's, there is one on parrot body language that I think you will benefit from, and another on basic training. I think they will do you a world of good.

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ellieelectrons
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Re: 1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by ellieelectrons » Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:09 pm

I'd agree about the DVDs. I have them myself and have benefited greatly from them.
http://www.parrotrescuecentre.com/shop/ ... y-language
http://www.parrotrescuecentre.com/shop/ ... training-1

Parrot Rescue Centre based in Qld currently have free shipping for orders over $50.

www.myparrotshop.com based in Melbourne also sell them.

Local pet stores may also sell them.

Ellie.

deHens
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Re: 1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by deHens » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:34 pm

Hey,

I saw them at the pet store we bought the cage, I thought it would be useful but didn't give it much though, I'll take a look at them.

Thanks,
- Jack
Mia!

deHens
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Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: 1 Tame(ish) bird and a lot of time!

Post by deHens » Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:41 pm

Hey,

I googled target training as a suggestion from someone on the forums and it came up with the most helpful website:

http://trainedparrot.com/taming/

A really good source for teaching your parrot stuff, I am trying to clicker train my bird from the guide at the moment but she doesn't seem to be grasping the concept. It's really good and I'm happy I found it, for anyone having trouble with their parrot, IRN or what have you, check this site out.

By the way, I'm just teaching my parrot clicker training, after she was more comfortable with taking treats from my hand through the cage bars, she doesn't quite understand that the click means treat. All I'm doing is clicking and giving the treat, that should be right, do I need to do something or just keep persisting.

Thanks guys, give the website a check out.

- Jack
Mia!

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