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my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

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electronegative
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my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by electronegative » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:34 pm

Hello all,

I adopted a lutino IRN from a lady whose daughter had twins, so the whole family was too busy to give the bird much attention. I have kept lovebirds and budgies before, but not a parrot as large as an IRN. I've done a lot of reading, mostly from this site, and still have a couple issues.

Here's what I know about my bird:

- around 2 years old
- female (not dna tested, but when being petted she will roll her head back, pupils become small, and makes clucking/cooing noises, which I've read is what hens do)
- did not bite at all, according to the previous owner

But she bites me. At first, I thought it was because I was moving too suddenly, so I'd approach her very cautiously and gently. The aggressiveness seemed to ease some, but sometimes it's unpredictable - sometimes she'll just lunge for me when I'm just changing her food, sometimes she'll run away as though she's scared, and sometimes she comes to me looking for scratches. I can't pinpoint what causes each behavior, but I am continuing to observe.

She also really takes to my male friend, who can whistle pretty well - she will run to him, climb up, and snuggle with him. She'll let me pet her sometimes, but she doesn't snuggle with me. I'm not sure if this means she just prefers males, because she seemed close with the previous owner, a woman, and she was aggressive toward a different male friend.

Any suggestions? Apologies if this is just another repeat behavior topic, but I didn't see anything that close to my situation.

Thanks in advance!

AlphaWolf
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by AlphaWolf » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:05 am

Hi electronegative,

Welcome and congratulations with your new bird. Did you name her yet? I'am sure someone more knowledgeable than me will give you a proper answer but this is my two cent's worth. I believe a good idea to avoid being bit is to understand and read body language. If she pins her eyes and displays aggressive posture you should immediately stop what you are doing. Good job on going slowly but I have read somewhere that too slow is remnant to a predator stalking (maybe someone can correct me) and being too silent also. Maybe when you change your food sing in a low voice. That's all I have, sorry. But maybe by predicting the bite you can avoid it. I'am positive that you will have a loving companion for many years to come.
"Live with parrots and you learn to panic"

AlphaWolf

electronegative
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by electronegative » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:02 am

Hi, thanks for the reply!

Yes, her name is Peaches - creative, I know... but it's cute!

I have been approaching cautiously but still casually, I don't think it's slow enough to be interpreted as stalking. I'll try a bit faster though. Also, I don't sing because I'm horrible at it, but I'll talk softly to her (saying hi, etc). She seems to LOVE the sound of people whistling, but I bloody can't, ugh

Also, I haven't been bitten in a while because I do notice her opening her beak, lunging at me and I leave her alone for a few minutes when she does that. Before I pet her, I'll move my hand near her but stop a foot or two away and ask her if I can pet her. If she doesn't lunge, then I go ahead and pet. The problem is that she still WANTS to bite me at times, I just feel like she doesn't like me. I don't wear perfume or nail polish or use hairspray or anything other than lightly scented lotion, if that matters.

Additional details: she would also step up onto my forearm (not my finger because I stopped trying to get her to do that after being bitten a few times), but now she runs away from my arm. If I put her on my shoulder she'll stay there though. If I pet her, it's only on the back, neck, and top of the head, she won't let me pet her on the front.

Oh, and I suspect the previous owner didn’t feed her very well – I think she was on a mostly seeds diet with occasional fruit and treats thrown in. Her beak is a light salmon color instead of bright or dark red and her feathers are always slightly ruffled on her back. I don’t think she was getting enough light in that old house, so I bought a full spectrum bulb and put it in a clip on lamp. I put seeds in one bowl and salad mix, cucumber, fruit, tofu in another bowl. If there’s fruit in the bowl, she will pick out all the vegetables and throw them on the ground to eat the fruit (which is hilarious), so I have to give fruit to her separately.

Sorry for the super long post, just trying to figure out if my bird will hate me forever! :(

MissK
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by MissK » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:14 pm

Hi. Peaches doesn't hate you, I promise. :D

Of note, birds don't care how well humans think other humans can sing. Why don't you just sing Happy Birthday and put birdie words to it instead? If you can't whistle you can probably make kissie noises.
-MissK

electronegative
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by electronegative » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:43 pm

Yes, I have been making soft clucking/kissy noises and she seems to like that. But I'll give the crappy singing a try, thanks!

Even if she doesn't hate me, is there anything else I can do to help her warm up to me more?

MissK
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by MissK » Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:59 pm

Let's stop and reflect for a moment. Your bird knows how to step up and lets you pet her, even sometimes solicits a scratch from you. She bites sometimes, unless you respect her when she doesn't welcome physical attention. She likes to sit on your shoulder, and she likes it when you vocalize for her. She enjoys the food you give her.

You complaints are that she sometimes lunges/bites and sometimes runs away. She no longer steps up although she used to. She prefers someone else over you. You feel that she doesn't like you, or should like you more.

Anything else?

I'm going to go out on a limb and say you have a pretty nice bird who is getting mixed signals about the safety of letting you get near. You should invest some time in talking to her and offering her treats from the outside of the cage while she is inside. Do not go to her - use lures to entice her to you. If she flees, do not follow. Don't underestimate the importance of just chilling out in the same room, minding your own business.

Go back to square one with the step ups, as you would for a bird who never learned this. Wait until she is following your hand, both of you either in or out of the cage, whichever is more suitable, before you commence step up review. You know she is afraid of the finger, so offer the wrist. Remember, when dealing with her, ask, don't tell; invite, don't dominate. Never chase.

Once she follows a lure (probably already) then the "free" treats should be rare. Ask for something, even if it is only that she should move herself a few inches to get that treat. Use some target, like tapping the place you want her to go with one finger as you display the lure with the other. Down the line you will tap your wrist while you display the treat. She will remember she used to step up there, and she will know what you want from her target practice. When she steps up again keep the arm rock steady, even if she bites. Use something she is very comfortable with to deflect the bite.

Get back to us.
-MissK

electronegative
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by electronegative » Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:24 pm

Wow, thank you for the advice. I'll definitely take it and try out your tips.

But I also want to add that I didn't mean to come off as complaining, really - I was just concerned that, because she did not bite the last owner and was more affectionate toward her, and because she literally will snuggle up and caress my friend whereas she bites me, flees, or sometimes lets me pet her, that she specifically had a problem with me and I wasn't sure what, if anything, I was doing wrong.

You bring up good points that I hadn't really considered, though, so thanks, MissK!

AlphaWolf
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by AlphaWolf » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:33 pm

Hi electronegative, I second what MissK said. Peaches most definatley doesn't hate you. What MissK said is a wonderful advice, what can we without her :wink: ! Try to find out Peach's favourite treat, apples are a popular favourite. Nuts, Almonds are also good choiced. I think it is a good idea if your bird begins to eat from your hand throught the cages to find it's favourite treat. I can't wait for Aero to begin to eat from his cage bars but at keast if he sees the treat he doesn't panick when I approach. So good luck with Peaches (or is Princess Peach :lol: ) and please keep us updated. Can you post some pictures of Peaches :wink: Oh one thing, watch for eye pinning accompanied with other behaviour! That should warn you fo a bite. Follow MissK's advice, and you will a wonderful bird for life :D .
"Live with parrots and you learn to panic"

AlphaWolf

electronegative
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by electronegative » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:07 pm

I can't yet, I think I need to make a few more posts, but I certainly will when I reach the quota!

AlphaWolf
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by AlphaWolf » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:08 pm

You can send them to me by email and I will post them :)
"Live with parrots and you learn to panic"

AlphaWolf

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Skyes_crew
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by Skyes_crew » Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:23 am

Hi :D I just wanted to add on to what Has already been said. Birds tend to gravitate towards opposite sex owners. There are of course exceptions. Especially for people who have raised a bird from a hatchling or for a person that just has a good repertoire with birds. The previous owner was accepted by peaches because she raised her. Now that her life has been turned upside down she has to learn to trust again. What peaches displays towards your male friend is not trust. It's simply a hormonal link to the opposite sex. I have a second hand female IRN. When I got her she by far preferred to hang out on my husband. But after awhile, she realized that her food, and her treats, and her training all came from me. So a trust was built between us. Now she fears my husband because he never put in that effort to build a trust bond with her. She also happily goes to all four of my daughters with no issues. It just takes a lot of patience. Never let her suspect you fear a bite from her. You have to be the one in control. :D
I am owned by my birds...and I wouldn't have it any other way :D

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electronegative
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by electronegative » Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:16 am

AlphaWolf wrote:You can send them to me by email and I will post them :)
Sure, what's your email address?

And thanks for your input, Skye, that eases me a lot. My friend doesn't feed her or anything at all, so hopefully Peaches will realize that soon.

AlphaWolf
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by AlphaWolf » Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:21 am

Hi electonegative, I will pm you my email :). Can't wait to see Peaches :D
"Live with parrots and you learn to panic"

AlphaWolf

electronegative
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by electronegative » Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:30 am

Also, what does "pinning the eyes" mean? Like when she.... undilates her pupils to really small? She does that a lot, but doesn't bite me unless it is in conjunction with a lunge.

PS. Two new points: I took her to the avian vet last week to get her nails/beak trimmed (they trimmed her wings too even though I told them not to...) and she is having a much harder time gripping stuff now, including staying on my bare arm. She has slipped off me a few times, which I think may be why she's wary of getting on my arm now, but is fine with getting on my shoulder. Thoughts?

Second point: her feathers are starting to look smoother and shinier after just two days of using the new full spectrum bulb, yay!

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Skyes_crew
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by Skyes_crew » Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:02 pm

It's always hard to watch them after a nail trim lol. Try to keep your arm rock steady. Also make sure she has slightly larger perches in her cage as an option to sharpen up the tips of her nails again. You should see my cockatoo after a nail trim. It's pathetic. Anyway, I wish they hadn't trimmed her wings. It will make it a bit harder to form that trust bond. But not impossible so don't worry.

Those FS bulbs are great from what I hear. I don't use them because its sunny hear most of the year, but I've read great things about them. I did read that you should put them on a timer to break up the light into two parts per day so as not to overdo it. Like 8am to 1pm and then off and then back on at 3pm to 6pm. Just an example :D
I am owned by my birds...and I wouldn't have it any other way :D

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AlphaWolf
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by AlphaWolf » Sat Nov 02, 2013 1:08 pm

Hello,
Here are some pictures of Peaches:

Image

Image

Image

Image

The first picture is so princess-peachy :lol: ! And Peaches is a lovely bird, the name suites her so much! Don't worry electron, in no time you will laughing back at us. Consider yourself lucky that you bird eats from you :) Some here( such as me!!) are still working for them just to eat in their precsence. I hope you stay in this forum for a long time and don't leave us, the more people we have the better to teach the newer public for many years to come. Ok got to sleep as I think I'am writing nonsense :?
"Live with parrots and you learn to panic"

AlphaWolf

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Skyes_crew
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by Skyes_crew » Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:12 pm

She is quite a talented bird that she can perch in an upside down room :mrgreen:

She's very pretty. I love Lutino's. :D
I am owned by my birds...and I wouldn't have it any other way :D

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Donovan
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by Donovan » Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:23 pm

that sleeping picture is great.

and yeah.. the bird doesn't hate you which you've probably figured out by now..

a new bird will never be as cool for you as it was for its previous owner.. at least in the beginning... just work with her and be patient and the two of you will learn how to coexist in a way that works for both of you.

electronegative
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by electronegative » Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:18 pm

Thanks again everyone for your thoughts. I hadn't realized I'm pretty lucky that she's tame in the first place.

MissK
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by MissK » Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:04 pm

Lucky -- and how! :D

I'd like to know what bulb you chose for her full spectrum. Once a pet geek always a pet geek. :wink:

I would not presume to tell you how to feel, or to tell you to make a complaint at your vet's office. A good vet is worth a lot. However, if you said DON'T CLIP and they clipped anyway, at the very least I would want to be credited for the cost and ensure if didn't happen again.

If you choose to do so, I believe the appropriate course would be to call and tell whoever answers that you called because you were not happy with the treatment your pet received on the visit. Calmly and politely, but seriously, you say "I called because I'm unhappy about something that happened when I brought my bird in to see Dr. X on day/date." The staff will ask what happened, and you will tell them briefly, making sure to indicate that you said no clipping, and who you said it to, if possible. If you don't know the name, you just describe what they looked like and what they did - for example, "the first person I saw, before the vet came in - she also weighed my bird" or "the person who scheduled my appointment".

They might try to dismiss you, in which case you ask for the vet or the office manager and repeat that you were unhappy. That person will want to make you happy, as you are a paying customer, they made a mistake, and they want your repeat business. They may also genuinely feel bad about it.

More likely, however, the person who answers the phone will put you on hold while they consult the vet or office manager, return with some questions, and most likely apologize and offer you a credit. If they don't offer, you can ask for it. This would be a good time to request they make a note in your file to never clip the bird's wings without checking with you first. If some time has passed you might want to say something like "I'm sorry I did not call sooner. I was not sure how to handle this, but it is still really bothering me."

I had a situation one time where I had a verbal agreement with the vet that I could bring the dog for an Xray without an office visit. We were monitoring her leg joint. When I came, the technicians were too busy and we were asked to to wait, but I had to keep an appointment for something else. So I left the dog for the Xray and was surprised by a phone call from the vet informing me of his findings when he examined the dog. Long story short (as if!) when I saw the bill included a charge for vet visit, I told the staff there was not supposed to be a vet visit and I didn't want to pay for one. They verified my assertion with the vet, and a credit was issued for that portion of the bill. There isn't anything wrong with not wanting to pay for something they sold you after you said you didn't want it.

If, for some reason, your complaint is not treated with respect you might want to consider a different vet. After all, if they cannot take care of you with a relatively minor (they will grow back) complaint, what will happen when there is a larger issue at hand?

I must say, Lutinos are not typically my first favourite, but Peaches certainly is charming in photos!

About slipping on your arm - I believe the arm skin is a little loose, so if her nails are slipping and your skin is sliding, could make it really hard for her. I've wondered if a really, really tight, thin glove might assist.
-MissK

electronegative
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by electronegative » Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:39 am

I use this bulb: http://www.amazon.com/FeatherBrite-15-W ... B0002JOYMO - just read some reviews and picked one that looked good. She seems to be liking it so far.

As for the unwanted wing clipping, the clinic does it so that it's 1 cost for wings, beak, and nails, so I supposed they must have forgotten/not paying attention when I asked for the wings to be left alone. But they did give me a full refund on the entire cost without my asking for it when I pointed it out and seemed genuinely apologetic about it, PLUS they waivered the cost of the checkup, so altogether I'm not displeased with that clinic.

On the bright side, since she can't fly right now, my friend and I took her to a little creek because the weather was gorgeous yesterday (70F and sunny all day). She seemed scared of the water at first, stood on the banks looking like a little yellow penguin, but when she got in I think she liked the feeling of the cold water on her toes and she ended up padding around in there for a good while.

On the arm thing, I'm actually really thin so my arm skin doesn't seem loose, I think she just doesn't have a surface to grab onto. The weather is getting cooler, so I'm usually wearing long sleeved shirts now, and that seems to help.

MissK
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by MissK » Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:49 am

Hey, everyone will handle their bird as they choose, but before you take her out to the creek again, have a look at this....

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=17445&p=97526#p97526

And good news about the vet's office!
-MissK

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Donovan
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by Donovan » Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:57 am

electronegative wrote: .... I took her to the avian vet last week to get her nails/beak trimmed (they trimmed her wings too even though I told them not to...) and she is having a much harder time gripping stuff now, including staying on my bare arm. She has slipped off me a few times, which I think may be why she's wary of getting on my arm now, but is fine with getting on my shoulder. Thoughts?
I have found the sand paper perches to be really effective at keeping nails down to a good size. I got one that's meant for a slightly larger bird this way I know my bird's nails are always making contact. As for his beak, I keep an eye on it, but I give him plenty of little pieces of wood to chew on and it seems to be doing the trick.
Your bird will adapt quickly to any mobility issues from having wings and nails trimmed i would imagine. Also I would probably not pay part of my bill for wing clipping if I asked them not to. Man I would be hot if my bird got clipped. I enjoy having a flighted bird and it's good for the bird's psychological well being too.
Last edited by Donovan on Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

electronegative
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by electronegative » Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:07 am

MissK wrote:Hey, everyone will handle their bird as they choose, but before you take her out to the creek again, have a look at this....

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=17445&p=97526#p97526

And good news about the vet's office!
I actually did read that a few days back. There was nobody else at the creek, otherwise I wouldn't have let her out of the traveling cage. I had just meant to take her outdoors but stay in the cage because the weather was so nice, and even with the full spectrum bulb it's just not the same as real sunlight.

Donovan, I'll definitely look into some better perches. I think her previous owner, while well-intentioned, didn't supply her with that stuff or give her a proper diet. Already her pinkish beak is starting to look darker, after only two weeks with me.

AlphaWolf
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by AlphaWolf » Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:02 pm

Hi electronegative,
It's great to hear how Peaches health is getting better. I'am sure that you will give him an optimum diet and she will be the prettiest and healthiest birdie ever, after Aero that is :D . As no one responded eye pinning is the dilation of a biro's pupil. However in the pictures she seems to have dark eyes, does she have white around. Eye pinning could mean aggression, excitement like when given a treat or happiness. Here are some videos of some ring necks pinning:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gf9uGO_rYcs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xy-yxb7lXoo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkshzZW5IjQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAQAyZ9xEEg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWuvnc6u93A

The first 2 are of bowie pinning his eyes. The next two are of alexandrines ( their eyes bigger so pinning is more noticeable. The last is of bowie talking and being a sweetie-pie. Please update us about Peaches.
"Live with parrots and you learn to panic"

AlphaWolf

electronegative
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by electronegative » Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:57 pm

Yeah, she pins her eyes a lot then, but it usually doesn't result in biting/aggression unless she is also lunging for whatever's threatening her.

Also that exact video of Bowie is the reason I even wanted a lutino IRN in the first place! haha how'd you know

AlphaWolf
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by AlphaWolf » Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:54 pm

Maybe it's one of the reasons why I bough my ringneck, and 359 other reasons. :D
"Live with parrots and you learn to panic"

AlphaWolf

electronegative
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by electronegative » Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:34 pm

Hey everyone,

It's been a week since I posted, so I thought I'd update.

MissK, thank you again for your advice. You were completely right - Peaches is a super sweet bird, just wasn't sure what to think of me at first. I think I was definitely coming on too strong to her, which I'll attribute to my excitedness at finally adopting the bird I've wanted for over a year. She rolls her head back clucks and whistles at me when I come home from work, and she'll come to me if I open the door to her cage and just chill out across the room from her for a bit. She likes to cling to the collar of my shirt and rub her head and beak on my face.

She still loves my friend, she begs for scratches from him the moment she sees him, but I think she's realized that all the yummy things she eats come from me. She might just have a crush on him!

PS. Is orange juice okay for ringnecks to drink in very small amounts? I poured myself a glass and set it on the desk next to where Peaches was perched and stepped out of the room for 30 seconds; when I came back she was helping herself to some OJ. It was the fresh squeezed/not from concentrate kind.

PPS. How bad are room fragrances for parrots? I hate to admit it, but I did have a wallflower plugged in that I completely forgot about for a few hours. When I noticed it I immediately removed it.

MissK
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Re: my rehomed tame IRN doesn't seem to like me

Post by MissK » Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:45 pm

MissK, thank you again for your advice. You were completely right -
Honestly, I love this. It's what keeps me coming back, even after I have said I'm tired of staying up late at night and writing for strangers. I think a lot of times, the lucky times, people might just need a different perspective to see what they already have and learn what they already know.

You're welcome, electronegative; I am thrilled to have been able to help in some way. You give sweet little Peaches a nut from me!
-MissK

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