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New Member -Introducing myself

Posted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:58 pm
by Zookeeper1958
My name is Robin. I live in Mobile , Alabama with my husband and our house full of animals .
Recently , we adopted a female Indian Ringneck from a local pet store where her previous owner had " turned her in" because they couldn't deal with her . Apparently she had gone into what they call the " bluffing stage". No one could tell me exactly how long she was sort of neglected , after she starting biting , the previous owners quit handling her and so she just sat in her cage -with not much contact at all with humans .
So here we are , at exactly one month . Shes come out if her shell some but she bites and pitches fits like a toddler . I work with her constantly , trying to get her to step up and to allow me to touch her . I'm hoping someone here on the forum can help me get through this period as i am not sure how long it might take or if anything i do will help the situation . And yes, me and my husband have researched and read everything we could find out about these wonderful birds and as usual , the info you find on the Internet can be different so I decided to reach out to folks who have experience with these birds ! And I will appreciate any idea , thoughts, comments, suggestions or books to read !! Anything that would help us !!
We've only had sun conures and an African Grey !
Thanks !!

Re: New Member -Introducing myself

Posted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 3:59 pm
by AJPeter
Hi and welcome, l accquired a female Alexandrine in August that was quite wild the previous owner had let her live in in his room and she only went back to her cage to eat he put her out of an upstairs window when she attacked his canaries and she landed on the ground only feet from his flat, he said that he did not want her back and gave me the cage. She bit any one who went near her.
So while she was in the cage l sat with her and talked to her, left the TV on and ate my meals next to her cage gradually she accepted titbits form my hands without biting but when l let her out she would bite me if l tried ot handle her. I gave her the name Billie after Billie Holiday the jazz singer. I had read that to go out of the room when she bites this is a good lesson for her, also she was screaming a lot so l bought a referee's whistle and blew it when she screamed, we made quite a lot of noise together, l also tried screaming as well and now she does not scream.
It will take a lot patience but you need to gain your bird's trust, does she have a name? Do not worry about stepping up just yet, l have never trained Billie to step up she just does it natually, l put my hand cliose to her and she lifts a foot so l move closer and she steps up onto my hand. I can handle her and play with her feet tickle her under the wing but she started to nuzzle my hand and Skyes-crew said she was trying to mate with me and l should not touch her below the neck.
She still tries to mate with me sitting on my shoulder she punches my ear if l see her tail wagging side to side l stop her
but l play the organ when l am distracted she does her stuff, so now l have to lock her in her cage,once l have mde the piosition clear to heer she goes in meekly. Recently l put a perch in low down and she loves that now she is on the floor ripping up paper and she also skinny dips in her swimming pool. I write Parrot Speak in IRN Behaviour and taming.

Re: New Member -Introducing myself

Posted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:39 pm
by InTheAir
Hi Robin,

Personally I am a fan of force free styles of training, which involves offering the bird its favorite foods and letting it choose when it wants to come to you. I recommend watching the body language very carefully and not invading the birds personal space when the bird is showing any signs that it is distressed or just doesn't want you in her space.

I used this guide ... l-parrots/ with my new aviary raised, young bird and she's become a bit of a boomerang bird without feeling the need to bite me (unless I make a mistake and break the rules).
I have also tried it on a friends bird who doesn't like strangers and she has warmed to me enough to step up sometimes and hasn't bitten me either.
As you may have gathered already, I am not keen on getting bitten!
I like to avoid putting birds into a situation where they feel they have to bite me. If I let my birds initiate all contact I find they don't seem to bite. I provide an environment that is conducive to them initiating contact (ie: I know what their favourite foods are and offer them from my hand). As the bird becomes more comfortable with me, it will allow me to initiate the contact and move myself into its personal space (but I always read what it is saying when I do this and back off if it tells me it is worried about what I am doing).

If you browse through the behaviour and taming section you will find lots of great posts on working with scared birds. I have seen some paticularly good posts by missk, ellieelectrons and skyes_crew.


Re: New Member -Introducing myself

Posted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:32 pm
by MissK
Welcome Robin,

If you still have any of those other birds, DO use them to model the behaviour you want from your IRN. I have used a Budgie for this, and I am absolutely staggered at the result. You should be able to get results, in time, using a lure to entice the bird onto your hand/finger/wrist/arm, but be prepared for the bites you will have to endure while the bird assures herself that your body part is a safe and reliable place to step. I was on a good track with that until I started cheating with the Budgie because I was a wimp about the "testing".

Needless to say, don't chase, don't force.

I am particularly interested in the rehabilitation of second hand birds, as I have one, myself. My experience with him has been extremely rewarding. I hope you will be able to say the same. :D

Re: New Member -Introducing myself

Posted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:37 pm
by Zookeeper1958
Thanks for your reply ! We do not have our African grey anymore - the only other bird we have besides " Gabby"
Is our 4 year old sun conure .
I fear I have already made plenty off mistakes with Gabby by forcing myself on her , I.e., grabbing her and holding her in such a way that I could rub her head...
I will gladly keep posting our progress with Gabby . I feel the same way a lot of people do especially when I learned her story of total neglect . All because she bit her previous owners and they were scared of her after that .
Do you think that part of her behavior is the " bluffing stage "?
Thanks ,

Re: New Member -Introducing myself

Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:45 am
by MissK
Not really, no. I think it is self-defense. Of course, I'm not there to see it happening.

Re: New Member -Introducing myself

Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:40 pm
by Little Buttercup
Welcome Robin. I don't know much about taming, but try and use your conure as Missk said, while taming Gabby. Kiwi has learnt so much by watching how Coco interact with me.

Good luck