All registrations must be approved by an admin. Having problems with registration? E-mail us at indianringnecks@gmail.com

Fear of hands and being covered up

Moderator: Mods

Post Reply
nicoles_388
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:14 pm

Fear of hands and being covered up

Post by nicoles_388 » Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:19 pm

I adopted my male IRN when he was already six years old. I know little about his life before he wound up at a local bird store - just that his original owner died and he developed a plucking habit as a result. He is very happy with me now that he's been with me for about five months, though he's still working on growing his feathers back out...but my main concern is that he has always been afraid of hands as well as having his cage covered at night. I know it's common for birds to become afraid of hands, especially if they've dealt with children a lot. But it's bad enough to where I've literally not been able to handle him at all with my hands since the day I got him. I can only coax him into his cage with food. How can I help him eliminate this fear?

And his other fear of being covered is just as concerning, since he will become very nervous when he knows I'm about to cover his cage and even snap at me (which he never normally does) when I go to do it. But if I don't cover him, he won't sleep well and he will wake me up at the crack of dawn every day. I've been consistently covering him up every night but it's almost always the same thing. Occasionally he will go down quietly and not snap at me or yell, but he'll still become very nervous and pace his cage. I don't know how to ease his fear of this.

If anyone has ANYTHING they can offer on this, I would very much appreciate it. Thank you so much.
~Nicole

User avatar
Melika
Posts: 1919
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 9:11 am
Location: Florida
Contact:

Re: Fear of hands and being covered up

Post by Melika » Sat Sep 18, 2010 7:57 pm

May I ask how afraid is he of hands? Will he accept treats from your hand? How close can your hand get? Are his wings clipped? How does he act when your hands come near?

I know it's more questions than answers, but it might help us give a better response. :)

Might I suggest room-darkening/blackout curtains instead of covering the cage (works great for me!). Then he will only 'wake up' when you are up and open the curtains.
Image
Image
I've been called 'birdbrained' before, but somehow I don't think this is what they meant. say:hah-nay

nicoles_388
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:14 pm

Re: Fear of hands and being covered up

Post by nicoles_388 » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:29 pm

He isn't terrified of hands - he will still take treats from me (though he usually tries to snatch whatever I have for him and run away lol). Sometimes I will hold my finger out a few inches from his face and wiggle it up and down and he'll look kind of upset but then he'll bob his head along with my finger...don't know what that means, but he won't run away from my finger anyways. It's only when a hand or finger catches him by surprise that he might snap at it - but he's never bit me intending to hurt me.

When I put my hands near him he will typically react by standing still, pinning his eyes, and raising some of the feathers on his head (which I'm still trying to understand the meaning of since sometimes the feather-raising thing looks like he's upset and other time he looks content). But if hands are coming at him or I try to pet him he will yell and snap.

And yes, his wings are trimmed.

I love the idea of never having to cover him and just have dark curtain - only thing is I often stay up till 12 or 1 in the morning on the computer writing and the light from that keeps him up unless he's covered.

Thanks a bunch for taking time out to write back!

User avatar
Melika
Posts: 1919
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 9:11 am
Location: Florida
Contact:

Re: Fear of hands and being covered up

Post by Melika » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:01 am

I stay up late too, but with the curtains it keeps him asleep/quiet until I get up and open them. He hasn't seemed to suffer from his odd hours. He actually tends to go to sleep while I'm happily typing away at the computer or reading, he's so used to it now.

Perhaps try making it so he has to step onto your hand in order to reach the treat? Even if he bolts right away, that's one step closer to a real step-up. And that way he's coming to your hand instead of the other way around.
Image
Image
I've been called 'birdbrained' before, but somehow I don't think this is what they meant. say:hah-nay

nicoles_388
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:14 pm

Re: Fear of hands and being covered up

Post by nicoles_388 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:26 pm

That is true. I'll have to give it a try - you have to start somewhere right? Thanks for the advice :)

Post Reply