information will be very helpful in establishing a happy long relationship with
your feathered friend.
It is important to start training right from the
beginning of its young life. Their environment and how you train them will help
set them up to be a well behaved, happy companion.
Introduce him to his new
cage. Sit quietly beside his cage and talk to him. Everyone will be excited to
handle and interact with him but allowing him to destress first is very
important for your bird’s health. Calm and gentle interaction is the best way
to win his trust. Move slowly, talk quietly.
sense when we are tense and it may make them anxious or fearful. Pay attention
to your bird's behavior and make the necessary accommodations until they seem
more comfortable. Limit handling time with the bird for the first 24 hours so
they have a chance to adapt, eat, and drink properly without too much
stimulation. 10 – 15 minutes handling sessions a few times daily is good to
start with. Gradually increase handling time over the next few days, as long as
he seems comfortable and is eating and acting normal.
Remember he is a baby and
is scared, so let him get used to you and his new environment. Everything takes
time for him to learn and get used to. Please do not expect him to let you
cuddle him immediately. He does not know you or your family. He may even bite
you if you handle him too much at first. Do not react to his bites, stay calm,
and touch his beak gently and say "gentle beak". He needs time to adjust and
trust you. Respect his space and moods, if he doesn't want to be petted, leave
him and try again in a few minutes. Go slow, even a few seconds of scratches on
the neck is progress.
Handling Tips for your new
Practice the step up
command each time you want to pick him up. He may look like he wants to bite you
as your hand approaches him, but don’t be afraid, he is just using his beak for
balance, ask him to step up by putting your hand palm up under his tummy.
Building trust is most important during the first
weeks in his new environment. During the day he will be active and want to
play. In the evening they will settle down, this is a good time to sit with him
and hold him and practice step ups and get him use to being touched.
first take him out, let him work off its energy, let them roam and play and
explore his surroundings. Once your bird has had time to exert all the extra
energy you will have a more calm bird to work with and handle. Trying to control
your bird’s movements too much, especially in the initial stage may cause them
to dislike handling time and they will let you know it by avoiding to come out
of their cage or trying to get away from you or even biting you if you persist.
Never chase a bird around the cage so you can pick them up. Reach in slowly and
ask him to step up. If he doesn’t, cup one hand behind him and one hand in
front for him to step up, using the cupped hand to nudge him forward. Chasing a
nervous bird around it’s cage will only make them fearful of you and will start
a bad habit that can be difficult to break. Snuggle time while watching TV in
the evening is a great and relaxing way to bond with your bird and for it to
learn to trust you. Keep the interactions positive and non-threatening and your
bird will learn to trust you and desire to be with you. When grasping bird, keep
your grip loose so bird doesn't feel threatened or forced, this will keep them
more relaxed and less tense. Remain calm and relaxed when holding your bird.
Remember, slow, calm and gentle movements.
Lots of patience, cuddles
and scratches will win him over.
Patience and consistency
are essential to training. They are social birds and like to be part of their
flock. Introduce him to new people and objects gradually. They have very good
memories and will remember everything. They will remember the person who was not
nice to them and they know who is afraid of them. Everything you do with a
young bird should be trust building for a positive parrot/human bond. Teach him
the right way to behave with positive interaction rather than punishing negative
behavior. Please remember that he is a baby and needs to learn everything. They
understand when you talk to them. Use words appropriate to your actions. Like
“scratch” when you are scratching him. Remember patience and consistency is the
you want to change the diet, do it gradually! Young baby birds have been known
to starve to death because their diet was switched overnight and they did not
eat the new food. Continue offering new foods like fruit and veggies, at first
it is strange to them and then they will start playing with it and then eating
it. Millet is good as a treat and for the first few days at home. Offer millet
sparingly as they may only eat that.
Be sure that he finds his
food and water.
He may not seem to eat
anything the first day, but he will eat by the next day.
You can put a
dish of seed and water next to a perch up higher. When he starts to explore the
cage and eats from the dish near the perch you can take away the food and water
from the bottom of the cage.
especially conures are very social. They love to be with people. They can
easily get so attached to you that they will have a hard time staying in their
prevent the bird from over bonding and getting spoiled about being out of the
cage, please have in and out of cage time. Instead of having the bird out with
you for a long period of time, alternate having him out for a while and then in
the cage awhile. This will get him use to being in the cage to play while you
are around. When he is quiet, take him out again. Never take him out when he
is being noisy, he will learn that if he is noisy, he can come out.
TIME OUT OF
settle into his new home. It could take more than a week for him to settle into
his new environment. Make sure to give your bird time out of its cage daily. He
is used to being out of the cage, playing on a play gym. Provide toys and
exercise outlets, share affection with your feathered friend daily. They require
one on one time with their person. It doesn’t have to be a long period of time
but it must be consistent. If you are gone all day, take a minute for a little
“scratch and chat” before you leave. When you get home they’ll be happy to see
you and content to sit on your shoulder while you watch TV or work on your
computer. You can also have a play stand nearby in the kitchen and he can play
around while you prepare meals.
Birds love to
play and should be given a lot of toys. Things that move such as swings and
hanging toys are favourites. They also like things made from natural materials
such as wood, leather and raw hide. They can be taught to stay on play stands
and baskets. To train him to stay on the cage or play stand, put him on
top with a toy or a piece of millet. Each time he flies off, pick him up and
put him back on. After a few times he will understand that the top of the cage
is a good place and will stay. This will allow your pet more freedom as well
having more control over where you want your bird.
Your baby is
used to cuddling up against his siblings at night. Make sure his cage is placed
in a warm area. You can cover the cage at night if it is located in an area that
is bright or has lots of traffic. Getting a good night sleep is important.
Even putting a towel just over the top can give some security at night. Be sure
to keep him out of drafts.
This is a
stressful time. He may be a little irritable and look a bit ragged in
appearance. Be patient with your bird. He will probably like being misted with
warm water more often at this time. You can mist him a few times a week or put a
dish of water in for him to take a bath. Most birds love to have a bath and it
is fun to watch them play in the water. Parrotlets usually have their first
molt around 5 months old.
young birds go through a nippy phase.
You will need to be very
assertive and show him that you are the boss. If he nips, do not back off, be
brave. Do not put your hand out to get him to step up and then back off because
you think he is going to bite you. Just scoop him up with an open palm and say
step up. If you back off just once or twice, he will think that he has won and
he is the boss and his biting will become a habit. They do use their beaks to
help balance when they step up so don’t mistake that for him wanting to bite.
Also you can
say something like gentle beak or no biting and give your hand a little shake to
distract him if he nips. Distract him with toys or put him down and pick him up
again. Try not to react to the bite, he may think it is fun when you yelp or
jump and continue to bite you. As soon as he starts to bite or chew, distract
him by moving them to another location or find a toy to let him chew on. Never
physically punish your bird or yell at him. Birds use their beaks as a third
“hand” to balance when stepping up and climbing.
bird reaches out to your finger with its beak open, it is probably just testing
it first to make sure it is secure.
this as trying to bite you.
baby becomes too nippy, consider that it may be tired, nervous, hungry, etc. Get
to know your bird and its patterns, likes and dislikes, and make sure you aren't
over or under handling him, and that something in the environment isn't
frightening your bird.
up frequently and it will be automatic when you say step up or place your hand
in front of his feet. A finger pointing towards
him is threatening. Never wave your finger at him, it will only cause him to
bite you. Your bird will enjoy sitting on your shoulder and having the back of
his neck rubbed. He will become your best friend. Be patient during the
training process. Talk gently to him.
phrase “Step up” when you what him to come onto your hand. Always take
him out of the cage by getting him to “Step up” onto your hand. Never open the
cage door and let him out on his own. After you have taken him out then
let him freely go in and out of the cage when left to play on top of cage. This
way you are in control.
**If you are
away all day at work, it is nice to leave a radio on with easy listening music.
the “step up” command by getting him to step up from hand to hand.
**To make the
adjustment easier for your little guy (and you), please try and use these simple
tips for the next two weeks or so until he is fully adapted to his new
surroundings. Remember that your bird is a baby and must learn many new things.
He will bond with you and be your companion for life.
apple seeds or chocolate.