Frustrated with my Pacifics - Talk Parrots Forums

Parrot Behavior, Bonding and Training Discuss parrot behavior, parrot training, parrot bonding, and other psychological aspects of parrot care.
Thread Description: I can't seem to train them

 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
 
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Frustrated with my Pacifics

Hi,

Im trying to figure out how to get my two four year old Pacifics to step up. the target train well in the cage, but once outside they cant be bothered. They will fly to me once outside the cage and sit arms length or legs length away in this case see the attachment. They will let me feed them their safflower seeds which they love again from far away only. They are hand fed but not by me. They also bite. And I have to use a net to get them back into their cage. There is no other way. And I know this is bad, but I feel I have no other choice. I've been trying to train them over the past three months and just cant make any progress so I'm looking to ask the experts. Please Help!!

Julie

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 01:18 PM



 
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As silly as it may sound, have you but their favourite treats in the middle of your hand and just left it by them for a bit? Usually curiosity gets the best of them and they eventually come and have a look at least

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 05:22 PM
 
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I know some people don't agree - but you need to clip their wings. It will make them nicer and they can't get away from you so easily. And you won't need to net them. I feel like any progress you make is being reversed by using the net.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-02-2014, 09:07 AM


 
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Yes, netting is bad. It breeds fear and distrust and you need the birds to trust you 100% before you even start training or it simply won't work. But I don't believe in clipping them, either, because handicapping an animal just to make things easier on us is not conducive to trust, either. I don't mean to disrespect anybody's opinion but clipping is always done for the human's benefit, never the bird's.

Now, do they step up on a stick inside the cage? I know you said they target fine inside the cage but if what you mean is that they touch the target or move to the perch where the target is, that is not enough. You need to get them to step up onto a stick (which you would hold between the bars with one hand while the other holds the target stick) and, when they do, praise, praise, praise and give a treat. Once they consistently (and this does mean every single time) step up on the perch, you can let one out (not both, they won't pay any attention to you if you let them both out together, at least, at the beginning they won't) and start teaching him to step up outside the cage. Start by doing it onto the same stick you were using for stepping up inside the cage and, once they do it all the time, start using your hand.

Now, when you do the training and the feeding schedule is also important. If you free-feed seeds, there is very little incentive for them to do anything for one although they will gladly take it out of your hand, and, as it's also not healthy for them, I suggest you start feeding them a chop, mash or gloop (these are made with cooked whole grains and veggies) for breakfast (along with raw produce, of course) and give them seeds for their dinner. If you do this, they will be VERY eager for their seeds in the evening so plan your training session for right before sunset (this time of the year and in NE USA, it would be at 5:00 pm, do a 10 minute one (length of training session is also important because, if you do it too long, they will lose interest due to flooding) and then just let them out to fly when the sun is going down. Then, when twilight sets (around 7 pm), turn off the artificial lights (this works if they have exposure to natural light through a window- also, no TV or radio on), take the morning food out of the cage and put their seeds in (just one level tablespoon for each) and just walk out of the room or a distance away. They will go into the cage by themselves to eat their dinner and roost for the night. As the days go by and they start learning to trust you and to step up, you should be able to ask them to step up to take them out and put them back in their cage.

The trick to training birds is to make it so they want to learn
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-02-2014, 09:23 AM


 
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Clipping is a very sensitive subject with a lot of bird owners. I have 8 birds. Only 1 is clipped, 1 is trimmed to slow him down and the rest are fully flighted. Parrotlets often get extremely sassy when fully flighted, mine has a partial clip to slow him down a bit. He flies like a maniac when fully flighted.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-02-2014, 01:24 PM


 
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I totally agree with Bibi.
And I think we all should accept that small birds won't always get totally tame.
The smaller they are the more their instinct tells them to protect themselves against such big creatures as we are.
I let my linnies out when i know I'll stay at home for the rest of the day.
In the evening I do my cage cleaning routine, then I switch off their bird lamp.
At the very latest then their walk into their sleeping cabin, because at sunset birds use to find their sleeping place.
I only have to use the net when I must put them into their transport box to see the vet or when I have to clip the nails.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-02-2014, 02:13 PM


 
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My small birds are all very tame. I treat them the same way I'd treat any bird I'd own (aside from being extra careful with them because they are so small). I treat them just like I would a bigger parrot and I think that is why they are all so tame and social. In my experience wing clipping is essential, at the very least in the beginning when training the bird and when they are getting accustomed to their new surroundings. Then the owner can maintain the training already established when the bird is flighted and settled/trusting the owner. Parrotlets in particular are excellent fliers, even with only a few flight feathers. They would be impossible to catch and every time you are chasing them down, you are reigniting their fear instinct to flee from you and they could very easily get hurt in that process. My parrotlet was completely untame when I adopted him as an adult and I have had complete success with taming him and he is a great companion. Maybe give it a try, you'd both be less confused and frustrated.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-02-2014, 03:45 PM


 
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I have very untame canaries that live with my linnies. Whenever I want to get them in, I herd them back in. I just walk from behind them slowly with my hands out and they just fly back into the cage. It's kind of hard to explain, but I don't scare them, just get close enough to them that I enter into their personal zone and they fly away towards their cage. It only takes a day or two for them to realize that their cage is the safe zone. This has worked for me several times--every year the baby canaries get the picture very quickly. Sometimes it works so well, that if I want to catch a bird (for nail trimming, etc.) I have to beat them to the cage and shut them OUT (because I try to not reach into their cage to grab them--it's their safe zone). I also say "CAGE" to them before I start to herd them in and they seem to know what I mean. Last year I could return about 12 birds in their cage very quickly without having to touch any of them.

Even Stitch, who does not like hands, knows when I yell cage, he should head for the cage or he's going to have to be picked up.

I'm not saying they are perfectly trained like a dog, but they seem to go back with very little fuss and from what I can see, stress-free.

I also forgot to mention that my cages have very large doors--one has a sliding door that is half the cage and the other "breeding" cage is the "cockatiel" cages that have the fronts that swing open in addition to the little door, so I open the front of the cage. Basically, a budgie/parrotlet sized bird goes through an opening large enough for an amazon parrot.)

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-02-2014, 10:01 PM
 
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P'lets aren't like other small birds. They have VERY strong, willful personalities. If they don't want to do something they simply won't do it and it doesn't matter what you try.

My P'lets are fully flighted, but I did clip them when I first got them. This was done for safety reasons and for ease of training. They could still get a decent glide, but it kept things manageable. I allowed them to keep their wings after they molted but by that time basic training was accomplished and it was a non issue.

The first question I have is...do they share a cage? Honestly I think if you want them tamed and for you to be able to handle without being bitten to death your going to have to separate them. That's assuming they aren't already. Unlike some species P'lets do very well on their own, they don't having another bird around like some species do. They aren't really "flock" birds, but if kept with others they will spend less time with you and more time with the other bird. So as a short term measure they need to be in different cages and brought out one at a time to a room where they can't see each other (Strictly My Opinion~Not an Expert~Just owner). I didn't get mine at the same time, so my male was already tamed when I got my female but they didn't start sharing a cage until about 2, almost 3 months later.

I made a quick little video for you to show how a tame P'let should behave. You will notice at the very end my female started to get a little nippy with me, but you will also notice that as soon as I told her "no", she immediately stopped (also, she wasn't really biting~just using her beak sharper than she should for playtime so I gave her the command to knock it off). I used the "Gentle Beak" technique in the early days and my male actually says "Gentle Beak", but now I just "tsk tsk" at them and don't have to say it.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-02-2014, 10:37 PM


 
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You can also see my video of Oliver under my threads on this forum to see how he behaves now, a year and a half after I got him as an untame adult.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-02-2014, 11:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4thebirds View Post
You can also see my video of Oliver under my threads on this forum to see how he behaves now, a year and a half after I got him as an untame adult.
I've seen his video's on the other forum. We both had similar situations obtaining adult birds who needed some work and they are great little guys aren't they!
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-02-2014, 11:58 PM


 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M'éanín's Mommy View Post
I've seen his video's on the other forum. We both had similar situations obtaining adult birds who needed some work and they are great little guys aren't they!
Cool! Yes you are right, we did luck out! I was also letting Julie the person that started the thread know to take a look

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Steps taken in training

Hi thanks for the video. Can you share with me the steps you took to train them and how long the whole process lasted?

Thanks
Julie
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hi,
The video was great thanks for taking the time. I sent you a private message. I just wanted to let you know. I always forget to check them myself.

Julie
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