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Old 10-21-2015, 10:27 AM
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Mallory Mallory is offline
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YNA hen "Greenleaf", Black Capped x Green Cheek Hybrid "Eva", CAG (hatched 1/1/2016), European Starling "Koda"
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Re: Never done free flight before.. help!!

You could look into positive reinforcement training and substitute food rewards for some time with his chain toy. Harness training requires you to at least be able to touch your bird's back, wings and tail and if you cannot yet that is the first thing I would work on. Go very slow and use rewards, never force him to let you handle him. Then you will have to introduce a new and probably scary item to him - the harness - and use rewards and/or time to get him used to seeing the harness. Once he is comfortable being around it, you then have to teach him to let you put it on him - another long chain of steps that can easily cause anxiety of you move too fast or don't earn his trust along the way. Each harness works differently, some require you to pick your bird up, pull wings through, move feet etc.
Then there is so much more to teach him before you can bring him outdoors safely! He will have to step up and step down on cue, and that's not just relying on him following his toy around as if he is scared he needs to seek you out for safety and be secure with you holding him. Fearful parrots will not be responsive to toys or treats. Then you will have to get him used to new potentially scary experiences because outside is full of these! If you want to "show him off" you will also have to socialize him with not only friends but people he sees as strangers as well so he is comfortable being shown off. It is a long road to go from where you are now to outside adventures with him, but if you are patient it is a good long term goal!
As has already been said, please please do not let him free fly hoping he will return for a toy he likes indoors!! Free flight is the ultimate in trust - and one of the ultimate risks - for our birds and many owners who have amazing bonds with their birds do not even risk indoor flight let alone outdoor free flight. Keep in mind as well, harnesses break and the biggest safety net you can build for a flighted bird is an incredible bond built on trust. Above all please know your bird's current limits!
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