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Old 12-06-2017, 04:58 PM
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Cthebird Cthebird is offline
I now have a young Hahn's macaw. I used to have a Pacific Parrotlet that lived until almost 15. Before that I had a budgie.
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Making him "step up"

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My husband and I adopted our Hahn's macaw (mini macaw) a few months ago. They told us he was 5 months old, which the avian vet later said made him still "a baby". There was about a week or two before we took him for his initial avian vet check-up where he seemed to know and obey the "step up" command, but starting just after the avian vet visit, which seemed to sort of traumatize him (the blood test) he stopped "stepping up" on command. We thought he just needed to get past that, but unfortunately he got a mini feather jammed under his eye lid and it swelled up so we had to take him to the avian vet again. The feather caused a little ulcer on his eye, so we had to give him an eye drop 4X/day for 10 days. He HATED it and became a bit wary of us, but when we'd force him to be on or with us he'd be fine.

It's been a good month since the eye drops were stopped. The first week off he had to stay with my brother when my husband and I went on vacation for a week. Since he's been back with us he's still not obedient to the "step up" command. My husband gets mad at me for not training him back into it. I'm home all day with my bird boy. I have tried with treats and patience, but it doesn't always work. He will step up when he WANTS to, though almost never from within his cage or on top of his cage. When he is with us, however, he does poop on demand over white paper, unless he really doesn't have to go.

My bird boy can be very affectionate and often even loves when we pet, kiss, tease, and caress him. He's definitely not afraid of my husband or I! We're always sweet and gentle with him, other than when we need to grab him (gently prying his feet and/or beak from the cage spokes) in place of "step up" or to force him back into his cage when he doesn't want to. Sometimes he'll also be on us and give us trouble getting him off of us. Other times, he complies. Again, the treat incentive doesn't seem to cut the mustard. He has a mind of his own. He's more apt to "step up" from his play gym, which he can get to himself from his cage. So I usually just let him go there on his own after opening his cage, and then get him. Occasionally he'll get to the floor on his own (his wings were clipped) and then he complies with "step up" or even makes his way up to the bed on his own to join me (I spend a lot of time on my bed with my laptop).

He's sometimes a bit of an imp and gets into mischief. I know that's just parrot behavior. I know that that type of behavior can't be trained away, but I know that "step up" should be learned once and for all. My old Pacific Parrotlet who lived until 15 years old always obeyed the "step up" even when he was still so young that he didn't want us to touch his body. How can get my macaw to relearn it? I think it's crucial that he do before his flight feathers grow in. Help!!!!!!

As an aside, he makes all kinds of crazy noises, including meows like a cat, but the only English words he speaks are, coincidentally, "Step up!" What a jerk!

Last edited by Cthebird; 12-06-2017 at 05:26 PM.
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