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Old 02-16-2015, 05:00 PM
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The Pickiest Parakeet!

Earlier in January, I bought a 4-month old parakeet who had been hand-fed, but due to fighting with other flock members, was removed from the group after he was weaned and I believe his hand interactions were stopped then, which is unfortunate. Why would someone stop putting effort into maintaining the friendliness of a parakeet just because he had to be moved to a different cage? When we got him, he was a bit hand-shy, but not a biter. The store owner assured me that with some TLC, he would go back to hand-fed friendliness.

I spend a few hours a day trying to train him to step up consistently and associate me with pleasant things, as soon he will be out of quarantine and in the main house area. My BIGGEST problem is that I seem to have the pickiest parakeet on the planet. He will only eat his pellet food. While his pellets are offering him complete nutrition, I am frustrated because I feel like we would be further along in training and bonding if I found a treat he liked. What I have to do is take away his food for a time and then train before I bring it back. I can't do this everyday, especially when I have errands to run. I have tried broccoli, hard-boiled eggs, nutriberries, almonds, and millet. Yes, he doesn't even like millet. He rolls it in his mouth and then spits it out. I've tried mixing various treats in with his pellets in the hopes of tricking him into trying something new, but he picks around them. I leave millet hanging around the cage because many parakeet owners have said that eventually they "come around" and start eating it.

The parakeet is content, eating, drinking, and preening, so I am blessed that he is a functional and happy bird. He doesn't flee from my hand as long as it is underneath him (understandable) but he is so stoic towards me, never moving, interacting, or responding with I try to command "step up" or even approach the cage. I accept that all parakeets have different temperaments, but I would love a companion bird and am not willing to give up just yet.

Have you had a picky parakeet? What are your suggestions for birds that are slow to warm up? Are there any other ways to train besides food rewards?

Thank you for your time!
Amaya and Blizzard
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Old 02-16-2015, 05:12 PM
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Re: The Pickiest Parakeet!

I feel your pain. When I first got mine also in Jan and about same age he would only eat one seed. Not even a pellet. He is better now but still not very tame. Just keep being patient.

Last edited by gracebowen; 02-16-2015 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 02-16-2015, 05:23 PM
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Re: The Pickiest Parakeet!

Unless a bird has been shown (normally by other flock members or its parents) something is an edible food, many birds are "picky eaters" and only chance on trying things.....you can be the kitchen demonstrator, eating things in front of your bird.....when I have had to do that, I would have them on the table, with a small plate for them and the same things on their plate as was on mine.....I've used scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli, steamed cauliflower, shredded lettuce, diced up fruits & other good things.....whenever I'd feed them like that, I'd make a big deal of the foods, smiling face, oohing & ahhing and lip smacking, then when I was finished & the bird(s) had had enough time to do some sampling, I'd move their small plate to their cage & put them inside.....though it didn't always work the first time, it would eventually because the'd accepted me as a flock member that was eating something new.....

Patience is what's needed when trying to get them to eat new things.....
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Old 02-16-2015, 05:42 PM
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Re: The Pickiest Parakeet!

Thank you. We have two eclectus parrots who will eat anything, and I'm excited for Blizzard to watch them eat after this quarantine is over.
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