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Old 01-07-2021, 12:39 PM
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new baby Galah very skittish

I brought my new baby Galah home from the airport Monday. She came from a pet store but I did not get to meet her because she was several states away. I have been looking for a baby for a couple of months and there has been no one near me or within travel distance to buy one from. Resigned to the fact I likely wouldn't get to meet one in person, I have pent time searching. Found a pet store that has their birds out to be socialized and that handfeeds them all. She is 4.5 months old and has been weaned around two weeks. I took video tours of the store and did zoom with her and watched her interactions. she was so sweet and friendly there. She easily went to people and loved head scratches. I know she is new and needs time to settle in but she is so afraid of everything, especially our hands. I know we are only on day three as I don't count Monday since she was too terrified Monday. She seems to enjoy my talking to her, but if i make a move to raise my hand to even change her food or anything, she hops away to the farthest part of her cage that she can. She came out to sit on the door today and I sat next to her talking to her, but whenever I would scoot a bit closer, she was looking for an escape route so I backed off. When I could no longer sit on the floor I stood up and she hopped out of the cage into the room and is walking around, but when I approach her, she turns to walk away. I don't want to push her and force her but I am going to have to leave the room shortly and don't want to leave her out alone in it. I could likely chase her back over to the cage but I don't want to ruin any trust building. Any suggestions? Also, any suggestions on how to work with her from here?

I am not new to birds. I had a wild caught sulphur for 20 years and another baby sulhur for about 7 years. My son has a conure and i grew up around birds and worked in a pet store that was exclusively birds but this is new to me. I have never been around a baby bird so skittish. I need to be alble to get her to the vet in the next few days and I am not sure she will let me handle her by then. I know I can force it and pick her up but I am unsure how to do this and still establish trust.

Thank you!
Lori
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Old 01-07-2021, 02:34 PM
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Re: new baby Galah very skittish

Welcome and be welcomed. Congrats on your lil baby! You are right 3 days is nothing in time for her to settle in. I would get the vet visit over and done with, quickly, so you can leave the bad taste of that in the read view mirror.

After that, its time to reset the clock. She stays in cage for awhile. You start, like you have sitting as close as you can without upsetting her; reading aloud in a soft soothing voice helps ( I suggest reading the "I Love Amazons" thread in that forum which has tons of invaluable information in general on care of parrots) to her. Move the chair a bit closer and continue; if she starts to get upset move it back a bit. Incermentally try to get closer. The other thing to do is to get a handle on her favorite treat, sunflower seed, pine nuts, what ever it is, and ALWAYS drop one in her food bowl every time you pass her cage. Parrots can be bribed!! When she is comfortable with you close, that's the time to start trying to let her out - if you have to chase her to be back in, you are destroying trust, as you pointed out! This process could take days, weeks or even months, but its essential that she knows that only good things come from humans! She seems to have been pretty well socialized from your description, so this may not take long, but its important that it be done right.
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Old 01-07-2021, 03:29 PM
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Re: new baby Galah very skittish

Hi hun, welcome! Your son's conure can help when safe to have them in the same area, re quarantine/AV tests. They watch everything and I use this benefit with the poor lil boy that I am currently fostering, really frightened but he is learning from my girls (Galah/G2). As the post above do use treats and loads of verbal praise which also helps to reinforce her name. Please would you just stick to tree nuts as treats and in very small morsels. Illness later in a birds life can in fact begin as failings from us as a baby bird.



Allow her time to aclimatise to your home and you just by observing whilst safely in her cage. Take your cues from her, you've had birds before you will know. Talk to her plenty. Do anything for her real slow, tell her what you are doing, if she freaks whilst approaching, stand still, calmly talk to her, when she calms take another step. Ive a feeling she will come on real quick she just needs to become acquainted with her new surroundings. Relax hun you have something very precious indeed. :-)


PS please be aware that her weaning status may regress so please look out for that. With this in mind she may take some soft food from a spoon, mashed sweet potato, squash, that kind of thing.

Taking her to the vet, this needs to be handled with confidence with the minimum fuss and drama. If that means you need to collect her in a towel or blanket to safely place her in her travel cage then so be it. Your AV will more than likely have to do the same to do what you are paying them for.
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Old 01-07-2021, 05:01 PM
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Re: new baby Galah very skittish

I'd slow down-- people often think babies will warm right up, and while they are way sweeter than adults, they are not always perfect as far as trusting immediately etc-- think about a traumatized Annie who moves way slower-- that's what they can be like and it will pass if you build trust..
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Old 01-08-2021, 02:52 PM
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Re: new baby Galah very skittish

Thank you everyone. I could never get her to willingly come to me yesterday so I ended up having to corner her and pick her up. Once I had her, she was relaxed and calm. She sat on my hand very interested in hearing me talk to her. Any time I would raise my other hand, she would act nervous. She definitely has an issue with hands, which is weird to me with her being a handfed baby. I held her and talked to her for about 45 minutes before I ran out of things to say and put her on the perch rather than her cage. Her cage in is my office where I sped my day but the perch is in the living room. She enjoyed her perch time and I was able to have her step up later in the evening and spent about 20 minutes talking to her that time. I then put her to bed for the evening and once again this morning she is afraid. I offered her my hand to step up because she seemed ok with me but apparently she wasn't and flew past me into the room on the floor again. Again she wouldn't come to me or return to her cage. I can't leave her on the floor unattended. Too many dangers and I have dogs so I had to force her up again. Again she was fine once I did. Alert, calm and interested in me. She is now on her perch next to me and fine. Hopeful tomorrow she will step up or not fly out when offered. If she moves away or in the cage I can respect that. Today she is still terrified of my hands. Will gladly sit on one, but the other one better not move. Praying she comes around and enjoys us. I told her today if she would just allow a head scratch she would be hooked LOL!!!!!!
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Old 01-08-2021, 03:53 PM
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Re: new baby Galah very skittish

Ah that is lovely hun. She will in her own time, offer a morsel of a tree nut and see if that helps. Ensure you reward the postives, praise/treat as she makes progress. If you have dogs hun please make sure they shut away when your lil one is out, it only takes literally seconds for something awful to happen and believe me it does unfortunately.
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Old 01-08-2021, 04:03 PM
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Re: new baby Galah very skittish

Just strongly would advise against pushing anything- even if the bird is calm after...long-term, this could create issues. Build trust first...
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Old 01-08-2021, 06:56 PM
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Re: new baby Galah very skittish

I'm unsure how to build trust first. Any suggestions? She seemed ok this morning at first so decided to offer her step up. She didn't back away, just jumped at me. I thought she was going for my shoulder but she wasn't or she was and missed. Not sure which because I don't know her well yet. After she missed and went on to the floor again, I can only give her so long to be on the floor before I have to get her up. I'm really at a loss. I have had so much exposure to handfed babies and never have experienced this behavior. I have never been around a baby afraid of hands. I'm so hoping this wasn't a bad choice. I would have gotten a rescue if I wanted to deal with behavior stuff and bad habits. I hope I don't get slammed for that, but it is my concern. I'm a tad frustrated. I knew I didn't have the time to work through behavior issues. I have plenty of time for a parrot, but to sit and tame one and work through issues is much more time consuming than having a companion who can hang out with me all day. Already I am not being productive at work trying to sit by her cage all day and get her used to me. I envisioned her hanging out on my shoulder or desk with me while I worked and out with my kids and family at night. I didn't envision sitting patiently by her cage for hours and then watching her on the floor for hours after a failed attempt.

Also, does anyone have any success stories of birds coming around from this and being a good companion? I am so worried she will just want to stay in her cage forever and that is not why we got her. We were looking for a family member and we are very social. We have friends over all the time and our animals are always involved in that. Our conure will come out and go to everyone. is bonded to my son but he will interact with the other family and friends. I thought if I got her as a baby and had her out with everyone from the beginning she would become well socialized and enjoy being a part of our lives.

Thank you and I know I sound like a booger but I put so much time and research as well as money into her and I worry I made a mistake.

Lori
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Old 01-08-2021, 07:44 PM
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Re: new baby Galah very skittish

You need to start structured training, I think, with step up being the first thing, paramount , to teach. Bird tricks has a few videos that show the basics. Suggest short 10 min sessions 1 or 2 x a day. She can stay in the cage the rst of the time, I dont see that as a long term issue, she already shows interest in being with you, she just needs to learn no fear of hands and the step up commands.

Be consisten in how you ask for it, oth verbally and hand signals.

Always always treat for any progress no matter how small

Search on here for target training, which can greatly aid new parrots learn to target to hands or a perch.

Sessions every day no matter what!
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Old 01-09-2021, 12:39 AM
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Re: new baby Galah very skittish

Welcome Lori, thanks for joining and sharing! Building trust and bonding is foundation to relationship with your galah. Some helpful tips within attached thread even though you have substantial experience: Tips for Bonding and Building Trust

I respectfully add to the caution about dogs. Many appear disinterested and not aggressive right up to the point they snap. Our Bereavement Forum has too many examples of trust gone wrong with devastating results. Four legged mammals can coexist with parrots, please use the most utmost of care and devise a foolproof system to keep them safe!
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