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Old 05-10-2019, 07:19 PM
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Seeking Advice

So I have now had Lumen for a week. I have never kept IRN's before this so excuse the questions if they have obvious answers that I should know. I didn't get her from the breeder or pet store but the people who had taken her home as a pet.

She was kept in a barren cage with generic dowel perches (natural branches all the way) and a couple of cheap supermarket bird toys (mirrors with bells) and cat jingle balls. She was only fed seed. From what I can work out from her behaviour she wasn't handled very often. The wife and youngest child were afraid of birds. Not sure why they bought Lumen in the first place.

We have been able to get her to eat fruit and veg and use raw cashew as a bribe when needed.

Been letting her go at her own pace with being handled which has gone much faster than I expected. She is happy on the bird gym or on my shoulder, will happily step up to go from one to the other. Sounds good so far I hope.

Now my issues are only minor really. She seems to be erratically afraid of hands. Sometimes she will hiss and lunge and other times she will jump on with no hesitation. Is this just a time issue where she still needs to build trust with us or is this something else?

The other issue, which again is minor, is that I cannot tempt her with pellets. She is curious about everything and will go and check new things out after a short while of checking it out. She is definitely not shy about checking new things out as my wife found out. Lumen wanted to try her chewing gum and tried to retrieve it from her mouth. Pellets she disdains and will completely ignore. She won't even investigate them. Have yet to try softening them. They are fruit flavoured https://vetafarm.com.au/product/nutriblend-pellets/ and all my other birds will happily eat them.

I have some idea on how to progress with the pellets. Time more than anything. More concerned about the erratic hand fear. Sorry for babbling. Only had one coffee and sick with cold/flu so not functioning at full capacity.
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:32 PM
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Re: Seeking Advice

It's so early-- not at all shocked that she is reacting to your hands that way. Take your time and keep building trust. You are on the right track. Try not to push it/elicit that reaction for now. For reference (broken record warning)- I couldn't confidently touch my "tame" adult umbrella cockatoo for about 2 months and she wouldn't step up for 3. She was a rescue/re-home, but she knew all about hands and stepping up...She just didn't know me or her new surroundings and I was her 4th home.

Bird time is so slow--- for new things in general. My bird just ate a pellet and I have had her for a long time...She played with them for years, but finally started eating them. I still put them in daily...Also, experiment with the type of pellet.

When I was really hardcore, I put some pellets in my mouth and pretended to eat them (to inspire interest LOL). I spat them in the trash when my bird wasn't looking, but might be worth a try. I am still alive!

Last edited by noodles123; 05-10-2019 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 05-11-2019, 05:37 PM
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Re: Seeking Advice

Do you sometimes put things on your hands that make them look or smell different, e.g. nail varnish or sun screen lotion (which makes our skin shine a different colour to parrots, with their ultraviolet vision)? Are you always approaching her with the same steady, confident movement, or sometimes too slow, fast or nervous, which makes animals suspicious? Are you always using the same hand, given that some parrots have a strong preference for the right or left? Hopefully it's as simple as the answer to one of these questions. ��

Last edited by Aspie_Aviphile; 05-11-2019 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:25 PM
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Re: Seeking Advice

Now that I'm feeling a little more human I can expand a little.

The hissing and lunging is mainly around her cage so a little territorial aggression I think. To be expected as I believe her previous owner just opened the top and left her in the cage. Her place of safety. Also if you do something too quickly. Again to be expected as she is still building trust. It took me a little bit to work out that was what the hissing and lunging was about. I hate being sick.

In regards to how quickly she is being handled, the cage door is opened and I will sit and talk to her until she either chooses to come out or not. I don't stick my hand in and force her to step up. I think it is going so fast as she is craving the interaction and stimulation.

The pellet situation simply seems to be that she doesn't like the feel. She will take them from my hand and drop them straight away. Very limited as to what pellets I can use here not many places stock anything but the vetafarm ones.

Thanks for the input it was appreciated. Helped get the brain working again.
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