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Old 01-25-2014, 04:42 PM
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Taming my lovebird

Hi, I purchased a hand reared baby Fischer lovebird last week. It is just over 3 months old but it was left in a cage with another baby for 2 months so it bonded with that. To get the bird home the pet shop assistant had to grab the bird as it was flying all over the cage as if it's never seen a hand before.
This week we have made a little progress by talking to the bird everyday etc. it will let me hand feed millet from outside the cage and also began touch training a perch from outside also. It will tolerate me changing food bowl but that's it. I plan on getting its wings clipped this week by a vet as I've been told during the taming process this makes it a lot easier, but for the bird to get used to me do I have to physically grab it from the side of the cage or just wait? I don't want it getting hurt nor do I want it to be lonely and never bond with us.

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Old 02-09-2014, 02:18 PM
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Re: Taming my lovebird

I'm dealing with the same sort of situation. Maybe we can navigate it together. I purchased a handfed baby (that was supposedly handled daily but I have my doubts), but he's definitely hand-shy now. I'm not new to lovebirds, but Orville is going on 20 so it's been a while since I've dealt with a skittish baby! Anyway, my plan is pretty much the same as yours. Sitting by the cage talking quietly, periodically. Millet from outside the cage (I haven't started the target training but I will now!). Then millet on my hand in the cage. I'm planning to avoid grabbing Oliver. I want him to come out on my hand, or come out to climb and explore the outside of the cage. This will be a lesson in patience, for sure. I suppose you might have to handle him to get him to the vet? Olly's wings are already clipped so I don't have to do that. I think I would, though, as yes, it makes training easier. But I'm going to let him fly eventually. Orville loved zooming around the house. I think that's one of the best things about little birds - they can fly around indoors so much better than the big guys.
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:54 PM
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Re: Taming my lovebird

I completely support your thought to clip the wings. That will actually really help, and once your bird gets used to being home, you'll appreciate it (so you can actually find your bird, instead of spending hours trying to figure out where the heck it went).

Anyway, sorry, getting off topic. So, you should probably wait. Let it get used to you. Spend time near the cage, doing whatever you want to do (read, text your friends...). Every so often, lightly put a dowel near its chest and see if it steps up.

Good luck, and I hope I helped.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:35 PM
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Re: Taming my lovebird

I also got my lovebird as a hand-reared baby from a parrot shop, almost 17 year ago (I was a kid at the time, so my memory isn't great).

Have you taught him to step up yet? I think I taught mine to step up using a ladder, and then switched to using fingers. Although my lovebird's wings haven't been clipped in over a decade (they're great at flying), I had his wings clipped for the first year or so--it definitely helps with bonding and training.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:43 AM
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Re: Taming my lovebird

Step up is next on my list! I've only had Olliver for 3&1/2 days. He's not very skittish which is good, but he's not exactly begging to get out and play. Last night I opened his cage and offered him millet which he ate very happily. Next I hope to offer millet from my palm and hopefully we'll make actual contact. Hard to be patient, but I know this is just the start. I can't wait to start clicker training, but a little more time and trust should come first.

On a sad note, my Orville (in my profile pic) passed away on Monday night. He was 19&1/2 and the sweetest little thing ever. I should mention that he had had some recent strokes, but recovered all but his eyesight and was eating and tweeting almost like normal. I can't believe I felt compelled to get Olly the weekend before Orvie passed when he had been doing well, but I know it was meant to be. He's is something to focus on instead of the loss. I LOVED Orvie and will miss him dearly, but it was time.
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Old 02-26-2014, 03:00 PM
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Re: Taming my lovebird

havent made much progress unfortunately. I open the cage door daily and let the bird out freely but it goes straight on top of the cage making it hard to train. when it does fly off i try to move the cage to a different room. Some days the bird will step onto a handheld perch otherdays it runs away.

I think i may have made a mistake with touch training. I used a perch instead of a stick and unfortunate when i go to try to get him to step up (onto the same perch) it bites it so i have stopped with the touch until i can get a neutral resource to do it. I can hand hold millet and feed it inside the cage but it will sometimes lunge at me and my natural reaction is to pull away it is hard not to i guess this is just territorial?

Anyway im not going to rush things just let the bird get re-used to me. One thing i have noticed is even though the wings are clipped when the bird gets frightened it flies around the room and often lands on the floor because it cannot get to where it wants, it will let me step up then every time so maybe i could use this time to get it used to my hand instead of perch?
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:45 PM
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Re: Taming my lovebird

Quick question to you. Today my bird came out of cage and I tried training to step onto a gloved hand(he bites and it is only way to do it so I don't pull away or shout in pain) he had a fly and bumped into a few walls but he was ok I managed to get him to step up and I out him onto a safe place to perch.

My question is when I have the glove on let him to bite a little I tell him no and don't treat but let him do it. Is this bad or good?

In my point of view once he gets the idea that biting (the glove) has no effect he will stop then I can slowly try without the glove. Is this the correct idea?
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:49 PM
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Re: Taming my lovebird

I have noticed a major improvement from my bird lately. When training I allow him to sit on top his cage if he does not fly off and he does not bite anywhere near as much or run to other side if I place hand to ask to step up. Although he hasn't stepped up yet in a calm situation it's close. He even tried to fly and land on my head today, didn't want him to though so moved my head and held hand out which he landed on.

Little steps
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:23 AM
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Re: Taming my lovebird

I'm not trying to be a spoiler here but clipping birds wings I believe is not the solution. remember they are birds and they need to fly. If you really want to tame them TLC is the only solution. give them lots of your time, interact with them. In my experience eyering group of lovebirds are a little harder to maintain as tamed if you will not interact with them at least an hour a day, they will soon shy away and will prefer to be with their own kind. Roseicollis on the other hand will bond with you so dearly if you will give them time to interact with you.

Just my 2 cents base on my experience.

Last edited by monching; 03-14-2014 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:19 PM
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Re: Taming my lovebird

We got out peach faced love bird from a local animal shelter recently. Every day when I get home from work I sit with my hand in the cage. The first day I just had my finger inside the door and each day moved a little closer. If she got scared I stopped for the day. After doing this over and over I started to think she would never be friendly. Well last night she let me hand feed her with some millet about 2" long. She let me touch her with the millet. Trust takes time and patience
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