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Old 09-14-2012, 05:16 PM
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Re: what level am i at?

Thats why I never train them is their gages. Their gages is their security, and in their they should have peace and quit. My birds eats and sleep in their cages, nothing more. (they are free-flying, and yes, I clean a lot )
If you only train them outside (yes it will take a bit longer) you will get a bird that trust you in a hole different way.

I think you should be more patient and just be with your bird without any demanding until his comfortably with you.
The most important thing is that the bird should choose your company first and not vice versa.
A very good way too get their interest is to play with something they like.
If you can play and eat the same as he, he soon will be searching for your company.

Let him fly free as much as you can, it's important that he understand that he can fly away from you when he gets scared. And after a short while he understands that he don't need too because you are funny to play with and you have a lot of good food.
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:02 PM
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Re: what level am i at?

Okay, from reading this thread, I take it that you have very little Macaw handling.
Your B&G has learned that they cannot trust you as their protector, your rewarding needs a lot of help here. The advise I'm about to give only because you asked for it and it will not be popular.

I would first get this Macaw on your forearm ASAP, even if this means you getting bit over and over. You have to be the alfa in your realationship or this B&G will walk all over you.
It is very important to get a new Macaw onto your arm within the first 48 hours of the bird entering it's new home, everyday that goes by, it will get harder and harder for you. So now you can see how far behind you are.

The trick to getting your Macaw on your arm, is to press your arm gently but firmly towards the lower belly of the Macaw, almost to the point of getting them off balance, the Macaw will automatically move forward as not to fall, this is when you say everytime you want to hold your Macaw, Step Up, or when placing your Macaw on a T stand, back in the cage the words are always Step up or step down.

Macaws are very smart and learn very quick.

Always carry almonds with you once you are able to handle your Macaw and give treats only when they do something they are asked.
You advised that your Macaw will take treats from your hand while in the cage or when you open the door to give a treat, this is the first step in getting the macaw onto your arm. Don't stop there, when you open the door, ask your B&G to step up, if they do not, and run to the back of the cage, stand your ground until they calm down, never close the door and walk away, if you do, you just taught your macaw that If I don't listen to my owner, she will leave me alone and I will do whatever I want.

After the macaw calms down, keep trying. If all fails, you will have to just go for it and reach in the cage and force the Macaw onto your arm. Once you get your Macaw on your arm, something wonderful happens, your macaw now sees you in a leader roll rather then someone who stops by the cage once and awhile.

When you get your Macaw on your arm, Keep you arm in a letter L position and close to your body, macaws want to feel save when being held. Keep the macaw away from your fingers and face, if you have long hair, pull it back so the Macaw cannot grab onto it.
Walk around the home so he can see that you are no threat to him and they are completely safe in your care. Introduce him to things in the home, closed windows, mirrors, doors, furniture. Allow them to touch things as this is how they learn what they can and cannot touch. Macaws are like having small children, they have got to look up to you, you are their new leader, protector, and most important, you are their new flock.

Bonding with your macaw is your next step, this means, do everything and anything you enjoy with them, include them in all areas of your life. Macaws are not dogs and cats that have free roam of your home, they are fluffy can openers and will get into everything. I eat with my both my birds, shower, take walks, drives. Go to petstores that allow animals. Bird club meetings. This is all bonding time and your macaw will learn to love you respect you and look for you for for the care and provider.

Please ask many questions, try to give info on things that you are doing, or trying to teach your macaw, we all have great advise and willing to help. Best of luck Joe
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Last edited by JJones1719; 09-14-2012 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 09-15-2012, 04:22 PM
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Re: what level am i at?

hi thanks for info people, i have been tempted to just get hold of him and take him out, but 2 things put me off, i dont want him to learn him to hate coming out, because he isnt going to like that when i first do it, and like i say, movement under his feet scares him, there has been a time when he flew into a different room away from the cage and i closed the door so he couldnt go back, and i sat him on my knee and kept still for a while and just stroking him. as soon as i moved he flew away, and when hes out, on the floor for example and i ever did get him on my arm i know he will just fly straight off, and theres not much i can do if he does, other than keep trying i suppose.. there are also a lot of websites that well you not to throw towels over them etc, i had a cockiteal when i was younger and i tried this with one of them and it made him very viceous the whole time i owned him.. and yeah he does take a treat outside the cage but grabs the treat and moves away from me to eat it. i have bought him a harness and once he trusts me his life will be so much better because ill take him out all the time etc
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Old 09-15-2012, 04:25 PM
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Re: what level am i at?

also, i wouldnt say he only lets me stroke him in the cage because he cant escape and its pointless, he did used to try and escape in the cage by leaving his perch and clinging onto the side of the cage and just lets me chase him around it. now, i can see he likes being petted because he makes it clear in his body language
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Old 09-15-2012, 05:16 PM
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Re: what level am i at?

Quote: Originally Posted by brucey View Post
also, i wouldnt say he only lets me stroke him in the cage because he cant escape and its pointless, he did used to try and escape in the cage by leaving his perch and clinging onto the side of the cage and just lets me chase him around it. now, i can see he likes being petted because he makes it clear in his body language
My take on this from your descriptions is that your bird simply doesn't trust you. With that in mind, being aggressive toward him (ie, forcing him to step onto your arm, etc.) may reinforce the belief he holds that you are a threat to him.

Also, it's worth mentioning that keeping this bird's stress hormones at high levels isn't the best thing for his health. Sustained levels of substances like cortisol and adrenaline can have permanent negative effects upon any animal. Cortisol can destroy brain tissue when elevated for prolonged periods.

If it were me, I would take the gradual approach and earn your bird's trust. If you don't do that, you run the risk of stressing him to an unsafe level and permanently ruining any progress you've made toward him trusting you.

Those are my personal opinions.
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:19 AM
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Re: what level am i at?

Brucey, Has your Macaw ever bitten you, if not, Then I would offer my hand as if you are going to shake hands with someone, ask your Macaw to step up onto your hand. If or when they do, hold their foot firmly but not so hard that it will harm them. Bring them close to your body so they feel safe.If they have bitten you, then, I would advise you to get them onto your forearm.
If the Macaw trys to fly away from you, you may have to get their wings clipped so you have better control over them.
Trust is a big factor in the relationship you will have with your Macaw.
Whenever I go to someone's home who states they have a Macaw that is mean, bites, very aggressive. This tells me one thing, the Macaw does not trust the owner due to the owner having very little knowledge of handling the Macaw, backing down from it. Not being the alfa in the relationship.
The first thing I do, I walk over to the cage, normally the Macaw will test me to see am I a threat or can I be trusted.
I start with offering treats into the cage, if the Macaw comes over, I open the door, offer more treats. I then hold their favorite toy or perch. I always start with my forearm to test the Macaw to see how far I can go with them. Most times, the Macaw will bluff, this means, that they will either fluff up to show how big they are, their eyes change in size, they may even lundge at me.
I simply stand my ground, talk to them in a calm low voice. Normally within the first 1 hour or so, I can get to the point of touching them or petting them.
Once They allow me to touch them. I will normally rub their foot to get them used to me touching their foot.
If all feel right, I will alway ask them to step up, If not, I start the entire process over again. I agree that stressing out a Macaw is not the best way to win over a Macaw but working with them on trust is not as hard as people would think. After 1 hour or so, I can normaly get them onto my arm, Then with the free hand from behind, I start with their tail by touching them and work my way upwards. The entire time, I am walking slow, talking in a low non threating way and rubbing them.
I have held some of the meanest Macaws you will ever see. Macaws can tell when you are scared of them so do not let them see that side of you or you are doomed.

The main thing to look for when working with a Macaw is to see their body language, If they lower their body, open their wings just a little and at the same time, their eyes change in size, lookout, this means that they will bite you. If they start to shake out of control, this is the time to stop working with them as they are too stressed.

When working with them, make sure all doors, windows, and objects in the room that they can fly into are removed and closed. This was the main reason for getting their wings clipped so they cannot fly into anything and you have better control over them.

If you have someone in your area who can work with you, this would be best for you and your Macaw. Try to find Bird clubs in your area. Most cities have clubs who can help and teach you how to handle your Macaw. Best of luck and ask lots of questions. Thanks Joe
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:51 PM
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Re: what level am i at?

hi thanks for post joe,
Today, i let him out his cage in the living room, i moved the cage while he was on top of it, (knowing it'l make him fly off). Then i followed him into another room where i had my T stand out, all distractions moved from the room, and i got him on my hand finally. he grips the perch very tight when i try to get him on my arm the way you say, so i put my arm out and slowly unhooked his toes from the perch with my fingers so he had to grab on my hand. He was very cautious about doing this, but it was more because he was worrying about how stable he was, and not just fear, as he didnt scream at all. as soon as i move my arm slightly he just flys away in a panic. this was only for the first few times, but when it came to putting him back in his cage i got him on my arm for the last time and walked really slow, he stayed on my arm but as soon as i got in the other room and he saw his cage he just flew off straight towards it. he has never bitten me no, i think this is because ive never really pushed him to his stress limits. but over all today, he enjoyed it, he liked the look of another room for a change, and he sat on the stand for about 3 hours quite happily. i just left him alone while i was doing house work, and everytime i walked past him, i got him on my arm, telling him to step up, and then letting him back on the perch telling him to step down, each time i clicked the clicker when he did what i said but he wouldnt take any treats off me because he was in a different environment. very much like when i first brought him home and he didn't eat for a while. my next step when ive masterd the stepping up is how do harness train him, what advice could you give on that??
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:07 PM
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Re: what level am i at?

Congratulations on the work you are doing, each time you are able to get him onto your arm and even your hand the faster your macaw will learn. hold onto his toes, not to tight but firm enough that he knows he is safe and well balanced, then walk slow, talking to your Macaw the entire time, letting him see other living areas of the home. This is very important so your macaw does not feel closed in or is only allowed in 1 room.
When holding your Macaw, keep them very close to your body. With your other hand, slowly pet the upper back of the bird to the top of their head, this is the sweet spot and Macaws love when you touch them there.
Telling the Macaw to step up and step down is great, they will soon learn this command. Stay in control.
It sounds like your really doing well.
Once your are able to get him onto your arm all the time and your macaw enjoys being there, I would clip his wings. This way your macaw really relies on you for everything. Have an Aviary Vet clip the wings.
Harness training sometimes works but offen does not, most Macaws do not like it, some even chew right through the harness. You can try it to see how they react but only when you are able to pick up your macaw all the time. do not rush this.
Again, do lots of activities with your Macaw, get out a ball, favorite toy, take toilet paper rools, cut them into small pieces and place an almond inside and let him open it to find the treat.
be creative when playing with them.
Best of luck and keep up the great work. Joe
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Last edited by JJones1719; 09-19-2012 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:18 AM
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Re: what level am i at?

congrats on your progress. Keep up the good work. Remember to be consistent. I would recommend to hold his toes like joe says. You wont have to hold his toes forever, just till he feels more comfortable walking around with you. Having him fly around can be stressful. You can loose control quickly. Plus he may injure himself, so be careful. Maybe clip his wings just till he is a little less fearful. Remember to leave enough flight feathers, so he can glide if he trys to fly. If you cut too many, he will drop like a rock and injure himself. Another way that I have practiced stepping up is to do a ladder with my arms. While my bird is on one arm I will place my other arm in front of her and ask her to step up. Then I just keep rotating arms. This works both ways (going up and going down).

I use a harness when taking my bird outside. She does chew on it sometimes out of boredom.

toweling is stressful but may sometimes be necessary (like during a trauma/injury or illness) I try to make it a game, so when the time comes it wont be as stressful for either of us. Don't worry about that now just work on step ups and downs.
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:18 PM
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Re: what level am i at?

Well I had the same problem. I had never had a large bird until my Rio came into my life. He was 17 years old. At the time I got him he was scared out of his mind so I let him be for a week. I talked to a breeder and she said to take the bites don't pull away from him. I tried a dowel and he had nothing to do with it. So I pulled up my sleeve and made him step up. I took oh about 15 bites from him in a weeks time but didn't give up. Now he steps up and wants me to hold him. He's my constant buddy.
The whole "take a nap" thing so Rio can watch over me... that works well too. I say "it's nap time" and he will be real quiet until someone comes home and he says "hello" over and over until I wake up, then he will scream about someone being here.
Once you get your bird to be close to you, I bet you become quite twitter patted, I just adore both my birds. I highly doubt I'll ever get another dog and for sure no more cats. but I won't be without a Macaw.
~Brenda~
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