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Old 06-10-2018, 01:55 AM
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Question Me and my first bird, Atlas. Help ;-;

Hello, my name is Erica and I got my first bird last month, a female pearl cockatiel named Atlas. After years of research I finally found me a cockatiel to call my own. My pet shop changed owners and in the new location I found her with her mate. Originally, the pet shop wasnít selling her because she was apparently aggressive, Besides, I wanted on cockatiel not two so originally she was off the table, but she started plucking feathers and her mateís cheek feathers. The male was eventually sold off and she finally seemed to calm down. She seemed more scared than anything. In the end I ended up getting her.

She adapted to my home fairly quickly. She was already filled with energy, she screamed announcing her arrival as soon as she came into my house. She went to her food, watched me as I moved around my room, seeming curious and a few days later I left the door open and she came out to explore around the outside of her cage.

Now a days she sits at the door of her cage, the perch outside of her cage or on top of her cage. The only time she really goes in her cage is to eat or sleep at night.

She eventually got used to me as well, I can pet her and give her scritches sheíll even approach my hand just to get scratched. Sheís not scared of my hand... when itís above her anyway...

Itís been over a month and every bonding trial Iíve gone through has always turned out well. Being able to pet her, talking to her, even her eating out of the palm of my hand has all gone exceptionally well, but lately... Iíve been trying to get her to step on to my hand, I need to start teaching her how to step up since it is very important, but she just hates when my hand is underneath her head. Sheíll scream and threaten to bite she just wants no part of it. I donít know rather to move my hand when she screams and respect her boundaries or leave it there and not let her be spoiled.

My parents have told me to just grab her. This worker on the parakeets at the pet store, just keep grabbing them and putting them on your shoulder until they figure out youíre not going to hurt them, but Iím worried that by grabbing her itíll ruin the trust we already have. All that bonding time wasted. I donít want to lose that trust, but I just donít know what to do anymore. Please help.

Also, I donít really know how to post on this website, I realize this is an introduction thing, but... I donít see anywhere else to be able to post??? I could use help on that too, Iím on mobile.

Thank you so much, please respond soon! ;-;
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Old 06-10-2018, 06:55 AM
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Re: Me and my first bird, Atlas. Help ;-;

Your instincts are correct! Do not grab her! My JoJo feared hands for the same reason, being groped all the time! Time and trust!
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Old 06-10-2018, 10:52 AM
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Re: Me and my first bird, Atlas. Help ;-;

Welcome Erica and Atlas! Thanks for finding us, hope to share some great advice to clear that last hurdle of handling!

Definitely don't grab her! Despite the best of intent, many bird store employees have little training, and what appears to work in that environment only makes life for the bird and ultimate parront more difficult.

Time, love, and consistency will earn trust and tighten the bond. This thread offers great ideas: Tips for Bonding and Building Trust

I don't use mobile platforms for posting, but many members enjoy the experience using Tapatalk. The New Member forum is one of 53 public "sub-forums" accessed on the main Forum page. They are grouped into areas such as "Community" and "Species specific." You may be especially interested in creating new threads in the Cockatiel and Behavioral forums for greater exposure. All we ask is to create unique threads to avoid what is known as "cross" or "double" posting. If you have the opportunity to view the entire forum on a PC, even for a short time, you'll easily see what is available. A picture is worth a thousand words!!
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Old 06-10-2018, 10:57 AM
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Re: Me and my first bird, Atlas. Help ;-;

I agree, please don't grab her. Train her to step up by putting your finger near her feet and a treat in your other hand and if she wants the treat she will step up. If she backs off like she is scared give it a break and try again. Also you can try to just put your hand there without a treat and see if you can just gently press your hand at her feet. Chances are she will step onto your finger. Hope this helps, I did this method with both of my conures and it always worked.
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Old 06-11-2018, 07:44 AM
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Re: Me and my first bird, Atlas. Help ;-;

Welcome and be welcomed. A cardinal rule with all parrots - is the action trust building or trust destroying. SO grabbing her is a trust destroying action. See if she will step up to a perch, SO many pet shop Birds were manhandled by staff that had zero training, other than get the sale, or get the bird back into the cage, either one as fast as you can.
Dont rush things, hopefuly you will both be around for a long time.
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Old 06-11-2018, 12:19 PM
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Re: Me and my first bird, Atlas. Help ;-;

I can offer my opinion as I love to play devils advocate.....

I agree the grabbing method isn't the best option, obviously you want them to always step up/step down. I guess I started grabbing my tiel open palm, you know, fingers around wings palm on back sort of grabbing... from the beginning. Of course I am as gentle as I am holding anything that small and we've both gotten so used to it that he expects it, squirms a little but he handles it just fine. We have a GREAT bond. I do this when outside to protect him from being lost in the wind (Wyoming is SO WINDY around this time of year and already two tornadoes last week too!)

I still use this method because he has this habit of stepping up from the ground and then trying to fly off as I am bringing him up to my shoulder so it becomes this game of step up and flutter down. Step up, flutter down. step up, flutter down. It hasn't hurt our bond at all using the grab method, and he lets me give him kisses as I am holding him like an overwhelming parent does lol.

Main point is though, step up is important and the more you practice the better she will be but it takes time. sometimes months, sometimes years. I've had Jazz a year and a half now and stepping up isn't even a question, finger=step up. You'll get there. I agree that using treats when practicing will help her associate your hand with TREATS and not SCARY MONSTERS

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Old 06-11-2018, 04:08 PM
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Re: Me and my first bird, Atlas. Help ;-;

I'm so glad you're here, getting great advice!

Good for you for being so curious and open-minded!
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:22 PM
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Re: Me and my first bird, Atlas. Help ;-;

Quote: Originally Posted by Flboy View Post
Your instincts are correct! Do not grab her! My JoJo feared hands for the same reason, being groped all the time! Time and trust!


Thank you for the reassurance. People keep telling me that I need to keep dominance over her, but I donít think thatís how Bird relationships really work.


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Old 06-11-2018, 10:23 PM
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Re: Me and my first bird, Atlas. Help ;-;

Quote: Originally Posted by Scott View Post
Welcome Erica and Atlas! Thanks for finding us, hope to share some great advice to clear that last hurdle of handling!



Definitely don't grab her! Despite the best of intent, many bird store employees have little training, and what appears to work in that environment only makes life for the bird and ultimate parront more difficult.



Time, love, and consistency will earn trust and tighten the bond. This thread offers great ideas: Tips for Bonding and Building Trust



I don't use mobile platforms for posting, but many members enjoy the experience using Tapatalk. The New Member forum is one of 53 public "sub-forums" accessed on the main Forum page. They are grouped into areas such as "Community" and "Species specific." You may be especially interested in creating new threads in the Cockatiel and Behavioral forums for greater exposure. All we ask is to create unique threads to avoid what is known as "cross" or "double" posting. If you have the opportunity to view the entire forum on a PC, even for a short time, you'll easily see what is available. A picture is worth a thousand words!!


I now have Tapatalk. Thank you so much for your advice. Iím glad I can respond to people now ^^


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Old 06-11-2018, 10:30 PM
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Re: Me and my first bird, Atlas. Help ;-;

Quote: Originally Posted by Sunnyclover View Post
I agree, please don't grab her. Train her to step up by putting your finger near her feet and a treat in your other hand and if she wants the treat she will step up. If she backs off like she is scared give it a break and try again. Also you can try to just put your hand there without a treat and see if you can just gently press your hand at her feet. Chances are she will step onto your finger. Hope this helps, I did this method with both of my conures and it always worked.


This is what I have been trying with her. Using a treat to try and convince her to walk across, but as soon as my palm is near her and I donít have a treat in it she screams (sometimes she screams at it anyway, especially if my thumb is close to her) Iíve gotten her to eat out of my hand, but she usually just stretches her head over rather than get too close. (Sometimes she forgets my hand is there and then will remember and quickly step back and scream at it lol) Iím scared if I try that too many times, to move my hand against her while sheís eating millet out my hand, that sheíll no longer trust eating out of my hand.


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