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Old 10-20-2018, 07:59 AM
Sunny a female B&G macaw; Japie (m) & Appie (f), both are congo african grey; All are rescues- had to leave their previous homes for 'reasons', are still in contact with them :)
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Re: not making much progress training

It is a pity you decided to clip her wings - it is like putting shackles on a bird, of course it is easier to train them if they cannot get away anymore.
Sometimes that is a great help, sometimes it does the opposite (just increases fear because there is no escape anymore)

having said that (and done is done): this sounds great, she is on your shoulder and you are stil interacting!
Nice going there
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Old 10-20-2018, 09:05 AM
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Re: not making much progress training

I don't support clipping wings, but in this situation It felt like the best thing to do to help training. And it has absolutely helped out as it's making her ease out of her comfort zone, and open to training, instead of retreating into her getaway spot.
She can still fly fairly well, and once we get her trained I'll let her wings grow out fully like my other 2 birds. I don't expect to clip her wings again. Today we even had our first successful step up training session.
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Old 10-20-2018, 11:14 AM
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Re: not making much progress training

Clipping her wings was fine to do in the situation, as it's only temporary, it didn't hurt her in any way, and if whomever clipped them knew what they were doing and only clipped the outermost 4-5 Primary Flight Feathers on each wing, then they should grow back completely within 2 months tops...Hopefully they didn't go into her Secondaries, which can take much, much longer to grow back in, and usually prevent them from being able to glide to the floor, rather they drop like a stone. That's the way to tell how much they clipped...for future reference, always request that only the outermost 4-5 primaries are clipped, that gives you about 2 months to make the most of the training/taming time...

Clipping your bird's wings is a personal decision that is right for some people and not right for others, and it needs to be YOUR DECISION, no one else's. Like I said, it didn't hurt her at all, its very temporary, and yes, when you first bring home a bird that is not hand-tame, the easiest and quickest way to make progress with them is to do a very light wing-clip, as I described, giving you at most about 2 months, in which you need to be spending a good amount of time with her every single day, and taking full advantage of this time. She needs to be allowed out of her cage, it's nearly impossible to tame/train a bird while totally inside of their cage like you were trying to do, because #1) It is their "safe space", their "territory", and you're invading it with your hands, and this causes nothing but anxiety to the bird, and they aren't going to pay any attention to what you're doing except to be scared, and #2) You're literally "cornering" them inside the cage, which again only causes anxiety. Plus, she needs to get a good amount of out-of-cage-time every single day with you anyway if she is going to start to feel safe, secure, and comfortable with you. So you're doing the right thing, you cannot continue to keep her locked inside her cage and trying to tame/train her inside of it.

The best piece of advice anyone can give you is that you've only had her for 1 month, which is no time at all for a bird who is not hand-tamed, as the average time it takes to hand-tame a bird who was not hand-raised or who has become afraid of people/hands is months and months, if not years in some cases. It has to be at the bird's pace, not your pace, and even though it seems like something is wrong, it's not working because it's taking too long, that's actually completely normal and should be expected. Don't assume that she was "abused" or treated badly with hands, because it's more than likely that she simply was not hand-raised/hand-fed by her breeder, she was most-likely parent-raised, and as a result her first owner probably just didn't spend much time with her, if any at all, and they obviously certainly didn't spend any time trying to hand-tame her. Her behavior is perfectly normal for a parent-raised bird who has never been hand-tamed or given much daily attention, out-of-cage-time, etc.

The best thing you can do is keep doing what you're doing. Make sure that her cage is located in whatever room you spend most of your time in when you're home, because simply being near her as much as possible, even if you're not directly interacting with her is very important. Get her out of her cage as often as you can, talk to her as much as you can, spend as much time as you can in her presence, eat your meals with her, share the food on your plate with her...Since now she's clipped, putting her on the floor, so that she is the lowest thing in the room, and then offering her your hand/finger as assistance to put her back on her cage (bringing her back to her "safe space") is a great trust-building activity. Simply letting her sit on your finger/hand/shoulder, wherever you can get her to sit, and then just allowing her to be there is also great...

You will not hand-tame her or get her to start accepting hands/stepping-up regularly until you earn her trust completely. That's just how it works. And earning her trust could very likely takes months and months or longer, so great patience and persistence is going to be needed by you, but you just have to stick with it every single day, and keep reminding yourself that her behavior/fear/distrust of you is perfectly normal based on her only being with you for a month or so.
"Dance Like Nobody's Watching".
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