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Old 03-25-2020, 10:59 PM
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Actually teaching a macaw to step up?

I have adopted a abused macaw who had chains on his leg and was taken out of his cage by simply ripping the chain out of the cage along him with it. I have rescued him, it has been about 2 months and I have no idea how to teach him. he loves attention and scratches but sometimes he suddenly squeaks and gets scared and bites down hard, but he is getting better and htis is not the issue. He doesnt know how to step up, if i use treats to lure him he only puts 1 leg on me, this has been the same for a month, only way i have been getting him on my shoulder(which he is very happy and playful on my shoulder) is by getting him on a stick and kind of moving it so he has no choice other than to step up on my shoulder if not he will trip.

Online training lessons only tell me to "use treats to teach him to step up" and this is pretty useless. any tips to teach him to step up?

2-3 of his feathers are clipped but he has not trouble flying, just not good at controlling, and dont worry i am going to let it grow back.
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Old 03-26-2020, 04:17 AM
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Re: Actually teaching a macaw to step up?

This might be helpful to you.

Great success in just one session! Soooo many details facilitate a nice step up. Let’s talk about a few of them. Many of you already know about a technique I have refined over the years of teaching many parrot training workshops of making your tightly closed fist an extension of the perch so that there is an opportunity to reinforce smaller approximations. You will also notice we talk about the instability of the perch being a factor in making things a bit more challenging in this example. More goodies are offered when the bird is on the hand than for when the bird gets on the perch. Repetition is important to help the bird understand what action earns desired consequences. And you will notice we are not too worried about letting the bird see the food at this stage of the process. If you look closely you will also see those sunflower seeds are broken into tiny pieces. This is important too. This helps keep the bird grazing in the right position, rather than grabbing and going. Step up is a complex behavior and carefully executing many details to your shaping plan can help increase success.

I believe in the macaw subforum, Birdman has a few posts regarding training macaws in particular. He often has posts about pressure training and displacement biting that are worth looking into.
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:20 AM
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Re: Actually teaching a macaw to step up?

Time. Thats what this will take, I think. Could be many months. The important things are to only do things that build trust, and be consistent in how you ask him to do things.
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