A very timid and untrusting Mealy Amazon

olioli

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Feb 26, 2021
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Mealy Amazon
Hi! My Mealy Amazon is 1 year old and we got him/her from a breeder about 10 days ago.
He is warming up very slowly to his new cage and environment.
It took him 3-4 days to try and nibble the toys and he is always reluctant to step on new perches unless it is placed in his cage for 4-5 days.
We followed the general advice of leaving him rather undisturbed in the cage for the first week, only talking and giving treats when we get nearby.
After a week, we tried to open the cage door and talk/train with him twice a day. He seemed quite happy about it!

He is willing to eat from me and my husband's hand, will let us touch his beak gently and briefly, and shake hands with us now. He never suddenly bites strongly, but he hates it when we try to touch any other parts of his body.

We briefly cleaned his cage with him inside the cage everyday, but after 10 days the cage needs to be more cleaned more thoroughly, so we need to let him out of the cage, and there comes the problem...

He would climb out via the open cage door to the top of the cage.
But once he gets up there, he has no idea how to come down.
When the door is shut, he can climb down the door and reach bottom of cage, but with the cage door open and not as stable as when it is shut, he dares not climbing down like that.
We introduced ladder of different sizes, he just eyes them dubiously and would not use them.
We tried to ask him to step up a perch, but he would only place 1 foot on it, not trusting enough to shift his weight on the perch.
He is also unwilling to step up to out hands and let us pick him up, even though we made effort to keep out hand very steady. He refuses to step on our shoulder as well.
When he gets really desperate to get back into the cage, he made a leap...He couldn't fly properly so he was scared when he landed roughly. It was a sudden leap so we didn't catch him in time.
After that, he gave up trying to go back and just stayed on top of the cage no matter how sleepy he was.
We had to grab him gently and put him back, but obviously he was pissed about it.
Any suggestions on how to teach him going back to the cage in a peaceful manner?
 

SailBoat

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Jul 10, 2015
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Welcome to the Wonderful World of Amazons!

It is highly likely that your Amazon has been left in a cage and has little understanding of what a ladder is, let alone, what to do with it.

In addition, individuals with no understand of working with Parrots has likely miss-treated your Amazon! As a result, your Amazon is concerned that new things are dangerous and/or could hurt him. As a result, new things need to be introduced over time. This allows you're Amazon to determine that this new thing is not 'radioactive' and will not hurt or kill him.

It is not uncommon that some Amazons do not like to be touched or handled. It is a learned experience, especially for an Amazon that has had limited touch contact in the past.

As part of introducing new things to your Parrot slowly and over time, the same is true for your working with your Amazon. This is commonly known as 'working at the speed of your Parrot.'

Remember that your Mealy has no comfort with you and like above, you need to allow your Amazon to become comfortable with you.

I like to set a chair along side a new Amazon's cage and read out loud and in a comforting tone. For reading, choose the two Threads at the top of the Amazon Sub forum highlighted in light blue. With time, your Amazon will become more comfortable with you.
 

texsize

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I guess I would say it’s better to let the cage stay a bit dirty at the bottom than create a bigger disruption in a new routine he is still trying to learn.

Not all amazon like to be handled.
Of the 5 amazon’s I have had only 2 would allow handling and to some extent cuddling.

It’s still early days.
Amazons live 60 years and don’t make big changes quickly.
 

Scott

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Aug 21, 2010
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Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Welcome to you and your young Mealy! Your bird appears to have a moderate level of socialization and minimal trust, not so unusual traits with just 10 days in your home. First steps involve building trust leading to a closer bond over time. Please bear in mind the "honeymoon phase" lasts a month or longer with periods of advance and occasional minor setbacks. This thread may help explore the process: http://www.parrotforums.com/general-parrot-information/49144-tips-bonding-building-trust.html

Very important to let your amazon set the pace! Parrots have no inherent reason to trust humans, be patient and use special treats as reward. Most birds love bits of almond* or walnut, using care not to overindulge.

Clicker/Target training is helpful to condition the acceptance of stepping up on hands or perches. As you experienced, having to grab him from cage top causes stress and a short period of distrust. Solution may be as simple as placing a treat inside the cage.
http://www.parrotforums.com/training/60435-clicker-target-training.html

Do you have a portable stand with perch? Placing one adjacent to primary cage and using a treat as lure helps reduce tendency towards becoming "cage bound." Over time with trust, you can move to farther location. You'll want to make the return to cage rewarding.

Other members will share techniques to help you and your Mealy have a long and happy life. A final issue concerns placing him on your shoulder: such privileges ought be earned. An angry parrot can bite harshly and severely disfigure the face or cause damage to the neck. Over time you'll have a strong feeling whether to allow - many of us have shoulder birds with absolutely no reservations!

*In some parts of the world "bitter almonds" are available and extremely poisonous with cyanide. Please only use carefully sourced nuts appropriately labeled!
 

texsize

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I missed your location.

I understand that the Asian bird market is um....much less regulated and many birds are ....not cared for in the best maner.

You could have your work cut out for your self.

But maybe I don’t know what I am talking about.
 

wrench13

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Hong Kong! Love it there. I've been to the bird 'street' many times, is that where you got your Mealy?

'Boats et al are so right, parrots acceptance is glacial (like a glacier) compared to our quick monkey brain rate of acceptance. Much like raising a child, you have to let him go at his pace, but gently push for progress. 'Boats suggestion about reading is GOLD advice, really. His advice is invaluable.

If he allows you to touch his beak that's a beginning! That's how I got my amazon to be into head scratches. A nice gentle rub of the beak, progressing to his nares (nostrils) and finally to the top of is head. Took awhile, months in fact.
 
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olioli

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Thanks to all your replies!
I was really tempted to shop from the bird street! But I was told that birds from there have a higher chance to have PBFD, so I visited a local breeder instead.
Yeah I couldn't say the environment is very spacious and clean...but as Texsize says, we know what "Asian bird market" can be like ^_^;
At least the birds are not afraid when they see humans (some even could talk!)
I think the problem happened when we decided to bring Yuri home and the breeder had to put him into a box. She closed the door so we could see how it was done, but we heard birds in the room screaming which lasted for more than 1 minute >__<

Thanks for the trust building advices!
I guess I should be more patient and go by his pace...he seemed willing to interact, so I may have got the wrong impression that he is ready.
I’ll start with reading the articles!

Here’s some photos of Yuri, he’s a very gentle big bird about 30cm tall :green2:

q7RBhXy

fNwv1nd

gVTm2Fm
 
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olioli

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8ed69a1371294117


I dunno how the upload picture function works...retry!
 
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Scott

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Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
8ed69a1371294117


I dunno how the upload picture function works...retry!

Easiest method to upload images is via free hosting site such as Imgur. http://www.parrotforums.com/technical-support/6287-how-post-pictures-6.html#post718293

Every member has limited server storage space to upload from device. Click the "paper clip" icon to right of smiley menu in grey control panel above text box. A box will insert and give size and file guidance. Green "memory" bar at top turns progressively red as pics are posted. You can also insert a pic from external source using yellow square box (with tiny mountain icon) below and to right of smileys.
 

wrench13

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I always have mixed feelings when I visit the bird street there. So many kinds of song birds, which seem very popular there in HK, but the conditions the vendors keep the parrots in is very distressing. I saw like 8 Gallah Cockatoos stuffed into a cage that was the size of 3 shoeboxes, and many others like that. BUT, the people's parrots, that they bring to the street seem quite tame and happy. THe only thing I saw with them that was distressing was the use of leg chains, which I understand is very accepted in Asia. I hope you will not do that to your Mealy Amazon. A harness, while it is more difficult to get the parrot used to wearing, is 1000% safer and better for the parrot.
 

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