Baby Sun Conure Doesnt like us

SamBeben

New member
May 8, 2019
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African Grey, Moustached Parakeet
Hi all!

We got a 4 month old sun conure about a month and a half ago. The breeder we got him from wanted us to do this towel training with him to tame him but it hasn't worked out for us. We stopped the training a while ago but he is still somewhat afraid of us and very independent to where he doesn't acknowledge our existence. He isn't bonded to either of us and we have run out of ideas to bond with him. Any ideas on what to do?
 

charmedbyekkie

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May 24, 2018
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Cairo the Ekkie!
What towel training are you referring to? Some breeders still attribute mammalian logic to avians and use barbaric methods to assert 'dominance' (doesn't exist in the avian world). And birds aren't like dogs or horses - there's no real taming because they haven't been domesticated as long as many mammals have. In addition, you're dealing with the intelligence of a toddler in a parrot. So you should be thinking of it more as working/training together, not taming or breaking.

1.5 months is a very short time in a parrot's life. Many parrots take months, if not years, to warm up to a new family. You'll then go through a honeymoon phase for maybe the first year or two, then you'll get out of that and that's when most people rehome their birds unfortunately.


So, take your time.
Build up with positive association for everything. Check out this article on how/why it works: How to train a bird using positive reinforcement.
Start clicker training and target training: [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3ahhijXxbM"]From clicker training (without the clicker!) to target training: the run up to flighted recall - YouTube[/ame]

Don't force anything - observe and listen to his body language.

And btw, independent is good :) Velcro birds often start to have insecurity issues IF you don't manage it well, resulting in screaming or plucking.
 
OP
SamBeben

SamBeben

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May 8, 2019
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African Grey, Moustached Parakeet
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What towel training are you referring to? Some breeders still attribute mammalian logic to avians and use barbaric methods to assert 'dominance' (doesn't exist in the avian world). And birds aren't like dogs or horses - there's no real taming because they haven't been domesticated as long as many mammals have. In addition, you're dealing with the intelligence of a toddler in a parrot. So you should be thinking of it more as working/training together, not taming or breaking.

1.5 months is a very short time in a parrot's life. Many parrots take months, if not years, to warm up to a new family. You'll then go through a honeymoon phase for maybe the first year or two, then you'll get out of that and that's when most people rehome their birds unfortunately.


So, take your time.
Build up with positive association for everything. Check out this article on how/why it works: How to train a bird using positive reinforcement.
Start clicker training and target training: From clicker training (without the clicker!) to target training: the run up to flighted recall - YouTube

Don't force anything - observe and listen to his body language.

And btw, independent is good :) Velcro birds often start to have insecurity issues IF you don't manage it well, resulting in screaming or plucking.

He would have us hold the bird by the head and swing him around a bit. Then would put him in a burrito. and then open our hands like a platform.
 

charmedbyekkie

New member
May 24, 2018
1,148
76
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Cairo the Ekkie!
What towel training are you referring to? Some breeders still attribute mammalian logic to avians and use barbaric methods to assert 'dominance' (doesn't exist in the avian world). And birds aren't like dogs or horses - there's no real taming because they haven't been domesticated as long as many mammals have. In addition, you're dealing with the intelligence of a toddler in a parrot. So you should be thinking of it more as working/training together, not taming or breaking.

1.5 months is a very short time in a parrot's life. Many parrots take months, if not years, to warm up to a new family. You'll then go through a honeymoon phase for maybe the first year or two, then you'll get out of that and that's when most people rehome their birds unfortunately.


So, take your time.
Build up with positive association for everything. Check out this article on how/why it works: How to train a bird using positive reinforcement.
Start clicker training and target training: From clicker training (without the clicker!) to target training: the run up to flighted recall - YouTube

Don't force anything - observe and listen to his body language.

And btw, independent is good :) Velcro birds often start to have insecurity issues IF you don't manage it well, resulting in screaming or plucking.

He would have us hold the bird by the head and swing him around a bit. Then would put him in a burrito. and then open our hands like a platform.

Sounds like 110% guaranteed to break trust. And swinging him around while holding the head? Also chance to hurt the bird if he doesn't trust you. Glad you guys stopped that :)
 

T00tsyd

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May 8, 2017
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Green cheek conure - Sydney (Syd) Hatched 2/2017
Poor you and your poor sunny, how could anyone advise you so badly? Thank goodness you have arrived here - there is so much good advice and help. You need to go back and pretend it's day one. Be guided by him, if he backs away you are too close. If he goes all sleek and alert - you are too close. Back off, stay in sight, chat as if you are ignoring him and let him see the real you. It may take days/weeks/months each little soul is different and if he is really traumatised you are going to have to work hard to convince him that you are not about to eat him.
Spend time just reading out loud near him, speak gently, and one day he will get inquisitive and approach. When he does give him a treat - mine loves sunflower seeds more than anything - then give him time to get used to that before you go on.

I am a fairly new bird pet but I have learned that if anything is new to Syd I have to be patient - sometimes it feels like going backwards - but I always try to be led by his behaviour. Once he is comfortable with something he will approach it or me then we move on but always very gently. Give him time, go back to absolute basics. Throw all towels in the bin.

It can be done but will take calm patience and understanding and time. Read as much as you can about bonding with your little one. There are loads of threads here. Read read read, that's how I learned. You'll get there, he is still young. You have frightened him badly but as a flock bird his instinct is to gravitate to you as his flock. He just needs to be convinced that you don't view him as lunch. Keep us posted they are very good here at guiding each step. Good luck he will be worth the effort.
 

wrench13

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"hold the bird by the head and swing him around a bit. Then would put him in a burrito. and then open our hands like a platform."

This is barbaric treatment of a parrot, and is the way things may have been recommended 50 years ago. The seller of this parrot should be stood against a wall and shot. God knows how much trust you have lost already with this young bird.

Reset the relationship with your sunnie to day 1, and read all you can on here about building trust and a bond with your new parrot.
 

fiddlejen

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Mar 28, 2019
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Sunny the Sun Conure (sept '18, gotcha 3/'19). Mr Jefferson Budgie & Mrs Calliope Budgie (albino) (nov'18 & jan'19). Summer 2021 Baby Budgies: Riker (Green); Patchouli, Keye, & Tiny (blue greywings).
What towel training are you referring to?

He would have us hold the bird by the head and swing him around a bit. Then would put him in a burrito. and then open our hands like a platform.

This hurts me to read this. So I guess you were doing as was either explained to you or else was (hopefully!) mis-communicated to you. I say that I Hope the breeder Mis-communicated to you because otherwise I cannot understand why someone who would sell a bird would then teach someone Else to Abuse it.

First, the only reason to wrap a bird is (after it already trusts you), to help it learn to not-panic when it gets to a vet who will do so. The reason you need to Help it Learn to Not panic, is because otherwise it will naturally do so. So you have apparently been told to wrap him up which, for mammals has a calming effect but Not for birds. For birds being wrapped just makes them Panic. You immobilize him so he appears docile but is really just panicked and helpless.

But more importantly. The wrapping thing is specific to birds vs mammals. But -- to Hold by Head and SWING. !! This is abusive and dangerous to ANY creature with a SPINE. I hope he has not been neurologically damaged.

This is NO SAFER to do to a Bird than to a Baby Human Child.

From doing this -- At Best, your bird is currently living in fear of more abuse. However it Might also already be living with Neurological Deficits, or even Spinal injuries which could cause ongoing terrible pain. And these are things which you would not even be able to discern.

I Pray that you do Not engage in these practices anymore. ALSO please do not give up on this bird. It might be a long haul to start to regain its trust.
You were taught to behave in a dangerous & very unkind way toward this creature. BUT you have found this forum and you care enough to educate yourself, so you are also its best Hope for a good life going forward.
 

noodles123

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Jul 11, 2018
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Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
OH MY GOSH...Your breeder is insane...however well-intentioned...
You need to build trust. This bird is scared (and rightfully so)--Thank GOODNESS you stopped it, because when you get a bird to submit out of fear, that is a bad situation...that sounds like what the breeder was doing...I have never even heard of this so-called, "method"---sounds like a crazy back-alley solution to getting birds to submit...in the same way an abused kid would...

Move at their pace. Associate yourselves with very passive, positive activities...do not try to force the bird to take food from your hand or step up...Read around the cage so they get use to you...narrate your routine without being imposing...don't get in their face..they will let you know when they are ready...

After the bird is comfortable, you may consider taking the leap of faith of opening the cage door and allowing the bird to come out and return WITHOUT CHASING OR CAPTURE....(only if this can be done safely-- but catching a bird is a great way to ruin trust).
 
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