GCC wearing shirt. How to go about training?

InkoGreencheek

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I have a very young GCC. She’s a previously abused rescue, so she’s very skittish. I’ve found that she’s the sweetest thing and loves to be pet when she’s swaddled. If she’s not swaddled, she’s terrified of hands and people. I’ve heard that wearing clothes, like for plucking, can feel like being swaddled. I know you have to work on it for months in order to get the parrot comfortable with wearing a shirt, but I can’t exactly train her if she’s so scared of hands or anything I’m holding. Can I just put her in a sweater and keep a close eye on her just in case she gets scared? Or is this something I will just have to shelve for months from now? She does love being swaddled, and I’d like to give her that comfort not just when we can all sit down and have her in our laps
 

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HeatherG

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I am guessing part of the pleasure and security in the “swaddling” is that the bird is close to you.

I had a completely naked bird who seemed happier with a sock-sweater on but I think that was because he was COLD otherwise.

If I knew how to knit I would go into business making sweaters for nekkid parrots. Maybe that’s how I will make my fortune…
 

Laurasea

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Hello,
I have e to say this doesn't looking a good idea to me. It's very easy go compress a birds body were they can't breath. Their respiratory system is different.

Green cheeks are known for being nippy. It takes us learning their body language to avoid nips and deepen the trust bond.

I'm going to link some articles on behavior and body language.

Is this your first parrot? How old is she? How long have you had her?

If you click this link it takes you to my post on reading parrots with 2 great article linked.
Post in thread 'Ornithology: Share and discuss scientific articles on parrots!' https://www.parrotforums.com/thread...entific-articles-on-parrots.82369/post-987448
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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Good point. I think it would be hard to tell if the conure was frightened and easy to forget they were under a shirt or cloth and sit on it.

Also I think swaddling implies “very tight” which Laurasea pointed out could be dangerous. Sitting with your parrot who is gently covered in a towel if you know the bird likes it is different.
 

Terry57

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If this poor abused rescue finds comfort in being held lightly in a towel, I think you're doing the right thing. There is a big difference in a rescue and an abused rescue and the ways that must be found to make them feel safe.
My guess is that the longer you have your sweetie, the less she will need this because her feelings of safety will increase.
If it was my bird, I would hold off on trying to train until your bird feels safe around your hands. I also agree with Heather that perhaps part of this is the fact that you are holding her in the towel, and it seems she wants to be close to you but only on her terms for now.
I would advise against a shirt, if she has something that she wears all the time that comforts her, it may take away her urge to let you hold her at all.
Whatever you hold her in should be loosely wrapped around her, I do agree with Laura that too tight can injure her. But your towel in the picture doesn't look tight to me:)
 

Laurasea

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It is so hard to know without more details. What's your sweeties name BTW?

To me this is toweling, a type of restraint used for medical or emergency procedures. And can increase fears of hands.

Since we aren't there with you and your little baby birdie it really difficult to tell whats been triggered by being restrained. As a prey species this full restraint can cause Thanatosis.
Or this is learned helplessness .
Or as you have described something you've worked out.

Some green cheeks do love to dive down shirts and curl up in a cupped hand ( sometimes that can really trigger hormones as they grow up)

But really we want to help you with the goal of making friends with your GCC. And getting her over any fear of hands. Rather than toweling or trying to teach to wear clothes.

And you aren't alone in having a little bump in the road to bonding with your parrot, or having a GCC that is nippy or fearful of hands. The conure threads is bursting with threads and posts of others going through the same thing.
 
Last edited:

HeatherG

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I had a badly abused rescue bird that liked to shower with me and then for me to dry him off in a hand towel and cuddle him afterwards.

I wonder if this is what the writer is talking about?

Magoo was blind and plucked and really enjoyed tactile sensations and “luxurious” sorts of things like cuddling in towels, a snuggly cotton mop ring, being hand fed warm food, etc. He was a loving and pretty happy bird with me.
 

Terry57

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To me this is toweling, a type of restraint used for medical or emergency procedures. And can increase fears of hands.



It doesn't sound like the towel is being used by her as a restraint, but for the bird's comfort. To me, toweling is forcing the bird to do something it doesn't want to.
I see nothing wrong in providing whatever comfort a rescue needs, especially if it has been abused. I believe that they should be given what they need for as long as takes until they are ready to move forward.
 

Laurasea

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We need more information and background from our new member Inko to help and understand the situation.

The picture can be deceiving. But looks tightly wrapped. Rather than cuddling into . Then the description of passing around tightly wrapped to family members. Otherwise fearful of people Hands.

More information, maybe a video or description of how this came about.

All the other people who will read this...I don't want them thinking wrapping a bird in a towel is how you make friends or that it should even be called swaddling.

While I'm not ruling out this as unique situation that benefits both parties.

But focusing on moving forward with their relationship and getting past fear of hands. Maybe even a new thread by the poster with that aim. Then folks who have gone through the struggle of making friends, or dealing with a mistreated bird, tips on bonding, how to cope with bites.

Sharing the little babies journey and story. I believe is a newly acquired just weaned baby. Knowing the abuse/mistreated back story. And hopefully evolution into happiness as they move forward.

I love little green cheeks such wonderful parrots full of personality
 
OP
InkoGreencheek

InkoGreencheek

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Hello,
I have e to say this doesn't looking a good idea to me. It's very easy go compress a birds body were they can't breath. Their respiratory system is different.

Green cheeks are known for being nippy. It takes us learning their body language to avoid nips and deepen the trust bond.

I'm going to link some articles on behavior and body language.

Is this your first parrot? How old is she? How long have you had her?

If you click this link it takes you to my post on reading parrots with 2 great article linked.
Post in thread 'Ornithology: Share and discuss scientific articles on parrots!' https://www.parrotforums.com/thread...entific-articles-on-parrots.82369/post-987448
Don’t worry about the compression, I’ve already made a sweater out of thin and stretchy material and I made it pretty big, slowly bringing in the baggier parts on my first parrot, who is a little big bigger. Parrot #1, Inko, dislikes wearing anything but it fit him just fine and he didn’t trip over the stomach area. Suika is my second parrot, a companion for my first because I thought he deserves a best friend aside from just me and my family. She’s about five months old. I’ve had Suika for about a month and a half, and I know that’s not much time but I’d like to give her some comfort if I can using whatever I can. She will sometimes nibble on lemon balm—that really helps her—but it’s not often. There isn’t any lead up to bites or anything like I’ve seen in video guides or like with Inko, just a sudden burst of anxiety and fear, it kinda reminds me of when you think “hey what if there’s someone behind me” and suddenly feel watched. It’s beyond the nipping Inko does, Suika breaks skin and doesn’t let go
 
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InkoGreencheek

InkoGreencheek

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Good point. I think it would be hard to tell if the conure was frightened and easy to forget they were under a shirt or cloth and sit on it.

Also I think swaddling implies “very tight” which Laurasea pointed out could be dangerous. Sitting with your parrot who is gently covered in a towel if you know the bird likes it is different.
Sorry, I don‘t know what other word to use. I consider swaddling to be wrapping someone or something with cloth for comfort, not necessarily tightly
 
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InkoGreencheek

InkoGreencheek

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It is so hard to know without more details. What's your sweeties name BTW?

To me this is toweling, a type of restraint used for medical or emergency procedures. And can increase fears of hands.

Since we aren't there with you and your little baby birdie it really difficult to tell whats been triggered by being restrained. As a prey species this full restraint can cause Thanatosis.
Or this is learned helplessness .
Or as you have described something you've worked out.

Some green cheeks do love to dive down shirts and curl up in a cupped hand ( sometimes that can really trigger hormones as they grow up)

But really we want to help you with the goal of making friends with your GCC. And getting her over any fear of hands. Rather than toweling or trying to teach to wear clothes.

And you aren't alone in having a little bump in the road to bonding with your parrot, or having a GCC that is nippy or fearful of hands. The conure threads is bursting with threads and posts of others going through the same thing.
Oh! I didn’t realize I neglected to say her name. Her name is Suika. The parrot shop that cared for her after her abusive home gave her up suggested wrapping her up or covering her head if I was going to hold her. It makes sense to me, weighted blankets help with human anxiety and a light cloth helps with bird anxiety. It’s not purely hands, she’s afraid of people but doubly so of being grabbed. Once she’s on someone she’s just fine until she has a sudden scare. She’s not actually wrapped tightly, she can get out quite easily and she knows it. She does whenever she wants to go back to her cage or chase after Inko (first parrot)
 
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InkoGreencheek

InkoGreencheek

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I had a badly abused rescue bird that liked to shower with me and then for me to dry him off in a hand towel and cuddle him afterwards.

I wonder if this is what the writer is talking about?

Magoo was blind and plucked and really enjoyed tactile sensations and “luxurious” sorts of things like cuddling in towels, a snuggly cotton mop ring, being hand fed warm food, etc. He was a loving and pretty happy bird with me.
That sounds precious and I hope Mango is doing well! Suika doesn’t bathe much, and on top of that her flight feathers were clipped. I don‘t know what I’d do if she were to bathe in the shower and fall and get hurt. Suika does love to cuddle, but I’m more wanting to give her kinda like a security vest. Like how severely autistic children wear weighted vests to calm them down, maybe a shirt would calm Suika a little bit. Our bonding is going well, I just want her to have some peace when I’m not there to wrap her in a towel
 
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InkoGreencheek

InkoGreencheek

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We need more information and background from our new member Inko to help and understand the situation.

The picture can be deceiving. But looks tightly wrapped. Rather than cuddling into . Then the description of passing around tightly wrapped to family members. Otherwise fearful of people Hands.

More information, maybe a video or description of how this came about.

All the other people who will read this...I don't want them thinking wrapping a bird in a towel is how you make friends or that it should even be called swaddling.

While I'm not ruling out this as unique situation that benefits both parties.

But focusing on moving forward with their relationship and getting past fear of hands. Maybe even a new thread by the poster with that aim. Then folks who have gone through the struggle of making friends, or dealing with a mistreated bird, tips on bonding, how to cope with bites.

Sharing the little babies journey and story. I believe is a newly acquired just weaned baby. Knowing the abuse/mistreated back story. And hopefully evolution into happiness as they move forward.

I love little green cheeks such wonderful parrots full of personality
Thank you for worrying about how I’m wrapping her. She was a bit tightly wrapped, but it was more pinched around the neck fluff than tight around the lungs. I’m terrified of squeezing them too hard so I’m extra cautious about this. The swaddling at first was so that I could transport her between her large cage and a travel sized cage. She’s very attached to my first bird and screams if she can’t see him, and Inko (first bird) likes to be in the living room with the family, so I bring her in the smaller cage so she can see him. Their large cages are set up in a bedroom with a small tv going because we have cats. Then we realized that the swaddling her actually calmed her, which made sense because she likes to hide under paper towels (something she learned from neighboring lovebirds in the parrot store nursery). You’re right about the newly acquired just weaned, she’s about five months old and I’ve had her for about a month and a half. I do hope she gets happier too! Already she’s wiggled out of the towel and cuddled into my hair a few times. She’s even licked me a few times! I love green cheeks too, and I’d been dreaming of adopting one for years before I got these two lovely personalities.
 

Laurasea

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Awesome! Congratulations on your birdie Suika! I'm so happy to hear you are cautious about wrapping her. And its wonderful to hear of snuggle in hair. I'd love to see more Pictures!

I have a green cheek Ta-dah and she is amazing. She can threatening to nip, but paying attention to body language and giving her a few moments to get over it. Then she us back to sweet and snuggle.

I hope you read the behavior links, I think they are extra good ones.
 
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InkoGreencheek

InkoGreencheek

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Awesome! Congratulations on your birdie Suika! I'm so happy to hear you are cautious about wrapping her. And its wonderful to hear of snuggle in hair. I'd love to see more Pictures!

I have a green cheek Ta-dah and she is amazing. She can threatening to nip, but paying attention to body language and giving her a few moments to get over it. Then she us back to sweet and snuggle.

I hope you read the behavior links, I think they are extra good ones.
I did and I found the page a nice read! I find birds a lot easier to read than humans, I’m not very good with people haha, so I recognized much of that body language already, but was good to review! Thank you!
 

HeatherG

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That sounds precious and I hope Mango is doing well! Suika doesn’t bathe much, and on top of that her flight feathers were clipped. I don‘t know what I’d do if she were to bathe in the shower and fall and get hurt. Suika does love to cuddle, but I’m more wanting to give her kinda like a security vest. Like how severely autistic children wear weighted vests to calm them down, maybe a shirt would calm Suika a little bit. Our bonding is going well, I just want her to have some peace when I’m not there to wrap her in a towel

Remember that birds often don’t like to be enclosed or held.

My Willow loves to be petted, and to cuddle into my hand, but when he was riding on my shoulder and I’ve put my hand over him (because I thought he might get scared) he struggled. He was scared by the restraint.

I think That’s part of why people are discouraging you. We want to make sure this is not scary to your bird.

I think I understand what you mean from my experiences with my birds who loved to sit on my lap in a bundle of towel after taking a shower. But a lot of birds wouldn’t like that. And with a HUMAN BABY swaddling is wrapping them up tightly in a blanket which kind of restrains the baby (but they’re supposed to be reassured by it).
 
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InkoGreencheek

InkoGreencheek

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Remember that birds often don’t like to be enclosed or held.

My Willow loves to be petted, and to cuddle into my hand, but when he was riding on my shoulder and I’ve put my hand over him (because I thought he might get scared) he struggled. He was scared by the restraint.

I think That’s part of why people are discouraging you. We want to make sure this is not scary to your bird.

I think I understand what you mean from my experiences with my birds who loved to sit on my lap in a bundle of towel after taking a shower. But a lot of birds wouldn’t like that. And with a HUMAN BABY swaddling is wrapping them up tightly in a blanket which kind of restrains the baby (but they’re supposed to be reassured by it).
Oh, I see now. Thank you. Don‘t worry about her being scared, she’s actually calmest under a towel. She’s also hidden under a hand after wiggling out of a towel once or twice, and we were able to get pictures. She often falls asleep or does happy beak grinding, and when she’s under a towel is the only time she’s willing to eat from my hand. Here are some pictures!
 

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HeatherG

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Oh, I see now. Thank you. Don‘t worry about her being scared, she’s actually calmest under a towel. She’s also hidden under a hand after wiggling out of a towel once or twice, and we were able to get pictures. She often falls asleep or does happy beak grinding, and when she’s under a towel is the only time she’s willing to eat from my hand. Here are some pictures!
You are lucky to have such a sweet bird!
 

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