Kakariki beginner! Possible traumatized bird. Help needed.

new_kak_mom

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Aug 30, 2022
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hi, it is as I said it is! I'm a new kakariki owner and I'm looking for advice.

I have a male who is under a year, I made the mistake of buying him from a pet shop after I kind of fell in love but wasn't intending on adopting as I don't like pet shops (I was getting cuttlebone - I have Giant African Landsnails) but he told me this sob story about how he was a rescue, that a dude dumped on their door after clipping his wings too short. His nails and beak were in desperate need of a trim and I felt so bad so I took him home as he seemed to come over to me and like my voice. The guy said he could be grumpy. He's been to the vet and got a beak and nail trim and she said he's very young (his band says 22. I've had him since June so he's probably a spring clutch - I'm in Ireland). He was a bit chubby but otherwise perfectly healthy so we put him on Harrison's pellets - the pet shop had been seed only diet. We also got harrison's hot pepper bird bread for treats but he won't eat it.

He's very quiet and doesn't play much and bites a lot he's not able to break skin and sometimes it's like a warning it's not hard but it's not playful and he often doesn't bite too hard and sometimes lightly trembles like he's afraid. He comes out of his cage and likes to look out our balcony door (it's closed, it's a glass door). He plays with his toys but not much, I have chew toys, coloured blocks on strings, straw balls ect. He likes women better and me the best (I'm female) and I can get him on my finger sometimes and on my shoulder but not much. He won't eat out of hands and seems afraid of them. He won't eat fruit or veg for me, only nibble on herb plants (mint or thyme). He is in a wooden aviary that is in an apartment that is 150cm by 100cm by 86cm with natural wood branches and one rope and one of those ones for rubbing their beak on. I let him out but his wings are clipped so he hops around on the floor, but he only likes to get out when it's just me; not my partner or son. My partner (male) is better at getting him to do things than I am but he only seems relaxed with me and if one of us needs to pick him up he will run away from my partner and come to me.


How can I help this little bird get better? How do I get him to eat veg? He starved himself a week when I took him off seeds.

His name is Salmonberry, my partner and son call him Sammy but I sometimes call him Bebby or Bebs.
 

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wrench13

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Welcome and be welcomed.

Parrots are very resistant to change, like glacially resistant, not like our quick monkey brains. You must be 100% consistent when dealing with them. Changes to diet should be done over the span of weeks, lest he starve himself before accepting new foods, as you noted. Keep offering the good foods though, one day he will try them. Parrots are all about trust, so everything you do with him has to be measured on that basis - will this action or thing build trust or break it? Example: chasing him to get him back in his cage - trust buster. Using a treat to get him on your hand and back in the cage - builds trust. With his unknown and possibly stressed past life, this might take more then 4 months to get him to trust you completely. Remember , parrot parronting is a marathon, not a sprint.
 
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new_kak_mom

new_kak_mom

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Aug 30, 2022
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1 male kakariki
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Welcome and be welcomed.

Parrots are very resistant to change, like glacially resistant, not like our quick monkey brains. You must be 100% consistent when dealing with them. Changes to diet should be done over the span of weeks, lest he starve himself before accepting new foods, as you noted. Keep offering the good foods though, one day he will try them. Parrots are all about trust, so everything you do with him has to be measured on that basis - will this action or thing build trust or break it? Example: chasing him to get him back in his cage - trust buster. Using a treat to get him on your hand and back in the cage - builds trust. With his unknown and possibly stressed past life, this might take more then 4 months to get him to trust you completely. Remember , parrot parronting is a marathon, not a sprint.
I love that - parrot parronting! that's so cute.

Definitely trying to be slow and gentle. I did a hard swap at my vets request and they're the exotic specialist for my country. None of the foods people swear they love he will ever touch. Thankfully he likes Harrison's now, just not the actual treat bread. He has started to eat millet out of my hand recently thankfully but before he wouldn't even eat millet out of my hand even if I was barely touching it. I think the hardest part is just seeing what should be a hyper boy be so quiet and not even playing.

Sometimes my son puts on videos of other kakarikis for him and that brings him out of his shell a lot, he'll come out of his cage and onto my hand so he can look closely at my computer/tv screen and talks to it and taps it with his beak but he goes back in when it's over.

If I found him a hand reared kak friend who is confident with people (kept in a different cage, quarantined first and only site swapping after quarantine to begin with) could that possibly help him feel more confidant or just safe? I know they are happier in pairs I just felt a bit of a panicked urge to get him home ASAP with the condition he was in initially and he was the only kakariki I've seen them have in to that point and I wouldn't want to buy from a pet shop.

I'm definitely willing to put in the work though, I love him a lot and I realised he wouldn't be a super easy bird when I got him. It's just hard to see him seem so low.
 

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