New plumhead


New member
Jan 21, 2014
Hi guys, I've just purchased a 4 month old plum head parrot who was hand reared but has not been handled by the bird shop for about 4 weeks due to a busy Christmas period. I've been working on his training for the last four days but I still can't get him to stay on my hand as he keeps flying off. Am I being to impatient thinking he should have calmed down by now or does anyone have tips on calming him down? Also I can't get him eating from my hands yet either, is this normal?


New member
Jan 8, 2014
Melbourne, Australia
Zookeeper who has worked with many bird species, and owner of a cheeky red-tailed black cockatoo (Ash)
Plum heads and ringnecks, I find, can take a little bit more work to get them 'hand friendly".

Have you only had him for 4 days? if so, if will take a little while for him to get comfortable with you, as well as his new cage and surroundings. It might take anywhere from 1 week to a month for him to get fully comfortable.

Have you found a treat he really likes yet? If so, put him in his cage and feed him treats through the bars. Eventually, open the cage door and see if he'll take the treats from your hand through the open door. Once he's ok with eating from your hand, move on to the next step.

Try putting him on a stand, and feeding him small treats. Eventually, get him to step up onto your hand, still feeding him treats. If he sits there for a while, great. If he flies off, it's no big deal, try again. Don't push him too hard, if he flies off again, thats the end of the training session for now, try again in 15 minutes. For now, only give him treats for sitting on your hand - don't worry about any other treat training.

Some tips: Make sure that there are no noises or distractions while you're training. No TV, so other family members, stuff like that. Also try to make all your movements slow and obvious.


New member
Jan 21, 2014
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Thanks very much for your advice, I haven't found a treat in particular he loves yet but I've been experimenting with things in his cage :) I've got a parrot stand I've been putting him on daily (he comes to the top of the cage then I gently get him out by him stepping on my finger) with some food at the end, do you think this method is rushing him at all?


New member
Aug 12, 2013
Outback Western Australia
Alex- Eclectus, Ariel- whiteface, Junior- pied, Custard-lutino, Ziggy- pearl cockatiels, Kermit- Princess parrot, Jade- Plumhead parrot, George- budgie, Coco- Rainbow lorikeet, Corey-Little Corella.
We have a plumhead- unknown gender as it's not apparent until they're two years old, ours is 15 months. Unless your plummie has been DNA tested it could be either. We have a mixed flock and Jade is quite a bully towards the other birds, plus it has started reaching down while on the hand and biting that hand. Jade is quite noisy, too, although I find the racket charming. It's especially loud if there's music playing.

We gave up on giving our guy seed as it'd get into the bowl and fling it everywhere when it was annoyed or jealous (of another bird being let out). It gets pellets, fruit (on a stick) and soaked/sprouted seed. Plus greens, it especially enjoys crunching on the white part of bok choy. Jade has a "seed stick" available in its cage, although he has a tendency to put seed in the waterbowl along with everything else. I believe they'll also eat insects as our guy will eat ephestia moth grubs if he can find one. Jade has a habit of putting a lot of stuff in his/her water bowl and often has a wet head from fishing the stuff out again. If given a cracker, it'll fly to a water bowl to dunk it before eating- and if we are eating anything he'll come to the shoulder to beg for food from our mouths. I'm not convinced they make a good all-round house bird as they are aggressive, and fly very fast, which means great drama when they crash, which our guy has done several times especially when the outside birds panic on seeing a hawk or whatever.

Jade is a great acrobat and will hang upside down in its cage like a bat :)


Supporting Member
Jan 19, 2014
College Station, Texas
Red Bellied Parrot /
Ruppell's Parrot /
Bronze Winged Pionus /
English Budgie
I had a juvenile supposedly male Plumhead years ago. He was "hand fed" but clearly not handled much, so of course not a touchable "pet". I don't remember how long I tried to get him to tame down, but I couldn't, so he eventually went to a breeder.
Probably takes a lot of handling during weaning and consistently after to get a decent plumhead pet? Then again, I've heard Ringnecks have a tendency to revert back to wild easier than many other parrots (?), but they must be a bit easier since they're so popular. I don't have much personal experience with the Psittacula genus parakeets, as I didn't have Shelby for more than a year if that.

I'd love one again, but only if I had an aviary. Good luck with your plummie!
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