New Quaker owner question

tmorina

New member
Jun 4, 2013
11
5
Japan
Parrots
Baby quaker parrot
8 years old rock conure
Hello all.
I am a new Quaker owner. S/he came to us about 2 months ago and I am guessing s/he is about 4+ months years old now.
I posted this a bit ago in Question forum. I thought here might be a better place to post. So here is what I posted earlier.
About biting, he has bittern my husband hard...and we are working on discouraging it ( blowing air when he tries to bite)
I don't know if it's a bonding issue...or he just want to play alone.

TIA

So I've been working on him to step up. He isn't afraid of hands and doesn't mid being touched or handled at all. He never bites strong or anything.

However, he hates step up. We are having trouble making him train step up. When he is in his stand and when I say to step up, he becomes like a stone status and doesn't move, nor step up. I think he thinks stepping up hands equals going back to his cage... He doesn't mind stepping up on some sticks.

Any good idea teaching him to step up on human hands???
 

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
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Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
Hi,
Quakers as they mature will protect cage, all of mine do to some extent, and all are crazy protective during breeding season. The fall breeding season is starting, tho spring is usually a stronger breeding season.

This is a hard wired behavior. To work around and enjoy their wonderful selves, you have them exit the cage before you pick them up, or change food and water and toys ect. I have swing out doors with a perch on the door. So when door swings out, presto they are out if the cage and sweet. And I have a perch attached on the outside of the cage they can step to before stepping up to me. Sometimes this protection can extend to the outside top of cage too, when all worked up with hormones. But seem more willing to negotiate that.

Away from the cage their normal wonderful selves.

Mine still use some beak communication away from cage, some sparing, scrape, beak push, and what I call a beak smack or beak punch. Its not aggressive or painful. Usually done when I bump a feather wrong, or we are negotiate something, like I'm taking away something they have found that they can't have . They seem very aware of pressure, and not causing harm . In situations like that i can gently push beak away with one finger, and tell them no. Certainly you can't do that with a GCC without starting a war, as they don't back down.

Most of us approach bites, as the fault of the human. And you need to figure out what you have done wrong and read your parrot better.

What situations lead to bites,? When do they happen, what going on around you?

Usually I also suggest a whole parrot whole environment take. The bird needs a large cage, lots of different perches and chew types of toys. A good placement of cage where they are part of everything. A good diet of lots of veggies, some seeds mix, pellets, and just rare fruit. 4 or more hours out of cage time. Turning outside top and sides of cage into a play gym hang out area. And least one place away from the cage with perches and to hang out. I use a ceiling hook and fishing line to hang a huge spiral rope perch with chew stuff and a couple of toys attached next to my chair, by the back window, and over my breakfast bar. Mine all are kept flighted. They move between their areas, and me and cage when out. I also set out a shallow casserole dish with 2 inches if water every day, so they can choose when to bathe.

Quaker are exceptional smart, active, highly social, and vocal.
 
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Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
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Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
Is she flighted?
Birds see themselves as individuals, with the right to choose things for themselves.
Mine are allowed to refuse a step up. But that's probably once in 100 that they do.

This is a good article, you should try and do objective observations . It takes a little effort, because we all see what we already think we will see you know? You have to look with new eyes. I'm not a fan of clickers, I just say good birdie them give treats.
And on flight.
 
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Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
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Parrots
Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
you probably are still needing to work on bonding, and trust, and layering positive interaction. Sometimes I wish we could teleport , and I could help in person! So much easier to read the burd, read you, read the situations and provide tips.

If she has reason to think stepping up equal going back to the cage, which smart birds see as a cage, and loss of freedom. Then you need to show her over and over that isn't true.
And it may be that her out of the cage time isn't long enough. The cage is for sleeping, for when you are gone, and a safe retreat when needed. Parrots aren't easy , they are more like having a primate, or adopting an orphan toddler. Working to include them into family life and activities as much as possible equal happy parrot, and incredibly rewarding relationship for you.

So start with just stopping by to say hi when she is out, and giving one seed treat, or small crumb of something she likes. I use popcorn a lot. Easy to make and store, low calorie low sugar. Do this do this over and over every few minutes. Then wait an hour and repeat. Then you can start standing on the opposite side of where they are perched, and say hi, and come here. And have them walk the few steps on the play are to come to you for treats. Repest lots of times. Short session with less than five reps, then repeat later again and again. It's a powerful thing to have their minds move their body to you for rewards. You keep doing that over days and weeks. I tap the spot that I want them to come to with my finger. Then you move to step up again. And when they do lots and lots of praise and a treat . And put them right back down. Repeat often. Then move to they step up and you take a little walk around and praise how brilliant they are. Then back to play area. Repeat often. Then a step up a trip to the Cage step to cage treat, them step back to you , walk around and back to play area, yep you know it repeat bunches of times through out the day. Step to you then you hang out and cuddle on the couch or whatever. Step to you and you take them to a plate of apple slices or slice of boiled egg. Teaching them stepping to you is good, equally good stuff!!! Once they have that down, its never really an issue to step up again. I've never just done rote step up training, birds aren't dogs, they get bored and hate being bossed around.

Look into target training, and easy fun little tricks. O just have them touch stuff, or pick up stuff. But short session, only few reps. And make sure to really act silly impressed!

I enjoy bird tricks YouTube videos, on foraging, and different stuff. Some are really great some I differ in opinion about.

I find my quakers need at least an hour of snuggle and attention from me,, and several hours of being out and about with a few hi's and talking to them as I go about life.

In all the behavior article i read,, in all the situations I try and help. A big part of it is all around improvement of the parrots life, more out of cage time, more foraging , more chances to climb explore, fly, more attention from their family
 
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tmorina

New member
Jun 4, 2013
11
5
Japan
Parrots
Baby quaker parrot
8 years old rock conure
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Thank you so much, Laurasea for your help, information and input. After reading your advise and also talking a lot how to improve his behavior with my family, and trying something new ( positive reinforcement in many ways, lowering his main outside perch, removing toys from his main perch), he has been surprising behaving well. Now he does steps up much often ( with showing food or without showing him food) It is like he is totally a new bird. Of course, he still doesn't go back to his cage, but we try to give him some treat when he is back to his cage and half of the time, he is calm or feeling okay enough to receive and enjoy it ( half of the time, he throws a tantrum walking around his cage) I am very surprised his change in last couples of days.
 

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
9,871
1,523
USA
Parrots
Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
How wonderful! I hope you attached pictures. I think you will keep building trust and routines, and more improvements.

Trips to the cage as more of a game to jump off to cage and back to you . Might help desensitized.

My Phoebe goes in her cage on her own when I ask. Taking the longest route possible mind you..She will stomp around. Funny girl, so" I know" she's not happy about it. But she goes right to her dish for the treat she knows is waiting for her.
 

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