AutumnIsComing

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Jul 19, 2017
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Hi! I recently acquired a quaker parrot from a not-so-great home and we're trying to adjust to eachother. His name is Nico and he just came into my life this morning. I was wondering if you guys could help me understand some of his behaviour? When I first met him he was very bitey, drawing a little bit of blood, and I haven't handled him since bringing him home. Now that he's home he will scream for almost five minutes straight often, and he will slide his beak back and forth across the bars quickly when I come near and talk to him. I know I've just brought him home but he seems so unhappy. Is this normal? Is there any way to help him settle in? When should I start handling him? I've read a ton, but any tips on bonding with an agressive parrot?
Also he is on a corn and seed based diet which I definitely want to switch him off of, how long should I wait to do that?
Thank you so much!
 

GaleriaGila

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Welcome!

Thank you for rescuing this darling. I don't know a lot about Quakers, but many here do. While we're waiting fvor them... if you use the SEARCH tab above to look for previous threads, you'll find a lot.

Oh, and... we love pictures and vids.

Glad you found us!
 

Anansi

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Hello, and welcome to the Parrot Forums family!

The transition from one home to the next is quite difficult for many parrots. Add to that the fact that Nico's prior home was apparently less than ideal and it's no wonder he was a bit on the aggressive side. There are any number of specific reasons why he might be biting, from fear to territorial behaviors, and figuring out exactly why will be helpful to your situation.

Here are some links that might help with that aspect of the issue with Nico:
http://www.parrotforums.com/training/63988-bite-pressure-training.html
http://www.parrotforums.com/training/57935-brainstorming-biting-parrots.html
http://www.parrotforums.com/questions-answers/58911-bird-bites-always-2.html

One of the most important things you want to do here is begin building trust. You can start off by reading to him in the cage. Do this while seated as close as you can manage without upsetting him. As he grows more accustomed to your presence, try moving incrementally closer. The point here is to gradually get him used to your presence.

In addition, find his favorite treat and bribe him shamelessly. You want him to associate you with delicious treats and fun time. Eventually, the goal will be to open the cage door and lure him out with food. Also, you should add target training to the mix. You can start by pointing to places within the cage and then work your way up to targeting him outside of it. Don't push him. Try instead to go at his pace. Trust will come more easily to him if he feels like it's his idea rather than yours.

As for your diet question, there's no time like the present. Just try to make the transition gradual. Here is a good link for that: http://www.parrotforums.com/parrot-...7-converting-parrots-healthier-diet-tips.html
 

LordTriggs

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May 11, 2017
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Rio (Yellow sided conure) sadly no longer with us
essentially everything Anansi said.

Being rescued from a "not-so-great" home makes things trickier but if it works he could be more attached to you than any bird raised from birth and you'll have a very strong bond.

It sounds like he's territorial if he only does the beak thing when you're close to him/looking at him. Think of it as him going "see this? MINE!" not an uncommon trait.

talk to him calmly without looking at him, get him to a point were he seems less grumpy and then begin offering treats. When he realizes you're a nice walking treat dispenser he'll begin trusting you
 

Allee

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Oct 27, 2013
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U2-Poppy(Poppy lives with her new mommy, Misty now) CAG-Jack, YNA, Bingo, Budgie-Piper, Cockatiel-Sweet Pea Quakers-Harry, Sammy, Wilson ***Zeke (quaker) Twinkle (budgie) forever in our hearts
Hello and a warm welcome! Thank you so much for adopting a quaker parrot in need of a better home. What is your new bestie's name?

A lot of what you will learn about parrots will apply to all or most species including quakers. But, quakers are a bit different from other parrot species in several ways and unique in one big way, in the wild, quakers build communal nests, they use sticks to build amazing structures, according to the size of the flock, there are almost always chicks in the nest. Quakers are hardy birds, in fact they are illegal to own in several states because they escape, form their own societies and in some people's opinions become a nuisance species. These birds are scary smart, I have three quaker parrots, I'll never admit to being partial but I adore my quakers. I'm amazed at how the characteristics of the wild flocks carry over to the quakers who share our homes. I've heard again and again, "quakers are cage territorial". I agree, they will aggressively guard their cages and greet intruders with those bloodthirsty little beaks. Once away from their cages, you will see an attitude change, from experience it's better to let your quaker approach you.

Time, patience, respect. Your bird's concept of time is vastly different from yours. Your bird is probably justifiably angry, give him time to adjust and new reasons to trust.

Handling, it is very important to some owners to handle their birds, generally speaking, quakers aren't cuddly birds, most are far from it. Many people have had success with target training and or clicker training, I'm not one of those people. The closest I have come to target training with a quaker has happened a few times with my girl. She loves my Umbrella cockatoo and if the chance presents itself she will perch on top of the U2's cage and glare at me knowing I can't reach her without a stool, Harry is a talented pilot and moves much faster than my U2, still I usually panic and grab a dowel perch and attempt to remove her from harm's way. Harry runs for the perch, runs down the perch and attempts to amputate my fingers. I can only imagine showing Harry a clicker, I'm pretty sure she'd make me eat it. I guess it comes down to what works for you and your unique quaker.

I don't mean to imply in any way that your quaker can't be trained just that it may take more time than expected. My quakers talk, two of them are potty trained, we play games together, they come when called and go inside their cages when asked to. All three have shoulder privileges to a point, I only have two shoulders so they take turns knocking each other off my shoulders, this often leads to lots of swearing (from the parrots not me) occasionally a skirmish ensues that ends in a time out for one or more quakers.

Diet is so important, start offering new foods now but be sure to offer the familiar food you know your quaker is eating. Some quakers will go to extremes while on a hunger strike. Offer a variety of vegetables, pellets, a little fruit, pasta, etc. Don't give up, most birds will eventually get the hang of a healthier diet and it's well worth the effort, your bird will benefit for years to come.

Best of luck, looking forward to hearing more about your adventure.
 
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AutumnIsComing

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Thank you all! So much useful information I love it :) So far today he will chatter occasionally with me, takes treats from my hand, and loves to be on top of his cage! I got him Zupreem pellets and he's eating them up already. He definitely has a big personality, and we're on our road to getting to know eachother! Oh one more question, he rubs his beak on the perch when he gets excited, is this okay or might it harm his beak?
 

Allee

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U2-Poppy(Poppy lives with her new mommy, Misty now) CAG-Jack, YNA, Bingo, Budgie-Piper, Cockatiel-Sweet Pea Quakers-Harry, Sammy, Wilson ***Zeke (quaker) Twinkle (budgie) forever in our hearts
Great progress, that was fast! If he's taking treats from your fingers he's probably a pretty friendly character. The wiping his beak when he's excited could be because he likes to keep his beak clean. No, it will not damage his beak at all. I've seen all my quakers do that, it's usually my final warning before they come after me for invading their personal space. :)
 
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AutumnIsComing

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Do you have any tips on getting him out of the cage? When I got him he came home with his cage that was very dirty. It stinks now and I know it's not good for him to be in such a dirty cage. The door opens to lay parallel with the floor and he will walk out onto that, but otherwise shows no interest in leaving the cage on his own. If I hold my hand up at the end he will sometimes come mouth at my fingers but I haven't pushed a "step up" because he is still very bitey. I read to use a small perch to get quakers out of the cage but he's terrified of the one I have. I just don't know what to do it breaks my heart to see him on perches covered in poo. Please help.
 

Allee

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U2-Poppy(Poppy lives with her new mommy, Misty now) CAG-Jack, YNA, Bingo, Budgie-Piper, Cockatiel-Sweet Pea Quakers-Harry, Sammy, Wilson ***Zeke (quaker) Twinkle (budgie) forever in our hearts
I want to give you a hug for working so hard for your new friend! I can tell he's already wrapped his talons around your heart. Sounds like his cage needs a good cleaning. If the dowel perch scares him, I would abandon that option for now. Instead, try shamelessly bribing him, open the door, stand a safe distance away and talk softly to him, quakers are curious birds, they usually can't pass up an opportunity to investigate. Offer treats from your hand, if he still hesitates, put a few treats a short distance from his cage and see if he will come out for them. Set up a comfortable place he can see from his cage, a tabletop will work, a food and water dish and somewhere for him to perch, once he's out of the cage, continue to talk to him in a soft voice, explain what you are doing and let him watch. These steps will become routine and it will be easier for both of you.
 

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