Playing chase...

GambotheGreyt

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I am not a first time parrot mom but it's been a very long time since I had a youngster.

I have a 5 month old CAG. He's been home for 2 weeks. He had not been "up" trained. He has been doing alright with this, but this may be the root of my problem.

When I want him, we often play chase... Sometimes he will step up but fly away. He goes from here to there.

I'm guessing that this is not the best approach but when I need him, I need him. I am not aggressive or angry, but also not playful.

Let me add that he is not agreeable to being held either. He was handfed but I suspect it was assembly line style. I would appreciate advice here too in getting him comfortable with being held.

Thanks in advance!
 

wrench13

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You need to build up trust with this parrot. Chasing him around busts trust.
I would not be taking out of the cage until you have a better bond with him, and he understands that "Only good things come from Humans". You may want to consider clipping if the fly away thing becomes a problem. But please give it more time, 2 weeks is relatively short period for him to trust you ,. even a little bit.
 
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GambotheGreyt

GambotheGreyt

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You need to build up trust with this parrot. Chasing him around busts trust.
I would not be taking out of the cage until you have a better bond with him, and he understands that "Only good things come from Humans". You may want to consider clipping if the fly away thing becomes a problem. But please give it more time, 2 weeks is relatively short period for him to trust you ,. even a little bit.
Thank you for your response. I want to ask though how keeping him locked up despite his requests to be with us, improves our bond and his level of trust for us. What are we providing for him? We are teaching him to be self sufficient. He is stressed to be locked up. I do understand that chasing undermines his trust for us, but how does this improve it?
 

wrench13

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Not in cage forever, just until he looks upon you asa giver of good things, so he does not fly away from you all the time. Every time you pass his cage, drop a small treat for him in his food bowl. Figure out what his very special favorite is, and use that.
Start to develop a routine concerning him - parrots thrive on routine and schedules. Take your time with this little guy, parrots hate change and it may take a few more weeks before he is close to being tame.
 
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GambotheGreyt

GambotheGreyt

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So I am trying a new idea... right or wrong? The problem when he is out is that he may step up but immediately fly off. He does that a majority of the time. He was not previously taught to step up. So now what I am trying is offering my hand with "step up" inside his cage. His response is to bite and let go. I am not withdrawing my hand. He bit me 2-3 times. I did not respond but yes eventually I got out of his space.

Is this strategy good or bad?
 

Chenetaqwa

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So I am trying a new idea... right or wrong? The problem when he is out is that he may step up but immediately fly off. He does that a majority of the time. He was not previously taught to step up. So now what I am trying is offering my hand with "step up" inside his cage. His response is to bite and let go. I am not withdrawing my hand. He bit me 2-3 times. I did not respond but yes eventually I got out of his space.

Is this strategy good or bad?
Exactly what you need to do... work on him inside the cage...don't concentrate on step up yet ..concentrate more on offering a treat by hand first to gain his trust then use the treat to coax him to step up (still in cage ) once you have step up working inside the cage now you can think about outside the cage
 
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GambotheGreyt

GambotheGreyt

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Exactly what you need to do... work on him inside the cage...don't concentrate on step up yet ..concentrate more on offering a treat by hand first to gain his trust then use the treat to coax him to step up (still in cage ) once you have step up working inside the cage now you can think about outside the cage
Thank you!
 

T00tsyd

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I fully agree with the above. 2 weeks is nothing in terms of bonding. Get the trust first and train step up on a piece of perch or something and then don't make getting hold of him a challenge. Put him where you need him long before it becomes essential so that it becomes a simple part of living and not a battle. I have found over time that Syd will understand repeated phrases. eg I always say to him 'can I put you in your cage while I do ..... The minute he hears that and sees me pick up his treat tin he flies to my shoulder. If he happens to be on his cage he will climb into the doorway ready for the treat.

You can't achieve that so quickly but never chase however you feel. See if you can find what he really likes. Syd will kill for a sunflower seed so they are very restricted and keep their value. Good luck - just give him time.
 

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Yes two weeks is a short time.
but I am going in the opposite direction.

I have ”played chase” with my birds many times and so far as I can tell it’s never broken trust with them.

different birds require different techniques.
If it’s time to go back I always start by calling/asking nicely.
For my CAG this can be patting my shoulder and saying “let’s go back” .
Bella is a very stubborn bird and I have heard gray’s tend to be like that.
Last resort for all my flock is this blue duster on a long pole.
All I have to do is move it a little, not even pick it up and they will fly home.

What you going to do if you need to towel your bird to give it meds?
For the most part the bird sees the towel or duster as “the bad guy” not the person using the item.

on another contrary viewpoint.
working with your bird while she’s in the cage can make her feel defensive. It’s her safe space and you are invading it.
of course she’s going to bite.

when wee first got Bella she was clipped so that made things easer in the beginning.
 

LoveMyFids

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I am not a first time parrot mom but it's been a very long time since I had a youngster.

I have a 5 month old CAG. He's been home for 2 weeks. He had not been "up" trained. He has been doing alright with this, but this may be the root of my problem.

When I want him, we often play chase... Sometimes he will step up but fly away. He goes from here to there.

I'm guessing that this is not the best approach but when I need him, I need him. I am not aggressive or angry, but also not playful.

Let me add that he is not agreeable to being held either. He was handfed but I suspect it was assembly line style. I would appreciate advice here too in getting him comfortable with being held.

Thanks in advance!
2 wks. is like nothing, so I can tell you from experience that with a baby, it will def. take time & major patience on your part. Your bird will also go through a few stages of behavior as it gets older. I have a TAG baby right now, which is 7mo. & I had it since it was 3 1/2mo. old & just weaned. First off, all new birds should be quarantined for 90days in a separate, low traffic room if you have other birds due to possible infectious diseases. You should also take it to an avian vet if you haven't already for a full physical & full blood panel & fecal testing to rule out parasites & diseases like Chlamydia & Polyoma, yeast overgrowth & bacterial overload (the last 2 being VERY common in the babies no matter where you get it from-even if it's a reputable breeder). That was what happened to me. My bird seemed perfectly healthy, & came from a very highly recommended breeder & member of the AFA. She had bacterial overload & too much yeast & I ended up having to give her antibiotics & yeast medication & I was not pleased to say the least! You would never have known anything was wrong w/her, so it's super important to get that vet. visit! My bird was not hand shy, as she was well socialized early on by the breeder, BUT there were def. stages that she is still going through. First, you're right at the age of fledging, so your bird will be experimenting flying all over the place, learning how to land, perch properly, etc. DON"T clip it's wings right now (per my avian specialist vet). Esp. w/a grey! It can lead to behavioral problems, so it's a bad idea. They need to learn how to fly properly, how to land, etc. for their own safety & it's also a huge deal w/their mental health. This is one reason why a separate room at this stage is also very important. Your bird will not be so interested in staying on your hand or stepping up during this time & that's normal. This stage will last a good couple 2-3 months until flying skills get better. Mine had various falls & crash landings, & for that reason I have rope perches right now & started w/the lower perch not too high up. I would sit in the room w/the door closed & let her out daily for 1-2hrs. letting her fly around as she pleased. She likes to fly laps & land back on top of her cage. She would also start flying down to my lap & play w/foot toys. Your presence will start the bonding & trust. Mine steps up, but it's still not always consistent & she sometimes will just ignore the words. One thing she did that my other birds never did as babies was go through a total beaking/biting stage. Like a baby who puts everything in their mouth, she was beaking everything & biting my fingers, clothes, etc. sometimes hard. It was super annoying, but she grew out of it at around 6mo. I also reinforced that the behavior was not acceptable by the shunning method & also the method of imitating a disapproval squawk of pain when she squeezed too hard. This will only work if the bird is bonded to you. She learned quickly that her pressure was too much & causing pain (remember, babies have no idea how hard they squeeze), so she stops when I do this. I am still reinforcing that now when she goes too far in her preening of my hand etc., which still happens sometimes. She's much, much better w/this though & she's growing out of this stage now thank goodness. Once flying skills get good, & your bird has a clean bill of health, you can start to expand its flying range. My vet said it's best not to clip wings UNLESS your bird too often gets into dangerous situations w/flying, such as hitting windows, flying up to unwanted places all the time, or flying to go cause destruction to furniture or framed pics on the wall, etc. In other words, only if the flying becomes really problematic because of the possible mental health issues that can go along w/not being able to fly. For now, the bird needs a routine as mentioned here that stays consistent, 12hrs. uninterrupted sleep a night, proper diet & TIME to truly get used to it's new surroundings, new sights, new sounds, new people, etc. All birds are different & will go at different paces as to how quickly they feel comfortable in their new home. Be patient, be understanding & don't take unwanted behaviors personally. Babies literally have no idea how to behave & need guidance & supervision. They don't know WHO the alpha flock member is or where any other family member ranks in their new flock. It all needs to be established & your bird as it gets older will also be figuring out where it fits in the flock hierarchy. It will start testing what it can get away with & who's really the boss. It's important for the alpha to always stay the alpha by your actions, especially when the bird gets sexually mature. All flock & pack animals will challenge the position at some point after they become mature, as it's the way of nature to do so. It's not personal, but very easy for us humans to take it that way. Just be prepared to get fully annoyed at some unwanted behaviors, but realize it's not a sign that your bird doesn't like you or is mad at you. It's just the nature of nature, as parrots aren't domesticated animals. We see things through human eyes, but we need to adopt bird mentality in an attempt to relate to them in the way they need us to. Feel free to message me w/questions. Since I'm going through the same thing right now (though mine is a couple months older than yours), I can share w/you my observations & experience & if I have any advice w/what I did that worked or didn't, I'd be happy to share it w/you. Like you, I've not inexperienced & have 3 other birds now & have had 5 total + 2 fosters as well in the past. This current TAG baby though is a handful compared to the 3 other babies I've raised & is taking much more supervision & work on my part. Haha. She's the first baby I've had that has had these behaviors, as the other 3 were easy peasy. Maybe I just got lucky w/them, but she's definitely proving that all are different no matter what! Good luck!
 

WingDing

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In my experience with our birds, they ain't puppy dogs, and this type of play doesn't mean what I think it does. I want them to enter into playful wrestling and tug of war, and it starts off fun, but it always means something else to them. I just don't try to enter into this kind of play with them.

They are a bit territorial and possessive. They have to be in nature. My birds don't play chase well so I don't engage with them in this way.
 

texsize

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In my experience with our birds, they ain't puppy dogs, and this type of play doesn't mean what I think it does. I want them to enter into playful wrestling and tug of war, and it starts off fun, but it always means something else to them. I just don't try to enter into this kind of play with them.

They are a bit territorial and possessive. They have to be in nature. My birds don't play chase well so I don't engage with them in this way.
I can’t speak for the OP only for myself.
when I use the term “play chase” it’s more a case of the bird leading the “human” on the chase not the other way around.
Having my birds fly around a little bit more gives them (and myself) more exercises .
Does the bird enjoy it? IDK sometimes I think they do.

But I must admit it’s not the best technique when still working on building trust.

As for wrestling with a bird, I can only do that with one of my flock and ONLY at his choosing I never start it.
 
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GambotheGreyt

GambotheGreyt

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In my experience with our birds, they ain't puppy dogs, and this type of play doesn't mean what I think it does. I want them to enter into playful wrestling and tug of war, and it starts off fun, but it always means something else to them. I just don't try to enter into this kind of play with them.

They are a bit territorial and possessive. They have to be in nature. My birds don't play chase well so I don't engage with them in this way.
It isn't a game.. the term play was not an indication of fun. Very simply I was havkng to follow (chase after) him in order to eventually get him to "up" so that I could return him to his cage.
 

WingDing

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@GambotheGreyt
Yeah, apologies for my post. It was one of those - late at night - shouldn't be posting to a forum things that happen to some of us crazy people on the forums 😵‍💫
 

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