Tips for Bonding and Building Trust

Delfin

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Jan 26, 2014
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Parrots rarely bite each other, because they convey their feelings beforehand or fly off to avoid physical contact. If it's feels cornered and frighten then need to bite will be from the natural instinct of self -preservation.

The cage is the Parrot safe haven and any attempt to enter, add or remove items and this includes forcefully removing the bird, will most likely trigger a bite response. This why you first build trust with the bird in the cage (safe haven). Trying hanging a chew toy on the outside of the cage.

No putting hands inside the cage. No chasing the bird around the cage or room. (forcing the bird) instead Conducted lots of trust building and bonding sessions (training). I have had great success with the following method to bond and build trust. I would use a T-perch to handle him.

This how I bonded and built trust with an aviary bred bird and have used it on other birds. I obtained a aviary bred IRN a few years ago who we named Bluey. When people approached Bluey he would thrash around the cage in fear. So I needed some tools to address this problem 1 was a clicker 2 was training treats 3 was T-perch.

Clickers are the best for training. Do some research? B F Skinner is a good start. Clicks won't confuse the bird. Where has words can. Without realising, words can be changed. It doesn't seem much, but it is to a bird. Has an example you might be saying "good boy". Then you say "that's a good boy" or you’re a good bird. Clickers are a bridge to identify wanted behaviour between you and your bird.

Second By putting five different foods on a plate and watch which one Bluey ate first I worked out what Bluey favorite food. I used sunflower seeds, corn kernels, pine nuts, grapes and balls of millet. This became Bluey's training treat and I removed this food from Bluey diet. Whatever your bird picks, it must not be part of the bird’s diet otherwise it defeats the purpose of being a training treat. It was sunflower seeds.

These are the procedures I used to calm and interact with him.
Bluey was in a cage in the lounge room. With the clicker in my hand, I entered the lounge room and went to the furthest point away from the cage. Then I would slowly approach the cage until Bluey showed signs of fear. When your bird becomes small and "skinny," and the bird's crop often looks sucked in, and all the feathers lie flat on the body. It usually means the bird is scared.

I would stop and stand there until Bluey relaxed.
Relaxed feathers and wings, standing on one foot, preening and /or grinding his upper and lower mandible together to produce a scratchy or "zippy" noise. This bird is probably content and relaxed. The bird might not display all these signs but relaxed feathers and wings, standing on one foot are a sure sign.

When Bluey relaxed, I click the clicker and took 3 slow steps back waited 20 to 30 seconds. Then, again I would slowly approach the cage until Bluey showed signs of fear. But this time I got a bit closer to the cage. Then I would stop and stand there until Bluey relaxed.

When Bluey relaxed I click the clicker and took 3 slow steps back waited 20 to 30 seconds. I repeated this procedure and with each approach, I would get a bit closer to the cage until I was standing next to the cage and Bluey was relaxed.

When this was achieved I would leave the room for 20 to 30 minutes. Then I would repeat this procedure for 5 to 7 times that day. By the end of the day you should be able to slowly walk up to the cage and the bird should stay relaxed.

I then used a spray of millet first has it was a larger food treat and it allowed Bluey to get use to my hand. Once Bluey became use to my hand I started to reduce the size of the millet until I could use sunflower seeds.

Note: This is important and that is, not to force the bird to do something it doesn't want to do. Let it approach the millet.

Once I was able to walk up to the cage without Bluey being scared, I then started to train Bluey to come out of the cage.
The first stage is with the clicker in one hand and a spray of millet in the other.

I would offer the millet to Bluey through the cage where the perch is attached. If he didn't take a bite of the millet within 15 seconds, I would remove the millet from his sight for 20 to 30 seconds.

Then I would re-offer the millet. When Bluey took a bite I click the clicker and withdraw the millet but kept it in Bluey sight. When Bluey finished eating the millet. I repeated the procedure and did this for 15 minutes then took a 30 minute break and repeated this 3 more times.

Note: By removing the Millet from the Bird's sight you encourage the "what have I just missed out on. Was that food? Where did it go? Then when you re-offer the millet. The bird thinks I'm not going to miss out again.

The next stage. With the clicker in one hand and a spray of millet in the other. Open the cage door and offer the millet at the entrance of the cage.
Note: Don't put your hand inside the cage has the bird could see this has invasion of their territory.

If Bluey didn't approach the millet within 15 seconds, I would remove it from his sight for 20 to 30 seconds. Then re-offer the millet. When the Bluey came to the cage entrance and took a bite I click the clicker and withdraw the millet but kept it in Bluey sight. I did this for 15 minutes then took a 30 minute break and repeated this 3 more times.

The next stage is to place a T-perch just outside the cage. When Bluey flew to the T-perch and took a bite I click the clicker and withdraw the millet but I kept it in Bluey sight. I did this for 15 minutes then took a 30 minute break and repeated this daily.

You can use the T-perch to return the Bird to the cage. I found that a T-perch is better than a piece of dowel. The bird can run down a piece of dowel and bite the hand. But with the T-perch the bird can run from end to end but the hand is out of reach.

This is more towards interacting with your bird to build trust/bonding. Once you have establish a bond of trust with your bird you can start to train basic tricks. Then advance to more tricks if you desire.
Use the clicker to identify the desired behaviour and the training treats and praise to reinforce that desired behaviour.

My Alexandrine Delfin is fine with the family, has we all take turns in the training. Delfin will fly to us, turn around, shake hands and pick up items and put them into a bin. It's no secret, you just need to spend time interacting and training with your bird.

The clicker is the bridge between you and your bird and you use that bridge to highlight the bird’s desired behaviour to your bird. That how I have gotten Delfin to fly to me, turn around, shake hands and put things into a bin.

I put Delfin on his T-stand and gave him a sunflower seed and click the clicker. This indicates that training has started.
Then in my right hand I held the clicker and the sunflower seed. The set up was the clicker in the palm with my middle finger on the button and the sunflower seed held between my thumb and index finger.

With my left hand I made a pistol so my finger was parallel to the perch and about 3 cm away. Then I would bring my right hand up behind my left hand and show Delfin the sunflower seed and say "come Delfin". if after 15 to 20 seconds Delfin hadn't stepped up onto my left hand I would remove the sunflower seed from his sight.

Wait 20 seconds and reshow the treat. When Delfin stepped up onto my left hand and took the sunflower seed I would click the clicker at the same time. Then I return Delfin back to the T-perch and repeat. I would slowly increase the distance from the T-perch to my hands.
After three days, Delfin was flying 4 metres to my left hand take the sunflower seed and fly back to the T-perch.

The advice I can give is
1 move slowly around the bird
2 let the bird come to you.
3 Don't force the bird to do anything that it doesn't want to do.
4 make the trust building and bonding sessions (training) fun
5 end all training sessions on a positive.
6 patience.

Remember food is a great motivator.
 
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CFellows

New member
Nov 12, 2014
64
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Paisley, Oregon
Parrots
5 year old, Male Sun Conure named Sunny & 20+ year old, Male Blue Front Amazon named Sammy
Thank you so much Delfin. I like how you really took the time to explain the details. I am sure this will help a lot of people.
 

JerseyWendy

New member
Jul 20, 2012
20,995
7
Delfin, your article and the way you wrote and explained everything so detailed is simply AWESOME!!!!

Thank you so very much !! :)
 
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Delfin

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Jan 26, 2014
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I would like some feedback from the members who have use the method to identify any issues. By using that feedback the method can be improved.
 

DoodlesMom

New member
Nov 25, 2014
254
0
Phoenix,Arizona
Parrots
GCC >Doodle
I recently "acquired " Doodle from neighbor who abandoned him. He's a green cheek conure. He's EXTREMELY fearful of hands. From the suggestions of other members Doodle was probably manhandled improperly. Thanks to ALLEE,, who gave me you link, I am going to implement these techniques to gain Doodles trust. DELFIN....thank you so much for your DETAILED & informative article. I haven't had a bird in over 20 years, nor was it a conure.....I now feel confident I can be a good and trusted DoodleMom. I WILL leave posts on OUR progress together. Again, DELFIN, MANY THANKS!
 

EdwardH

New member
Dec 23, 2012
133
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Sydney
Parrots
Eclectus
cockatiel
red rump
This is a great article. The only addition that I would make is to research your species fear response/body language as there are differences. For example an eclectus will stand still and if really angry will raise its feathers. A macaws face will turn red if angry. If your bird is angry leave it alone until it is completely calm and then start again.
 

Ghoster

New member
Dec 6, 2014
1
0
Parrots
Pineapple Conure
Thanks for the info!
I'm new to all of this, bought a Pineapple Conure yesterday and he was great, would step up and come out of the cage without biting. Then early today his was scared of me, puffs out and bites now!
Starting over with him and following these steps!
Thanks again
 

RainbowRose

Member
Aug 6, 2014
318
0
Clicker training seems to bode well with my Kakariki as she is less fearful and loves her treats. She still wont let me take her out of the cage yet though.

I don't even know where to begin with clicker training my Turquoisine. He's a tiny little terrified bird hehe. I usually just catch him and pet him on occassion to get him used to my hands. The only success I have is extending millet out to him and he waits a few mins and then takes a bite even if im poking him literally in the face with it, he gets that scared to touch it lol. but yea these methods are helpful and I do feel that they work, SLOWLY, but effectively.

I need some training on patience for myself... hehe sometimes I get frustrated cause it's been almost 2 months now and I haven't made much progress but I guess it is what it is.
 

BEWolf

New member
Mar 5, 2014
62
0
Lansing, NC, USA
Parrots
Harley and Marley mated pair of budgies, age unknown
Rajah and Keeta, mated pair of parrotlets, ages 6yrs. and 11yrs. respectively
Kiki, Senegal, F., 7yrs.
Kookooloo, CAG, F., 14 yrs.
Mimi, YHA, F., 1
Clicker training seems to bode well with my Kakariki as she is less fearful and loves her treats. She still wont let me take her out of the cage yet though.

I don't even know where to begin with clicker training my Turquoisine. He's a tiny little terrified bird hehe. I usually just catch him and pet him on occassion to get him used to my hands. The only success I have is extending millet out to him and he waits a few mins and then takes a bite even if im poking him literally in the face with it, he gets that scared to touch it lol. but yea these methods are helpful and I do feel that they work, SLOWLY, but effectively.

I need some training on patience for myself... hehe sometimes I get frustrated cause it's been almost 2 months now and I haven't made much progress but I guess it is what it is.

The method as presented her is almost exactly the way that I proceed with my birds. I works and does not stress the bird because the bird decides when it is ready to proceed further and it builds trust for the same reason.

It appears to me that your own lack of patience is the primary factor preventing the progress that you would like to have. There is a big difference between poking a bird to get a response from it and offering your hand, a perch or a treat and waiting for the birds response. The first is a form of flooding and will backfire on you as it is not conducive to trust, whereas the second builds trusts and then allows you to build on that trust.

Just my opinion.
 

RainbowRose

Member
Aug 6, 2014
318
0
Clicker training seems to bode well with my Kakariki as she is less fearful and loves her treats. She still wont let me take her out of the cage yet though.

I don't even know where to begin with clicker training my Turquoisine. He's a tiny little terrified bird hehe. I usually just catch him and pet him on occassion to get him used to my hands. The only success I have is extending millet out to him and he waits a few mins and then takes a bite even if im poking him literally in the face with it, he gets that scared to touch it lol. but yea these methods are helpful and I do feel that they work, SLOWLY, but effectively.

I need some training on patience for myself... hehe sometimes I get frustrated cause it's been almost 2 months now and I haven't made much progress but I guess it is what it is.

The method as presented her is almost exactly the way that I proceed with my birds. I works and does not stress the bird because the bird decides when it is ready to proceed further and it builds trust for the same reason.

It appears to me that your own lack of patience is the primary factor preventing the progress that you would like to have. There is a big difference between poking a bird to get a response from it and offering your hand, a perch or a treat and waiting for the birds response. The first is a form of flooding and will backfire on you as it is not conducive to trust, whereas the second builds trusts and then allows you to build on that trust.

Just my opinion.

It was rhetoric. I'm not sitting there poking a bird over and over again; that even contradicts my statements that I am unable to have contact with him without scaring him because that would scare him. I just mean it'll be basically staring him in the face and he still gets nervous to move and bite it.

My comment about me needing to train myself paitence was also a partial joke hence my "hehe"ing. I'm pointing out that it can be a frustrating process because it is timely with slow results.

My patience is not the "primary" factor causing my bird to avoid me. It was the fact that he was over a year old and never handled before in his life and the fact that he is typically an aviary bird and not the pet type. I use clicker training successfully, I don't get angry or flustered or "flood" any of my birds. I wouldnt want to encourage anyone to do that, it really does nothing but worsen the situation :( I've had birds for 10 years I would never force a bird to do anything, they just feel more disconnect than trust that way :(. If I am feeling any frustration I never show it to them either because it will make a bird anxious. I can stay calm with my hand in a cage for over an hour just to get them adjusted to it even though it hurts and can be frustrating afterwards if the bird only makes one step. But its still a step so it's progress even if a tiny amount. My overall point is that in doing these things the bird will build trust, but it takes time. Frustration and impatience are a normal response to have when things feel slow, (I am only human after all,) but it is important to keep those feelings under wraps during the actual training sessions.

2 months is also a short amount of time to move to a new home with a different cage mate and be having your cage entered by a human wanting to be near you. It's overwhelming. 2 months in this case is very realistic for never handled adult birds. It's going to take him months and I knew that from the getgo when I acquired him from the breeder. He's come a long way since I got him but it may not seem like much. I wouldn't want anyone to have unrealistic time expectations about training a wild bird. Nor would I want people to flood their birds or make them stressed as they feel your emotions. I would like to be clear that is not what I am doing with any bird. It's just how I sometimes feel after training sessions. It is most certainly worth the waiting though. There is nothing more rewarding when you've put lots of time and effort into training and a bird makes another milestone step no matter how small it might seem to others. Progress is progress! :)
 
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Delfin

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Each bird is different. I had Bluey stepping up by day 3. But it took a bit longer to get him to step up and stay on my hand about a week and a half. I didn't stick my hand in the cage during this process. The cage is their territory and their one safe place.
Has you said Progress is progress.
 

RainbowRose

Member
Aug 6, 2014
318
0
Each bird is different. I had Bluey stepping up by day 3. But it took a bit longer to get him to step up and stay on my hand about a week and a half. I didn't stick my hand in the cage during this process. The cage is their territory and their one safe place.
Has you said Progress is progress.

Yea it depends on the personality I think too. My one bird was super curious about everything (as the breed is actually known to be) and became trusting very quickly. The little guy was more timid but it was good for him to observe my interaction with the more trusting bird, it helped him relax a bit.
 

jado

New member
Feb 27, 2015
90
0
Parrots
Indian ringneck - Kiwi
thanks for this tips i hope i can do this ;)
 

jado

New member
Feb 27, 2015
90
0
Parrots
Indian ringneck - Kiwi
great work , but its not work with kiwi , he still afread and scared every time i be near his cage , but for now he eat when i am near , but if he saw me there near the cage he just change his place

also when he saw my hand in cage he be like a crazy , for now he is with me since 1 week , and still not accept me or any new food :) love apple - sunflower - strawberry
 

pikaPika

New member
Apr 2, 2017
7
0
Parrots
Clover, green cheek conure
Im glad i read this because it was really helpful for me and my new bird. He has always been fine with my hand, until i ask him to step up. Luckily your advice helped and even though he still doesn't always step up, he seems a little more comfortable around me.
 

ahmadses

New member
Apr 14, 2017
97
0
Loudoun County, Virginia
Parrots
Two Budgies
Bandit and Sparky after my two favorite characters in a game called Clash Royale
Parrots rarely bite each other, because they convey their feelings beforehand or fly off to avoid physical contact. If it's feels cornered and frighten then need to bite will be from the natural instinct of self -preservation.

The cage is the Parrot safe haven and any attempt to enter, add or remove items and this includes forcefully removing the bird, will most likely trigger a bite response. This why you first build trust with the bird in the cage (safe haven). Trying hanging a chew toy on the outside of the cage.

No putting hands inside the cage. No chasing the bird around the cage or room. (forcing the bird) instead Conducted lots of trust building and bonding sessions (training). I have had great success with the following method to bond and build trust. I would use a T-perch to handle him.

This how I bonded and built trust with an aviary bred bird and have used it on other birds. I obtained a aviary bred IRN a few years ago who we named Bluey. When people approached Bluey he would thrash around the cage in fear. So I needed some tools to address this problem 1 was a clicker 2 was training treats 3 was T-perch.

Clickers are the best for training. Do some research? B F Skinner is a good start. Clicks won't confuse the bird. Where has words can. Without realising, words can be changed. It doesn't seem much, but it is to a bird. Has an example you might be saying "good boy". Then you say "that's a good boy" or you’re a good bird. Clickers are a bridge to identify wanted behaviour between you and your bird.

Second By putting five different foods on a plate and watch which one Bluey ate first I worked out what Bluey favorite food. I used sunflower seeds, corn kernels, pine nuts, grapes and balls of millet. This became Bluey's training treat and I removed this food from Bluey diet. Whatever your bird picks, it must not be part of the bird’s diet otherwise it defeats the purpose of being a training treat. It was sunflower seeds.

These are the procedures I used to calm and interact with him.
Bluey was in a cage in the lounge room. With the clicker in my hand, I entered the lounge room and went to the furthest point away from the cage. Then I would slowly approach the cage until Bluey showed signs of fear. When your bird becomes small and "skinny," and the bird's crop often looks sucked in, and all the feathers lie flat on the body. It usually means the bird is scared.

I would stop and stand there until Bluey relaxed.
Relaxed feathers and wings, standing on one foot, preening and /or grinding his upper and lower mandible together to produce a scratchy or "zippy" noise. This bird is probably content and relaxed. The bird might not display all these signs but relaxed feathers and wings, standing on one foot are a sure sign.

When Bluey relaxed, I click the clicker and took 3 slow steps back waited 20 to 30 seconds. Then, again I would slowly approach the cage until Bluey showed signs of fear. But this time I got a bit closer to the cage. Then I would stop and stand there until Bluey relaxed.

When Bluey relaxed I click the clicker and took 3 slow steps back waited 20 to 30 seconds. I repeated this procedure and with each approach, I would get a bit closer to the cage until I was standing next to the cage and Bluey was relaxed.

When this was achieved I would leave the room for 20 to 30 minutes. Then I would repeat this procedure for 5 to 7 times that day. By the end of the day you should be able to slowly walk up to the cage and the bird should stay relaxed.

I then used a spray of millet first has it was a larger food treat and it allowed Bluey to get use to my hand. Once Bluey became use to my hand I started to reduce the size of the millet until I could use sunflower seeds.

Note: This is important and that is, not to force the bird to do something it doesn't want to do. Let it approach the millet.

Once I was able to walk up to the cage without Bluey being scared, I then started to train Bluey to come out of the cage.
The first stage is with the clicker in one hand and a spray of millet in the other.

I would offer the millet to Bluey through the cage where the perch is attached. If he didn't take a bite of the millet within 15 seconds, I would remove the millet from his sight for 20 to 30 seconds.

Then I would re-offer the millet. When Bluey took a bite I click the clicker and withdraw the millet but kept it in Bluey sight. When Bluey finished eating the millet. I repeated the procedure and did this for 15 minutes then took a 30 minute break and repeated this 3 more times.

Note: By removing the Millet from the Bird's sight you encourage the "what have I just missed out on. Was that food? Where did it go? Then when you re-offer the millet. The bird thinks I'm not going to miss out again.

The next stage. With the clicker in one hand and a spray of millet in the other. Open the cage door and offer the millet at the entrance of the cage.
Note: Don't put your hand inside the cage has the bird could see this has invasion of their territory.

If Bluey didn't approach the millet within 15 seconds, I would remove it from his sight for 20 to 30 seconds. Then re-offer the millet. When the Bluey came to the cage entrance and took a bite I click the clicker and withdraw the millet but kept it in Bluey sight. I did this for 15 minutes then took a 30 minute break and repeated this 3 more times.

The next stage is to place a T-perch just outside the cage. When Bluey flew to the T-perch and took a bite I click the clicker and withdraw the millet but I kept it in Bluey sight. I did this for 15 minutes then took a 30 minute break and repeated this daily.

You can use the T-perch to return the Bird to the cage. I found that a T-perch is better than a piece of dowel. The bird can run down a piece of dowel and bite the hand. But with the T-perch the bird can run from end to end but the hand is out of reach.

This is more towards interacting with your bird to build trust/bonding. Once you have establish a bond of trust with your bird you can start to train basic tricks. Then advance to more tricks if you desire.
Use the clicker to identify the desired behaviour and the training treats and praise to reinforce that desired behaviour.

My Alexandrine Delfin is fine with the family, has we all take turns in the training. Delfin will fly to us, turn around, shake hands and pick up items and put them into a bin. It's no secret, you just need to spend time interacting and training with your bird.

The clicker is the bridge between you and your bird and you use that bridge to highlight the bird’s desired behaviour to your bird. That how I have gotten Delfin to fly to me, turn around, shake hands and put things into a bin.

I put Delfin on his T-stand and gave him a sunflower seed and click the clicker. This indicates that training has started.
Then in my right hand I held the clicker and the sunflower seed. The set up was the clicker in the palm with my middle finger on the button and the sunflower seed held between my thumb and index finger.

With my left hand I made a pistol so my finger was parallel to the perch and about 3 cm away. Then I would bring my right hand up behind my left hand and show Delfin the sunflower seed and say "come Delfin". if after 15 to 20 seconds Delfin hadn't stepped up onto my left hand I would remove the sunflower seed from his sight.

Wait 20 seconds and reshow the treat. When Delfin stepped up onto my left hand and took the sunflower seed I would click the clicker at the same time. Then I return Delfin back to the T-perch and repeat. I would slowly increase the distance from the T-perch to my hands.
After three days, Delfin was flying 4 metres to my left hand take the sunflower seed and fly back to the T-perch.

The advice I can give is
1 move slowly around the bird
2 let the bird come to you.
3 Don't force the bird to do anything that it doesn't want to do.
4 make the trust building and bonding sessions (training) fun
5 end all training sessions on a positive.
6 patience.

Remember food is a great motivator.

Rip ban see you elsewhere
 

Hossinn

New member
Jun 3, 2017
21
0
Oak View, CA
Parrots
Indian Ring Neck
1. Our bird is comfortable stepping up from inside his cage, however, he seems so comfortable inside, he would likely stay in there indefinitely :) With that said, since he's not "objecting" I'm guessing it's okay to put our hand in the cage and have him step up, to come out and interact...?

2. When our bird is on the play structure, above the cage, he will often run to the other side when we ask him to step up. If we meet him on the other side he WILL step up, since he doesn't see us coming as easily and steps up without objection (doesn't squak or bite). I think the backing away is a normal/learned behavior for the bird, that was imprinted on him with his previous owner.

We want to do the "right thing". Our preference is that he will come to us, and we don't want to chase him across the cage, so we've started (last night) using the steps/strategy you outlined above.

Does this seem like a situation that would benefit from your instructions?

We are still trying to determine his favorite treat that we can use for training. Are "training treats" generally something the bird can eat relatively quickly, or is it okay if he takes a minute to enjoy/eat the treat before we attempt the task again?

-He seems to enjoy apple, however, after enjoying one or two small pieces he'll just chuck additional pieces to the side.
-Popcorn is another treat he enjoys, however, he makes a giant mess when eating it.
-We gave him a small bit of flour tortilla this morning, and he liked it A LOT! Is that an appropriate food for a parrot?

Thank you!
 

Scott

Moderator
Staff member
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Aug 21, 2010
31,012
3,151
San Diego, California USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
Parrots
Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
1. Our bird is comfortable stepping up from inside his cage, however, he seems so comfortable inside, he would likely stay in there indefinitely :) With that said, since he's not "objecting" I'm guessing it's okay to put our hand in the cage and have him step up, to come out and interact...?

2. When our bird is on the play structure, above the cage, he will often run to the other side when we ask him to step up. If we meet him on the other side he WILL step up, since he doesn't see us coming as easily and steps up without objection (doesn't squak or bite). I think the backing away is a normal/learned behavior for the bird, that was imprinted on him with his previous owner.

We want to do the "right thing". Our preference is that he will come to us, and we don't want to chase him across the cage, so we've started (last night) using the steps/strategy you outlined above.

Does this seem like a situation that would benefit from your instructions?

We are still trying to determine his favorite treat that we can use for training. Are "training treats" generally something the bird can eat relatively quickly, or is it okay if he takes a minute to enjoy/eat the treat before we attempt the task again?

-He seems to enjoy apple, however, after enjoying one or two small pieces he'll just chuck additional pieces to the side.
-Popcorn is another treat he enjoys, however, he makes a giant mess when eating it.
-We gave him a small bit of flour tortilla this morning, and he liked it A LOT! Is that an appropriate food for a parrot?

Thank you!

1- Some birds are very territorial in or near their cage. If Neela willingly steps up, no problem! Others need to be either on top or standing on a door, so you have an accommodating bird!

2- This may be what we view as game-playing. A frightened bird will constantly evade and/or threaten to bite.

Training treats ought be a highly desired food. Unfortunately this will include high-density items such as nuts, junk food, etc. Some folks use sunflower seeds, almonds, pieces of walnuts, etc. Whatever you offer need not be of a large quantity, so a sliver of almond, bit of walnut, etc would suffice. Some birds like Cheerios, a fairly benign cereal low in sugar/salt/fat. A demonstrative verbal praise such as "Good boy/bird" is helpful at the same time as giving a treat.

Tiny bits of flour tortilla shouldn't be a problem. As with any treat, just be careful of the cumulative effect over the course of a day/week.
 

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