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VippiN

Behavior Problems When New Bird Introduced.

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okay, where to begin.

 

I've had 'Tweeter' for about six months, he has a huge cage, about 4ft by 3ft. He was very tame, I could put my hand into his cage and he wouldn't move an inch, just step up when I was close.

 

About 6 weeks ago I bought a second Budgie, 'Duo,' and spent a month training him to not be scared. He was doing well, not flying about the cage, but not at the stage Tweeter was. I introduced both the birds to each other on nuetral ground, and as far as I could tell they were trying to establish dominance. They now both live in the same large cage, and every night it's whoever can sleep on the highest perch first wins. As far as I can tell it's a dominance thing. They also raise their open beaks at each other, and sometimes nip each other.

 

These days, if I put my hand in the cage, they will both run/fly for their lives. It's extremely difficult to get either bird to step up to be removed from the cage. When I do eventually get them out, they are agitated at first, then settle down. For example right now they are out of their cage, both on my shoulders, chirping constantly. I believe they are happy where they are currently. Though they are very hesitant to step back up, sometimes even trying to fly away to avoid my hand.

 

I read somewhere on the net one way to get birds to be un-scared of hands is to get a hold of them securely and keep them there for ten minutes at a time. I've been doing this, doesn't seem to be working. All I receive from both birds are sore fingers from them trying to destroy my flesh with their beaks.

 

So what i'm trying to find out is, why have my birds gone from quite tame to untame in their cage, and is the holding method correct. Also what else can I do to further progress.

 

Regards,

Rob

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Sounds like my 2 when they come out of the cage especially now since Merlin can fly. What I do is take the calmer one which is Merlin and have millett ready when he comes out and then I let Pretty do his flying routine and get all the energy out. He will finally then calm down.

 

If they are sitting on you and chirping you are more advanced then I, because mine don't do that but they step up readly after they have gotten all their energy out from being coop up in their cage.

 

I know the holding method is more fearful then taming at least here in my house. I personally don't suggest it I have gotten some great advice from www.budgietalk.com.

 

I use Merlin alot to entice Pretty to step up. Pretty will step up readly when I have Merlin already on my finger and when they are together they run I think they feed off each other.

 

Just continue to work with them together and reward alot :wub:

 

I am sure others will come along with advice too.

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Thanks for the reply. I hope to see more from others.

 

To be honest i'm very frustrated, I had a perfect example of a tame budgie and now that I did the 'right thing' and got him a friend it's all gone out the door. I try everyday to remedy the problem but I have had zero progress. Right now i'm quite fed up with them both, but I will try and prevail.

 

Rob

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I understand completely Pretty was much more tame and was talking. The talking stopped and so did the kisses, if I wouldn't have gotten Merlin I bet right now he would have been my best friend but that is the price we pay for their happiness vs our own. Called love :P.

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Right now I don't believe my 'boys' are in love actually I think Duo is Tweeter's *****. :hap: When Tweeter says 'scratch here' Duo says 'How hard?'

 

I'm going to try a different approach. Since no one but you Lovey seems to care enough to respond i'm going to try seperating them for a full month. I believe the reason Tweeter has gone wild is because Duo was not tame enough. So as of Today Tweeter regains his large cage to himself, and Duo migrates back to his small cage about 4ft away from me in my PC room (where I spend most of my time at home.)

 

I'll take Duo out of his cage every day, try my best to hand tame him. If he isn't as tame as Tweeter WAS, i'll give him another month.

 

(While doing this i'll be trying to retrain Tweeter.)

 

Rob

Edited by VippiN

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It's not that no one else cares enough to respond. The thread's only been up two days, and not everyone is on every day, or has time to go through all the forums at one time.

 

Seperating them may be a good idea if you want to make taming Duo easier. Right now you have introduced a new bird into Tweeter's domain. It was his, and he didn't have any say in whether he wanted a roommate. Some birds seem to love everyone, and other birds have strong likes and dislikes for both people and other birds. If you had put them both into a neutral cage, you might not have had so much bickering. But that's not to say they won't eventually learn to live in harmony. The cage sounds plenty big enough for 2 birds, so space probably isn't the issue. You are correct in that the fight or flight response will win out every time over the tame and trusting response. If it didn't, these birds would not survive in the wild. That they are in your house and you are not going to eat them is a fact that is totally lost on them. :hap: You haven't had them long enough to dampen that automatic response, even though Tweeter had been there 6 months. That's not a long time.

 

If you are not using favorite treats as motivators to spend time with you, start there. Whether it's millet or peanut butter smeared on your finger, or just your exclusive attention, find something that they really, really like and ONLY offer it when they 1) step up onto your finger or 2) don't run from you in the cage, or 3) exhibit a behavior that you want reinforced. Give it to them periodically when they show especially good behavior outside the cage too. You need to give them an incentive to WANT to come to you instead of fly away from you. Otherwise what is their motivation?

 

The open beaks are just a sizing up of the other bird. The rest of the behavior is based on both of them wanting the same thing, not dominance. Dogs establish a dominant/submissive heirarchy but parrots do not. If you look at their behavior, compare it to two toddlers who have not learned social skills yet. :P What one has, the other one automatically wants, even if they want it just so the other one cannot have it. For example, the nighttime routine for sleeping spots. Height = might in the bird world, and usually safety from predators too, as the higher up they are, the more of their surroundings are visible. If the highest perch only has enough room for one, either put up a longer perch or put up an identical one at the same height. The same with toys, food, whatever.

 

I don't recommend the grab and hold method of taming. It might work better for clipped birds, as they soon realize they cannot get away and are dependent upon you for a good deal of their transport from one room to another. Still, you cannot force trust from a bird, it must be earned. That is part of what parrots are about. It is easy to lump them in the same category as dogs and wonder why they don't do what you tell them to like dogs will with training. People are more conditioned to pets like dogs, and it is easy to forget parrots are a whole new matter entirely. You have to shift your perspective to something new entirely. Flighted birds have more attitude (if I could fly I would have attitude too) and by forcing them to remain in your grasp I think only reinforces their fear of your hands. I recommend starting over from square one with these guys, and you should begin to see progress again.

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when you reeintroduce them don't put them in the same cage all at once either.

 

What I did with Merlin and Pretty is that I had them side by side but not where they could bite toes, and then I had them only out for fly time together but Pretty had to behave and step up first before he could see Merlin, and then gradually during the day and then night. It was a progression over a couple month.

 

The key is don't let them hear each other because during training if they are calling to each other it is distracting big time. You may find this happening when you separate them and that is frustrating too. So make sure they are out of hearing range.

 

Keep us updated.

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I used the holding method on Ozzie but he was really young. :) I think your best bet will be bribing them with their favourite food or toy.

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Thanks for the posts, taken everything in..

 

when you reeintroduce them don't put them in the same cage all at once either.

 

What I did with Merlin and Pretty is that I had them side by side but not where they could bite toes, and then I had them only out for fly time together but Pretty had to behave and step up first before he could see Merlin, and then gradually during the day and then night. It was a progression over a couple month.

 

The key is don't let them hear each other because during training if they are calling to each other it is distracting big time. You may find this happening when you separate them and that is frustrating too. So make sure they are out of hearing range.

 

Keep us updated.

 

Don't worry Lovey, i'm not as silly to introduce into one cage. When these two were introduced they were in a neutral location, far away from either cage over several nights. I actually recorded their first meeting on my video camera.

 

These birds are very loud in the morning and can hear each other (as I leave doors open overnight, to hear for possible breakins/fishtankdisasters/anything) however if i'm home i'll generally have most doors half-shut to keep some warmth in (it's winter here..)

 

Right now Tweeter's in the smaller cage as I assumed it would take less time to retrain, he's already showing promise. Isn't going as nuts as he used to when I enter the cage. Progress already.

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that is awesome, keep us updated on the progress and how it all works out, I know it will be okay. Birds are silly sometimes but you have to love them :)

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So far Tweeter is doing well. Not running at all when I put my hand in the smaller cage. He still hesitates and 'walks' away from my hand when he's on furniture, ground etc. He's also flying about my room (as best to his abilities) at will. Especially when he hear's Duo across the house.. But he only meets a closed door for his efforts.

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thanks for the update :blush:, you are making progress

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Progress..

 

Tweeter has major attitude problems now that he has three major flight wings. If he doesn't like where he's going he flies to his cage - From anywhere in the house! Knows how to get there everytime without fail. *shakes fist*

 

Duo is no longer running for his life when I enter my hand in the cage. He is still moving away, just not scared shitless anymore. Hardly any 'jump on side/roof/floor of cage' stuff too. I'm trying to teach him that 'hand = good' as his cage resides up high. I put him on the floor, his cage is high and he can't get to it. I put my hand near the floor, but not near him. He has started to climb onto my hand and as a reward he gets to go to his cage. Hopefully this will help in future.

 

He's also stopped getting himself stuck (see other thread in behavior fora), hasn't done it for a good week.

 

Movies of what i'm talking about:

 

Duo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEyHMCRdUoU

Tweeter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLbKCJWTCsk

Edited by VippiN

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Pretty did the same thing as Tweeter, I had to resort to not letting him fly around the house until he tamed down outside the cage and only let him out in my office which is a smaller room. Using millett as a reward.

 

Good job on Duo.

 

Slowly but surely they will come around.

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Thanks for the replies as always Lovey.

 

I reintroduced the birds tonight on a stand I made them. At first they had a bit of a fight but it's been about six hours now and they're a lot better. Tonight i'm putting them in seperate cages still, but over a week I see good things.

 

Ironically it seems Duo is more happy to jump on my hand (the jump on hand to get to cage trick worked awesomely) and Tweeter just flies around me if i'm taking Duo anywhere.

 

I've found that the whole attitude with wings thing is true to how everyone says! Once the budgie grows it's wings back their personality does change! Tweeter flies off quite easily these days, even though i've tried to keep up the attention. I think it's just how he'll be.

 

The month's apart was the right thing to do I believe. I'll repost after they're back in the same cage. Hopefully they won't go back to being scaredy-birds.

 

Here's a picture of the stand I made. The gym I bought seperately and attached it to the top. :P

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v724/vippin/stand.jpg

 

Rob

Edited by Rainbow

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very nice play gym

Glad things are working out :P

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Nice stand. :P

 

I'm glad to hear you are making some progress with them. Some of the attitude birds get when their flights grow back in is due to their age. In birds under a year remember that they are the equivalent of teen-agers and will test their limits. :P Just keep working with them and as they age they should settle down a bit.

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