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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-15-2004, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2004
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Unhappy Huge step backwards...

Over the last few days Soda and Pony have become afraid of my hand. I have no clue why, it was going so well and they were trusting me. Now Pony actually flies away from me and Soda just hops away. I don't chase them with my hand, that would be bad. I am pretty sure I have done nothing to scare them and nothing has happened/changed that could make them nervous. I've tried working with them everyday and they just get more uncomfortable with me each time. I talk to them softly and whistle and move slowly, offer them treats. I've tried three methods and none work! Help?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-15-2004, 03:22 PM
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It sounds like they're wings aren't clipped, or aren't clipped well enough. Clipping their wings will go a long way in their training, since they'll no longer be able to fly away.

Also, have you tried getting away from their cage? Take them into a room that they're not familiar with, or they'll spend the whole time trying to get back to their cage. It doesn't matter whether they want to be locked up or not... the cage represents a safe place to them, but taking them away from the cage will expand their comfort zone.

Work with them individually, but make sure they're both in the same room. If your birds are anything like mine, they'll call to each other constantly if they can't see each other, which could distract from their training.

If they're being kept in the same cage, you might consider separatinng them into two different cages, but keeping them in the same room so they can still see each other, and letting them play and socialize out of their cages at least an hour a day. This one is controversial, since some people believe that birds need other birds to be happy. They don't need to live in the same cage, though. Being able to see and hear each other, and then have visitation time out of the cage should be enough, and will prevent them to bonding to each other so they'll be more interested in you. Birds that are kept in the same cage are often more difficult to tame, because they don't care about making friends with you because they have each other. Also, giving them their own cage will minimize the eventuality of fighting.... the more personal space a bird has, the better. Just a suggestion.

Otherwise, you're doing every thing right. How long have you had your birds? It took me over a year to tame Cami, and she has her own cage and everything. Some birds tame faster than others. A lot depends on where they came from, how old they are, and how they were treated before they came to live with you. Don't give up! You'll get there!
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-15-2004, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2004
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Their wings aren't clipped, because they usually have free fly in a seperate room where I also took them today, as usual. I can't clip their wings, it would be too traumatizing for them and they'd be deprived of flying, which they usually love.
I also can't seperate these two. They're like an old married couple, they fight, but they love each other. They even feed one another. When Soda had to stay at the vet's for a weekend, Pony was so sad and lonely and when Soda had to be put in a different cage to get his medicine, it was right next to Pony's, they would try to break down the bars! I've had Soda since January and Pony since April. I've never heard of parakeets taking this long to train. Thanks for your info though, very good info!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-15-2004, 07:54 PM
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I don't want to get into controversial topics too much, but just so you know, wing clipping isn't the least bit traumatizing to any bird. It doesn't hurt, and keeping their wings clipped is actually a very good safety precaution, since a lot of accidents that happen with pet birds can be avoided by clipping their wings. Besides, the feathers grow back in about 6 months, so once they were tamed and trained a bit, you could let them fly if you wanted to.

Here's an interesting article that I think everyone with birds should read:

Since it is controversial, I won't push the issue. As a trainer, those are my suggestions. Flighted birds can be tamed, but it will take much longer, which is probably part of your problem. Some people who have tamed flighted birds claim that the relationship is more rewarding. However, none of my birds can fly, and they're all happy and healthy and I have a wonderful relationship with them, so...

Most vets recommend wing clipping.
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-15-2004, 07:56 PM
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Odd that they would change their behavior with you for no reason. Are you sure no one else has been trying to handle them when you are not around?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-16-2004, 04:43 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Getting my budgie hand tame took a few months but then I didn't push him. My 'technique' was to occasionally present my finger and let him decide. Unusually for a budgie (in my experience) he never panicked and flew away but instead went into a kind of 'pause mode'. No shaking or anything he just stopped moving until I removed the finger. I got the impression he knew what I wanted and wasn't worried but simply preferred not to.

To me that's weird. The other three budgies I've known all seemed to have an instinctive step-up and couldn't help themselves. Even now though he can refuse to step-up. I can play ladder with him for a while but then he just stops and/or actually places just one foot on the target finger and turns to look at me.

Anyway I never spent several minutes trying. I just gave him the option now and again and if he didn't want to then fair enough. The downside I suppose is that he has developed this independance. Getting him off my finger can be a problem now

Perhaps yours is just going through a phase. Beekle does that sometimes. Spending a week on a different perch or preferring to stay in his cage and sulk for a few days.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-16-2004, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Good info guys.
My first thought that they were sick, but they aren't, and no one else would handle them. My mom likes them a lot, but not handling them, and no one else is really home when I'm not.
Thanks AndrueC, Beekle seems to trust you a lot so your advic makes sense.
Alika, would it change their behavior at all if they couldn't fly? They don't fly right now anyways for some reason except in their cage in their usual place in the kitchen.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-16-2004, 02:21 PM
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Yes, it would, and does. It makes them more willing to sit still and listen to what you have to say, so to speak.

Been there, done that.

sit still

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