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Advice for a bad bird owner #389463 11/17/09 09:58 PM
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G M Kenny Offline OP
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I got my first parakeet in late 2006, and my second one in early 2007. The cage was small, I put the second one in the first cage as soon as I got it, and my second bird recently died last week. Since then I've been looking up parakeet stuff and wow I had no idea they needed so much, I'm getting a really big cage next weekend, with lots of toys and extra food, my first bird still never goes on my finger and I doubt I'd ever get her trust now.

I just need help on some questions:

1- She's been living in that cage for over 3 years, I assume she'd be happy to move to nicer, bigger cage as soon as I get it, but I don't know if she'll understand that's going to be her new house now, or if she'd want to move

2- I'm getting a second parakeet to keep her company, and this time they'll have lots of space and won't fight, my mom's being cheap and said I can only get the big cage + toys. Should I keep the first keet in it's original cage and the second one in the new bigger cage first? I don't know how my first keet would like that, and I always just leave the cage doors open so they can fly around the room, will my first parakeet try to go to the bigger cage?

I'm going to try to get two cages, a same size one as the one I have now for the new bird, then when they have gotten to know each other, put them in the bigger cage.

3- I hope to get an already hand trained bird, if I get one and it stands on my finger, isn't scared to take baths, and play around people, will my first keet eventually learn to do all these on herself if I play with the new bird in front of her?

I try to play with her, but she always runs from my hand / flies away

I'm going to get a big cage with horizontal bars, I just need help on toys, and I'll be getting a cuttlebone, and I don't know how to make them understand what it's for. I'll be getting two different water/food plates for each too.

If you're a parakeet expert answer these please, I don't want to be a pet bird owner, I just never knew about all this when I first got my bird

Thanks:)

Re: Advice for a bad bird owner [Re: G M Kenny] #389465 11/18/09 12:11 AM
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illusive Fantasy Offline
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We i believe are all pet bird owners here so to speak..i dont think anyone here would claim to be a expert...These are our little friends. Any bird needs lots of time to get use to everything..and paying attention to them helps to put them at ease but, by paying attention to them i mean just for several days being close to cage and talking to them without rushing them into anything..and not sudden quick moves to frighten them, or letting the new bird out right away. If these pets will be urs it might help if you earn some money to help to pay for their care, toys, cage, vets, foods, and all that comes with owning a pet. If you get a second bird, u first... MUST/SHOULD quaranteen it from your other bird so just in case the new one is sick it wont infect the older bird, u should quaranteen for a month..keep them separate NOT together... That would give u time to save some or earn some money also for the other little things so that if u decide to put them together in a new larger cage when ur done with quaranteen u will be able to help pay your parents back..They are not being cheap all this comes with several dollars of expenses. A similar smaller cage at first to keep them separate will you quaranteen for a month and then show your mom u have good intentions of helping to pay for all this..during that time you should REALLY REALLY show responsibility and EARN AS MUCH AS YOU CAN..to pay for a bigger cage for them both...to introduce them to the new larger cage together at the same time where one wont become bossy it will be new turf for each of them. Also ask around maybe someone has a small cage for now to quaranteen the new bird in. And if you check the prices of big cages i think you will see MOM ISNT BEING CHEAP cuz cages dont come cheap...GOOD LUCK

Re: Advice for a bad bird owner [Re: illusive Fantasy] #389466 11/18/09 12:25 AM
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GM - you might think about keeping just one bird for a while and work at getting her trust. It is a slow process that requires patience. Even if you get a new bird you will still have to have patience and spend a lot of time training the new bird.

Here are two links to some of Lisa's suggestions. It would be good to read thru these to give you a good idea of what you can do.

Hand Training a Parakeet -
http://www.lisashea.com/petinfo/articles/bird_hand.html

Q&A on Hand Training a Parakeet -
http://www.lisashea.com/petinfo/questions/q7

Re: Advice for a bad bird owner [Re: G M Kenny] #389471 11/18/09 12:52 AM
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If I get a new male parakeet who is hand trained, and isn't afraid to get on a finger or a trap with water to take a bath, would it be easier to train my female parakeet? I've had her for over 3 years now, and she still is scared of me, so if I try to hand train her now, is it too late? She's also terrified of water that isn't in her container, so I don't know how to give her a bath either.

Also, if anyone has some great cage setup suggestions, I would really really appreciate it :), I know those toys that can become choking hazards or have holes in them are bad, I have no idea about perches though.

Edit: I always leave the cage door open for my bird, so she eats, flies around, sites on the fan in my room, and comes back in the cage whenever she wants. If I start to try to hand train her now, should I not let her out? She knows the house and has flown in every room before, so I would feel bad if I just made her sit in the cage all day, especially if I get my second bird who probably will be in a separate cage.

Am I allowed to let the new bird fly around, or will it still be scared because it doesn't know the house yet?

Edit: Also, all these years I had only had two of the same type of perches (I think plastic), this time I'll get a large variation of perches, would she like that or is she already too used to the ones now? And I should move all the current toys and perches in her cage to the new one so it will be familiar to her right?

Last edited by G M Kenny; 11/18/09 01:08 AM.
Re: Advice for a bad bird owner [Re: G M Kenny] #389479 11/18/09 02:25 AM
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It is not too late to hand train your present bird. In fact now that you only have one bird would be a great time to work with her. Lisa has some excellent suggestions in her threads on training.

Hand Training a Parakeet -
http://www.lisashea.com/petinfo/articles/bird_hand.html

Q&A on Hand Training a Parakeet -
http://www.lisashea.com/petinfo/questions/q7

As far as the bath; you can mist her with warm water. I usually mist mine with warm water then I put their bath in the cage. That was the only way I could get a couple of them to actually get into the bath and splash around.

Their bird bath is also their seed holder, treat holder and veggie holder. That way when I put it in their cage they are quite familiar with it and it does not scare them.

Cage setup is really an individual thing. What I usually do when I am thinking about changing their cage is sit and watch them for a long time, paying attention to where they go and how they get there. Then after I change it I watch also to see that it is working for them

When you get your new bird there should be a 30 day quarantine to make sure you are not bringing any infections to your present bird. During that time you new bird will get quite familiar with the part of the house he can see.

You are allowed to do anything you think is good for your birds.

It is always good to have at least three different types if perches in your birds cage. I have two wooden perches that are not just the straight dowel type, but have differing widths. I have two cement perches for their talons and beak. I also have two rope perches. My guys LOVE their rope perches.

I kind of rattled on a bit. Sorry

Re: Advice for a bad bird owner [Re: BLR] #389491 11/18/09 06:05 AM
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I would work on building trust with the bird you have now before getting another. Even if you get a hand trained bird, you still have to get them to trust you; depending on the bird that can be a week or several months. I have two hand trained birds, one was my buddy from day one, the other is just coming around after several months.

Save and get a bigger cage. I have a single flight cage and it is excellent for two birds. Emily was in it alone for several months and loved it. I wouldn't worry about the transfer to much. It all depends on the bird. Emily was cautious but only took a day to adopt; Heneri knew a good thing when she saw it and I couldn't keep her out.

They will know what to do with a cuttle bone and only nibble on it as needed.

Welcome to the forum!

Kathy


"Many have forgotten this truth...You remain responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."
Re: Advice for a bad bird owner [Re: cyberbud] #389508 11/18/09 03:16 PM
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Dedication, dedication, dedication! I agree with BLR. I think you should just keep the one bird and start gaining his/her trust. That way your relationship with one another will be a lot better and more fun and exciting! Once you are excepted as "one of the flock" then you're golden! However, I would suggest slow movements. It takes a great amount of patience, knowledge, and great people in forums to achieve this goal. ;D Welcome to the forum and good luck! :]

Jazz and Jess




Re: Advice for a bad bird owner [Re: Jessica Cole] #389539 11/18/09 10:01 PM
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G M Kenny Offline OP
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I'm getting a new bigger cage this weekend, and I just read through the entire hand training pages so I'll wait for a new bird until she's trained, I just have some final questions:

Do parakeets freak out when I move their cage? I usually move their cage to the computer room when I go on so I can play music from there, and she does chirp to it.

When she is fully tamed, how do I play with her? Do I just let her be around me when I do stuff?

I have been changing her food/water for over 3 years, and she still freaks out when I put my hand close to her (step 1), and she gets cautious every time I change the food/water. What can I do to stop this? (Along with the soothing music although I doubt it would do anything with her)

When she is tamed, how can I get her to eat different food? Every time I bring an apple, lettuce, carrots or anything else she goes to the back of her cage and tries to stay away from it.

How long will fully taming her take?

Thanks smile

Re: Advice for a bad bird owner [Re: G M Kenny] #389540 11/18/09 10:34 PM
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When Emily was in her smaller cage I used to carry her around the house with me, when we were still bonding. It wasn't a problem. The more time they spend with you the better.

I put a towel out on the floor with some toys and we have a play session. They will make up their own games, don't worry.

Just keep working on step 1 until your bird doesn't get upset when you put your hand in the cage. How long it takes depends on the bird and how much time you put into it.

Patience is the key!!!! Reward good behavior and IGNORE negative behavior...no matter how much it hurts!!!!

Put the new food, chopped into keeter sized pieces, in a dish and sprinkle some millet on it. Remove after a few hours. Then try again. Eventually they will accidentally try some. But they have to watch it for awhile. Be careful with apples or anything with seeds...fruit near the seeds is toxic to birds. Remember they only weigh 1 ounce...they are not going to eat an entire slice of apple.

I have the feeling from reading your posts you are anxious and trying to rush the process. Take your cues from your bird. If they are not ready to get on your finger than just sit and talk to them. I used to read the paper, textbooks, tell them your thoughts on world events, whatever. Just take it slow.

Hope this helps! Keep us posted.......

Kathy

Last edited by cyberbud; 11/18/09 10:38 PM. Reason: one more thought

"Many have forgotten this truth...You remain responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."
Re: Advice for a bad bird owner [Re: cyberbud] #389556 11/18/09 11:56 PM
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G M Kenny Offline OP
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Would she react negatively if I closed the door in her cage until she is finger trained? I always leave it open and she flies around the rooms and likes to sit on the fan.

Also she doesn't mind my hand coming in to change food/water, but if I come close to her she backs away. Is that still step 1 or can I go onto perch training? And if it is still still 1, how can I make her trust my hand when it comes close to her?

Last edited by G M Kenny; 11/18/09 11:59 PM.
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