Post by beccilouise on Jun 9, 2016 16:06:19 GMT -5
Hi raeza! Only just seen this post! Training to use a flight suit would probably be more difficult than training to wear a harness as it covers more of the body, but certainly not impossible. The key thing is not to force the bird. I made that mistake with Maya and it set us back really far. I've now changed the harness to the kaylor collar, we are still training and Maya is a lot better. Michael Sazhin has a book called 'The Parrot Wizards Guide to A Well Trained Parrot' and a dvd about harness training which I have found extremely useful. I have been training Maya with the kaylor collar for a month and a bit now. She is getting better at allowing the collar to go on but we are still miles away so be aware that this training can take a LONG time, potentially months, depending on the bird.
Clicker training Bondi and teaching him to target will be a really good first step and help to establish a training relationship, which is crucial for applying a harness or suit. Set out a clear plan of progress for yourself, eg: 1) get bird not to panic when suit appears 2) get bird to look at suit 3) get bird to approach suit 4) get bird to allow suit to touch it's feathers 5) get bird to allow suit pressed against feathers, slowly increasing time 6) get bird to allow wings to be lifted 7) get bird to allow suit to be put over one wing 8) get bird to allow suit to be put over both wings 9) get bird to allow suit to be done up on his body 10) increase length of time bird wears suit by 10 seconds a time. 11) get bird used to walking around with suit.
Each of these stages could, in themselves, take a couple of weeks. Take it slow. See this as a long term investment of your time. Bondi will hopefully live for up to 30 years, so taking the time to train now will stand you both in good stead for the future. Hope that helps!
Post by beccilouise on Jun 9, 2016 16:13:03 GMT -5
Also, look up Serenity park parrot rescue. They do work with parrots and veterans who suffer with PTSD. I would say, Bondi HAS to be used to being handled by multiple people before you could safely attempt this. Take him out in a carry cage, introduce him to your friends, get him comfortable and remember to pay attention to body language in case he gets bored or upset about being handled. Maya has come on leaps and bounds with this and has become really quite good with children provided I ensure they are supervised and know how to handle her first. Acclimatisation is the key!
What size did you guys get? The website says medium for quakers but that just sounds a bit big to me.
I ordered Bondi a medium and it was a bit too big, they sent me a small one and it looked like it fit better. When I emailed for an exchange the lady told me that quakers weight fluctuates in their mid section the most which makes the suit most noticeably too big or to small in the belly section. Even though they sent me a small, they urged me to keep the medium as well rather than sending it back, they said bondi could very easily become too busty for a small hehe. I would order a medium and just email for an exchange if its two big, took an extra week to have everything (international to canada) but it was totally worth it.
as far as the suit and socialization, he has no issues with other people, he loves the attention and doesnt seem to mind when people hold him. We did get him into the suit, like you said forcing him not the way to go. I wore the suit around my neck of a bit on the lanyard got used to him being around it. The one thing i noticed is that bondi doesnt like to be ... like held... as in in your hands and not standing on his feet so were working on that right now, making him more comfortable with me picking him up rather then him sitting on me. A valuable thing for him to be ok with in my opinion should he be in danger or who the hell knows what i may need to pick him up in a little more of a hurry for, i dont want him to panic and freak when i do that, him being ok with that will be the next step to getting the suit on comfortably, as of right now he has no problem with the suit, does chew at the velcro a bit, but I can tell he is uncomfortable with the getting it on process, which we are working on.
Post by beccilouise on Jun 12, 2016 9:51:22 GMT -5
Well done! It's brilliant that you've got him into it! Keep working on it slowly. Take it at his pace. That way he won't develop a fear of it. Maya is learning to put her head through the harness collar herself, she's getting there slowly, but it's really important for her that she isn't forced. She never forgives the harness if she feels she's forced!
Hi Raeza, re the sizing I guess it would depend on how much your quaker weighs. Bonnie is about 98 grams but can fluctuate to 105. So yep, you might be best keeping both medium and small suits to cater for the weight fluctuations. I never actually got the suit on Bonnie (we were in the process of acclimatising her to it when it went missing), so I don't know if it would have fitted properly…bugger, must order another! Good luck with it. I'd be interested to know how it goes.