Post by neurotoxin109 on Aug 6, 2020 10:36:57 GMT -5
Just wanted to introduce myself and Loki, our new Quaker Parrot. And potentially get some tips! He's a baby from this year and we've had him two weeks now! So far so good! He spends most of the day out of his cage with relative free roam in the main living area. Bird safety precautions are in place throughout the day while he's out of course. His favorite spot is in the middle of the living room on the floor when the sun hits it. He'd sit there all day if he didn't need food or water. He absolutely LOVES our chihuahua Yoda which is adorable. The couple times I've needed to move him and return him to his cage I've used a long dowel as a perch to escort him and having Yoda there to interact with him keeps the situation low-stress.
I was hoping I could get any tips for a new quaker parent! We're not new to birds but new to quakers. Any and all tips are appreciated to help give Loki the best life we can give him!
Currently I'm working on building trust with him. I've just got him calm enough to not freak out and try and fly away when I approach him with a stick of millet and he'll very gingerly take millet from the stick if I put it directly in front of him. That's about it though so far!
I'd especially love some tips on understanding his body language so I can give him space when he's asking for it and approach more when he's ok with it. I'm all for respecting bird boundaries and positive reinforcement! Also any tips or methods for building trust would be cool.
Happy to have you and Loki join us on the Forum. I always recommend that new Quaker parronts read a good book on QPs, such as Mattie Sue Athan's Guide to the Quaker Parrot. Reading through the Forum posts is a good way to spend some time too-- lots of good advice, useful information and fun QP stories are in those posts. Any parrot's body language depends somewhat on that parrot's personality. When my QP Ralph doesn't want to interact with me, he'll give me an irritated-sounding grrraaaccckk! which is Quaker parrot for "don't bother me now." When he wants to come out of his cage, he'll lift a foot and stare at me until I get the message. When he wants a bath he rattles his drinking water dish. Just observe what Loki does at certain times and you'll learn a lot. No doubt you're being very careful when Loki is on the floor and when he's interacting with Yoda. Close supervision is needed in both situations. Eventually, he should grdauate from being carried on the dowel to wanting to perch on you, just as my QP Ralph did not long after he came home with me.
Hi and welcome to the forum to you and Loki. Bit by bit you will get to know each other One of the best bits of advice I got when Casey was young was to rotate toys and perches regularly that way Loki won’t become cage posseive. Casey is 13 1/2 and this approach worked well for us. He is good at letting me reach in and get him to step up. Hanging out on the floor may not be the safest thing. We rescued Casey at 18 weeks as her first owner wanted to have her put down instead of repairing her broken leg after she had been stepped on on the floor. She was a vet surrender and the vet fixed her and put her in a rescue. We got her with a cast on her leg. We have two dogs they don’t bother with Casey but they do speak Quaker and will wake up for the warning call to bark out the window. They freeze when Casey flies which doesn’t happen often. He mainly stays on top of his cage or goes back inside. He is only out when I am watching and the outside door is locked
Casey loves raw pumpkin seeds as a treat and the good seeds inside a red pepper. She also loves a piece of baby rice cakes, that are just 100% rice. No salt or additives
Post by neurotoxin109 on Aug 24, 2020 10:53:05 GMT -5
Hi Cnyguy and Caseysmom! Thanks for the good replies So to update Loki hasn't made any progress and I'm at a bit of a loss as to what the disconnect is. Cny I'll definitely track down one of those books!
Where we're at right now is I've stopped letting him out of his cage. The floor has been fine for the most part, that wasn't the issue as our home is pretty safe in that regard. It's a small place so he was always in eye-sight and never unattended. The main problem was getting him back. We were waiting for him to go back on his own which he was doing fine. He started refusing to use the dowel as a transport means. He's very stubborn. And he decided he'd like to not return to his cage at night which was putting us in a not safe situation for him. We would then start a game of chasing him with the dowel while he refused to let us take him back. This happened two nights in a row. Really not a positive experience for either of us. That and even before getting him back was an issue he really did not want anyone but our dog near him. As humorous as watching him waddle across the floor is I'd much rather be able to come sit down near him and bond with him.
Like I mentioned before we aren't new to birds but it seems what worked before isn't working now.
So what I've started doing is leaving him in his cage (I really don't like doing this) but in the morning after I've been up for a hour or two for work I wheel his cage over to my desk and we sit next to each other for the day. He seems to enjoy me talking to him and sitting next to me. He's gotten over the proximity after a day or two and traverses the entirety of his cage like he would if he weren't next to me. Occasionally I leave the door open which if he chose to come out would put him within 10" of my typing hands. He hasn't chosen to come out yet. If I need to get up and walk away I close it again.
Now when it comes to putting my hands in his cage he knows when I'm going in to get him fresh food or water he doesn't mind at all. However if I approach him he does not like that. I've been trying the closing the gap method when I approach and wait for him to relax and then leave. That's supposed to reduce his fly away distance so I can approach. Doesn't seem to be working very well. Maybe I'm doing it wrong??? If I approach with millet he'll want me to use the longest spray I can. He'll either do some enthusiastic head bobbing which lets me know he wants it and I can slowly approach until he can reach out for the millet OR he'll have a significant fly away reaction, ie stooping to fly or prepare to fly. I do my absolutely best to not violate his fly away zone and cause him to run. I'll pause and wait for him to start relaxing again to leave.
I'm really hoping I can find the disconnect soon so Loki and I can get on similar wave lengths! Maybe something I've said stands out as being problematic or I'm not doing something I could be. I am getting little weary of the situation. I'd hoped in the full month we've had him we'd have made more progress than we have now but maybe my goals were unrealistic? Either that or I'm doing something wrong and need to course correct.
Well thanks for taking the time to read and hopefully reply! This time I won't take 18 days to remember I made a post somewhere to come check it.
I don't see where you're doing anything wrong or troubling. It's probably more a matter of Loki needing more time to settle in and accept you as part of his flock. The bonding process is often a slow one and can take months, which is why I always say that lots of patience is needed when building a bond with a parrot. For now, it may be for the best to let Loki stay in the security of his cage where he feels comfortable. My old Amazon George, who was with me for 40 years, was never comfortable outside his cage, and my Grey Scooter will only stay out of her cage for a few minutes at a time and is unwilling to explore beyond her cage. I've found that it's best to respect the parrots' preferences, which of course can change at any time. Bringing Loki in his cage to sit beside you is a good idea and should be continued-- that could easily help the bonding process. Continue to be patient and let Loki set the pace and boundaries and you should make progress, even if it's slow progress.
Hi again! Sounds like you are trying hard. Like cnyguy says having the cage beside you while you work is a great idea. Gradually hopefully Loki will get used to your hand in the cage. When you want Loki to step up keep repeating the phrase so if he does it while you are saying it he will learn what you want. If Casey wants to step up on my hand he bends his head and says step up himself before getting on my hand. Once he is comfortable stepping up on your hand in the cage Bring him to a small room away from the cage that he isn’t used to and try putting him down and getting him to step up again. They generally will want the security of your hand if they can’t see their cage. Hope that helps and you guys make some progress
Post by neurotoxin109 on Aug 25, 2020 9:06:10 GMT -5
Thanks again for the tips! It's reassuring to hear that I'm not doing anything blatantly wrong and that he probably just needs more time to settle in. I'll post again as progress gets made. Fingers crossed that it's soon!