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Scared of hands

Discussion in 'Bird Chat' started by TashaS123, May 10, 2018.


  1. TashaS123

    TashaS123 PetForums Newbie

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    DCA0F3F2-1991-44EC-AEDA-50798D38C8A8.jpeg Hey everyone I rehomed a cockatiel about a month ago, she was 9 months when I got her. She is happy to come out of her cage and takes herself back in when she wants to. Thing is she is absolutely terrified of hands, if you put your hand too close she will start hissing at it and backs away. I have tried putting gloves on but it doesn’t make any difference. She is fine if you put your head right up close to her it’s just hands. What should I do? Is it normal for her to still be scared of my hands?
     
  2. sadia mohammad

    sadia mohammad PetForums Newbie

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    Hi, Congratulations on re homing her , she is adorable!
    You said its been a month since you had her , can i ask her history...sometimes birds have bad experience in the past that can make them hand scared...i have semi tame two re home tiels and i can help you .
    Its good that she is not cage bound....for hand fear you need to desensitize her of your hands ...(excuse my spellings) and this is how you do it...
    Every experience with the hand has to be positive...every time you approach her give her a treat....
    Have you figure out her favorite treat yet? tiels like sunflower seeds or miller spray...
    Remove any treats from her cage and when she is in the cage offer her seeds or millet through the cage bars , in this way she will feel safe in the cage and have an interaction with your hand in her safe zone...Make hands good experience for her . Not at any time try to step her up or any thing... ITS GOING TO TAKE TIME TO TRUST HUMANS AGAIN...BE PATIENT!
    We are breaking the bigger steps in to smaller smaller chunks...once she is comfortable through the cage , offer her seeds when she is out side the cage.
    Hold the seed in your finger tips rather than in your palm...dont make a sudden movement...if she gets scared just show her the treat from far away until she calms down than approach her slowly and very gently.We are building a good relationship of hands with the bird.
    Its much easier to tame if you are patient cos birds taming take time....do it many times through out the day , just don't do anything that will undo any hard work you have done.
    I have successfully tame a re home bird through these techniques , but when i bought her a partner (another untamed re home tiel) she forget me instead they both made a bond with each other and now i have to tame them again....
    Hope this will help.
     
  3. sadia mohammad

    sadia mohammad PetForums Newbie

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    She is young and can be tamed ....
     
  4. TashaS123

    TashaS123 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you so much for your replies Sadia, I’m not sure what her previous home was like, all I know is that they had other bigger birds out the back and she was on her own in the house. The family had a little baby so I assumed that’s why they were passing her on but I’m not sure.

    Thank you for your tips, I will definitely try all of them. Can I ask, if I give her a bad experience with my hands is it possible to come back from that? Will she warm up to me again? I think I just have to be patient and keep trying.

    Thank you so much for the information :)
     
  5. sadia mohammad

    sadia mohammad PetForums Newbie

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    Your welcome !
    Her past sounds not that bad ...i am happy you got her.
    Yes she will come to you , providing every interaction with hand is positive.
    I remember i had to grab my bird to put her in the cage ,the day she came ...and it felt awful she was annoyed, even bit me to blood ...but eventually i gain her trust through positive reinforcement.
    Taming takes less time than bonding...The more positive time you spend with her the more comfortable she will get with you .....Keep a diary of her progress that will reassure you as well.
    Call me mad, i even made graphs of my birds improvement.... just for my reassurance that things are SLOW but on the move....
    You can make DIY toys for her and play with her to build good relationship.Parrots like shewing things ....give her greens like cucumber slices or broccoli....it will take time for her in the first than with love and patience she will be a beauty to watch and interact.
    I hang cucumber slices with a thread outside the cage and my bird love becoming a bat to retrieve it.....but my other bird don't give a dam about playing.....but i am sure slowly slowly he will realize that playing is fun....he just preen himself all day .....eat preen and sleep .
    He was alone in the previous home for two years , they didn't give him time or provided with any stimulus ....he was just an invisible pet in their home!
    I don't blame him for anything ....i just love and respect him how he is......and i am sure he will warm up to us slowly slowly....he is making progress but very slowly....
    Thanks
     
  6. steveshanks

    steveshanks PetForums VIP

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    Try a long stick/branch and see if she will sit on it, then if she does give her treats (rice crispies, dried pumpkin seeds are mines fav) then place treats on stick so she gets closer to your hand, anyway you get the idea :) Take your time though, this might take months, I have a 5 year old male i have had from young and he still won't come near a hand.
     
  7. TashaS123

    TashaS123 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you Sadia, we had a bad experience with her the other day because we had to go out and needed to put her way, she bit my partner’s hand and he bled and she’s been hissing at me since so I’m going to have to start again to rebuild her trust :(

    It sounds like you really love your birds they are very lucky, I think it’s good to remain focused on the positive progress that they make even if it is very slow.

    I hope you have more luck with your other bird and he decides to join in the fun!
     
  8. TashaS123

    TashaS123 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you Steve, I will try that. She really loves millet spray but I haven’t tried much else yet. I will be very patient, hopefully she will come around eventually. It’s good to know that some birds are harder to tame than others though, I feel like I’m failing with her, but I know it takes time.
     
  9. sadia mohammad

    sadia mohammad PetForums Newbie

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    Millet is their favorite treat, Steve idea is very good as well, and will be good for a hand scared bird.You can also " target train " her. Target training is very good for hand scared birds, once she master the training ,you no longer will have to garbing her to put her in the cage.Target training worked well with my hand scared bird.... now i can target train him to different places in the cage.
    Its not a very wise thing to do , but on few occasion, my tiels were out of the cage ,when i had to leave the house ....my front room is pretty much bird proof , and when i came back they were on their parrot stand safe and sound relaxing in the sun- near the window.I didn't want to grab them cos it will undo all of my hard work! They will fear my hand more.
    They need to feel safe in order to build trust .I am at home majority of times , if i have to leave the house in the day time , for few hours , i leave my tiels outside the cage.

    One more thing try not to step up at this stage , let her come to you . she needs to trust you completely in order to step up.I made many mistakes and learned from them .
    Never poke your finger, for her to step up while she is in her cage , in the early stages of taming , she will fear you more .Their cage is their personal space , where they should feel safe.Respect their personal space.Silly mistakes like that only cost more time and create more obstacles
    In the early stages of building trust only put your hand in her cage when you have a treat for her , so she associate hand with good things.. When they start accepting treats from your hands frequently and happily , only than you start stepping up.Remember walk with her pace not with yours.
    Here are few baby steps i am sharing from Mango's diary.
    1.Accepting treats(Pallets, sunflower seeds ) from cage bars, feeding every now will relate your presence with good things.
    2.Accepting treats (millet spray) from finger tips ,when out side the cage. Practice that often , when she is calm ...always praise her when she accepts a treat .
    3.hold millet spray in a way that she can see a little bit of your finger, and than ' GRADUALLY' expose your finger more and more.keep your finger close to the perch.She will step on it accidentally and will retrieve , don't move away , wait until she calms down .She will come back for more once she calms down.
    4. She will put one foot and than when she is confident will put the other. Let her eat as much as she can . always end any interaction with praise.
    5.once she is on your hand eating millet , move her slowly ,very slowly to an inch from her original place , but always put her back before she runs away.You increase the distance half inch or so depending how calm down she is .
    6.She will start enjoying that positive experience and you have achieve a mile stone.
    Keep it regular every day , and always end it when she is happy ,to keep her motivated.
    7. head starch , very gently and calmly stroke her feathers ...don't get too close yet ....this will take many positive interactions...don't rush.
    Last very important thing is, to talk to her smoothly, praising every small brave step . Always interact with her when both of you are calm , their is no distraction etc.
    In the beginning it will take hours, but once she gets the hang of it , it will only take minutes ..for these positive interactions .ANY SMALL NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT WILL DELAY THE PROCESS ....AVOID THOSE ON ALL COSTS.
    good luck with her and bless you for looking after her .
    Thanks.
     
    TashaS123 likes this.
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