fight or flight

how do i earn the trust of a newly gotten black headed caique that wants to run & fly away from anyone. at a year1/2, i'm not sure how she's been handled. but same age bro in which they've shared the same cage, loves people.they haven't come home yet but cant stop thinking bout best aproach without stressing the pour thing out anymore. anything i can do before bringing them home? then what?

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Dec 13, 2012
fight or flight
by: Linda

Well, earning a bird's trust takes time and lots of effort on your part. The fact that you are getting two at the same time means you will not be able to tame either one of them very well. When birds are paired up, they stop needing humans as much emotionally because they have each other. Your work here is going to be very hard.

The very first thing is to have both examined by an Avian Vet ONLY in your area. Take them only to an avian vet because dog and cat vets know nothing of how to diagnose or treat birds and will usually not bother with a correct diagnosis or correct meds in correct doses. They use the "shotgun" approach to birds care because they are not even licensed to treat them. This means lots of useless drugs harmful to your birds. Take them to avian vet.

This exam has to be done to check for infections or other physical issues. Have both bird's wings clipped. Just have the 4-6 Primary Flight feathers clipped, and these are the long ones at the ends of each wing. Do not allow them to trim up any higher as this causes chronic pain and distress plus they fall like a rock and can easily break legs and toes.

Bring them home to two separate cages, put where they can see each other all the time. This will make working with one bird at a time much easier, and that is how you will have to work with them. Be prepared for being bit, and remember to NOT PULL BACK from a bite, but move GENTLY INTO THE BIRD which allows them to let go their hold on you. If you pull back in a reflex action, the bird will hold on much harder, and you will having tearing of your flesh making for a very bad and painful bite.Since pulling back is a reflex action, you will have to control that reflex action and not pull back.

There are some training materials found here you'll want to look at and understand. Parrot Training page There are also unlimited resources on the net about how to go about taming a wild bird which these will possibly be if they've been either bred or neglected or both.

To recap, you need another cage for one of them outfitted with correct perches, food and water dishes and say one toy or leave off the toy until birds get more used to you. Birds are under a lot of stress when being moved and most of them get sick from it which is why I say Avian Vet first before anything else. You will need two cages so they can start being comfortable right away. Do no taming/training or dietary changes until they have been seen by an avian vet.

Thanks for writing, and your birds will become your best friends in time, and the time it takes depends on both you and what the birds have been through before coming to you. Abused/neglected birds have a much harder time trusting again once they've been hurt, so take everything slow and do not be in a hurry. Some rescues, if that is what these are, never trust humans again. I'm hoping this is not the case with yours.


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