Nanday Conure Forum

Message #1977.

Name:Amy K
Date:Wednesday August 25, 2004 3:14:35 pm MDT
Subject:Taming Ricky
Message:Hi all

I have a Nanday named Ricky who is, by approximation, about 10 years old. I acquired him in 1997 under some rather unfortunate circumstances. He was for sale at a yard sale for $25 and was in terrible shape... he was in a tiny cage (maybe about 1 sq foot?) piled with feces, was eating a diet of black oil sunflower seeds, and was in terrible feather (all ragged, choppy looking.) My heart went out to him. All I had with me was a $20, so I talked the owner down (and kind of gave them an attitude over the care of the bird) and Ricky came to live with me.

From the start he was ABSOLUTELY terrified of EVERYTHING. I had him checked by my avian vet and he was OK, just a little skinny. Despite years of attempts at training, the most I could ever handle him was to scratch him on the head while he sat on the door of his cage (a nice large cages, I might add.)

Fast forward to the present, and Ricky is doing well on a diet of 25% Kaytee safflower parrot diet, 25% cereal, grains and healthy people food (he loves cheerios, rice, whole grain pasta,fresh corn) and 50% fruits and veggies (broccoli, carrots, peas, beans, romaine, tomatoes, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, sweet potato, apples, pears... almost everything I eat, he gets to have some!) Ricky is still easily startled, but is much more confident.

In 2001, I bought a beautiful little senegal female, who was 1 1/2 years old at the time. She had been hand raised and treated well, and was a joy from the start. Bringing her into my home has been the best thing for Ricky! Watching her, he has gained the confidence to come out of his cage, ALL THE WAY OUT, every day! They both have their own cages, but share a large play tree that they climb all over, chew apart, play-fight on and have a blast with. Although I cannot touch him at all now, not even for scratches, Ricky allows Kalie to groom him (and vice versa) and I have trained him,using sun flower seeds,to return to his cage with a voice command ("time to go iiiiiiiiiiinnnnnn") and finger pointing gesture... its really funny to watch him go running in when I tell him to.

I have used all kinds of training methods and read many books, but I think Ricky may have come as far as he can. He is such a good bird, and I wouldn't trade him for the world. Still, I would like for him to trust me more... what I would really like is for him to be able to step up onto my hand. Any suggestions? Is it worth it to try?

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