Nanday Conure Forum

Message #6083. This is a followup to #6081.

Name:Bruce Byfield
Date:Friday April 27, 2007 11:34:46 am MDT
Subject:Re: Jack update
Message:Lisa M. wrote:

> Anyway, he is doing well in general. I give him the option to leave
> his cage at least for a while every night, but he often chooses not
> to. He will sometimes come to the door and peek out and test he edge
> with his foot, but most of the time scoots back in. He won't step up
> on my finger, so if he does come out and fly to my shoulder or head
> it is hard to get him back in...any suggestions?

You may find it useful to get him stick-trained -- that is, to step up on a perch when you offer it to him. Not only will it help you get him back into his cage, but it can also be a first step in him learning to step up on your finger. Just as importantly, stick training can be vital if you ever need to rescue your bird from a place that you can't easily get to, whether a small corner or a high branch.

To stick train your bird, take him to a small room for a couple of ten minute sessions a day. Position the perch so that it is in front of him and use a command like "Step Up!" If he doesn't respond after a few times, press the perch again him lightly, and he may step up on it, but don't expect instant success whatever you do. When he does step up, praise him and give him something to eat. Keep repeating the exercise until he consistently steps up.

After he is comfortable with the perch try doing the same with your finger. By the time he is stepping up on the perch, he will probably be starting to trust you, so he should learn to step up on your finger fairly quickly. You can extend the exercise into a game of climbing an endless ladder in the later stages of training.

How long your bird will take to be stick trained is hard to say. However, to give you an idea, I've had birds who learned in a single session and also ones who took five weeks. On the whole, the wilder or more abused the bird, the longer training will take.

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