Nanday Conure Forum

Message #81. This is a followup to #75.

Date:Wednesday April 2, 2003 4:27:51 pm MST
Subject:Re: Conure beginner!
Message:I have heard that beak filing is not a great idea unless it is necessary to keep the beak straight. You are probably going to have the best luck with behavior methods. Try books by Sally Blanchard and Mattie Sue Athan. They are both good bird behaviorists and can help you bond better with your little one.

Nandays are BOSSY. They want to be in charge. That is what is going on. She has decided she is top bird. You can help this by working with her on "stepping up" on your finger and "laddering" her by getting her to step up over and over from hand to hand. Work with her in a quiet place away from the cage.

It is also a good idea to make sure her cage is lower than your eye level so when she is standing on it you have to look down a little to look her in the eye. Height=dominance to birds. If you see a bunch of birds together, the top bird is always on top and lesser birds arrange themselves beneath the top bird.

Consistency is important and it is tough to do that with a lot fo people. You all need to agree to handle her the same way. I have better luck with "earthquakes" than beak tapping. When they bite try your best not to overreact to the dragon attached to your hand. Do a slight downward motion to knock her very slightly off balance and she will learn that biting causes "earthquakes." The goal is to refocus her, not to scare her.

Also, keep her wings clipped. It seems odd, but I know of more than one bird lost to an open window, or WORSE flying full-speed into a wall or mirror. A dear friend lost a cockatiel a few months ago because he got scared and flew into a wall and snapped his neck. After 8 hours of watching him suffer the vet finally had to put him down because there was no way to save him. My friend was heartbroken! Clipped wings are for her safety as well as training her. She is easier to train if she is dependent on you. If she can bite and fly away, you will not be the one in charge.

I find toweling works wonders. Use a small green towel. Get her used to it slowly so she isn't scared. Place it near her while you are playing. Then touch her with it. Play peek a boo. Have her climb on it. When she feels secure around it, then try putting it over her and gently wrapping her in it. Holding her gently but snugly, you can cradle her like a baby or keep her upright if lying down freaks her out. Scratch her head and talk to her gently and warmly. Tell her you love her, cuddle, etc. Do it for short times and work your way up to five or ten minutes. This will help if you ever need to medicate her too. I had three birds on antibiotics this summer for different reasons. Toweling kept me from looking like I had rabid ferrets. Nandays like to hide, so once she gives in to letting you be in charge, she may learn to really enoy towel time. Mine also enjoy hiding under a blanket with me or on my lap under a blanket. They nest in tree cavities, so they enjoy the warm, safe, dark place for a short time if you let them know they can leave it at any time. Dropping a towel on he rand picking her up is also a good way to catch an angry bird in a hurry if you need to evacuate her because of fire or something (it is always a good idea to have a small travel cage handy for evacuations and trips to the vet).

Good luck!

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