Author Topic: Hoping For Tips From The Experienced  (Read 2358 times)

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Offline dhumoor

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Hoping For Tips From The Experienced
« on: October 30, 2014, 07:47:25 PM »
I just became the new owner of a rehomed WC.  Previous owner thinks it's a male but has never been sexed.  He is nine years old.  Previous owner said she got him as a baby from a breeder and spent time with him for the first year or so then family life got in the way and he has been neglected beyond minimal maintenance for "a long time".  When I went to see him I was able to get him to step up on my hand and eventually scratch his head.  He did bite me at one point but not as hard as he could have (no blood or bruise).  I didn't react to it, didn't want him to think he scared/hurt me.  I really felt sorry for him and brought him home with me.  Years ago I've had parakeets, a love bird and a bee bee parrot but this is my first "big" bird.  My first question is what can I do to help the bonding process with this bird?  Second question:  He has only ever eaten a multicolored pellet food (actually only the red and purple pellets).  Is this OK?  I'd like to see him eat a more varied diet including fresh foods but he hasn't touched anything else so far.  Any tips for introducing other foods?  Anything else I should be aware of?  Thanks for any help!

P.S.  His name is Luka and I think he is beautiful.

Offline maxsmom

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Re: Hoping For Tips From The Experienced
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2014, 06:13:25 AM »
Welcome to you and Luka. I have a 2 year old wcp and a 10 year old coral bill. Both male. My 10 year old I have had for 2 years. He came pretty stubborn about what he would eat. I offered fresh veggies, cooked veggies, scrambled egg, etc for a year on a daily basis. I felt like I was wasting food. He finally took to fresh food after a year and that is the first thing he eats when he enters his cage. He eats pumpkin, pomegranate, kale, chard, quinoa, etc. I tried Harrisons, TOPS, and Roudybush pellets which are most popular. I especially  like Roudybush as there is lower protein which is important to watch in pionus. But he eats Caitec Fresh Baked Oven Bites readily....they are decent pellets...but the protein level is 15%. That is why I am so happy he now eats fresh food a lot. I use Avian Organic breads as a treat during training and he is simply addicted to the bread....and I like the ingredients. He also eats nutriberries for treats. It was a long road to get him here. I still hold out hope for Roudybush pellets

Pionus are slow to trust and like to observe you a lot. They have great body language to help you avoid getting bitten but I still do.  :( Try sitting in same room as cage a lot for Luka to observe you and he may start to approach you. Try target training. Try positive reinforcement giving a treat for all good behaviour. Check out Good Bird, Inc.

Pionus parrots are rewarding pets. Independent, relatively quieter than other birds, interactive. My wcp is feisty, hangING upside down a lot and full of energy. My coral bill doesn't have as much energy (perhaps due to age) but he loves to explore and chew wood.  Try smaller wood toys made from balsa wood. My coral bill is not very hands on but definitely has a relationship with me.

Lastly buy Russ Shade's book on pionus on sale through Jan's link on this site.

Best wishes!
She flies with her own wings. Oregon State Motto

Offline Dartman

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Re: Hoping For Tips From The Experienced
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2014, 01:00:05 PM »
Yep, take the long term approach and you'll eventually be rewarded by a bird that trusts and loves you. Lurch has been here 5 years and I said we were on the 5 year plan to being best buds :icon_mrgreen: He now really likes me and gets excited when I get home, wants to share my meals and drinks, and hang out and get scritches. We also still have our battles and bad days and when he first got here he was scared to death and quick to bite, now he gives lots of warning and usually doesn't bite as hard or fast as he can if I miss his body language.
He also let me scritch him and kinda hid by me when I went to meet him and buy him and the lady who had him was amazed, but once he got home he was having a good scritch and suddenly had a thought and reached around quick and tore a chunk off my finger.
I decided strangling him wasn't an option so I just hung out with him over time and he slowly started wanting to get closer and closer to me at his own speed, a mere 5 years later we are almost best buds and still reaching a understanding.
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Offline momazon

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Re: Hoping For Tips From The Experienced
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2014, 10:19:35 PM »
Sorry I did not see this post sooner!  Yes, they seem to have a little bit of what I call European Reserve.  They like to move freely and come to you for what they want. 

If you sit next to his food, he will get used to eating with you nearby, and all birds love to eat at the same time as their humans.  Even one pomegranate seed can be a treat, but you will find what your baby likes. I  give treats when they are quiet, with the comment, "Hushy hushy birdies get nuts".  It seems to help that they know "hush" and "quiet".  They yell these things at the dogs, and I would like to say they mind, but they don't!

As Dartman and Maxsmom say, time is your best bonding tool. Good luck!

Offline Julie T

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Re: Hoping For Tips From The Experienced
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2014, 05:21:58 PM »
I've only started with juveniles, but regardless, like everyone said... I agree Pionus are a species who are more reserved and take their time opening up to you. They're not a real extroverted species, and are cautious with people. They'd rather watch you for a while just as you're watching them, observing everything, even seeing who they like best when there is more that one person participating with the bird. Good advice so far :)

Offline dhumoor

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Re: Hoping For Tips From The Experienced
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2014, 08:36:52 PM »
Thanks to everyone for the tips.  It seems I was doing some things right :)  I set up his cage next to my chair so we just hang out in each other's company and I talk to him a lot.  I started letting him out of the cage by just opening the door and letting him decide if he wants to come out or not and started introducing little bits of new foods.

Well, this is our three week update:  He likes coming out of the cage and wandering around on the floor.  He will follow me from room to room and if I'm still for an amount of time (like doing dishes), he sits on my foot.  he figured out how to climb up my chair and sits on the arm and softly chatters at me, tries to help me with email (he removed the #7 key from my laptop), he is starting to eat some nuts and seeds, plays with the veggies, and when it's time for bed he will readily step up on my had to go back in the cage.  He does have a little grumpy side but I'm getting good at recognizing it and just leave him alone then so since our first meeting I've had NO bites.

It hasn't even been a month and I really, really, really like this little bird.

Thanks.

Offline maxsmom

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Re: Hoping For Tips From The Experienced
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2014, 05:15:28 AM »
Glad you are enjoying your pionus
She flies with her own wings. Oregon State Motto

Offline KBEquine

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Re: Hoping For Tips From The Experienced
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2014, 01:54:41 PM »
My first "big" bird was also a rehomed WC who had specific food likes & dislikes. He ate more than just a few colors of pellets, but it still took a long time to get him to try anything new. But I kept offering and he eventually tried. He also followed me around the house & would climb my pants leg if he decided he needed to be on my shoulder. They are great little birds. Enjoy.

Offline dhumoor

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Re: Hoping For Tips From The Experienced
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2014, 06:48:27 PM »
Luca spent the morning on the chair supervising dinner preparation, occasionally playing with vegetables I offered him.

Offline maxsmom

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Re: Hoping For Tips From The Experienced
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2014, 07:57:32 PM »
Luca and KBEquine's wc sound  like my Maximus....active and into a lot

Nice photo
She flies with her own wings. Oregon State Motto

Offline Julie T

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Re: Hoping For Tips From The Experienced
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2014, 08:40:14 PM »
Luca does look like he's supervising  :). Cute!