Alexandrine Troubles

Rhys1992

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Hi everyone I've got a alexandrine. From what I can gather he hasn't been treated the best in previous home. Basically first couple of weeks I could hand feed him and do things around his cage. Now if I go near he will bite or go to bite through the cage. The cage where we picked him up from had no toys. It basically had a perch, food bowl full of sunflower seed and a water bowl that was half full. Im wondering if he's being defensive of his cage/toys because he's not use to having them. Ive been constantly reading, I've read the threads on teaching step up etc. He will put one foot on to a perch I've got for training but won't go no further. He will even now go to the effort of going around a piece of food I'm offering to have a bite on my finger. Just seeing if anyone else has had this sort of problem? Thank you
 

DizzyBlue

Administrator
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Hi Rhys1992 looks like your bring trained rather than being the trainer. Got to love their ingenuity.
Lets get our Roz onboard and see what tips she can provide to assist.
@Roz
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
With some parrots the first two weeks can be called the honey moon time. Now he is trying to find out how far he can go and being brave and strong but also he is unsettled and still a little frightens, his cage he is feeling safe in and this is why he has gone protective of it, every thing is new to him including you his food toys and the routine you have, you may not of liked his situation before hand but it was what your bird was used too and grew to know and trust, you need to try to build trust and this can take a little while for him to a just and realise you are their for him. Trying to give home a better longer life and a more fulfilled life. Go back to basic pull up a chair by his cage , read a book out loud, give the vocational glance and call his name at times, approach slowly and try to keep lower than your bird is but try not to push him and let him come to you. If he was at first feeding from you then normally it dose not take too long to gain his trust as once he realises that you are feeding and watering him plus looking after him he will know your are on his side and there to help, keep us updated please, Roz will be along to advice on training
 

Rhys1992

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Yeah I seem to be doing countless research. I sent someone who was having the same problem as me a video (I got speaking to him because the person I got my alexandrine off had stole his picture) he said it looks like he's biting out of being scared not aggression. He will still take food but will some times go round your hand to purposely bite your finger. There not hard bites. He seems in a better mood this morning. He's fed from me and not tried to bite me. Yet...
 

Roz

Regular Member
Hi Rhys, it sounds like maybe you are pushing him too hard too soon. Offer his favourite treats from a short distance so that he can choose to come and get it if he wants it. This way he doesn't have to resort to biting to make it and your hand go away. Read his body language carefully and don't chase him with treats if he is not in a receptive mood. The more he bites, the more he is learning to bite. It is the only option he has left to make your hand go away.

So how can you make treats more attractive to him? Maybe try offering treats just before breakfast or dinner so that there is more incentive to want to take them. Only offer his favourite items... notice what he goes for in the food bowls first - remove them from the bowl (so that they become more prized) and offer from your hand.

I would work on him taking treats from you before working on the step up. Reason being, you have no solid reinforcer (reward) to reinforce his stepping up. Once he is happy taking treats from you consistently then you will have something that he will work for.

Now if I go near he will bite or go to bite through the cage.
You need to rethink how you approach his cage. Maybe you are getting too fast and too confident and expecting too much from him. As Michael suggested, approach slower so as not to frighten him. Think about if you are towering above him in his cage. If you are maybe approach lower. I used to crawl to my Amazon, Ollie's cage, in the beginning because that was the only way to keep his body language relaxed. Birds are happier higher up so they can more easily spot predators. They can't get higher stuck inside a cage, but you can get lower. Do everything in your power to keep your Alexandrine's body language relaxed - you don't want to pair yourself with feelings that result in lunging or biting. I used to avoid direct eye contact with Ollie too as that would send him hiding.
 

Rhys1992

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Brilliant thank you. Yeah I've been using apple or monkey nuts as a treat as there the two things he seems to like the most. Today he's actually stepped up to get back in his cage
 

Roz

Regular Member
Great! So the reinforcer for stepping up today was to get back into his cage. Reinforcers don't always have to be food.
 

Rhys1992

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It's a massive learning curve to say the least lol. He ain't bitten me today which is a bonus lol. It seems like I'm reading 20hours a day lol. I took apple and monkey nuts out of his diet after reading one of the threads on here when I first brought him. Yeah it was strange because normally he would rather sit on his perch on top of his cage rather than go in but I put his food in for him and tried my luck to get him on to the stick and he done it. I nearly fell over
 

Roz

Regular Member
Well done! Great work today!!! That's how I used to get Ollie back into his cage without touching him... put his food bowl in!
 

Rhys1992

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Well done! Great work today!!! That's how I used to get Ollie back into his cage without touching him... put his food bowl in!
Thank you. Seems like a big step. My hands where happy as well lol. To be fair I would take 10 bites off the alexandrine to one ff the budgies they don't let go lol. Yeah the food bowl I prefer doing over him not getting out everyday for exercise. The rest should come in time. Ifs all new to me so it's research constantly. Im not 100% but I don't think he had any human interaction in his last house.
 

Rhys1992

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Quick update. Seems to be today and yesterday he's stepping up to come out of the cage, stepping up when he's out the cage just won't step up to go back in yet but sure that will come in time
 
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