Green cheek conure hand training

David30

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Hi guys and girls not posted for a while I have now had my pinapple for nearly 4 months now he(gecko) wasn't tame when I got him but was only around 4months old when o got him I have in the past few weeks got him to step up onto a perch I am holding and he will feed out his food bowl while I'm holding that which I know is great progress but I can't seem to get him to calm down or come close to my hand with out food in it or a pearch I'm just seeing if anyone had any ideas what I could do to get this fear out of him or is it just keep on doing what I am and with more time he will come around. Posted a pic of him sat on pearch while I'm holding it.

Thanks
 

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dianaT

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Hi, it sounds like you are getting there slowly. Lets see if @Roz and others can offer more advice.
 

Roz

Regular Member
Hi David, good to hear from you again. Thanks for the tag, Di.

Sounds like you and Gecko are making some progress. That's great he will eat out of a food bowl with you holding it.

To gain his trust you need to be pairing yourself and your hands with good experiences as much as possible. So watch Gecko's body language (without staring). Your mission is to keep his body language relaxed at all times. If his body language changes - say his feathers slick down, eyes widen, he leans away, you know that something is frightening him/something aversive has been introduced. That's your cue to back off! If you ignore the body language and press on regardless, even though he may submit (do what you want) you have inadvertently paired yourself with an aversive which means in the bigger picture, you have lost some of that trust you are working so hard to obtain.

This often happens when someone makes a bird step up say by pressing a perch or finger into the bird's stomach/chest. The bird eventually steps up (or bites to make it go away!) to avoid the uncomfortable feeling of the finger or perch in his chest. Instead the person could offer a bowl of food on the other side of the perch so that the bird steps up because he wants to reach the food. The stepping up has now become a good experience and the bird will more likely step up in the future. I am not saying you are forcing Gecko to step up, it was just an example of how easy it can be to destroy trust. An already hand tame bird may quickly bounce back (depending on the amount of positive reinforcement it already receives from that person), but with a bird who is fearful of humans (and therefore has experienced very little in the way of positive reinforcement) it can be a big set back.

Keep offering food out of the food bowl. What are his favourite foods? I am wondering if he likes something big like apple, pepper or a length of millet, etc., you could offer him a long slice over the top of the food bowl (or through the cage bars where he might feel safer)... so that your hands slowly become part of the bigger picture. Then gradually you can make the piece smaller so he gets closer to your fingers. This could take days, weeks or months.

I wouldn't even try to teach him to step up on your hands yet until he is happier with them around. When you feel he is ready to try, have a look at the link below. For a reinforcer for each step, you could always use quick access to a bowl of food... ie. offer the bowl and let him pick something out and take it away again whilst he's eating.

 

David30

Regular Member
Registered
Hi David, good to hear from you again. Thanks for the tag, Di.

Sounds like you and Gecko are making some progress. That's great he will eat out of a food bowl with you holding it.

To gain his trust you need to be pairing yourself and your hands with good experiences as much as possible. So watch Gecko's body language (without staring). Your mission is to keep his body language relaxed at all times. If his body language changes - say his feathers slick down, eyes widen, he leans away, you know that something is frightening him/something aversive has been introduced. That's your cue to back off! If you ignore the body language and press on regardless, even though he may submit (do what you want) you have inadvertently paired yourself with an aversive which means in the bigger picture, you have lost some of that trust you are working so hard to obtain.

This often happens when someone makes a bird step up say by pressing a perch or finger into the bird's stomach/chest. The bird eventually steps up (or bites to make it go away!) to avoid the uncomfortable feeling of the finger or perch in his chest. Instead the person could offer a bowl of food on the other side of the perch so that the bird steps up because he wants to reach the food. The stepping up has now become a good experience and the bird will more likely step up in the future. I am not saying you are forcing Gecko to step up, it was just an example of how easy it can be to destroy trust. An already hand tame bird may quickly bounce back (depending on the amount of positive reinforcement it already receives from that person), but with a bird who is fearful of humans (and therefore has experienced very little in the way of positive reinforcement) it can be a big set back.

Keep offering food out of the food bowl. What are his favourite foods? I am wondering if he likes something big like apple, pepper or a length of millet, etc., you could offer him a long slice over the top of the food bowl (or through the cage bars where he might feel safer)... so that your hands slowly become part of the bigger picture. Then gradually you can make the piece smaller so he gets closer to your fingers. This could take days, weeks or months.

I wouldn't even try to teach him to step up on your hands yet until he is happier with them around. When you feel he is ready to try, have a look at the link below. For a reinforcer for each step, you could always use quick access to a bowl of food... ie. offer the bowl and let him pick something out and take it away again whilst he's eating.

I have always let gecko do what he wants when he wants too do it so he jumped on the perch by him self I kept offering the perch up not touching him and saying good boy as I say this when he jumps on the bowl too feed and he just jumped on it after few weeks. He now knows when the perch is in my hand he can come out as he loves being out of his cage even tho he dosnt like hands but he does like the perch and training with the perch with step up as he squawks for attention while out for it.

He will take grapes out my hand and now and again salfflower seed as this seems to be his favourites.

He has had one negative with my hands as I had to catch him to cut his claws as they where over growing even tho I have perches on platforms to help stop this happening.

I have also started reducing the distance my hand is on the perch to where he sits on the perch which he seems to cope with and is not too fused but if hand goes too close he will just jump off the perch. I also offer my hand up daily too see like I did with the perch but only a few mins a day then will just lift him out on the perch.

He also goes back in the cage on his perch so when he is out doing his thing and it's time for bed I get the perch and put it close to him and say step up and he just climbs on it then we say good night and he steps up onto his perch in the cage.

So is it matter of keep doing what I am doing or do you feel I need to charge what I am doing? he also won't take anything from me when doing training as a reward he will only take things off me while he is in the cage I think it's because he feels secure in there.

Thanks for reply
 

Roz

Regular Member
Sounds really good, David! :applaudit:

If he will take things from you inside the cage, you could easily start training inside the cage. First you could train him to target something like the end of a chopstick. This is a simple behaviour to teach plus it introduces the bird to "if.... then". "If" I touch the end of that stick "then" I get a yummy treat! When a bird gets the "if... then" part of training, it opens up a whole new world of interaction between you. It is the coolest thing to see the penny drop in the bird's head!! Going to post a video here as it says way more than I could in words. This is an excellent target training video:


When Gecko or any other bird GETS the "if... when" it becomes easier to start teaching new behaviours, like the step up... or even holding feet still so that you can cut his claws! :biggrin:
 

David30

Regular Member
Registered
Thanks for the reply I'm glad I'm on the right track with him I will have a look at that video a bit later on and will try the target training I have done it that with many animals before aswell as clicker training but just never with a bird but I'm sure the principle will be roughly the same thanks again
 
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