Training A Moustache Parakeet

Tonya

Regular Member
Hi Again
I’ve not been finding any information resources on training Moustache Parakeets. We’ve gotten over the initial fear stage with Chu Chu so yaay! Great that he or she is approaching us and wanting attention but has now taken to climbing up our arm to sit on our shoulder or middle of our backs. He knows we can’t easily reach him there. Im happy to have him stand on my head but my Chu Chu is a mouthy bird and I’m not keen on being chomped on the face so how do I get him down? I’ve also read that this is unwanted behaviour yet I see lots of parrot owners (including my aunt) with parrots perched on their shoulders?! A big thank you in advance for your time and advice
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
ok it is not recommended to have a parrot on your shoulder in case they bite but I am one that allows my birds to be there, only one flock member I do not trust and that is ollie and I have to find a treat to make him come down to my arm, I have got to trust the bonds with the bird and know there ways, its good that he is coming to you so you do not want to discourage that side of the relationship, now its time to make your arm more inviting so he can fill more relaxed when he is on it. I will tag @Roz for her guidance and training methods, it can be quite defining if they are next to your ear and calling out loud.
 

Roz

Regular Member
Thanks for the tag, Michael. :)

Tanya, re training resources, you will have to look wider - ie. training resources for parrots in general. Sounds like you have made some really excellent progress in a very short time!

Parrots usually climb or fly to the highest point since they feel safest there... easier to spot predators, etc. It's hardwired. You are right not to want Chu Chu on your shoulder until you feel you can trust him. So you need to think about what you can do to make being on your lower arm, hand or elsewhere more reinforcing than being on your shoulder. Maybe something like playing with foot toys with him? Or some target training. Anything else that is FUN! :biggrin: That way he'll want to stay where the fun is.

Also you can make the journey up to your shoulder physically more difficult for him. If he steps up on your hand or wrist, you can bend your arm at the elbow into a V. It is difficult to climb down the first part of the V to then climb up to your shoulder.
 

Tonya

Regular Member
Thank you Roz and Micheal. I need to look up target training. I bent my arm and dropped my elbow and he merrily flew to my shoulder then hopped on my head :emoji_sweat_smile:. He full on wants to be with me now :emoji_heart_eyes:. He will disregard my food offering and excitedly squat down to launch himself on my shoulder or head but he’s got the behaviour of a crazy chomping toddler! I’m a bit nervous but happy he’s settled.
 

Kendra

Regular Member
Oh gosh sounds just like my Chorley OWA, he will do what he wishes anyway or anyhow. Luckily he is not a bitey bird so I allow him to roam around. He loves to sit on other peoples heads, yes the height thing but he loves to pull my hair ties out and also from that position he can spy easily on what you are doing.

Now when Lucy macaw sits on my shoulder I must admit I am a very wary of the damage she could do but it has been a long, hard road to gain her trust. So for the moment she is allowed there for short periods. I understand the potential damage any bird can do from shoulder and head sitting, any nibbling or biting by either would result in their being placed gently but firmly back onto their cages.
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
the bigger Macaws even if on your arm can reach the face and its not wise to suddenly pull you arm away from your body to avoid it as they then try gaining balance by using there beak (grabbing on and even hang there until they can get hold of something with there feet) . I learnt this whilst playing ok its not a bite but its still strong enough to create a nasty bruise. on the shoulder they are taller than your face and being to one side you have a better chance of turning your head away from them without making them fill off balanced. the worst bruise I received was when Jackie was on my arm and just shook her head and her beak hit my chin. if they slip off your arm they will grab it and to let it release its grip is to let its feet touch the floor or use the other arm to support the feet. if it slips off your shoulder it will most likely grab clothing. I hate it when a bird starts to lick my ear
 

JackAndRob

Regular Member
The only time that one of our birds has managed to draw blood was when Jardine Jack (miss you buddy. Please come home!) went for a footing that I had removed a split second earlier. He grabbed my hand with his beak and hung there with his full weight, legs flailing, until I scooped him up. My own fault and I'll take a bit of pain as long as our birds are okay.

Jardine Jessie will ride on my shoulder all day if I let her. When I am moving around, there is enough going on to interest her, but if I am sitting quietly she sometimes goes for my ears, neck and hair. I can distract her with my fingers - rub her beak or scratch her neck and head. She can be a bit bitey, but it's part of the game to her and not painful. I am happy that she is comfortable with my hands/fingers around her head. It would be important if she urgently needed some firm handling.

It is worth remembering to remove jewelry that birds can easily get to. Necklaces, earrings, piercings, etc will all be targets for a curious bird.

Another distraction that I use is a string necklace with lots of wooden and plastic beads and shapes. I put the necklace on and Jessie will happily play with that and leave me alone. She'll also go for it if I drop it on to a table or chair. A quick shake and she is in full necklace destruction mode, but that's precisely what it was made for - the beads and shapes regularly need topping up! There's a huge variety of craft packs on the likes of Amazon and eBay that are ideal for making birdy toys, plus paper/sisal string, vegetable tanned leather string and strips, stainless steel wire, etc. Many of the commercially available bird toys can easily be made at home.
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
Ear rings well that takes me back to Beryl whom I miss so much, I was walking through a sanctuary with Beryl on my shoulder when we come across and elderly couple out for a stroll, she asked if Beryl was tame as she has never held a bird before, I warned her to be careful of her ear rings (I new Beryl's ways) well she allowed beryl on her shoulder for her husband to take a photo of them, well Beryl grabbed the ear ring that fell on the floor and just diapered from view in the chippings and floor, it turned out to be a very expensive white gold and Dimond ear ring, we searched but could not find it. I was glad I warned her first. I had many adventures with Beryl He was one in a million and as other members whom met him will confirm. this is why I love ringnecks so much. the trust and bond we had was so special.
 

Kendra

Regular Member
Years ago I used to wear earrings and necklaces, not too flashy or many but I liked them, that was a long and distant time ago, sad, so sad, wonder where the heck I have put them?
 

Tonya

Regular Member
I took off my earrings and she started chomping my ear so turned my head away and did a slow spin and she stopped to regain footing. It seemed to work. Hopefully the chomping will get less and less as time goes on. she likes to perch in the door of the cage last thing at night to sleep and will not step up even when I gently move the door back and forth so I pet her belly feathers and scratched her belly and she happily closed her eyes and enjoyed the scratch :D. She eventually stepped up but only when she was good and ready :emoji_blush::budgie:
 
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