Quaker parrots are often sold in pet shops in lieu of larger, more exotic birds. Because of this, freshman bird owners may assume that Quaker parrots will be easier to work with. Quakers, however, are prone to aggression and behavioral problems, especially when raised by inexperienced caretakers.
Why the Caged Bird Sings
Birds are extremely intelligent, emotional creatures, so aggressive behavior can develop from jealousy, boredom or irregular patterns in daily life. Is your pet acting out only when new visitors arrive? If you cage your Quaker when company comes over because he is misbehaving, the bird will learn to equate guests with unwanted caged time and will act out whenever people visit. Identifying and avoiding triggers for your parrot will help make the retaming process successful.
Getting Your Quaker Ready
You must clip your bird's wings very short before beginning. If you are inexperienced with wing clipping or cannot handle the aggressive parrot yourself, seek out a professional groomer to handle it for you. After wing clipping, give your pet at least a day or two to get used to his new flightlessness and calm down from being handled.
Think Outside the Cage
Begin by leaving the cage door open for a couple hours every day, until your bird begins to come outside and explore on his own. It may not happen immediately, but left to their own devices, even the most untamed birds will eventually be curious enough to climb outside. Once this happens, you can move on to training.
Lure your Quaker onto a handheld perch with a treat. Once perched, encourage the bird to climb onto a separate perch and back again. When the Quaker is comfortable walking perch-to-perch, gradually remove him from the cage area. Next, replace one perch with your finger. If the bird climbs on, put down the other perch and have the bird move from finger to finger. If the parrot displays stress or reluctance at any point, let your pet rest and pick up again tomorrow.
Handling Your Quaker
Now that your Quaker is used to interacting with you on a physical basis, you can attempt gentle petting and hand-delivering treats. These actions require more confidence on your part, because the bird will pick up on any fear or nervousness. Make sure that you are as comfortable with your pet as you want him to be with you.
Repeat as Necessary
Remember to spend time with your pet every day, or behavioral problems will come back. This process is gradual; some steps could take only a few hours, while some could take weeks. Interrupting or giving up on the retaming process can put you back at square one, so you'll need a lot of time and patience to get your Quaker back on friendly terms with people.
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