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Question:

July 20, 2018

flying away when my hand goes close to them


hi this is a question regarding taming. I handfed my birds since day zero, they are 3 months old now, whenever i go close to the cage both the birds used to come for petting, they were fine till yesterday i dont know what happened to them today they were not coming to me and were running away from my hand. The male bird came close to me but the female keeps running away, i am so depressed and sad right now. please help me how do i tame the female bird.


Answer:

Hi Nelapudi,

A couple of things are going on here. First, when you have more than one bird in a cage, they can be hard to tame or keep tame. If these bids are weaned now, it is time to get each bird its own cage. This will help keep them tame but it is also very necessary for another reason. Having a male and female together will eventually result in breeding behavior. If these birds are related to each other, you should never allow them to breed. Birds don’t naturally know this – in the wild they would split up into a large flock and would not likely breed with a related bird. Even if these birds are not related, they still need to be split up because otherwise they are going to try to breed at too young of an age. This can cause the female to become egg bound and die. Or if one matures more quickly than the other, the mature bird may attack the other out of frustration.

If your goal is to breed them in the future, you should not set them up together to breed until they are at least two years old. Pairing younger birds generally results in many failed clutches, and in the wild they would not breed before they are about 2-3 years old.

Now, the second reason for their sudden behavior change is related to their age and instinct. At this age, in the wild they would be weaning or soon weaned and then the parents would push them away. So instinctively they are trying to be independent. All baby birds go through this stage – one day they love you, the next day they act like you are a stranger. Be patient with them and they will soon be back to wanting to be handled. This is just a hard time for them learning to eat on their own and feeling like they need to be independent. Having an expert clip their wings will also help. If they can fly away, they are much harder to work with.

So go ahead and get a second cage and keep them separate. They can be out together when you handle them and the cages can be next to each other. But it’s time for them to stop sharing a cage.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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