Ask Lafeber

Question:

August 17, 2021

i dont know if its time or safe to let my bird out his cage


hi, i have a peach faced loved bird. i have had him for about three months or so. i understand that patience and training would be key in getting him to trust me and do certian tricks that would help in letting him out his cage daily. so far i can put my hand in his cage without getting bit i can feed him from my hand, and he does a little target training. but as soon as i got to trying to step up or pet him, i noticed he was uncomfortable ready to fly or bite. so i didn’t push. the thing is that while i continue to have him step patiantly, i want to let him out his cage i hate having to see him in there all day. but i am not only scared but worried that if i let him out, i will to be able to get him back in his cage, since he wont set up on my finger yet or let me pet him. he is able to fly, i thought of wing clipping but the process of having to get him hold him down to clip his wings, i fear would stress him out and set me back alot as he would be scared of me after going thru all that. so i just dont know what to do. do you have any ideas that i can try that perhaps will help me get thru the petting and step up process faster, or a way to let him out and get him back in his cage knowing i am limited with the interaction with him, to just hand feeding him. anything would really help and be appreciated so much. thank you
the only time i have ever held him was the first day he arrived i haved to put him in another cage and he bit me, after that i never tried to get him or hold him. but like i mentioned so far i am able to have my hand near him he wont leave or bite me and i give him food or treats by hand and he does well in target training.


Answer:

Hi Anthony,

If this bird wasn’t hand fed, then three months is not very long at all as far as taming goes. Lovebirds are very hard to tame if they are not hand fed. So you have actually made more progress than most people. As far as letting him out, I think you should look into getting a professional to clip his wings first. It’s just about impossible to tame a wild lovebird that can fly away from you. You at least have a chance if his wings are clipped, and he would be easier to put back in the cage. Do not try to clip his wings yourself. This will destroy any trust you have built. Cover your hand with a towel to catch him so you can transfer him to a travel cage. He will associate being caught with the towel and not your hand. Once clipped, you can try working with him outside of the cage. I would highly recommend stick training him. And as far as petting goes, that is pretty much the last step. Birds are prey animals and when you reach for them, they feel like a predator is trying to grab them. It takes 100% trust for a bird to allow you to pet him. I’ll give you the links to our training and behavior pages which you should find very helpful.

Teaching Your Bird

Pet Bird and Parrot Behavior

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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