In the above video I announce the super exciting news that I’ve decided to take on Rasta the Alexandrine Parakeet from one of our clients featured in one of our episodes on One Day Miracles. A new DVD series we’ve produced where we go into people’s homes to show them how to fix their birds behavioral problems in one day. We had great success with Rasta, however, when we left, they took some steps backwards and I offered to take Rasta to get him back to the point where they can work with him from an easier starting place.
For a preview of Rasta from our One Day Miracles series, check out the following video:
This blog will serve as my ‘Rasta Diary’ for keeping track of things I try with him that work and that don’t work and how I progress through his issues of mistrust, hand hatred and ultimately fear of people in general.
Liam, Rasta’s 11-year old owner, would love for Rasta to perform tricks so that will be one of the ways I will be working through Rasta’s fears and mistrust of people – by training him fun tricks that are hands-off and non-invasive to his personal space and comfort zone. However I will also be using techniques to expand his comfort zone so that he allows some human bonding to happen, too.
So on with the progress and story so far:
In Rasta’s past, he has always been forced to do things he didn’t want to do. So my goal with him will be to NEVER EVER force him to do anything. To drive this point home, I’ll explain why I didn’t sleep so well the first night doing this for Rasta…
9PM – Rasta lands at the Spokane, WA airport and I pick him up in my car and drive an hour home. At home I opened his travel cage and he came out willingly (here’s what all that looked like…)
Ninja, my cat, was all too curious… and I was all too nervous she’d spook Rasta but he proved in the hours to come that he didn’t mind her company in the least.
He eventually got spooked and flew to the floor, where he timidly stepped up for me (he was shaking fearfully if you couldn’t tell) and then got too scared once he did make the decision and flew and landed on Rocko’s travel cage (Rocko the toucan who was already asleep in the bathroom so the cage was empty) unfortunately it was too dark in that room to keep filming, but here is the video we did manage to get:
In order to get him to the real cage, I picked up the travel cage he landed on and held it against the big cage and let him walk his way up the larger one. Worked like a charm, only he went to the top of it instead of inside.
Since I’m on this whole ‘never-force-him-to-do-anything’ and he showed SO much fear stepping up the first time, I didn’t want to make him go inside the cage so I let him sleep on top. I left my bedroom door open to listen for him stirring but he didn’t move all night. He had a full night’s recovery of sleep and at 6AM I peeked into his room and saw him still sleeping and I went back to bed.
He then sounded like a morning alarm and I went out to find him with Ninja in the laundry room. Ninja was sitting staring at him and Rasta looked lost. I offered my hand to him like before and he came over and stepped up. This time while making our way back to his cage I walked slower and stopped when I felt his discomfort.
He made it all the way to the cage on my arm without flying off, and stepped happily onto his cage top. He proceeded to go inside when he wanted and on top when he wanted, as well. Later in the day he watched the conures fly all around the house and to me.
I offered Rasta a bath, and he seemed non-receptive. So I offered one to the conures who happily accepted! Rasta watched.
I went back to him and he seemed to be much more into it this time, here is a video of the last part of his bath time. Who wouldn’t love a bath after a long day of travel?!
I’ll be keeping you all posted on Rasta’s progress through being able to watch me keep Liam and Karen up to date. Like I said in my first video, I’ll be directing everything towards them from this point forward – as this is all for them, especially Liam who is dying to have a relationship with this adorable bird.
I won’t let ya down, Liam!