Because Morgan has a left foot defect, she has always had people who had no clue how to properly handle her. Do they treat her as normal? Do they compensate for her, or does she do that? The questions become endless.
Morgan has not been able to speak a common language with her previous owners and I'm determined for this to come to a stop. How?
Clear communication through training.
You've all heard me say, "I don't want your beak first, I want your FOOT first." I will not even present my hand close enough to her until she knows me clear body language (through lifting her foot, or shifting her weight to do so) that her only intention is to STEP UP.
Beak first = I might bite. I might pinch. I might grab you (sometimes hard) to keep my balance. I might be gentle and simply use you to balance and step up nicely without puncture. But it's a gamble.
Foot up = I want to step up on you. Giving a foot first, is a clear "my intention is to step up onto you."
I am not not letting her step up with her beak first for balance to make her life harder. I am doing it to speak the same language. This is something she can use with ANYONE, and communicate the clearest messages.
When someone thinks a bird is going to bite, whether it is or not, they will often pull away quickly, yelp, jump back, change their tone of voice to stern or unfriendly, become uneasy and not committed with their holding of their hand up... and all this often leads to accidental bites from unbalance, misread intentions and often even dropped birds. This is everything I don't want.
What Morgan and others have been doing in the past obviously has not been working, so I am here to change it into something that will be long-lasting and serve everyone involved well.
Here is what clear communication looks like when a bird has every intention of stepping up, and what the "foot first" vs "beak first" look like: