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  1. #1
    Brand New Egg
    Name
    Rachel
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    Hello and Some Questions!

    Hi everybody!

    My name's Rachel and just one month ago I bought a 12 week old lutino lovie who I named Tito. He is GORGEOUS and I can't wait to get pictures up, but right now my camera is broken and I need to borrow one from a roommate. I got him from a breeder on Craigslist, but feel that any of you willing to read and answer questions will have better information than she does. She told me heís a male, but when I asked how she sexed him I found it wasnít using DNA so from what Iíve read thereís a good chance heís a sheÖI donít really care, but I have heard that females can lay eggs without a partner/fertilization? If so, does this happen in all females and can I expect it once Tito reaches a certain age (if he is a she)?

    Second question =] about what food/treats you give your birds. Right now I have him on a seed diet plus some nut mix from PetCo and occasionally pieces of lettuce/apple/orange pepper (not the spicy kind). How important is it for me to give him a variety of veggies/fruits and how often, and which ones do your birds prefer? I had some samples of Harrisonís pellet food and read itís good to balance seed with pellets, so ideally should I go buy some more? As a treat he will now eat millet out of my hand, but whenever I try to hold it further away with my other hand to entice him to step up he doesnít go for it. What do you guys use for treats with your birds, especially when it comes to training? I know all birds are probably different, so Iíd love to hear many stories as to what works best/what lovies like.

    And the training question: so far he eats millet out of my hand about twice a day and once a day I open his cage and let him fly out and then try and get him on my hand (talking to him the whole time). I made a breakthrough yesterdayóalthough he continued to run away from my hand when I got him in a corner he stepped on twice before flying off, and then finally I managed to get him to stay on long enough for me to put him back in his cage which has never happened! Usually I end up catching him with a towel to put him back. Iím trying not to make it a time-sensitive issue, but Iíd love to have him stepping up and able to be out of his cage with me by the time school starts later this month. Iíd love to hear all about what methods/techniques you used to train your birds, how long it took, and any tips that could improve what Iím doing!

    About the vet: how important is it that I take him in for an appointment since that hasnít been done yet? I plan to keep his wings clipped only during training and know how to do it, but would anyone say itís worthwhile paying a vet to do it the first time?

    In the past two weeks Iíve noticed these little white ends of feathers(?) sticking out around his head and face and was wondering if these are related to molting? If so, how long does it usually take? Wish I had pictures for this question, Iíll definitely work on that.

    Like most of you Iím guessing, Iíve pretty much fallen in love with my lovie and want to talk about him WAY more than my friends like me to, so hopefully here is a perfect place to do that! Iíd love to hear any and all advice and stories about your lovies that may be helpful to a first time owner, hold nothing back. Sorry this post is extremely long, felt like I should be as thorough as possible since I have so many questions! Thanks everybody for reading if you got this far haha.

  2. #2
    Livin the Good Life Brand New Egg sunnyvmx's Avatar
    Name
    Sunny
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    Mar 2012
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    South of Guadalajara on Lake Chapala, Mexico
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    Re: Hello and Some Questions!

    In Pepe's training I often ask myself if I'm causing stress and fear from pushing too hard. Most times I thought it possible that I was so I took several steps back and started over. Smaller steps, but still a little progress everyday. The training can't be forced on the bird. They take their time to gain confidence and lose the fear. It's important for you to give them that time. It will all happen the way you want if you set no time limits and just work consistently and rejoice in each little step forward.

    http://dementias-daughter.com Now over 32,000 hits.

  3. #3
    Brand New Egg
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    Rachel
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    Re: Hello and Some Questions!

    Thanks =] no time limits set, I just asked how other people train their birds and how long because I know the stories of others will help reaffirm that it can't be rushed and just takes time. I guess I didn't know if the once a day out of the cage was enough, but from your reply it seems that doing it slow and steady is a good idea.

  4. #4
    Livin the Good Life Brand New Egg sunnyvmx's Avatar
    Name
    Sunny
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    South of Guadalajara on Lake Chapala, Mexico
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    Re: Hello and Some Questions!

    Since you enjoy the training, you might like the target touch method. You can find it on the internet. I use a chopstick with Pepe and put it close to him. When he touches it, I praise him and give him some millet. He only gets millet when we are doing his lessons. As he progresses, move the stick around the cage and maybe even ringing a bell. We are now working on step up and come out of the cage. It's been four months.

    To get him to eat pellets as an equal part of his diet, I put a few seeds into the pellet cup and when they were gone he started eating the pellets. Now he gets one cup of seed and one of pellets and eats from both. Fresh food is important so feed it everyday also. You have the desire to do everything that's best for your little friend and with the help of information found on this forum, you will succeed.

    http://dementias-daughter.com Now over 32,000 hits.

  5. #5
    Tailfeather pixibubbles's Avatar
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    Helen
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    Coventry, UK
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    Re: Hello and Some Questions!

    Wow - lots of questions.
    Veggies are very important in a diet - I think it's pretty much anything except onions, fruit pips, garlic, chocolate (HUGE NO), avocado (another HUGE no), tomatoes or Grapes from south america (they spray them with something icky). I've also been told no mushrooms. Nothing too high in fat or sugar - keep foods simple and healthy (although a certain birdie in my house might quite like biscuits lol). No red meats, no soft or unpasturised cheese.

    And never, ever, ever anything cooked in non-stick.

    He will probably like hot peppers - birds can't taste the hot bit, they just taste the sweet.

    vet is important. If anything ever happens and you need to see the vet it's a really good thing when the vet knows the bird, and the bird is less stressed out. Plus if you're wing clipping it had to be right - too short and the bird could bleed or crash and hurt themselves badly.

    My breeder sexed Sammy and his siblings based on gut instinct, stance and pelvis width. DNA testing backed him up. So if your breeder is experienced and knows the lineage well, then possibly right.

    Yes the white spiky things on bis head are moulting related - sounds like pin feathers. Let him have access to a bath. Luke warm. You don't want to shock him if he jumps into cold water, or burn him with hot.

    Training for Sammy is bribery and touch training. Google clicker training for parrots - although I've adapted it a bit. I don't use a clicker. I just say "good!" and give the treat. I figured it worked on the dog, and the bird is smarter lol. Plus the clicker was something he wanted to disembowel, so not ideal for him lol

    The only questions you should ever apologise for are the ones you don't ask - they're the ones that could hurt your fid. You're just being a good parront. Welcome to slavedom.


    Thanks Lee for the adorable sig!

  6. #6
    Fledgeling Cheaps's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Some Questions!

    Yes hens can lay eggs at will. Ham's first clutch was 6! She suffers from those itchy pin feathers when they come in and resembles a pincushion at times.

    If there's any way you can do it, try having your bird out more than once a day, if only to not associate your handling with "now I have to go back in the cage".
    We got lots of Ham here

  7. #7
    Brand New Egg
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    Rachel
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    Re: Hello and Some Questions!

    Hi everybody!

    pixibubbles, thanks for the thorough reply (also I plan to research vets in my area and take him to one soon as i can) and sunnyvmx thanks for the advice on pellet diet and training; also thank you cheaps for answering my question about eggs...do you know if there is a particular age they tend to lay eggs for the first time or does it vary widely by bird? I have him out about twice a day now and he's finally learning to crawl up to the top of the cage and hang out instead of flying to the floor.

    Also--I got him to step up on my finger! I used millet to teach him to nibble my finger first when he wanted some, and then he actually started stepping one foot up on his own, so I praised him alot when that happens and now after the first or second try each session he'll step right up! I'm very proud of him, glad I got him young and hand-fed...I know we have a ways to go in him trusting me fully, but this is very encouraging and pretty excited. Thanks for advice again everybody!
    Last edited by littletito; 08-11-2012 at 10:09 AM.

  8. #8
    Brand New Egg
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    Rachel
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    Re: Hello and Some Questions!

    I tried to attach the pictures I took but I'm really bad the whole internet thing to be honest, but hopefully I'll figure it out eventually.

  9. #9
    Egg's Cracking...
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    Jasmine
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    Re: Hello and Some Questions!

    An easy way to attach pictures is to either get an account at photobucket or tinypic--both let you upload your photos to the website, then you can copy the link they give you and directly copy it on your post. It'll be labeled either "forum or message board link" or "img code" and it'll have [IMG][/IMG] around the link. Also, if you use tinypic, they'll let you do a few pictures as a "trial" so you don't have to register.

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