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Thread: Harness training?!?!?!?!?!

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    Unhappy Harness training?!?!?!?!?!

    Hey everyone! So I just got this conuretwo weeks ago, and I already tamed him and he's very cuddly and loving. However, I want to take him out safely, so I ordered an aviator harness. It's one of those harnesses that wrap around the stomach and loop up to attatch under the wings. There is no head. I don't know what to do about this, since all the training videos have a harness that slips on the head, which seems much easier than an aviator. It's hard to pick him up, since I don't want to stress him. He seemed very calm, so I tried slipping it on. All was well until I put it under his wing and attatched it to one wing. Then, he goes crazy. He keeps pulling at it to get it off, but at the same time, when he gets it off, it seems like he thinks its some sort of game to get it off, but at the same time, he doesn't like it. I'm not sure if I should try to get it on, and just take him outside so he learns that he gets to go outside (He's never been out before). I don't want him to hate me after that, but I also want to share the outdoors with him. I saw this video, where the bird was obviously stressed by the harness, but would be happy when it went outside. One of the comments compared it to a dog; dogs hate harnesses too, but the owner just slips it on so that the dog can enjoy the outdoors. Any help?

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    Re: Harness training?!?!?!?!?!

    I bought one of those harnesses, tried it on my bird, and then threw it away. It was a pain to put on the bird, as you are aware. Plus it stresses the bird so much. And, I worry about how it would affect the feathers. I couldn't bear the thought of those feather quills in the bird's skin getting stressed. It's not like us putting on tight clothes. Finally, I worried about what might happen if the bird did jump from my shoulder or wherever I was carrying him. I'd hate to see my bird dangling from a leash.

    Well, those are my thoughts about it. Hopefully, someone else has had a better experience.
    Whitefaced Pearl Cockatiel Smokey Bear: Hatched June 14, 2018
    Whitefaced Pied Cockatiel Wolfie Barry James (Wolfgang): Hatched approx: December 25, 2017
    Yellow Naped Amazon Benny Francis: Hatched March 24, 2018

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    Re: Harness training?!?!?!?!?!

    My daughter has one for Tikki and he calms down after getting it on but he does not move around when it is on so no doubt it makes him feel very restrained. She walks around outside and he just sits there without cheeping or moving. It is almost as if he thinks he cannot move so just freezes up. She really has not tried it on much and now is thinking about getting him a small bird backpack for him.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Harness training?!?!?!?!?!

    Oh, some things I want to mention.

    First, and foremost: make sure that you do not even start taking your conure outdoors until he is well-trained to stay with you - on your shoulder or hand. If he is not completely obedient about staying on you like glue, don't even attempt to take him outdoors. There are too many things outdoors that might spook him.

    Second, and in my opinion: Make sure his flight feathers are trimmed. If he does get spooked despite all your efforts to train him to stay with you, he won't be able to go far. It's a real heartbreaking experience to see your beloved bird suddenly fly off and never be seen by you again. I still have nightmares about when my husband's cockatiel that he had for many years suddenly flew away when he brought her outdoors. That was 46 years ago and it still hurts.
    Whitefaced Pearl Cockatiel Smokey Bear: Hatched June 14, 2018
    Whitefaced Pied Cockatiel Wolfie Barry James (Wolfgang): Hatched approx: December 25, 2017
    Yellow Naped Amazon Benny Francis: Hatched March 24, 2018

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    Re: Harness training?!?!?!?!?!

    I must be the only one that actually likes the Aviator harness! It took a while, but after we both played with a while, my Jenday was good with it. After putting it on her, I just let her wear it climbing on a chair, first inside, then outside. Finally, she was brave enough to sit on my shoulder while I walked in the front half-acre, then the first back acre, then beyond that. I didn't take her into the heavily wooded area. She was fine wearing it and didn't seem stressed by it
    Pretty soon she learned that putting on the Aviator meant you get to go outside.

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    Re: Harness training?!?!?!?!?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chloemom View Post
    I must be the only one that actually likes the Aviator harness! It took a while, but after we both played with a while, my Jenday was good with it. After putting it on her, I just let her wear it climbing on a chair, first inside, then outside. Finally, she was brave enough to sit on my shoulder while I walked in the front half-acre, then the first back acre, then beyond that. I didn't take her into the heavily wooded area. She was fine wearing it and didn't seem stressed by it
    Pretty soon she learned that putting on the Aviator meant you get to go outside.
    Great advice for using the harness, Leslie! I hope people who are thinking of using one will read how you got your bird accustomed to it before you took her out. Thanks! Now I wish I hadn't thrown mine out . I acted too soon.
    Whitefaced Pearl Cockatiel Smokey Bear: Hatched June 14, 2018
    Whitefaced Pied Cockatiel Wolfie Barry James (Wolfgang): Hatched approx: December 25, 2017
    Yellow Naped Amazon Benny Francis: Hatched March 24, 2018

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    Re: Harness training?!?!?!?!?!

    Tikki wore his Aviator harness just last week and went outside for a little walk with my daughter and me and he was nervous about it and kept trying to chew it off but he did settle down.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Harness training?!?!?!?!?!

    Actually, I still have Jennie's and was thinking of buying another for Sir Lancelot.

    Deanna, did you know that GCC's can still fly with just coverlets? Tikki should have on some kind of harness outside even if clipped.

    I love the birdie backpack idea!

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    Re: Harness training?!?!?!?!?!

    [QUOTE=DesertDweller;861667]Make sure his flight feathers are trimmed. If he does get spooked despite all your efforts to train him to stay with you, he won't be able to go far. It's a real heartbreaking experience to see your beloved bird suddenly fly off and never be seen by you again. [QUOTE]
    Like I told Deanna, GCC's can still fly with just their coverts. Even a feather trim may not keep them grounded.

    A friend from Pakistan told me how it was common practice to tie a string around a bird's leg as a harness of sorts. When I argued that it could easily lead to a disjointed leg, he defended that it had been done there for years. NO THANKS!

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    Re: Harness training?!?!?!?!?!

    Tikki has a harness and was wearing it. We would never take him out without one on or having him in his cage. He chewed on the harness for almost our entire walk but did calm down in the end.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Harness training?!?!?!?!?!

    Jeff at the bird store recommended that I start Benny Francis, my Yellow Naped Amazon, on harness training.
    But, once he realized that I do not intend to let Benny Francis have full flight, Jeff said that I won't need a harness because Benny Francis will just coast to the ground a few feet away from me, if he tries to fly. He's a big bird, though. And I take him out as much as I can while he's very young.
    My other smaller birds stay in the house - clipped. Except for baby Wolfie Barry James. He's full flighted because he needs his flight feathers for balance since the doctor says he's most likely got stunted internal organs.
    Whitefaced Pearl Cockatiel Smokey Bear: Hatched June 14, 2018
    Whitefaced Pied Cockatiel Wolfie Barry James (Wolfgang): Hatched approx: December 25, 2017
    Yellow Naped Amazon Benny Francis: Hatched March 24, 2018

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    Re: Harness training?!?!?!?!?!

    Quote Originally Posted by DesertDweller View Post
    Jeff at the bird store recommended that I start Benny Francis, my Yellow Naped Amazon, on harness training.
    But, once he realized that I do not intend to let Benny Francis have full flight, Jeff said that I won't need a harness because Benny Francis will just coast to the ground a few feet away from me, if he tries to fly. He's a big bird, though. And I take him out as much as I can while he's very young.
    My other smaller birds stay in the house - clipped. Except for baby Wolfie Barry James. He's full flighted because he needs his flight feathers for balance since the doctor says he's most likely got stunted internal organs.
    Don't even get me started on clips. I'll suffice it to say ANY clip for ANY reason is wrong!

    Again, I've had excellent responses to harnesses from my UNCLIPPED birds. It seems to require patience in training as well as the most accepted harness to you and your bird

    There are a variety of harness types, flight suits to aviators. Find what is most acceptable to your bird and to you.

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    Re: Harness training?!?!?!?!?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chloemom View Post
    Don't even get me started on clips. I'll suffice it to say ANY clip for ANY reason is wrong!

    Again, I've had excellent responses to harnesses from my UNCLIPPED birds. It seems to require patience in training as well as the most accepted harness to you and your bird

    There are a variety of harness types, flight suits to aviators. Find what is most acceptable to your bird and to you.
    Leslie, Please know that I've been holding my tongue for a long time. I'd like to remind you that this is a forum for people to share opinions, ideas and suggestions - in a respectful way. Please, for goodness sake, stop saying that something other than what you believe in is wrong.

    I appreciate your many ideas and comments, as you know. But, for you to keep pushing this idea that clipping for any reason is wrong is:
    1. Not in keeping with the Terms of Service for this website, and
    2. Contradictory to the advice of Industry recognized authority on avians - the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council - which is the authority that state legislators adhere to.
    3. Numerous highly regarded avian veterinarians around the country.

    It's really simply a matter of personal choice for the bird owner whether to clip or not to clip.
    We at TailFeathers share our opinions and the bird owner can then decide. After over 61 years of having birds, rehabbing birds, working with veterinarians, the Living Desert Sanctuary, and managing for years at PetSmart, I prefer to clip. I've NEVER stated so harshly that you shouldn't do what you feel is right.

    So, Please stop, for goodness sake!!
    Whitefaced Pearl Cockatiel Smokey Bear: Hatched June 14, 2018
    Whitefaced Pied Cockatiel Wolfie Barry James (Wolfgang): Hatched approx: December 25, 2017
    Yellow Naped Amazon Benny Francis: Hatched March 24, 2018

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    Re: Harness training?!?!?!?!?!

    Quote Originally Posted by DesertDweller View Post
    Leslie, Please know that I've been holding my tongue for a long time. I'd like to remind you that this is a forum for people to share opinions, ideas and suggestions - in a respectful way. Please, for goodness sake, stop saying that something other than what you believe in is wrong.

    I appreciate your many ideas and comments, as you know. But, for you to keep pushing this idea that clipping for any reason is wrong is:
    1. Not in keeping with the Terms of Service for this website, and
    2. Contradictory to the advice of Industry recognized authority on avians - the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council - which is the authority that state legislators adhere to.
    3. Numerous highly regarded avian veterinarians around the country.

    It's really simply a matter of personal choice for the bird owner whether to clip or not to clip.
    We at TailFeathers share our opinions and the bird owner can then decide. After over 61 years of having birds, rehabbing birds, working with veterinarians, the Living Desert Sanctuary, and managing for years at PetSmart, I prefer to clip. I've NEVER stated so harshly that you shouldn't do what you feel is right.

    So, Please stop, for goodness sake!!
    You commented that you've wanted to say something for a long time. Is it just on the topic of clipping or on other topics as well?

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    Re: Harness training?!?!?!?!?!

    [QUOTE=DesertDweller;862307][QUOTE]
    1. Not in keeping with the Terms of Service for this website, and
    2. Contradictory to the advice of Industry recognized authority on avians - the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council - which is the authority that state legislators adhere to.
    3. Numerous highly regarded avian veterinarians around the country.[QUOTE]
    So, are you just threatened by my thoughts on clipping or other topics as well?
    You and I have similar credentials although I haven't been rehabbing birds for 61 years but am too close for comfort. I chose to work for the USDA rather than a big pet chain. Not only did I work with AVs, I studied with many. Instead of the Living Desert Sanctuary, I was at the Gulf Coast Exotic Rescue and Sanctuary. We live in different regions.
    Additionally, I reviewed the Tailfeathers terms. Also, which "state" legislation do you refer to? The federal government doesn't follow states. Finally, it depends on which AVs you follow the advice of.
    If you disagree with me on topics, again, I ask which.
    If you're threatened by my knowledge and experience, I won't return. Know this, age is a poor educator. Wisdom and knowledge are very different. We both have valid opinions and valid experiences. Neither has rescued a bird the other hasn't.
    Congratulations.

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