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RE: My macaw wont step up anymore...

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Posted by: PHIggysbirds at Sun Mar 15 18:02:48 2009  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by PHIggysbirds ]  
   

First, was this a true avian vet? I have never had an avian vet put a bird under anesthesia for a beak, nail or wing trim, even on an eclectus we had in (who was very aggressive) and had a badly overgrown beak. (We actually do all of our own trimming now except if they are already getting a checkup then the vet usually goes ahead and does it since we are there) The only time any of our birds have been under anesthesia was for actual surgical needs. Our local vet who I don't and won't use does put birds under anesthesia and has had at least three die when they were only getting trims.

Okay now that I have complained LOL!

You will have to build your birds trust with lots of patience and work. Basically you were on the "honeymoon" period with your bird. During this time they will be more apt to be on best behavior and do well, but with this vet visit you have lost that trust. It does sound like your macaw at least still has some trust for you since he will still allow you to pet and touch him. Right now he is associating stepping up with being shoved in a box so you will have to change how he sees that. You may be able to use bribery (not always the best idea but can sometimes work well). Find a favorite treat. For the first couple times just give your macaw the treat without making him step up. Then offer him the treat out a little farther away so he gets it only if he reaches over your perch "step up" arm to get it. Then offer the treat a little farther away so he has to step onto your arm to get it. Be sure he is allowed to step right back off but so that he sees your arm is not a bad place. Then gradually extend the time before the treat but make sure if he acts nervous or really wants off that you allow him to go back to his perch or cage as soon as he wants. When he is perching on your arm on a more regular basis then you can begin moving away from the cage and to other places with him on your arm but at first try this only in his cage (or against his perch) so he feels comfortable and is able to move off your arm immediately at any nervousness.


   

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