just say that I'm by no means an "expert," and this is mostly based on my own
experienced in RE-taming my quaker after I had some major jealousy problems with her.
Before the problems, she'd been a sweet, handfed/handraised baby, so I'm not sure if the
same procedure would work with taming your quaker.
With time and patience I think it's possible to
tame/re-tame a quaker. Getting his wings clipped is definitely the place to start. Once
you start working with him, remember to *always* be gentle, use slow movements around him.
After getting the wings clipped, get him out of the cage and work with him away from the
cage (you might have to use a towel to get him out of or away from the cage). Cage
aggression is common with quakers, and it will be much easier for you in to work
"neutral territory." It will be better if you take him to another room, away
from his cage to a room he's never been in before.
Once in neutral territory, observe him, see
what he does. Perhaps you have him on a table in front of you--you might put some toys on
the table. Does he explore? Does he come over to you and want to interact? Does he try to
bite or attack you? Is he afraid of you? If the reaction is neutral or good, try
interacting with him. If you move slowly, he may let you touch him. If he seems scared,
stay still, talk to him softly and calmly. At first, you might want to spend some
one-on-one "play" time with him. If he acts really aggressive, you could go
ahead and start "training."
Each training session should be short (like 5
min), and you might want to work with him once or twice a day.
Don't be too rigorous with the training--just
intersperse the following steps with a daily, routine (the same time each day is best)
The first thing to train is
Here are your goals and procedures for the
training. How far you get in each short session will depend on how your bird is acting.
If he's biting or trying to bit a lot, you
might want to start with hand-held perches (anything about the right size with a surface
he can grip will work) instead of your fingers. <g> It's probably easiest to start
with him standing on some kind of perch (so he can't back away). Bring the hand-held perch
(or your finger if you want to) up from below and gently but firmly press it against his
lower belly or where his legs join his body--at the same time saying "step-up"
(or phrase of your choice)--until he steps onto the perch. Once he does this, lots of
praise, and maybe even a small treat (one he can finish quickly). Then have him step onto
another perch, held with your other hand, with the same process. Having him do a series of
step ups from one hand-held perch to the other is called laddering.
Once he's doing that pretty well with the
perches, and doesn't seem to be trying to bite, you can start off laddering with the two
perches, and then smoothly put down one of the perches and replace it with your
finger--doing a few more step ups between your finger and the remaining perch in your
other hand. If you do this relatively fast, he shouldn't have a chance to bite. Always
praise after he does well. Then transfer to laddering just between your two hands (or
fingers). If he starts biting, you can always back up a little and go back to the
hand-held perches. If he doesn't show any signs of biting, slow down on the laddering
until he's just sitting on your finger.
This process should get him used to perching on
your finger and not biting. If during these sessions with him in a neutral area, you've
also been just plain spending time with him--talking to him, watching him, playing with
him--he's probably a lot more used to being around you. He may even automatically be
starting to let you touch and pet him. As always, just be patient, and move slowly around
him, especially when you're working up to petting him. In time, Grady may begin to like
being touched and cuddled, and seek it himself. Quakers have such potential for being
wonderfully interactive pets--so much more than just a bird to be listened to and watched
though cage bars.
Jennifer & Jadey aka JenIggyQP
JJNg13@juno.com ICQ# 13578196
email@example.com JJNg13 on AIM/AOL