Bonding With Adopted Older Birds
How should you bond with your adopted older bird? What precautions should you take?
If you are unfamiliar with birds, you may neglect to notice certain behavioral problems that can cause trouble. Shelters are overrun with birds that were adopted by people who didn't know how to care for problematic birds. Find out as much about the bird as possible. Birds are taken to shelters for a variety of reasons. Find out why it was put up for adoption or what its background is like, if you have access to that information. This all aids in understanding your pet.
What should you do to make the bird's transition easier?
The thing that you cannot avoid doing is the quarantine period. This should last about three months. By leaving the bird in its cage, you allow the bird to acclimate to its new surroundings. If possible, maintain the bird's previous cage, old toys and same treats, to provide the bird with some sense of familiarity.
How to begin the bonding process?
When you begin bonding with your bird, take it slowly. When you approach the cage, move slowly and keep your hands behind your back. It also helps if you kneel down. If you stand over the cage, the bird can feel threatened. Anything that threatens or scares the birds adds delay to the bonding process.
After the three-month quarantine period, you can begin taking the bird out of its cage for short intervals. Do this gradually. As you gain trust with the bird, you can allow it to stay out longer. All birds must know the "step up" and "step down" commands. This gives the bird a sense of position. And make sure your bird knows who is in charge. If you don't establish yourself as the boss, then the bird will be unresponsive to commands and fly about at its own will.
How long should it take?
Let the bird decide the rate at which the bonding will follow. If you force interaction with the bird, it may reject any approach. It is also a good idea to keep its wings clipped. Unclipped wings give the bird a feeling of superiority and training will be useless.
Know a bird's likes and dislikes from the beginning to avoid angering the bird. You can find out information on the bird's previous owner, if it is banded or micro-chipped.
The main thing is to realize that each adopted bird is uncomfortable at first. It will take awhile to adjust. Patience and understanding will help to build a strong relationship with your new friend.