More on training

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For the greatest amount of success when training, a Quakers wings should be clipped. Any bird that has had his flight feathers for awhile will become more independent, more aggressive, and in some cases even start to bite. They can also fly right out a open door or window. Quakers that have all of their flight feathers are for the most part a lost cause if you are going to attempt training, because they know they can fly away whenever they choose, even if you are in the middle of a training session! Wing feathers should be trimmed at least twice a year to prevent these problems and potentially harmful accidents.

We must always remember that their safety and well being are entirely our responsibility when we choose to keep or breed them in captivity. If you are unfamiliar with wing clipping, make an appointment with your avian vet to have this or have an experienced breeder show you how to do it. It is possible to do a clip that isn’t visible and looks pretty good. Done properly, it will prevent a bird from flying away and make training easier. (See chapter 10–Grooming) It is painless for the bird, and he will not hate you for it!

To help your Quaker remain calm, you must learn to use your hands in non threatening ways. Your Quaker may feel less threatened if you approach him with palms up and fingers squeezed together. Keep hands at or below chest level as you talk. In time your Quaker will learn that most of your natural hand movements are not directed as threats towards him. If the bird seems to be extraordinarily frightened of hands, try approaching with your hands behind your back for several days, allowing more time for an initial adjustment period. To begin taming, find an area that your Quaker will consider “neutral territory”, such as a chest high cage top or T stand perch.


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