It is amazing what a pet can do to a person’s demeanor and personality. It is mindboggling, yet very endearing. Animals usually bring out the best in people, and it is a lovely sight to see. I myself had a Maltese dog, until he passed away from old age (natural causes) almost ten years ago. I still miss my Sandy. He will forever be my little four legged baby. I did not get another pet after Sandy, and to this day I do not understand why I have feared it. The idea of another pet excited me and made me smile, so it was and is odd that I did not go get another dog. Maybe I will one day. Well, my husband has a baby cockatiel “Cotton Ball” and I am the new bird mama. Sounds weird right? Yes it does lol!! So, since he is a baby and I am new to the world of birds, both Cotton Ball and I are in the cockatiel bird training session/classes. Everyday is a new discovery for us both.
So my first lesson was to try and get Cotton Ball to come and stand on my finger. I was instructed to say “Step Up” and I did. I put my finger under his belly, on top of his legs and kept saying it until he stepped up. The first time I tried it, he resisted for a good half hour or more. My husband kept showing me how to place my fingers and my tone. I listened exactly as he said, and after some time, Cotton Ball finally stepped up to my finger.
Do not get too excited, that step lasted about five seconds and he flew away from me. I had no idea what to do once he flew off, so I just waited for him to hopefully return to the table. I had no idea how to entice him to return to me. I tried calling his name, making chirping noises and waving my hands, but it did not work. My husband being knowledgeable (he had a bird before) was able to get Cotton Ball to come back to the table so we can try again. This first lesson was nice and hard, but I guess this is what the establishment of bonding is all about. I understood that and vowed to be patient. He is too cute to not be patient.
Every day after work time was dedicated to training, both myself and Cotton Ball. Joe needed no training, for he was the teacher. It took a lot of practice, cooing and cajoling for him to finally step up to my finger. Every day he stayed on my finger a few minutes more than the day before. Baby steps for baby bird, right?
I am enjoying this new course in cockatiel training. We are both learning the art of bonding, bird to girl. Along with the lesson of my finger, I thought that I would try to entice him with treats. It worked on my dog Sandy, so I thought that I would give Cotton Ball a chance to like it.
After much chatting and investing about healthy treats, I got him this…
What a challenge this was, but so worth it. Since Cotton Ball is a baby I did split the peanuts and papaya into small pieces so he can have some and not be afraid of the size. Eventually I will not split it, but for now he is getting used to it. I turned my head and he privately ate some of it. Cheeky devil did not want and audience. Now that is funny. I was and am glad that he likes it.
So this past week has gained me a bit of progress in cockatiel training, for us.
I look forward to the next installment…
I hope you are too…