Welcoming your New Bird

It's hard for me to know exactly what each bird will do when going into a new home. Let me first start from giving you an idea on what the bird is seeing. I'm the only handler that works with the birds.  I hand feed the young and they grow up seeing me as Mom. As the young grow up they're in a room full of other birds that are being hand fed and trained as well. Now each bird goes into it's new home that Moms not at nor are all the other birds it grew up around. The people are new, the sounds, colors of the room, everything is new. Now the fear kicks in. The bird is uncertain on what's going on and doesn't understand the change. New owners might wear glasses or not, have a hat on or not, paint your nails or not, like bright colors or not. These are the things to think about that the bird is seeing or hearing. The room they grew up in is a white room with just a few pictures. Mom ~ that's me~ little boring wearing blue jeans and t-shirts (grey, black, navy blue or white) I don't paint my nails and most of the time my hair is always up. I don't want you to try and copy what they're used too I just want you to understand what they're seeing. They will get used to your way of living just give them a little time to adjust. The best thing to help your birds is to start handling your birds right away. This part is very important. The faster the bird gets used to you and the way you handle them the faster they will start to settle in. It could take 24-48 hours for a bird to get used to it's new owner (some don't take this long) and 1-2 weeks for them to get used to it's new surroundings. This page is set up to hopefully help you understand your bird better and to help your bird to settle in faster. 
 So lets get started.
Hand Raised Parakeets and others.
Let me start by explaining how parakeets are from the beginning. A mama bird can lay up to 8 eggs unfortunately they don't all hatch. The ones that do hatch the mother and father care for their young the best they can. The parents are always busy trying to care for each bird. Now when you have multiple babies and only 2 parents not all babies can be fed at the same time. They have to take turns. This is when the young start to fight for food. Not that they're not getting any they just don't want to wait and want to be fed right then. Now once the baby is fed you might think they settle down to allow the others to be fed but nope that's not the case. They still think they need to be fed and don't care that they're about ready to pop. Most of us can understand that, how do you get away from the dinner table when the food is so good. At 2 weeks of age is when I step in to take over hand feeding and start to work with the young. The babies are cute and fuzzy with just a few little pin feathers starting to come in. I place all the babies in a specially designed tank with heat. Now the babies are hungry and I've got my bowl of heated formula and syringe to feed each little cutie. Picking up each baby to hand feed you would think they would be so much calmer because the bird isn't fighting for food but nope they still think they need to fight for food. They're like little piranhas and start going crazy biting my fingers or anything they can get in their mouth. Sometimes they bite on and just won't let go. They act this way up until they're around 4 - 5 weeks old. The biting will stop and then I'm able to start working with step up. At this time they become really sweet little birds that will step up to be hand fed nice and calmly. Now it's time to be weaned. The birds can wean instantly or stretch it out a little. Once they wean they start to pull away from me this is the perfect time for the bonding. The bonding is done by it's new owner. The owner needs to handle the bird as much as possible. The training is there they just need to get used to how the new owner will handle them. The way I handle a bird and the way you handle the bird will be totally different. I do this all day long and know how to handle them. The best advice that I've seen that really helps is when you bring your bird home you want to pick an area that you can handle your bird easily. For example: Sit on the floor facing a corner of your room. You want to be arm length away from the corner. This way if the bird jumps down you can just pick the bird back up. Very Important Never Chase your bird. If you chase your bird he could look back and see you coming at him grabbing. This can put fear in his eyes and you would have to win back his trust. Working with your bird should be in a area that if the bird jumps down on the floor he can't run under your couch or anything else making it hard to catch him. One good way I've seen that has really helped customers and their birds is if you handle your bird for 10 mins and then put him in his new cage for 10 mins (alone in his cage with no one around him) then back to handling him 15 mins and then back to his cage for 15 mins. What this does is for one he's getting used to the way you catch him and handle him then secondly while in his cage he can cool down and relax a little allowing him to eat or drink if needed. Keep in mind that if you hold a bird against you or in your hands your body puts off heat that can make a bird hot. If you see a bird panting like a dog then the bird is either really scared or has gotten hot. When you feel your bird has started to relax with you then you can start keeping the bird out longer if you like. How to catch your bird when he's frightened because you don't want to chase him but he's not coming to you yet. A small hand towel can be used to catch your bird. Take the hand towel and place it completely over your hand and when you get to your bird drop the towel over the bird completely. Covering a birds eyes is more relaxing because the bird can not see whats going on. Pick the towel up with the bird inside of it. Sit down and place the towel up to your chest and start to pull the towel back slowly until you see just his head and then start rubbing his ears an head. Slowly pull the rest of the towel away from the bird and keep petting him.  In some of these pictures you will see the swaddling of a bird just like a baby. This relaxes the bird and he/she remembers that I would swaddle the baby like this when they were here. As the bird is being swaddled you want to keep rubbing his ears and this will relax your bird and sometimes cause them to fall asleep. Remember what I said about a bird getting hot so you don't want to keep the bird like this too long. Everything that I have mentioned is to help you understand your bird if you have any problems with your bird settling in right away. Parakeets are funny little birds that need extra attention at first. Once the bird has started relaxing with you and is stepping up you can keep the bird out as long as you want just make sure the bird is able to get to food or water if needed. I truly hope this has helped you understand your bird more and can use some of these steps if needed. Not every bird will need these extra steps. Some birds act like nothing has changed and settle in supper quick. I just want to give you that extra education if you do need any help.
This method is good for other birds as well.
Relax and enjoy your Bird.