Shari's approach was twofold: she assisted teaching Scarlet to "step up" onto a perch and be handled by every family member in the household, and she also assigned each family member a specific task in Scarlet's care to ensure regular contact.
Her oldest son became Scarlet's shower buddy. Birds bathe frequently in the wild to help keep their feathers clean, free of debris, and also to aid preening.
Scarlet goes into the shower with him, where she ruffles her feathers and splashes happily from her suction cup perch made exclusively for the shower.
|Perch Sizing Guide
|Bird Species to Benefit
|½" - 1"
||Canaries, Finches, Parakeets
|¾" - 1½"
||Cockatiels, Conures, Lories,
|1½" - 2½"
||Amazon Parrots, Cockatoos
|2" - 3"
||Large Cockatoos, Macaws
Her youngest son was assigned outside-cage play duty. Almost daily, he takes Scarlet into their den to play on a large, tabletop swing perch and playstand. He takes the opportunity to expose Scarlet to his favorite music while he entertains her.
Her husband's job is to rotate the variety and location of perches in Scarlet's cage on a weekly basis. Varied perch surfaces and diameters can help stimulate leg muscles, prevent cramping, and help with beak and nail health. He removes Scarlet, places her in a flight suit, and puts her on her cage playtop. He makes sure there is at least one nail and beak manicuring perch, as well as a natural wood perch and a toy perch such as a swing perch.
Scarlet is a well-adjusted bird that joyfully steps up out of the cage for any family member and allows handling without resistance or biting. The entire family wins by participating in bird caretaking.
||How to Teach Your Bird to Accept Handling
|Many bird owners tell us that they experience the most success getting their birds to accept handling by other people through "stick training." Most birds, taught to "step up" onto a stick, can be picked up by nearly anyone. This training may also help curb biting in aggressive birds.