After nearly a month, luna seems ready to start training. I tried taking her cage in the bedroom yesterday and opening the door but that absolutely terrified her. I don't know if it was going into a different room or having the door open but it was obvious I needed to take a different approach.
Today we started working on learning hands aren't scary. She gets pretty fidgety when I put my hand in the cage so we are starting with putting my hand on the cage.
I moved a chair next to her cage, took a small piece of millet and poked it through the wire next to her favorite perch. Placed my hand on the cage about 8" from the treat and called her with a beep, beep, beep. I can't whistle so instead I beep.
Everytime she took a nibble, I beeped at her and moved my hand 1/2" closer. I continued until she became uncomfortable, then I would back my hand away until she came back to the millet.
This morning I could only get my hand about 4" from her before she would hop away. We did this for about 10 minutes before I removed the millet, I stay next to her cage talking to her for a few more minutes.
Later afternoon we had another session. This time when she saw the millet coming, she got really excited. I poked it through the wire and moved my hand only 4" away this time. She immediately came over and started eating, seemed hungry this time instead of just nibbling.
Worked my hand closer to her like last time, beep, beeping at her everytime she got scared and moved away. Within just a couple minutes, I had my hand right next to the millet.
Out of curiosity, I took the millet in my fingers and poked it all the way in the cage along with a finger tip.
She got as far away as she could while still being able to stretch and reach the millet. I held very still and let her eat a good amount ( it was a 1" piece).
After she eat all the millet she could reach, I turned it around so she could get the other end. Before too long she was getting closer and closer to my finger.
Suddenly, she noticed my finger and red nails, she quickly reached out and touched my nail, jumped back and looked at me to see how I reacted.
Since I didn't react, she kept coming up and touching my nail real quick with her beak. She did that 4 or 5 times before deciding my finger was harmless and continued to eat. I let her finish all the millet and she nibbled all around my finger to get every last seed.
Once it was gone, I beeped at her a few more times, told her she was a good girl and removed my millet stems.
I was thrilled when she took the food from my fingers, even if the were bars between use. I was over the moon when she came up and touched me. It was the first time I felt a connection to this little soul I've chosen to share my life with.
We will keep working outside the cage. Once she run to me when I beep, we will switch to inside the cage.
I got a clicker for future training but I wonder if it would be just as easy to keep beeping since she is already associating that with good things?
I tried to show my hubby that she would eat from my fingers but all she did was tuck one leg up, close her eyes and go to sleep. That was also incredible to see since only a few days ago she start to panic if I got closer than 3 feet from her cage.