#shocked# Hi. I just got a blue-head conure, and he is about 8 weeks old. He is still eating from the spoon and i would like to go outside with him. His wings are cliped and he does not want to go to his cage, he just want to sit on my shoulder the hole time. chilli is also very lovable.
Hi Fearie and welcome to Bird Crazy. With regards to your little guy, I would suggest you go to your nearest petstore and buy a bird harness for him. That way you can take your little darling outside without fear of him trying to run or scamper away if he gets a fright. The petstore should have different sized ones to fit. If not have a look on eBay.
You will have to be firm (not too firm) with little Chilli, make going back into his cage fun, like a game. Find something that is a favourite - such as a toy, (little hard with being so young) and offer it to him to play with as you are putting him back and leave it with him in the cage. He will get used to thinking of the cage as a fun place to be. When he's eating seeds, sunflower seeds are always a good treat to give.
Spelling is fine. The harness doesn't hurt, it wraps across the chest in a diagonal line in a "X" and clips up at the back (this is the better type). He will get used to wearing it - best to start him in training as soon as possible. He won't like it to start and may refuse to move but you need to make it a regular training issue until he is used to it. I would suggest 30 minutes twice a day at the same time (birds love routine) to start with - inside at first.
To be able to use a harness, you need to pratice a few things before attempting to put it on.
All this is done when you are having a stroke and cuddle. Lift his wings when you feel hes relaxed, and will allow you to, tickle him under his wings, and gently hold the wing up. You will need to be able to do this to get a harness on, so pratice this when you are normally stroking him, with both wings. Just do this a little at a time, bit by bit, untill he will allow you to hold his wing at full stretch.
When you are stroking him, put your whole hand over his beak and up and over his head, make this a stroking action, as again you will need to be able to do this to get a harness over his head.
While he is a baby, you could introduce him to a harness, and play with it with him. Without putting it on for a while. Let him get used to what it feels like, and tastes like. You can lay it over him when you are playing, so he gets used to the feel of it on him.
Some harnesses are not made for flying, but just keeping your bird safe. The harness i know that is, is the Aviator, and its elastic lead, works very well. Conures are tiny birds, with tiny bones, as i expect you know, and some harnesses also have too many buckles, or too big buckles, which can be a pain for you, and uncomfortable for him, they do tend to slip, and dig in. Its not easy to get a harness on a conure, even if they are good about it, as its fiddly, because they are small birds. So pratice the movements of putting a harness on, without the harness, if you get my meaning. All through play and tickles.
One other thing is to get a small piece of soft material, and make a hole large enough to go over his head, pratice with this, and make a game out of it.