Socializing Early On “The Gypsy Experience”

Posted by Jamieleigh on

Photo by Jamieleigh
Location: Kent, WA
Pictured: Toco Toucan “Rocko”

The only time you’ll hear and learn about how to give your bird what we call “The Gypsy Experience” is during one our live seminars, or in our Total Transformation Seminar Course which is a recording of that seminar that took place in Orlando, Florida.

 

We try to live the gypsy life and give the same to our pet birds. We’ve done this with all our parrots, and now we are able to offer this life to our new Toco Toucan, “Rocko” which we are really excited about. I’m looking forward to blogging about his life adventures along with Dave, here on our blog for Bird Tricks.

 

It’s very important to socialize your bird as a youngster so that it doesn’t fear people. In my experience with birds, it’s much easier to cure aggression than fear.

 


Photo by Dave
Location: Kent, WA
Pictured: Toco Toucan “Rocko”

 

We began socializing Rocko, whom we acquired at the age of 2 months old, on day one (technically in the first 24 hours of having him). When we brought him home from the airport we brought him into our RV and let him hang out. We offered him fruits and pellets soaked in distilled water, but he had traveled with both and wasn’t interested in food. I took some videos of his behavior in the RV, and he found a spot above our bed and sat there for about an hour. He flew a little bit, to show us he could, and would fly from one nest looking spot to the other, staying far, far away from us.

 

I remember when we first got our Camelot Macaws, Comet and Tusa and how mean they were that first night we brought them out of their travel crate. I remember how disappointed I was, and nervous, as they were still really young and I was shocked about how mean they were being. I felt the same with Rocko, but all I could think was what a bummer it was that he wanted nothing to do with us.

 


Photo by Dave
Location: Kent, WA
In his hideout: Toco Toucan “Rocko”

 

Dave kept picking him up, and he’d clumsily perch on his arm a bit but he would hardly stay still. I was the complete opposite – while Dave was all over him, I sat on the couch writing blog articles and listening to the TV (I like background noise).

 

When Dave left for a PR interview, Rocko soon decided that he didn’t want to be left alone any longer and he flew from his nest area above the bed straight to my arm as I wrote. I was really surprised and thought maybe he had decided since I left him alone, that he’d check me out. Every time I tried putting him elsewhere, back he flew to me. It was like velcro bird all the sudden! But I wasn’t complaining. I was happily surprised.

 


Photo by Jamieleigh
Location: Everett, WA
Falling asleep: Toco Toucan “Rocko”

 

From that point on, Rocko has been a magnet to us. We rarely keep food in his cage as of right now because he is so clumsy he usually just spills it and it goes right to waste. So he gets his meals from our hand, for flights, or when he stays put on our faucet perch with a box holding his food up to level with him.

 

Once Rocko showed interest in Dave and I, we knew the socializing had to be implemented right away while he was associating humans with food and comfort. We invited some friends into our RV to hold him, since that was where he was pretty comfortable flying around and to and from people as he pleased. Then we soon began taking him in with us to our many dressing rooms each week and having friends and family come in there to meet and hold him. He met more than 20 people easily within the first few days of being with us, and had no problem with them because of it. We were so proud and plan to keep it up so that as he is still young and grows so much every day, that his socializing will only progress along with his size.

 


Photo by Dave
Location: Kent, WA
Smiling: Toco Toucan “Rocko”

 

Socializing happens so much easier and more pleasantly when your bird is at the right age for it, and it’s implemented early on. Giving strangers basic tips and signs about your bird will help them feel less intimidated, and always being there to take the bird back when both parties get antsy is a good thing so it’s never too short, or too long of a visit. This is also a great reason to keep your bird fully flighted… when it’s uncomfortable, instead of biting the person, it will merely fly away. It’s a much better sign of “I’m done” than a bite to the arm or face.

 

We move very fast with our gypsy experience training. We’ve only had Rocko for about 8 days and he has met tons upon tons of people, been outside in an aviary, been backstage with the many elements of a professional production, and tried tons of different foods and had about 3-4 baths, met our cat and learned the difference between food and play balls. Among much, much, more. He has been traveling already on his first road trip, and been to at least 6 different rooms or more not to mention the various animals he has been around and had no problem with (elephants, camels, horses, dogs… just seeing them while I carry him in his travel cage is pretty crazy for some animals but right now it’s just another day for Rocko) he is at a pristine age to take it all in with next to no stress.

 


Photo by Dave
Location: Kent, WA
Socializing: Toco Toucan “Rocko”

 

If you plan to come to a show while we’re still on tour for the next 48 days, let us know ahead of time by writing us on our facebook and we will make sure you get to meet Rocko and have your photo taken holding him!

 

You, too, can be part of his socialization training!


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