Eva W. relates:
I have an 8-year-old female Quaker parrot who is becoming more and more antisocial as she ages.
I have had her since she was a baby.
She was always very skeptical of new things and situations which is probably good.
But there was not a lot of curiosity in her behavior.
She never wanted to step up on my hand.
She bites me any chance she gets even though I am her chosen person.
She gets all excited when she hears me get up in the morning or when she hears my car coming.
She has a large cage with toys and a stand to fly to in the same room.
She never flies anywhere else.
She likes her stand the most.
The cage has a 26w light above it and the stand has a regular lamp next to it. The light goes on at 7:30 am and off at 7:30 pm at what time we cover the cage. So the only time she is locked up in her cage is at night.
We bring her cage outside in the shade, weather permitting.
She has Roudybush pellets, chop, and freshwater in her cage at all times.
Now and then she gets seeds and other treats.
When she was a couple of years old she became egg-bound and I took her to an avian vet in Milwaukee.
After that, I grind eggshells and mix it in her chop every day and she has been fine ever since.
So my question is: What can I do to make her more friendly?
It sounds like you are doing all the right things. The light, the stand, food, etc.
About 6 months ago we adopted a quaker named Chili about 8 YO. He belonged to a woman who said his loud calling out was too much for her as she suffered from migraines and he was driving her bonkers. She was his second home after adopting him from a gravely ill woman.
We took him in and yes, he was very clingy and we realized that his agitated behavior was a result of her letting him eat chewed food from her mouth.
Once that was stopped, he calmed down and stopped calling so much and he fell into our home routines (we have two other small parrots) he has become a charming little bird.
He does always want to have interaction and seems to want to be on us, but once he is on us, he doesn’t really know what to do with himself and spends his time staring back at his cage and stand until we put him back.
He does not want to be petted. He is happy with active shoulder riding through the house going places with me like feeding the parakeets, which pleases him a lot. He plays with toys all day long.
Chili our rescue Quaker ~ video
He will nip at us some when we reach into his cage, but if we push through (cut him off at the knees basically) saying “step up”, he will stop the nipping and get onto our hands. He does get a little over-excited but has not hurt me.
We would like him to be sweeter, cuddle more, and let us pet him, but it isn’t who he is. So we have accepted this. He seems happy and very healthy and is a joy to talk to and listen to his calls, chirps, trills as well as the few little words he knows. He makes us smile always.
You may find that your bird will never be the cuddly, sweetie that you hoped for, but she is your bird and like our children, they are not always what we hope they will be.
I recommend clicker training. The clicker and the training sticks may work to give you both something together that she may learn to look forward to with you. That can help create a bond, even if it starts out with her just looking forward to the rewards.
I hope this helps.