He'll be a feather picker forever, but her main worry is that he'll break any skin... which has happened, we did see a drop of blood on the newspaper lining one day, but not since. We are to mist him every other day to try to keep him from feeling the need to groom and pick.
Dr. MacDonald also said that it wouldn't be a problem for Skippy to be in the same room as Sid. Picking and scratching is not a learned behaviour, so there's no danger of her becoming a feather picker just because she sees him picking. Still, I think we should keep them separate.
I misted him yesterday as well. I was alone and Husband Guy was still at work. He likes standing at the door of his cage, so it was easy to get him into the travel cage.
He's very vulnerable and more willing to go along with anything when he's wet =) I put my finger up to his tummy and he walked right up. So he does have the step-up reflex. But after a few minutes, he realized that, HEY, HANDS ARE EVIL!!! =O =O ... and flew onto my shoulder.
So, I had a dripping wet bird on my shoulder who was now very confused. "Hmm... her jugular is right there... but I'm wet, can I kill her while I'm wet?" I made a few attempts to get him to step up, but he gave me warning bites on my finger.
Then he gets one nail stuck in my shirt. Great. He's panicking and I'm getting my face beaten in with a wet bundle of feathers. I'm blindly reaching over my shoulder trying to feel around his foot to get a handle on how his nail is stuck so that I can reverse it out of my shirt. He's biting me, not too hard, but he's obviously wanting me to go away. See, when they're biting you, you can't react by jerking your hand away or otherwise let them learn that the biting has any effect on you. You have to keep your hand absolutely still and let them bite, only taking it away when they've stopped biting.
The whole time, I'm trying to talk to him in a soothing voice. I had to stop and let him calm down a few times before I finally got his nail unstuck. The trick is to mist him and do things very quickly while he has water in his face. So, I reached around with the spray bottle to squirt him a few times. Once I got that down, I got him off my shoulder and back into the travel cage.
Towel off the cage. Bring out the hairdryer. *BIG SIGH* It should get easier. He was a bit wary of me after I put him back into his big cage, but this morning, he was all cheerful, singing, whistling to me and was willing to stand at the edge of his door again. =)