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Very discouraged...my 10 month old IRN attacking me only

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danadear
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Very discouraged...my 10 month old IRN attacking me only

Post by danadear » Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:27 pm

My 10 month old IRN Henry is attacking me almost daily. I bought him from a breeder when he was 5 months old. He is often sweet and loving but for the past few weeks has displayed some aggressive and moody behavior, nippy and screaming. This was fine and I attributed it to bluffing. no problem. Lately he has been viciously attacking me. He does not bite anyone else in my family, not my husband or my mother who spends quite a bit of time with him when I am at work. He lets me pet him, and not the others so I am wondering if maybe it is a hormonal thing and he thinks I am his mate. But then why would he attack his mate? Henry can be absolutely fine one minute and the next biting me so hard that I bleed. He also does not let go. he grabs on for all he is worth and it hurts! Tonight he bit me on my face, blood everywhere. I made him step up on my hand which he proceeded to bite the heck out of before I put him away. Went back a few minutes later to have him step up from inside his cage and he bit me yet again. I am at my wits end, I just started bawling. I love him but I feel like things are just hopeless. is this just bluffing? hormones? Why just me? HELP!

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ringneck
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Re: Very discouraged...my 10 month old IRN attacking me only

Post by ringneck » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:48 pm

Aw, I am very sorry you are going through this! :O( I know it can be very frustrating. Your little baby ringneck is losing his baby personality and is now exhibiting adult behavior. This is quite normal and now it’s up to you to change it through positive reinforcement. But before I get into that, do me a favor and do not put your little monster near your face until you are sure he no longer bites—I don’t want you to get hurt! :O)

Now, let me commend you for seeking help. I love the fact that you’re doing research on the topic!

Ringnecks are such smart creatures that they will easily find ways to control their environment—unfortunately, they know biting will do the trick. So that means you have to undo this by doing a few things.

First, you want to ignore any biting. Believe me, I know it can be tough especially if your ringneck is biting down and not letting go. When your ringneck is with you, try distracting him with something he likes to chew on or play with. If the ringneck should start to bite, obviously move your hand back, and continue working with him. Our goal is to let the ringneck know that biting will not control you—eventually the ringneck will stop doing this as it is not a communication route. When the ringneck is acting up, pinning its eyes, and flaring its neck—completely ignore this too. Do not make the mistake of telling him anything. In fact, don’t make eye contact. We are trying to break the habitual pattern of the ringneck acting up and you getting bitten.

Now, in this case, you should try a feeding schedule for a while to make the bird is more dependent on you. Before he goes to bed, remove all his food dishes and when you wake up in the morning, it should be you who prepares his meals. After a while the ringneck will know that your presence equals a tasty treat. You can do this for all his meals in the beginning or for a few weeks until he gets the idea.

Now when the ringneck wants to get out of the cage, I want you to have more treats on hand. The bird will be so excited to come out that he will not bite, like a dog, his only focus will be the food. This should always be done from now on from you. Be sure to praise him a lot for doing what he should.

My last advice would be to start positive reinforcement exercises with him daily. Every day for about 15-20 minutes teach him tricks to get his mind off biting. This will stimulate him as well so he is not so focused on being aggressive.

Hang in there, okay? Remember, that it can take weeks or months to change this behavior. Each bird is different and you have to ignore anything you don’t like and reward the bird for behaviors you do like. In time he will change his ways.

I hope this helps :wink: ,

IMRAN-C

P.S. Please keep us updated!

danadear
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Re: Very discouraged...my 10 month old IRN attacking me only

Post by danadear » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:33 am

Thank you so much for the advice! I am so glad I found this website. I actually had a bad dream about the whole thing last night. I hate the thought of losing my relationship with my little buddy.

I will start the feeding schedule right away. I guess I should leave the food in the cage during the day though right? Just take it out at night? Should I limit his out of cage time? He gets out several hours a day now. But that has begun to decrease because I'm becoming afraid of him and he is not clipped.

I do have a second bird, a cockatiel, that Henry hates. He is definitely jealous. Should I separate them and keep them inseparate rooms?

Thanks again for all the advice. It helps just to not feel so alone in it. No matter how much reading you do about IRN bluffing and aggression when it happens to your little baby it is somehow still a shock. Dumb huh?

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ringneck
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Re: Very discouraged...my 10 month old IRN attacking me only

Post by ringneck » Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:33 am

Aw, we are here for you! In fact, you should know we have such a wonderful community here. We all are here to help you through these tough times. I know it can be very discouraging and heartbreaking to think your relationship with your parrot is going downhill. I have three ringnecks that I would not trade for the world (2 females & 1 male). I love these little monsters so much and their love for me is unconditional—it’s so crazy to think these birds are so attached to me. But, they do have moody days. So, I guess what I am getting at is don’t have nightmares about it. :O) We will continue to work with you until you get your relationship squared away :OP

It’s funny you had mentioned your ringneck’s wings were not clipped. In my last response, I was going to ask about this. I would clip his wing for now as this will make him more dependent upon you to get around. Believe it or not, my birds act very naughty when their wings are not clipped. Take him to your vet to get this done or if you have done it before, you can do it. Cut the first 8 primary feathers as this will be enough to stop him from flying. (Although, I would get his wings clipped by a professional right now as he will have to be toweled and you don’t want him to associate this stress with you at the moment.)

Because you are scared of him right now we need to build your confidence back up again. Let’s start by having you work with your parrot in a different way. Take your bird into a quite room to reset his mind. Then you can start working on positive reinforcement conditioning. To begin, you should either buy a clicker or use your voice to make a sound then give the bird a reward. Continue this until your parrot starts to expect a treat after the noise. Once this is mastered, start with stepping up. When the bird steps up on the command “up” make a noise then immeadily reward the parrot. This is important as the bird has to understand the game. Good behavior equals treats. Believe me, these parrots are so smart they will pick up the rules quickly. Once your bird has mastered this trick, start practicing the “up” command inside his cage. Make sure you show him the food first to excite him to play the game.

Once he has mastered this, start with targeting practice, waving, turning around, nodding, etc…

Only after he has mastered the up command inside his cage without biting, show him his dinner, ask him to step onto your finger and take him away from his cage. Once he does this, place his food back and then return him to his cage. This exercise will work on his territorial behavior and break the pattern of biting. All my parrots come in and out of their cage only through me—and they are quite excited to do so as they get treats. Not only that, they know out of cage time is fun time :OP .

Also, don’t worry about losing your confidence. Once you start doing these daily exercises you’ll build it up again. Remember this is only temporary and if you work at molding your parrot’s behavior you’ll have one cool parrot.

Wish you the best :wink: ,

IMRAN-C

danadear
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Re: Very discouraged...my 10 month old IRN attacking me only

Post by danadear » Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:02 pm

I am so relieved to see that last response. i was worried about the reaction I would get when I came in here and announced that we had Henry's wings clipped today. I was so torn about doing it but after talking to a woman who raises many different types of birds including ringnecks she convinced me it was absolutely necessary. He is a totally different bird! I had hoped simply for having more control allowing me not only to avoid being dive bombed and attacked but also to begin training but I got more than I even dreamed. He is completely calm. It's almost as if being free to fly around the room like a banshee was too much stimulation for him and I could swear he seems more peaceful and happy.

I plan to start training him tomorrow afternoon and I am feeling very hopeful. After talking to the woman who clipped him yesterday she thought I was going to be bringing her a psycho bird today but after meeting him and clipping him she assured me that he is not a monster and is in fact a very nice bird. What a relief!

I will definitely keep you guys posted on our progress. THanks so much!

danadear
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:18 pm

Re: Very discouraged...my 10 month old IRN attacking me only

Post by danadear » Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:06 am

I just wanted to update this thread with our progress. Henry and I are doing much much better. He calmed down tremendously after having his wings clipped of course. We have started clicker training and he is responding very well. He is soooo smart. I have backed off with him a little as I think that I was making him too dependent on me. I felt like I had to interact with him or entertain him every second and I think it was too overwhelming for both of us. We still have our one one one time and I give him plenty of affection and scritches but he is not on me all the time. I actually think he prefers it this way and he seems to react much less when I give attention to my tiel in front of him. So thanks again for all the help!

miamigirl03
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Re: Very discouraged...my 10 month old IRN attacking me only

Post by miamigirl03 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:09 am

Thank you for posting this question and sharing this information. My IRN is 10 months old and has just started exhibiting this behavior as well. I was very discouraged and I have to admit it upset me a little. His wings are clipped and I am going to immediately begin doing the rest of the suggested practices. THANK YOU SO MUCH! I love this website!

tanya.l
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Re: Very discouraged...my 10 month old IRN attacking me only

Post by tanya.l » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:43 am

try playing games with themaswell , put your hand up so they cant see you and move it slowly saying " peek a boo "

we have done this with our Albino male since he was 6 mths old and he hides his head down near his leg now if i say peek a boo .

We have quite the opposite problem to alot of people , where our bird will not leave us alone . He has never bitten anyone hard and i cannot leave the room without him going crazy and squarking . He loves swiping your coffee when your not looking aswell .

Some birds just have a better attitude than others im guessing

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jmmercer
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Re: Very discouraged...my 10 month old IRN attacking me only

Post by jmmercer » Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:23 pm

Emerson is a little over a year old and has been exhibiting this behavior for a little while now. She comes in and out of her cage on her own and I put her food in her cage while she's in there. This happens in the morning before I go to work and she gets a little protein from the table (occasionally) at dinner.
I was just now sitting on the sofa with her on my hat and she leaned over the side and clamped onto my ear. There wasn't blood everywhere, but it was enough.
I can see how clipping their wings makes them more dependent on you, but my partner loves watching her flit about the room. I do too, but she's not getting attacked daily. When I come near, Emerson lunges at me, but she will let me scratch her while she's in her cage. She will only allow this through the bars, though. She cranes her head back and makes kissy noises, so I'm thinking she likes that.
I'm pretty sure I'm being bullied by my bird.
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jmmercer
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Re: Very discouraged...my 10 month old IRN attacking me only

Post by jmmercer » Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:25 pm

I was curious if there are some birds who simply do not like to be handled, as well. I can deal with that so long as she doesn't attack me anymore.
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