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If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

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InTheAir
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If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by InTheAir » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:12 pm

Hi everyone,

I was re-reading this article today and it struck me that I should probably share it in a thread of its own.
http://www.naturalencounters.com/images ... Martin.pdf

I think this is an essential introduction to parrot behaviour. I have seen quite a few people struggling with things like their parrots biting them for reasons that could easily have been avoided.
As parrot owners, we need to all realise that everything our parrot does 'wrong' is a reflection of our training and management. This is not to make a judgement on ourselves that we are good or bad owners, it is a tool for learning and improving our handling skills.
I hope you enjoy the article.

Regards,
Claire

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Redzone
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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by Redzone » Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:01 am

Here's an excerpt:

Biting
“Biting is just part of having a parrot as a pet.” Does that sound familiar? It should. It is the most common attitude
associated with companion parrot ownership. However, this author feels the opposite is true. A parrot owner
should strive to never get bit. That is a pretty bold statement for such a common problem. The fact is that biting is
not a natural behavior for parrots. They don’t bite each other in the wild, at least not hard enough to make another
parrot bleed.

In the past 15 years or so, this author has interviewed many parrot field researchers (personal communications:
Brice, February, 1994, Munn, July 1998, Gilardi, February, 1999, English, November, 2000, May, May 15,
2001) about biting and dominance. With a combined total of over 35 years of field research, only two of these
researchers have ever seen or heard of a parrot biting another parrot hard enough to make it bleed. Both of these
incidences were associated with nest holes. One incident involved two birds fighting over a nest cavity and the
other involved a parrot attacking a young bird in the nest in an attempt to take over the nest.

Parrots very rarely bite each other in the wild. However, they often show aggression to protect resources like
territory, mates, desirable perches, food items, etc.
These interactions are generally limited to body language like
the raising of the head feathers or a subtle look of the eye. Sometimes the aggression escalates to vocal displays
such as growling or even more overt body language like thrusting the beak forward in a jousting fashion. In the
wild, this body language is usually enough to deter an intruding bird and avoid negative physical contact with the
resource holder.
So, why do parrots bite in captivity? First, if you put an animal in an unnatural environment you can expect some
unnatural behavior. Second, all behavior is a product of instinct or experience. A bite from a parrot falls into one
of these two categories. Some biting incidents are innate and some are learned. Many parrots have been forced to
bite out of fear, or self-defense. Humans tend to be aggressive in the manner in which they approach and pick up
their parrots. This bold, aggressive action may encourage a bird to bite out of fear. Most parrots do not have the
option to fly away like their wild counterparts and are sometimes pushed to the point that biting is the only way
they know to defend themselves or express their displeasure.
Before biting, most captive parrots display various body language and vocalizations to express their feelings,
just like wild parrots. However, few people ever notice the slight glance of an eye or the almost imperceptible
tightening of the feathers on the parrot’s head that holds so much information about its thoughts and feelings.
After all, human communication is generally very bold and obvious, and has evolved to put much more emphasis
on verbal communication, than body language. Many, if not most, parrot owners are oblivious to their parrot’s
subtle attempts at communication. They fail to notice the slick feathers, or quick head movements, as the nervous
bird instinctively looks for an escape path, a common avoidance behavior. Often, the first signs of nervousness
most parrot owners notice are the obvious escape attempts or the growls and other vocal displays of discomfort
and fear. By this time, they have already missed the myriad of signals that have preceded this most obvious show
of discomfort and have pushed the bird to the brink of aggression.
Another important point to consider is most of the information available to parrot owners today does not
encourage sensitivity. In fact, some of the most common teachings today encourage dominance and aggression
when working with a parrot. It is common to hear and read things like “make sure he knows you’re the boss,” and
“don’t let him get away with that,” etc. The popular trend is to dominate pet parrots rather than build partnerships.
This aggressive approach only encourages more biting incidents as birds are forced to bite to express themselves
to their confidant but insensitive owners.
Parrots bite for the following main reasons:

Play; It is a hard wired, or instinctive behavior for parrots to investigate a person’s finger or other body part
with their strong beak. This is the way nature provides information to the young bird about its environment. It
is the responsibility of the owner to tell the bird just how hard it is allowed to “investigate” fingers and other
objects. A loud and sharp “NO” is similar in effect to the vocalization that an adult parrot would use in the wild to
communicate to a youngster that it has exceeded its bounds.

Territorial Aggression; Parrots instinctively protect territories both in the wild and in captivity. In the wild a parrot
bonds with one individual and will protect their nesting territory from intruders. Captive parrots also bond with
one individual and defend a territory from intruders. They can easily learn that biting is the only, or at least the
best, way to drive human intruders away from their territory.

Fear Aggression; As mentioned earlier, many parrots have bitten out of fear of a human forcing himself or herself
on the nervous bird. This is also an instinctive reaction that is closely associated with survival. If the bird were in
the wild it would simply fly away. However, most captive birds are denied the ability to escape and are left with
biting as their last resort.

Learned Aggression; Some parrots learn to bite for a desired response. This learned aggression is displayed in
many ways. One bird could learn that a light bite to the arm of its owner when he or she is eating a donut may
result in a piece of the tasty treat being offered to stop the annoying nibbling. Another bird may learn that a bite
to the finger will cause a person to leave it alone on top of the cage or on a person’s shoulder, even if it is for just
long enough for the person to go get a dowel or perch to pick the bird up with. Once a parrot bites a person for
the first time, it may be on its way to learning that this is a valid way to communicate with humans. Any behavior
that is reinforced is likely to be repeated.
To avoid being bitten, start by developing a positive relationship with the bird. Try to avoid forcing the bird to do
anything it doesn’t want to do. This is a very difficult concept for many parrot owners to understand, especially
when the information available to parrot owners suggests dominating the bird. Plus, many humans have a fairly
good reinforcement history associated with dominating other animals, such as dogs, and even other humans. It
is a communication strategy that seems, at least to them, to work fairly well. Going against this natural tendency
and working to establish a relationship with the bird that is built on positive interactions is the first step toward a
partner relationship with a parrot. Next, the bird owner should develop sensitivities to the bird’s communication.
He or she should learn how to read its body language and listen to what it tells them. Then, they should care about
what it says and allow the bird to be a partner in the relationship instead of an object. They should learn to ask the
bird to do things and avoid telling it. After all, rarely does anything, except a predator, ever force a parrot in the
wild to do something it doesn’t want to do.
One more thing that will enhance a parrot owner’s relationship with their parrot: taking responsibility for each
time the bird bites them. Parrot owners should understand that biting is unnatural for a parrot, and it is something
that they have either forced it to do or taught it to do. When they accept this responsibility they will begin to see
that their scars are signs of insensitivity and not badges of courage. They will also begin to lay the foundation for
a rewarding partnership with their companion bird.

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Redzone
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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by Redzone » Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:21 am

I found a video on youtube that is put up as an example of bluffing, apologies to any member here if it is your own video that was uploaded, but I can see several examples of what Steve Martin was talking about in what i quoted above.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhnyXlNBbes

Firstly, take note of the body language displayed by the bird when the owner started antagonising the bird. The ringneck gives off PLENTY of warning that it is not happy about having it's personal space invaded while it is preening. Even the threatening pose with extended beak, lunging at the offending finger. from the 10 second mark to the 30 second mark you can see this. Also note that the bird has it's wings clipped, it actually flaps it's wings to fly off before it attacks her in a more pronounced way, however being clipped leaves the bird with fight as it's only option.

Is it really any different from annoying a cat while it's eating or washing/licking itself? If you antagonise your cat the same way, you get bitten!

I really struggle to deal with this whole "bluffing" thing.. Can anyone show me a youtube video of a ringneck "bluffing" that doesnt have someone doing things that Steve Martin recommended not to do, above?

MissK
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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by MissK » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:16 pm

This is good; thanks for this.
-MissK

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InTheAir
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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by InTheAir » Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:53 am

Missk, any insights to add? It feels like Dave and I are just airing a couple recent conversations we've had on the subject already.

I did have one thought just now. We got my new parent raised bird late this afternoon. After she was tucked up for the night we went out for a couple hours. When we left she was clinging to the side of the cage, so when we got home I was about to go into her room and check that she had moved to a perch. Then it occured to me there really is no benefit to the bird by me doing this! Comforting myself is probably going to make the bird feel less safe sleeping in her cage. She is interested in us, but not trusting enough that she will snuggle her beak under her little wing harder, like Nila does when we check on him if he's sleeping.

That video redzone posted is the same underlying cause to me, it just begs the question why disturb the bird right now, for no purpose while it is busy?
For the record I did some scientific testing of our hypothesis. I reenact the first few seconds of that video with Nila, who very seldom bites at all. I approached him from out of his line of sight, with very little warning and poked at him. He turned around and lightly bit at me. I was not willing to go further with the experiment, as I do think part of the reason Nila rarely has to bother to bite us is because he has prior learning that growling or showing displeasure with body language is effective enough.
Side note, if we do need Nilas attention when he is preening we take a completely different approach from the one on that video, so Nila is not conditioned to being approached that way. From a training perspective, I do realise I could condition him to it, but it is a lot of work for a superfluous trick...

And, folks, just remember the first rule of parrot keeping, the parrot is always right!


Claire

Ps. You're all going to love the scientific testing of this hypothesis I did on a human subject (my friend's fiancé) for comparison!

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Doodlebug
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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by Doodlebug » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:10 am

[quote="Redzone"]To avoid being bitten, start by developing a positive relationship with the bird. Try to avoid forcing the bird to do
anything it doesn’t want to do. This is a very difficult concept for many parrot owners to understand, especially
when the information available to parrot owners suggests dominating the bird. quote]

I have read the whole article and it is of course about common sense, especially the above statement. But I'm still at a loss as to the reason Dudes is biting, I shall give you a couple of examples and maybe someone can tell me if its fear, learnt or something else.

I have been ill the past couple of days, I can hear Dudes screeching for me, or maybe for any old persons attention. My partner uncovered him this morning while I had a lovely lay in. He was screech screech screech. I came down and my partner says 'He's been calling for you all morning'. So I smiled, this OBVIOUSLY means Doodlebug misses me right? LOL! I go up to the cage the same as I do usually, not fast, not loud, not silent, he was at the back of his cage, he sees me and comes rushing up the perch towards me...I think aww he's really excited to see me...and halfway towards me he opens his beak and comes lunging and lunging! Oh. I thought. Right. So I say 'ok, ok...' and talk to him a bit like I usually do and go about my business for awhile before getting him out.

Later he was on my lap, sharing my toast. He loves tea for some reason especially when its lukewarm, so I tip my cup towards him and he has some. He starts exploring the cup, going all round the rim with his beak. I think 'Oh, he's going to see my finger in a minute, I'm in for a bite' He actually did something really surprising and treated my finger the same as the cup, nibbling on it. YES! I thought! Its the first time he has hooked onto my finger without biting! Then he bloody bit me. It's like he realised then it was my finger and not part of the cup.

I wasn't doing anything to provoke him, or asking him to do something he didn't want to do. I wasn't even moving so if it is fear, what can I do about it? He's almost 7 months and had him since he was 8 weeks old, why is he still scared if indeed this is the reason he's biting.

Frustrating!
Loo :)

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by sanjays mummi » Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:24 am

Im very fortunate, sanjay has only bitten me once, and for good reason, he had escaped from his nursery cage when I was out, and had got into the kitchen, I have 12 ft high ceilings, and had to towel him, he was terrified, I was green, and he bit my thumb until it bled. The most I ever get is a cuss and lunge, he has never made contact since.

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InTheAir
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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by InTheAir » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:49 pm

Loo,
Thanks for volunteering your fingers to the cause of a parrot problem solving exercise for us! That is most noble of you :wink:

Are you familar with the behaviour works website? Check out the pocketsized behavior section, if you haven't already. I have found it invaluable.

There are other factors that lead to bites in that article than just fear. Learned aggression, territorial agression, nipping to warn of imminent danger....

Doodlebugs biting may make no sense to us, but there will be some reason in his mind.
Maybe his favourite food is blood? :lol: Maybe when he noticed the difference in texture he decided to explore it further? Could it have been a "hmm this teacup feels squishy all of a sudden, I wonder what it feels like when I squeeze it?" Or "what is this finger doing on MY teacup?" Or "oh, I love the way fingers squash under my beak, and you can feel the hard bits inside!"... ok that was some major anthropomorphism there, but I find it easier to digest and relate to those sort of terms... obviously it's not going to be a literal traslation of what is really in the birds mind.
Can you assess whether it was a bite with intent or more an exploratory beaking?

What was the consequence of that action? What did he do and what did you do?
Also what are prior consequences when he has bitten people before? Has there been any patterns of human reaction?

Can anyone think of any factors we have overlooked here?
I generally don't have to look very far to find a reason with Nila, so I haven't had much practise.

Regards,
Claire

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Doodlebug
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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by Doodlebug » Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:42 am

Hey Claire, thanks for your reply :)

I don't mind volunteering my fingers to the cause at all, I just want to know why he feels the nip to bite, when I'm not doing or have any intention of hurting him.

I read the whole article and can't imagine he'd be nipping me to warn me of danger-surely he'd need to feel a bond towards me for that lol! So in response to your other suggestions;I don't think he noticed the change in texture and decided to explore further-he nibbled me nicely, pulled his head away and looked at my finger properly, and bit it hard. He may however have been thinking 'what is your finger doing on my cup'...? And very probably DOES love the way fingers feel in his beak... :(

He does come to me when he wants, I always let it be on his terms. He comes to my lap and chews on magazines I'm reading, or to play with his treasure box, but he will bite if I'm holding something from it for him, he will go to bite sometimes when I get him out of his cage using the step up perch. He hates me changing or adding stuff to his stand, which I get because he sees it as his place.

He will land on my arm with full sleeves, if he sees arm skin or hand poking out of the sleeve he will bite. If he lands on my shoulder or chest I have to remove him without fuss or I know I'll get one to the neck or face.

The consequence of 'Cupgate?' I pushed into the bite and he flew off. It wasn't an exploratory bite, the first was, then he took a good look and thought 'heyyyy! That's that thing I don't like!'

What can I do about this seeing as we've had him for long enough now surely for him to realise I'm not going to hurt him? I don't react badly and no-one else in the house will let him on them for fear of a bite.

Any suggestions? I love the little guy so much, I'm just a soppy human and want him to at least like me too! :roll:
Loo :)

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InTheAir
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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by InTheAir » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:44 pm

Hey Loo,

I'm not the person with answers, I just want to promote thought on the subject of thinking and rationalising every encounter we have with our little darlings, especially the ones we don't like.
I didn't realise he had such an aversion to skin and hands, sorry. Lucky you live in a cold climate, there is no way I could stand wearing layers in summer here! :mrgreen:
I have a feeling I will be facing with a similar issue when my new bird settles in, considering she has been grabbed out of the net.
Does he take treats from your hand? What does he do if your hand is lying on the table with treats in it?
I would maybe try target training past your hand, though it could be physical challenge for you. Like having one hand lying on the table and getting him to walk past it from a distance and then closer. My aim would be to gradually bring him closer with no reaction until he is comfortable with walking over the dormant hand. I would only be working on this when he is in a very motivated mood, or he may stop for a chunk of finger on his way past.
That's all I can think of right now. I have another theory, but I need to test it on Squidgette before I suggest it and she isn't ready for hands near her yet.

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Doodlebug
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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by Doodlebug » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:07 am

Hey Claire :) Yeah he just doesn't seem to like skin, other than to bite it! Thanks for suggesting the target training, will certainly give it a go although I did try trick training a few weeks ago and he just wasn't really having any of it. Maybe it's the hands again.

Has anyone had similar experience with this or know of someone who has?
Loo :)

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ranechild
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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by ranechild » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:37 pm

The first bite when you slept in sounds like fear. Something in his daily routine changed-- someone else uncovered his cage and you weren't there. He could have been a little put off by that.

The second sounds like you might be teaching him the agression, fear, or territorialism. Or maybe he just has some unnatural fear of skin... but if he was truely afraid of the skin, I don't think he would have gotten so far to nibble the finger and then intentionally change to the bite. The draw back and cognizant change to an attack make me think there is a learned factor to the behavior.

Camo likes to nip at blemishes on faces. I think he has learned to like the facial reaction--cause there's virtually no way to control the urge to squinch your face when there's a beak coming at it. I don't think we'll ever train him out of it, but when he does it we have him step up from finger to finger a half dozen times--hoping that he doesn't like that that much and he would stop "eating faces" to avoid the consequence.


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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by ellieelectrons » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:07 am

I actually agree with Claire's initial analysis. I think the biting (at least when he is out of the cage) is exploratory biting. I was interested to see that Steve suggests using a sharp "no" - something akin to a bird squawk when it gets hurt should be used here. When Janey was Dude's age, she would do that kind of thing quite a bit. We'd be sitting on the couch and then all of a sudden, she'd run up to my finger sitting loose on my lap and bite it... hard! Now that she is older this behaviour is extremely rare.

With regard to the lunging when inside the cage, it could be fear... but I'm also wondering if it's boredom... the earlier screaming behaviour could also fit with the boredom hypothesis. How much foraging for food does Dude's do? When we changed Janey to have to forage for most of her food (about 80% - 90% of her food), this type of lunging behaviour in her cage and when we offered her treats stopped. We were suddenly the easy way to get food.

For more information on foraging, go here:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=11701&p=69400
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=13466
http://www.parrotenrichment.com/ - this site has some free ebooks to download


Ellie.

zentoucan
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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by zentoucan » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:43 am

I think there are so many variables to this post.
the treatment of the bird prior to purchase. the bird itself. was it actually hand raised or is the vendor just saying that it was, to sell the bird. did it come from a breeder or a pet shop. lack of sleep, diet, boredom, jealousy or cage territory. it could be hand hatred or the fact that you are going into his home (cage) and rearranging everything. forcing the bird to do things that it didn't want to do. incorrect training methods. something you did to terrorized him. chasing him around the house. having strangers coming into the house without proper introduction. moving your hands too fast towards him.
it couldn't hurt to wipe the slate clean and start again and re-build the trust.


Or maybe the bird is just a physio.

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Doodlebug
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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by Doodlebug » Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:14 am

Hi everyone, thanks for all your input, I shall try addressing it all one at a time. Unusually today, when I got Dudes out of the cage (I never go inside to get him, but hold the step up perch by his open door and say 'play time!') I hold a treat for him as he has been known to come up the perch to bite, today he doesn't bother about the treat, he bites my finger holding it! I just don't understand :?
ranechild wrote:The first bite when you slept in sounds like fear. Something in his daily routine changed-- someone else uncovered his cage and you weren't there. He could have been a little put off by that.

The second sounds like you might be teaching him the agression, fear, or territorialism. Or maybe he just has some unnatural fear of skin... but if he was truely afraid of the skin, I don't think he would have gotten so far to nibble the finger and then intentionally change to the bite. The draw back and cognizant change to an attack make me think there is a learned factor to the behavior.
I agree with you Ranechild, although I don't know what reaction he might be expecting, I don't yell or sharply yank my hand back, if he is on my lap then thats where he stays but if he has flew to my shoulder or chest I will remove him. Sometimes when he bites he flies off like he knows it was wrong, the most I've ever done reaction wise is say no, but not in a raised voice.
ellieelectrons wrote:When Janey was Dude's age, she would do that kind of thing quite a bit. We'd be sitting on the couch and then all of a sudden, she'd run up to my finger sitting loose on my lap and bite it... hard! Now that she is older this behaviour is extremely rare.

With regard to the lunging when inside the cage, it could be fear... but I'm also wondering if it's boredom... the earlier screaming behaviour could also fit with the boredom hypothesis. How much foraging for food does Dude's do? When we changed Janey to have to forage for most of her food (about 80% - 90% of her food), this type of lunging behaviour in her cage and when we offered her treats stopped. We were suddenly the easy way to get food.
God I do hope Dudes grows out of it! As far as boredom goes, he has soooo much to do in his cage! He has toys and ladders and foraging and food and wooden rings and willow sticks to chew, preening toys...I am experimenting with different foraging items, I enjoy making homemade ones but do love the see-through plastic ones that they have to get in a certain position to get the food out, so expensive! But thankyou for those links, it keeps us both amused, me making them ,him figuring it all out :)
zentoucan wrote:I think there are so many variables to this post.
the treatment of the bird prior to purchase. the bird itself. was it actually hand raised or is the vendor just saying that it was, to sell the bird. did it come from a breeder or a pet shop. lack of sleep, diet, boredom, jealousy or cage territory. it could be hand hatred or the fact that you are going into his home (cage) and rearranging everything. forcing the bird to do things that it didn't want to do. incorrect training methods. something you did to terrorized him. chasing him around the house. having strangers coming into the house without proper introduction. moving your hands too fast towards him.
it couldn't hurt to wipe the slate clean and start again and re-build the trust.


Or maybe the bird is just a physio.
Now where to start with this! Ok. So I got Dudes from a breeder my partner knows, hes been breeding for years so can't think he would mistreat his birds. He was parent raised, I got him at 8 weeks, he's now 7 months and I have spent this whole time working with him, hours of blood, sweat and tears! I love him dearly. He gets plenty of sleep, covered at night. Lots of variety in his diet, fresh veg and fruit plus seed. I never interfere with him while he is inside his home, never force him to do what he doesn't want to-thats surely asking for a bite! I'm not really doing a lot of training with him at present as he doesn't seem interested, and I end up with a bite so I am leaving it for the moment. I'd NEVER terrorise him, and if anyone tried it I'd bloody kill them. I don't chase, rarely have strangers in, or move too fast towards him.

I respect and love my bird too much to be anything but loving and caring towards him. All I want is for a bond to form, I know this can't be forced and fully understand some IRNs just aren't the affectionate type. I would just like to get to the bottom of why he is biting so I can try to at least curb it a bit.

Thanks everyone for your advice and suggestions, it means alot to me as I feel I've searched my soul and Dudes for answers that I can't find and he won't give! :cry:
Loo :)

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by MissK » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:01 pm

Loo, I'm a little hesitant to post here, since I have not put a lot of thought into your first post. I did read everything through, down to the most recent post, though not really with my fullest attention. I have domestic stuff going on and my brain is tired. So, I don't want to give a reckless opinion, but the first thought that came into my head was "He's not comfortable with that finger in that place at that time and you just didn't realize it." Maybe this is helpful information, or maybe it is just philosophy.

I'm thinking of the times I lose my marbles and offer Rocky a treat when he's on the sleeping perch. I never learn. I'm the one who told him that perch was his sacred safe spot (sleeping or not) and I still try to bother him there from time to time. I can offer him food any place else and he will either take it or reject it or move away. But not on that d*** sleeping perch. He will retreat or lunge. Of course I don't get it and I keep trying - "No Treat, Rocky? Are you sure? It's gooo-oood!" But no. Stupid human. Not nuts, not peanut butter, not anything. Take that finger away or reap the unpleasant reward.

Another time Rocky will threaten or actually bite me is when I approach him with the finger (treat or no treat) too soon after he has had some experience that didn't sit well with him. There is usually no subtle retreat for this one, *I believe* because he has already offered that cue to whatever it was that concerned him. Maybe I put something new in the cage. Maybe I dropped a book in the room. Maybe I came in unexpectedly. By the time I get there, he has escalated his reaction to the bite. Whatever the experience, if he hasn't gotten over it when I reach for him, he's going to send me some punishment. This one is my bad as well, since I didn't check carefully to make sure he was receptive before I went shoving things at him.

And, on a side note, maybe pushing that positive reinforcement agenda, does anyone recognize here that:

1) Rocky employs negative punishment, in that he will sometimes remove the thing I love, namely his being nearby, when I display my undesirable behaviour of reaching for him when he doesn't welcome it. This works for him sometimes, and sometimes not.
2) When negative punishment fails Rocky employs positive punishment. He bites.
3) Rocky has failed to train me to keep my fingers to myself using punishment.
4) Although I have not changed my behaviour, I HAVE learned to vary my behaviour in order to avoid the punishment and still put my fingers where I want to.

Obviously, Rocky hasn't read Karen Pryor's book.....

What kind of results do you think Rocky would get if he used the strategy of completely ignoring me instead? Pestering an unresponsive bird is not in the least self-rewarding, so I think he would have 100% success.

Rocky probably doesn't realize this, or it's significance, but he has already trained me to leave him alone when he presents the cue of turning his back on me. Apparently, this human requires a different (more obvious) cue, for the behaviour of leaving birds alone, than subtle leaning or inching away. I'm chalking this up to cultural differences between Ringnecks and Humans, but since I have the burden of making our relationship work, I think it's up to me to find a way to respond to Rocky's subtle cues.

How is this train of thought going to help Loo? Loo, I think you should have a look at instances where the reason you get bitten is more obvious. Look at the cues (for leaving birds alone) the bird presents you. Then you can look for more subtle cues you might be missing in the situations you described above. Or you might be able to identify a stimulus for biting (that you present or that the environment presents to the bird) that you didn't recognize before. It isn't easy.

Regarding another situation, I know Rocky is going to nibble on my skin pretty much at will. A nibble, here, is just a light manipulation of the skin, possibly an investigation, or possibly a warning (cue) to the skin that it should leave. Of course, my skin can't leave if Rocky is standing on it. I have learned that unless I divert his attention, Rocky will escalate his nibbling until it becomes biting. Is that because the skin did not, in fact, leave when he presented his cue and so he has to make a stronger "incentive" for it to go (which is really a stronger cue for leaving or a punishment for staying)? Is it because his nibbling of skin was successful but unfulfilling and so he wants a greater degree of contact with it? Is he so uncomfortable with the skin that he is mounting an offensive defense?

I may never know, just as you may never know why he bites the finger on the cup (though I suspect you will find the reason for this). It is this lack of understanding, this failure of communication, that makes it so hard for us to find a way out of the behaviour we don't like. It is the same reason Rocky is having such a hard time training me to quit trying to feed him on his sleeping perch. Maybe you can circumvent the problem by training Doodlebug to do some kind of trick with the cup.
-MissK

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by InTheAir » Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:33 am

Nice points missk.
It is so easy to make indiscretions from the parrots perspective too! The benefit to me of being aware and making these errors less frequently than I would if I didn't try to listen to the birds language is I appear to get more warnings from his birdiness when I do cross the line. It's kind of like "did you really mean to do that? You know you are upsetting me? Ok your still doing it, I'm going to have to chomp you now". Admittedly, he talks fast so that sequence needs to be sped up at least fourfold from human speed!
The vet I saw yesterday mentioned she has a rehomed bigger bird (can't remember what type) that was biting with no warnings when she got it. It has now noticed that she listens to it and has started displaying signals before it bites. Apparently for the first few years of it's life the humans ignored all its clear warnings so it learned they are fruitless and just to bite when you have a problem with something. We all learn how to react from our previous experiences as children or adults.

It's pretty amazing working with Squidgette, I am trying to learn to refine my whole approach now.

Ranechild, has anyone tried squeaking 'ouch' at Camo when he is trying to perfect your skin? Just curious.

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by Doodlebug » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:13 am

Thanks guys, I just have no clue what I'm actually doing if I'm reinforcing the bite with something... The only thing I can think of is that he has learnt a bite gets me to leave him alone i.e removing him from my chest or shoulder when he has landed there. But then I haven't forced myself on him in the first instance! Like I say, I always wait for him to come to me to come out of the cage, then he'll bite when he gets on his step up perch! And I'm not going to just open his cage and let him do his own thing as I've heard they need the specific routine of stepping up coming out and going in.

I just don't get it! I'm very good at reading his body language and he doesn't 'swear' or pin his eyes or flat feathers, its just always at random moments when theres no need for it lol. Is there such a thing as an aversion to skin? I get the fact that he was probably grabbed unceremoniously by the breeder and took away from his mother so it taught him that hands are bad. And I know all our birdies are different but its frustrating when I read others have their IRNS crawling all over them etc, all I'm asking for is a bit of interaction without blood or lunging! I'm not even asking for him to step up at the moment as its clearly not what he wants. Just to play, be able to hand him things etc would be nice.

Don't get me wrong, he doesn't bite every time I hand him something, but randomly.

Can't we all just get along? :(
Loo :)

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by MissK » Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:34 am

Loo, I feel your frustration. I want to introduce the idea that perhaps you have less to do with it than you think - just perhaps, I don't know where the truth lies.

I'd like to bring up a concept that is made in one of the books I read probably Mattie Sue's, but maybe Karen's - and that concept is that reinforcement need not come from a living, active thing.

My understanding of the concept runs along these lines:

Your perceptions cause you to "receive a message" from something that is not actually sending a message, but the effect is the same.

Example: You go through your life and notice money on the floor, nobody else around, public place. The money, by virtue of being there, cues you (provides a stimulus) to pick it up. Once you pick it up, the same money positively reinforces you because now you have money in your pocket that you didn't have before. The money has been both the stimulus and the reward, and yet, it's just inanimate money. It does nothing by itself. You did all the brain work, but the result is the same. In the absence of any hindrance (punishment, etc) you are now more likely to pick up the next money you find.

Second example, and of this one I am not positive but it seems reasonable to me:
Can it be possible that Doodlebug goes about in his life and encounters your finger on the cup where it should not be (for whatever reason, in his world view). Because it provides a stimulus for him to try to get it to go away, regardless of whatever else he might be trying unnoticed first or not, he offers his punishment. I have argued in the past that the bite can be a self-rewarding action. So, assuming I am correct, Dudes gives himself positive reinforcement when he bites. Now, the finger moves or else it doesn't, but since Doodlebug has gotten some positive reinforcement, albeit possibly not what he was originally after, he more likely to bite the finger on the cup (or wherever it should not be, in his world view).

I have had little sleep and less coffee, so pardon if this turns out to be all pooey, but this is my morning thought on this issue.
-MissK

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by InTheAir » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:29 am

It is always such a challenge working with animals, or humans for that matter! Can anyone give me advice on dealing with humans after we discuss mr doodlefic?

I don't know that it is necessary to step them up to leave the cage. We encourage Nila to leave his travel cage by himself and have had no trouble from that. His big cage is hard to climb in and out of so he prefers a lift both ways, but will do it on his own if we don't give him an option. I am trying to work out how to fit a drawbridge for him!

In Loo's case, when doodles flies over to sit on her, would it be sensible to let him stay a few seconds then praise him and remove him to a fun place before a bite occurs?This is running on the assumption that he hangs out for a little while before he bites.
I'm thinking if he bites regularly after flying over to sit on her, it is a situation that is best avoided for both of them in the meantime...

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by ellieelectrons » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:33 am

I agree that I don't think it is necessary for them to step up to get put of the cage. However I remember reading articles saying you should do this many years ago.

Loo, I've also had bites when offering my hand to get out of the cage (not recently - when Janey was younger). The way we do it now is that I have 2 perches placed near the door and they know to hop on these perches if they want to come out. I trained them to do this by treating them on those perches regularly. Charlie's perch is on the door and Janey's is a little way inside. When I then open the door for them, Charlie will step up for me right away and Janey will climb out quickly and 90% of the time she steps up for me too. I don't get those bites any more. It's a routine now.

In time, you will find your own routine based on what you need and what Dudes finds acceptable.

Ellie.

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by MissK » Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:27 am

But then I haven't forced myself on him in the first instance! Like I say, I always wait for him to come to me to come out of the cage, then he'll bite when he gets on his step up perch! And I'm not going to just open his cage and let him do his own thing as I've heard they need the specific routine of stepping up coming out and going in.
Haven't you?

I am with Claire and Ellie here, on the stepping up to come out of the cage issue. Being me, I have a lot more to say on it than they did.

In the year I spent reading about keeping parrots, before I got Rocky, I saw instructions over and over to never let the bird control it's own movement in and out of the cage. It was part of the idea of keeping the parrot dependent on the person. By extending that thought we see it is also a way of humans exerting dominance over their birds.

When we exert dominance, we basically disregard the incompatible wishes of the other party. We deny them the freedom to make choices. In some situations, we might force the other party to face frightening circumstances they would otherwise avoid.

What is it that we know parrots will do when they are frightened? They will flee or defend themselves, will they not? My bird will step up inside or outside the cage, but jumps off if I try to pass him through the doorway. It has been suggested to me that he notes the frame of the door coming at him in a way he cannot control and is frightened by this. It's not a far stretch for me to believe that is true.

IS IT so important that I be able to dominate him in this situation? He will quickly exit or enter the cage if I present my suggestion convincingly, with a lure, if not of his own idea. If there were an emergency, I could simply use force and grab him. Given that we know both birds and humans react badly if they cannot make choices, should we not strive to offer at least one choice to our birds at all times, so long as it is possible?

I think you should try letting Doodlebug choose to come out of the cage on his own. The idea of never letting parrots have this choice is old and, I think, old fashioned. I don't think you have much, if anything, to lose, and if you later decide it was a mistake you can return to the old way.

If my words have not convinced you, let me leave you with this final thought: You have already controlled whether Doodlebug can exit or enter his cage by virtue of the fact you have a door on the cage, and you control whether that door is opened or closed.
-MissK

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by AlphaWolf » Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:33 am

Hi Loo,
I'am so sad about your problems with Doodlebug, I'am not very knowledgeable in this field but I will try to help. I have been doing som reserche and I found this interesting article in an another forum. It disusses about agression triggers, and one of them is color. Is there a new color that Doodlebug has seen? Here is the link: http://forums.avianavenue.com/index.php ... ggers.645/. I will do some more research in the wekkends but trust me Loo, yo will get through this and will have a wonderful companion for many years to come, just don't lose hope ( as if you would ever). MissK has some interesting information and so does Claire. I guess they should write a book togethor :) .

-Alpha
"Live with parrots and you learn to panic"

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by Doodlebug » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:16 am

MissK wrote:I have had little sleep and less coffee, so pardon if this turns out to be all pooey, but this is my morning thought on this issue.
You made perfect sense, and thank you for your perspective!
InTheAir wrote:I don't know that it is necessary to step them up to leave the cage.
ellieelectrons wrote:I agree that I don't think it is necessary for them to step up to get put of the cage. However I remember reading articles saying you should do this many years ago.
Ahh I see now, I am following outdated methods! I read a lot of things when I got Dudes, and as everything on the internet, its not always right. But I guess like you say, it's trial and error, and this particularly stood out
MissK wrote:When we exert dominance, we basically disregard the incompatible wishes of the other party. We deny them the freedom to make choices. In some situations, we might force the other party to face frightening circumstances they would otherwise avoid.
... let me leave you with this final thought: You have already controlled whether Doodlebug can exit or enter his cage by virtue of the fact you have a door on the cage, and you control whether that door is opened or closed.
Do you know what? I never thought of it like this! I thought I WAS giving Dudes a choice, as he was coming to me to come out, but I see now that of course he wants to come out, just not when the scary human and her hands are near!

Thank you all so much, I will open his door and leave the poor bugger the freedom and confidence to come out on his own. I wonder what else I'm doing thats no longer recommended!
AlphaWolf wrote:Hi Loo,
I'am so sad about your problems with Doodlebug, I'am not very knowledgeable in this field but I will try to help. I have been doing som reserche and I found this interesting article in an another forum. It disusses about agression triggers, and one of them is color. Is there a new color that Doodlebug has seen?
Thanks Alpha, I don't think theres any new colours I have introduced, but I have heard things along a similar line. I heard most IRNs dislike Red, but theres so many of Dudes toys that are Red and he's fine with those. I guess like us, there are things we all like and dislike, it's called being individuals :)
Loo :)

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by MissK » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:09 pm

I wonder what else I'm doing thats no longer recommended!
Loo, I feel very much in this same boat!

I read a lot, in actual books. Books don't seem to be, generally speaking, quite on the cutting edge anymore, do they? The internet and current periodicals would seem to have the most up to date information, but unless we go around checking citations and citations of citations, we are sometimes just not going to know if the information is stale or outmoded.

The thing I do, what's working for me, is read it all, compare everything to everything else, run it through my practicality filter, and try what seems reasonable. Then I can see how it works, discuss with others, tweak my practices, and trust in my bird to have the resilience to weather my mistakes. Isn't that what we're mostly all doing here?

Rocky's a trooper, and here's the thing - he's smart. He never stops learning and adapting. Nature made him that way so he could survive. Nature made us the same way. I think if we make mistakes with our birds, as long as we are looking for ways to improve and not getting stuck in a wrong rut, we're doing our best.
-MissK

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by AlphaWolf » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:59 pm

Hello Loo,
Another thing to consider did anything change since he started biting. Even a new haircut or some jewellery can make him angry. I read this wonderful article that says that parrots in the wild don't bite each other. By using intimidation and warning signs they can threaten a new comer. What MissK said is a good point about giving him his choice. Please keep us updated and take care. Can you post some pictures of the bites, want to know the damage of a IRN :?
"Live with parrots and you learn to panic"

AlphaWolf

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by ellieelectrons » Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:33 am

Hi Loo

When I got Janey I turned myself inside out, back to front trying to do the "right" things. However, there is so much conflicting advice out there. I think MissK's advice was good on this. Compare bits of advice... and think about what will work for you as well.
Doodlebug wrote:ellieelectrons wrote:
I agree that I don't think it is necessary for them to step up to get put of the cage. However I remember reading articles saying you should do this many years ago.


Ahh I see now, I am following outdated methods! I read a lot of things when I got Dudes, and as everything on the internet, its not always right. But I guess like you say, it's trial and error, and this particularly stood out
... and I just wanted to clarify, I wasn't saying there is necessarily anything wrong with getting your bird to step up to get them out of the cage, use it if it works for you. Mine pretty much always step up when just outside of the cage and it's a nice way for us to say hello each time they come out. I don't force it now, although I did go through the a phase of trying not to let Janey out of the cage unless she stepped up for me when she was younger - because I read an article, like you did, saying you should.

Another thing I read early on was that they should go to sleep when the sun goes down. I know enough now that I don't believe that is necessary. However, we started doing it quite a while ago and it seems to work for us, so I've continued it. I don't fret if we need to have the lights on in their area until later... but I don't think there is anything wrong with doing it that way either.

You might find this blog post interesting about the "rules" of parrot ownership:
http://goodbirdinc.blogspot.com.au/2011 ... rrots.html

Ellie.

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by zentoucan » Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:04 am

Doodlebug
I never meant that you would intently terrorize your bird. I was just putting forward possible causes. if you methodically breakdown how you interact with your bird you might pick up something subtle that has slipped your attention. Many years ago I had a friend whose parents had a bird that had become aggressive towards them. They methodically broke down everything they did when they interacted with the bird, and found this was because they were taking the bird's food and water bowls to clean and refill, while the bird was watching them and he took offence. So they had to take the bird into another room when they clean and refilled the food and water bowls just so their bird wouldn't see them handle "his bowls".
they had what they thought was "good intentions" and yes we all know that you must give your pets fresh food and water in clean bowls daily. But the bird was offended by their "good intentions"
This was the simple act of cleaning and refilling bowls which we all do for our birds without any thought on how it could a effects our birds.
your good intentions don't mean that the bird see them as good intentions and this makes it hard for us to pick up.

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by ellieelectrons » Sun Nov 03, 2013 6:53 am

I would like to back up what zen toucan is saying here. I believe that there is always some sort of trigger for biting that makes perfect sense to your bird but it may seem completely illogical to us. The hard part for us is to try to figure out the triggers and go from there. I got a horrid bite on the ear from Janey once and to me, I thought it just came out of the blue. My husband later figured out that it was because she was on my shoulder when I took linen out of the linen cupboard and linen, for whatever birdy reason, gets her agitated. So I've learned not to do stuff with linen when she's out, or do it carefully, or be prepared for a bite if I really need to go into the linen cupboard. Some triggers are worse during breeding season. I could also try to train her to not get agitated when I go to the linen cupboard, but for now I'll just work around it. My birds don't mind me cleaning and refilling their food and water bowls and I'm sure other birds don't object to their humans going to the linen cupboard

Ellie.

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by Donovan » Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:50 am

My bird doesn't bite me unless I try to handle him... OR if I give him my cellphone to watch a playlist I have made for him of other birds (mostly IRN's). Basically if I get my hand too close to him while he's watching his videos he'll get me.

Just a little while ago he was watching http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gs7Tqd0dQO4 video. My phone was sitting down in my hat on the desk. When he's watching the videos he walks all over the phone and makes it jump around to different videos.. in this case he kept accidentally going back to this video. Every time it came on he kept sitting on my phone. Another video would play of adults screaming and squawking and he would follow suit, but this bird he wants to sit on. Anyway he did make a point to run out of the hat and bite me when I got too close.

I guess he thinks he's parenting this bird. He even kept pulling around at the edge of the hat like he was fixing a nest haha.. Maybe it's time to get him a girlfriend. (or stop letting him watch certain videos)

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by Doodlebug » Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:20 am

Hey everyone, thank you for your replies, I really appreciate them. I am now letting Dudes come out without having to get onto the step up perch, but i do have to use it for going back in or else he would never go!

Sorry Alpha but I haven't took pictures of any bites, he has only bit me a few times hard enough to make the blood drip, now I don't put myself in those situations anymore and take note of what he is saying to me via his body language. But take it from me, they can bite hard, over and over, and some latch on and won't let go!
Donovan wrote:My bird doesn't bite me unless I try to handle him...
This is what I'm afraid of, that he'll never want me anywhere near him. I know some IRNs are just not the wanting to be held types and it's more for my benefit than his, but I'd at least like him to be able to trust me enough not to bite when he does land on me for whatever reason.

I guess I just let him be when he comes out of his cage? I don't want to do this indefinately though-I am hoping he'll be more receptive to trick training soon :?
Loo :)

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by MissK » Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:40 am

Hi Loo,

Did we talk about using a lure? Bring me up to speed on Doodlebug's reaction to lures, taking treats by hand, and his top five treat foods. Do you use a steel food cup?

We can totally work on this, though I think we should start a fresh thread, maybe called "How to get the parrot back in the cage"....
-MissK

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by AlphaWolf » Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:45 am

Hello Doodlebug,
I agree with MissK about making a new thread. I myself are having problems with Aero atm. By the end of the new thread you will have a lovely tame bird :D . And maybe Aero might just take food from my hand.
"Live with parrots and you learn to panic"

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by AlphaWolf » Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:50 am

I would personally love to see a picture of doodlebug, c'mon one pleeeease. :D :D :D
"Live with parrots and you learn to panic"

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by Doodlebug » Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:03 am

New thread made, thanks guys :) I hate to flood the forum with my troubles but I am becomming an obsessive, trying to find out what I could be doing wrong or what I can do to help my little green Dudes :?
Loo :)

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by lilstephii143 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:06 am

Read half of the article going to finish later when i have time. Sounds like a good read!

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by Melika » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:20 am

ellieelectrons wrote:I agree that I don't think it is necessary for them to step up to get put of the cage. However I remember reading articles saying you should do this many years ago.

Loo, I've also had bites when offering my hand to get out of the cage (not recently - when Janey was younger). The way we do it now is that I have 2 perches placed near the door and they know to hop on these perches if they want to come out. I trained them to do this by treating them on those perches regularly. Charlie's perch is on the door and Janey's is a little way inside. When I then open the door for them, Charlie will step up for me right away and Janey will climb out quickly and 90% of the time she steps up for me too. I don't get those bites any more. It's a routine now.

In time, you will find your own routine based on what you need and what Dudes finds acceptable.

Ellie.
This is what I do with Hane. I ask him if he wants to come out and offer my hand to his 'step up' perch. If he doesn't move towards it right away or give body language saying he's thinking about it, I withdraw my hand and ask again. Sometimes he prefers to climb out onto the door and then onto my hand. Sometimes he doesn't want to come out at all, and sometimes he just wants to hang out on his cage with the door open and not be touched.

I didn't always do this though. When he was younger I required him stepping-up when asked. At the time, it worked best that way for us, and prevented him from becoming 'cage bound', because he was sure trying to become that. I could also scoop him up off the floor quickly without him being scared, because I thought that would be a handy thing to be able to do, especially with our dogs around.

Our relationship keeps changing as the years go by, according to both our needs. I can't say any of it was wrong, it was just different, but we both were different too and our relationship continues to evolve.


Hane has hardly ever bitten me. That being said, he still cannot be allowed on shoulders. He will bite faces, ears, rip out hair, and bite holes in clothing. He always has. A few weeks ago he flew over and landed on my shoulder so I let him stay there as he seemed happy just sitting there. He was well behaved for five minutes, then I got a hard nip on my ear. He may have his reasons, but my solution is no shoulders- thereby preventing the trigger. ;)

The only time Hane ever bit and drew blood, I believe I posted here long ago, was quite a surprise. It ended up being a long drawn out biting scenario over a few weeks which turned out to be all my fault. Because he bit me that once, it made me nervous and I would withdraw my hand if I even thought he was going to try and bite me, then he would bite me because I was making the perch he wanted to go to (my finger) move around. It was like I was teasing him and he got angry, or he was checking to see if the perch was actually stable. Once I realised I was the cause of his biting, I pushed into the bite and he bit (not hard) perhaps once or twice over the next two days and that's it. He knew I wasn't going to take my hand away anymore so he stopped trying to bite it.

So I quite agree that in many cases we are the cause of " parrot behavioral problems". We just don't step back to recognise it.
Image
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I've been called 'birdbrained' before, but somehow I don't think this is what they meant. say:hah-nay

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by sanjays mummi » Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:16 pm

Ha!, I got bitten today!, ok, I was putting Sanjays peppers in the cage and he was in a hurry to get to them, so he had me, not hard, just in a get off of my food way

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by Little Buttercup » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:01 pm

Very interesting read this. I'm just wondering if Doodles maybe just like the feel of your skin. And aren't you going too fast, you seem impatient to tame him. But I must say you are very brave to take such hard wacks to leave you bleeding. I really admire you. Never will I be able to take that! I have Kiwi for 1 year, 1 month now. I'm going soooo verrrry slow with his taming, I don't ever want a bite from him, even though he looks soooo cute and I really do feel that he will never bite me should he ever step up on to my hand :lol: . I must admit that I have towelled him a few times when he didn't want to go in his cage, I can see Missk with big eyes :shock: , sorry Miss, I know i'm wrong. But he never attempted to bite me nor screech when towelled, very calm he would be. I really have to resist touching such a cutey with with bare hands, but I don't want to force my hands on him so I never touch him when I towel him. My 6 year old would scream at me for a touch but I just put him in the cage and say to wait until Kiwi is ready. He used to go nicely in his cage but recently he just flies around the room when it is time to go in, even if i show him the treats I put in. I'm going to follow the new cage thread and take advice from there.

I'm going very slow with Kiwi so its teeny weeny improvements that I don't even notice at the time. I open his cage in the mornings and sit next to the door with my hands hanging in front of the door, so when he flies out of the cage his wings touch my hands. He loves coming out the cage so he don't mind my hands there. He takes his treats from my hand without biting me. I've read here that the bird will test the hand out, but i'm really not in for test driving :) No ways.

Ash

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by MissK » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:06 am

Hey, if he doesn't mind toweling then the main reason not to do it isn't there.

And, I did towel Rocky before we saw eye to eye about him going home on his own. :shock: It set us back big time. That's the main reason I don't encourage it - if the bird is unhappy with it everybody suffers. :cry:
-MissK

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by Little Buttercup » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:27 pm

Yes Missk, Kiwi does'nt seem to mind, as it didn't set us back at any time. Right after it he would be his normal self and would still take his treats from me as usual. I would'nt do it if he seems unhappy. But I don't know what would happen should I touch him while he is in the towel.

Ash

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by Doodlebug » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:07 pm

Little Buttercup wrote:Very interesting read this. I'm just wondering if Doodles maybe just like the feel of your skin. And aren't you going too fast, you seem impatient to tame him. But I must say you are very brave to take such hard wacks to leave you bleeding. I really admire you.
This is the thing, I'm not impatient, I am going at a pace that is comfortable. I won't force him to train if he doesn't want to, I don't go asking for bites, in fact I avoid them if anything. He comes to me when he wants, but he bites.

Don't admire me for Gods sake, I haven't got the brains to figure out what is going on here, and nothing I am doing is helping or working!

You sound like you and Kiwi have a happy little relationship and rub along together well. I'm glad you've found what works for you both at the moment, I'm sure Dudes and I will be able to live together in peace and harmony one day lol.
Loo :)

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by Little Buttercup » Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:18 pm

Yes me and Kiwi does get along and I am happy at the moment at our slow progress. If he does'nt want to be touched and scratched that would be fine with me, not that I don't want to, but out of respect for his needs. I do have an intention of getting another tame ringneck that I can hold and play with and as a companion for Kiwi. But I don't know when would that be. When the perfect one comes along I suppose. As I said no ways am I going to take bites, i'm just tooo afraid for that, hope i'm not in for a surprise when Kiwi decide to taste me :lol: .

With my first ringneck, in the 11 months that we spent together, she only bit me once ever, and can you imagine that was after eating a chilli! At the time I really did'nt know why was the bite burning and feeling sore at the same time, and just thought ringnecks bites burn as well, until later when I notice the shredded chilli in her cage :lol: . But what made her bite me? I knew exactly the moment she bit, because she had a habit of sulking when I leave the house for a few hours, she loved to be with me at most times, we would nap together in the afternoons, she would sit on me and sleep and wake up when I would. We just had a very lovely time together. So on that particular day, I went out for the entire day, came back did'nt have time for her, fed her and covered the cage for the night. Next morning she stepped up nicely, I went with her to work on the laptop, she on my lap as usual, then out of the blues she lunged at me and bit me bleeding. I instinctly dropped her on the floor and left her to go back to her cage. I was too scared to pick her up again that day, and it dragged onto 10 days where I did'nt pick her up, and after that she was her normal sweet self again. The good side, I never got a bite from her again.

Coco never ever bit me really, she just hisses and rubs her beak on my hand irritatingly then I know she does'nt like what i'm doing and I withdraw my hand. I'm looking for a parent-raised cockatiel to keep Coco company as she thinks i'm her mate and screams for me most times.

Phew! Long story I wrote there!!

Ash

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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by AJPeter » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:13 pm

If your parrot bites you, bite back. That is positive punishment a better way is too look for the warning signs when Billie comes out of her cage in the morning she looks like death warmed up and if l try and stroke her she lashes out so l do not try and stroke her. She like all parrots hates my hand in her cage, hates it when l clean the perch she is sitting on, hates it when l do not respsect her area it when l say "Take it nicely" she pins her eys and opens her beak and if l do not take any notice she reinforces my failure with a bite. At least now adays l do not clean the perch she is sitting on, l do not put my hand in her cage when she is on one of the lower perches, l do not try and make her eat some cuttle fish bone (I cheat and put calcium in her drinking water) I hardly ever get bitten now a days.
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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by MissK » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:43 pm

Gee, my parrot doesn't mind me being in his cage, tending his dishes, wiping his perches, cleaning his grate, picking up his toys, changing his decor.... I reach in every day, my hand, my arm, sometimes even my head and shoulders. If I ask him gently, he may even step onto my wrist for a treat in there. He may threaten or bite if I bother him on the sleep perch, but then, I *am* the one who told him that perch was his alone. Maybe he's comfortable with me because he knows I would never, ever bite him back.
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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by AJPeter » Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:15 pm

Well said MissK of course l was only kidding.
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Re: If your parrot bites you, you need to read this!

Post by Little Buttercup » Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:12 pm

AJPeter wrote:If your parrot bites you, bite back. That is positive punishment a better way is too look for the warning signs when Billie comes out of her cage in the morning she looks like death warmed up and if l try and stroke her she lashes out so l do not try and stroke her. She like all parrots hates my hand in her cage, hates it when l clean the perch she is sitting on, hates it when l do not respsect her area it when l say "Take it nicely" she pins her eys and opens her beak and if l do not take any notice she reinforces my failure with a bite. At least now adays l do not clean the perch she is sitting on, l do not put my hand in her cage when she is on one of the lower perches, l do not try and make her eat some cuttle fish bone (I cheat and put calcium in her drinking water) I hardly ever get bitten now a days.
AJPeter
Kiwi knows I will never bite him, so he don't mind me putting my hand in the cage, he will sit one side till i'm done. I'm just wondering Billie is a tame bird yet why does she bite you so much? Whereas Kiwi isn't tame and never bit me, nor did he even lunge at me or make like he wants to bite me should I come close. Now did he ever pin his eyes at me. Maybe he knows I won't do anything to him that he does'nt like.

Ash

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