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Alexandrine wont stop biting

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Erin SA
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Alexandrine wont stop biting

Post by Erin SA » Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:43 am

Hello I have an Alexandrine female that won't stop biting,,bought her from people who did not want her anymore,she is about 2 years old?will she get better with time?

zentoucan
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Re: Alexandrine wont stop biting

Post by zentoucan » Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:17 am

with the right training she should get better. you need to identify the trigger or triggers that is causing her to bite.
seems like she's lonely, bore and frustrated. you will need to earn her trust. remember when you train a bird. the idea is to get the bird to do what you want without forcing it.
Is the biting aggressive or from fear?
is she drawing blood when she bites?
is she caged inside or outside?
How does she behave when you approach the cage?
was she hand raised or aviary bred?
did the previous owner interact at all with the Bird?

AJPeter
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Re: Alexandrine wont stop biting

Post by AJPeter » Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:02 pm

I have a female Alex that was a foundling age uncertain, she bit me a lot l adopted the policy of letting her know how much it hurt by yelling and crying. Over time 3 months she stopped biting. There are several types of bite, if she sees you as a threat she will bite to warn you off, this bite draws blood, but if you invade he space she will bite less hard but is still hurts but there is no blood gradually she will know that mouthing your finger is all that us needed to give you a warning. Also l used a negative training by walkling out of the room when she bit me.
Becareful how you approach your Alex, go slowly watch her eyes and beak if she opens her beak get out of there. But keep on trying you and she will learn what is permissable.
AJPeter

zentoucan
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Re: Alexandrine wont stop biting

Post by zentoucan » Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:14 pm

Erin SA
if the Alexandrine bites, do not yell, scream, cry, jump around or put on a show. The Alexandrine will see it as a great show and will be encouraged and reinforced to continue biting. the best thing to do is ignore it on matter how much it hurts. leaving the room will work. showing your displeasure on your face and saying no in a tone of voice that also conveys your Displeasure. Never ever hit or strike out at the bird. The Idea is to have the bird come to trust you and that is achieved by having trust and bond building sessions. I recently adopted a IRN (Bluey) who had very limited human contact (food and water changes only) and in less than a month Bluey is stepping up onto my finger. taking food from my hand and last night while training Delfin (my Alexandrine) Bluey flew to my hand and took a sunflower seed and flew back to the top of the cage. Bluey did this around 12 times.

the Alexandrine could be biting out of fear or aggression. By using this method you are showing the bird you want to be their friend and have no intention to harm and food is a great motivator. Do not stick your hand into their cage. This is an invasion of their territory, big no no. Also watch the eyes if the eyes are pinned then I would not put my hand near the bird as the bird could be over excited or aggressive either way you will most likely be bitten.

Anyway, first you need to find out what your Alexandrine favorite food is. I suggest that you put around five different foods on a plate.
these can be a couple of sun flower seeds, pumpkin seeds, corn kernels, pine seeds and a couple balls of millet. watching, see which one she eats first. this will be her favorite food. now that you know, you use this food as a training treat and you use it only for training.

I gather the bird is caged inside the house and probably in the living room. This is the method I used on my aviary bred IRN with great results. You will need a clicker. Once you have accomplish this method you will need to interact as much as possible with your bird.

Day one: When the bird is in the cage, enter the room and go to the furthest point from the cage with the clicker in your hand. Approach the cage until the bird shows signs of being alert and/or frighten. Stop and just stand there and wait until the bird relaxes. Then click the clicker once and take two to three steps back. Wait two to three minutes, then approach the cage again until the bird shows signs of being alert and/or frighten. But make sure you get a little closer. Stop and just stand there until the bird relaxes then click the clicker once and take two to three steps back. Repeat this method until you are standing next to the cage. This will take about 15 minutes to do. Then walk away. Wait for around 20 to 30 minutes and repeat this method until you can walk up to the cage without the bird being scared. This could take 7 to 9 times. Once you have done this. With the clicker sit next to the cage and eat some food and have a spray of millet with you. When the bird shows interest and approaches you offer the millet and wait. When the bird takes some of the millet click the clicker once.
Once the bird gets use to taking the millet replace it with training treat. Feed the bird through the cage. This can be done in one day. Remember to click the clicker once every time the bird take the training treat.

Day two: start by feeding the bird through cage. Do this for 10 to 15 minutes then wait 20 to 30 minutes. Open the cage door and offer training treats at the cage entrance. Be patient and remember to click the clicker once every time the bird take food. Do this for at least 7 to 8 times that day with 20 to 30 minutes breaks between.

Day three: open the cage door and get the bird to the entrance with training treats and remember to click the clicker once every time the bird take food. Now instead of using training treats you go back to the spray of millet. With the clicker and millet in the same hand and with your other hand make it into a pistol. Focus the birds attention onto the millet and bring the pistol hand up very slowly to the feet of the bird. Your finger must be parallel to the perch and level with the bird's feet. Do not touch the bird. Don't remove your pistol hand from this position. Now move the millet so it out of reach of the bird. The bird will have to step forward to get to the millet. Therefore stepping up onto finger. at first don't expect the bird to step up onto and/or stay on your finger at first and there is a possibility you could get bitten then again you might not. Do this for 10 to 15 minutes then wait 20 to 30 minutes and repeat this method again at least 7 to 8 times that day. You will need to continue doing this daily to reinforce the behaviour of stepping up.

Remember not to force the bird. The idea is to train the bird to do what you want without force.
after 3 to 6 months there is no valid reason to still get bitten. if this is happening then you should re-evaluate your training methods. I think people who quote patience after months and months of training and are still getting bitten are deluding themselves.

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Re: Alexandrine wont stop biting

Post by AJPeter » Wed Dec 25, 2013 2:21 pm

I am sure Zentoucan's way of training is the acceptable way, but all l can say is that my bird does not bite me now and has not done so for over a month, she has a very placid temperment and tries very hard to please me. I have had her for 4 months.

She will show her displeasure by clucking for instance when l put my hand in her cage, right from the beginning l did not want an automaton or performing circus type pet and believed that patience was the best approach, l think if people are generous in their attitude they will acknowledge there are different ways to train cage birds. These ways are only as successful as you want them to be.

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zentoucan
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Re: Alexandrine wont stop biting

Post by zentoucan » Thu Dec 26, 2013 12:14 am

Yesterday after I had finish training, Which is really a trust and bond building session not circus training. Bluey flew down and sat on the arm rest of the chair about 15 cm from my hand and chattered to me for around five minutes. That was until our tomcat walked out from behind the chair. Bluey took fright and flew back to the top of the cage. No we don't leave the cats and birds unsupervised. but I have watch Bluey chase off our female cat from her food. Bluey was quite aggressive too. I had never seen that side of Bluey before.
Yet Bluey or Delfin have never bitten me. I agree that there are many different ways to train a caged bird. But I believe in a training method that with patience, achieves the results that you want in a short timeframe. after all I have successfully achieved in having two birds that will step up, eat from my hands and fly to me when I call them, well at least until Bluey calls it a day. Delfin comes over to me and is crawling under my shirts, newspapers and has even tried crawl up my blankets. Delfin also likes keys.. a lot. This is good because Bluey is watching how Delfin is interacting with me. When I give the birds food I say what type of food it is, like "apple". Remember every interaction with your bird is a trust and bonding session and these need to be positive. if your Alexandrine is growling or clucking in displeasure when you're putting your hand into their cage. Then this is because the Alexandrine finds it un-acceptable that you are invading his/hers safe territory. Therefore this interaction would be a trust and bonding negative and you would be going backwards in the trust and bonding department. There might be people who feel that teaching birds tricks are belittling the bird. but guess what, the birds don't care and they are just happy to interact and please you and it builds trust and you're bonding with your bird and that's has to be a positive.

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Re: Alexandrine wont stop biting

Post by AJPeter » Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:33 pm

And as you say Zentoucan it is the time frame your method will produce good results in a short space of time. And newbies need to know the best way to train their birds.

l did not want to use a clicker or rewards for acceptable behaviour instead l just wanted my bird to inter react with me at her level, and now l have the mosts adoarable little bird with a mind of her own who trusts me. Enough said?

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InTheAir
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Re: Alexandrine wont stop biting

Post by InTheAir » Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:59 pm

Apologies, ErinSA, for taking your thread off track.
AJPeter wrote:And as you say Zentoucan it is the time frame your method will produce good results in a short space of time. And newbies need to know the best way to train their birds.

l did not want to use a clicker or rewards for acceptable behaviour instead l just wanted my bird to inter react with me at her level, and now l have the mosts adoarable little bird with a mind of her own who trusts me. Enough said?

AJPeter
Seriously, dude, I've just been watching my two birds regurgitating to feed each other. Nila does it to try to win over Sapphire. Sharing food is a parrot thing. Have you fed wild birds? More and more turn up when you do.
Whether someone uses a clicker or not it is not going to turn the parrot into an automaton. Teaching the parrot clear ways to communicate with humans helps build the birds confidence in people.

Seriously, if I tried your methods on my little aviary bred bird I would have a very scared and biting bird that does not understand me at all, instead of a confident little bird that doesn't bite and loves hanging out with me. Why would I spend months frightening her when I can find common interests that we share (like fruit) and use them to build a relationship and communication channels.

If you would like to preach acceptance of others methods, perhaps you should refrain from implying that training birds makes them like "automatons" or "circus animals". Not only is that inaccurate, but it is a bit insulting.
If you dislike training so much, maybe you should consider joining an animal liberation discussion group. Training and taming is always going to be forefront of a parrot forums, and positive reinforcement is one of the most popular ways of working with parrots.
Using force, whistles and spray bottles to "dominate" parrots is increasingly unpopular as people have noticed it doesn't work as well as rewards do.

zentoucan
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Re: Alexandrine wont stop biting

Post by zentoucan » Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:17 am

AJPeter wrote: but all l can say is that my bird does not bite me now and has not done so for over a month,
AJPeter
There must be another AJPeter .
Because I'm sure that I read a post on the 5th of December 2013 about a AJPeter been bitten by his bird yet again.

My birds are reaching new heights. Now when I get home from work Delfin and Bluey become so excited to see me and Delfin will fly to me unless he is playing with a toy but will always give a short squawk (A parrot hello) and Bluey will fly to the top of the cage and put his/her head to the side. squawk and lift his/her wings up together over the body. I been told that this gesture is a bird greeting. pretty cool. because my Partner and I work rostered hours and our three grown children are at home too. The birds will always have someone there 100% of the time and because everyone in the house interacts with the birds there is less chance of the birds becoming a one person bird. In the morning the birds are fed breakfast before they are allowed out. once out, the cage door is left open. we don't feed the birds outside the cage except for training treats when training. They are now entering the cages on their own to feed and to go to sleep. I can put my hand into a cage and Delfin or Bluey will step up onto my finger and I can then move them to a perch or the top of the cage.

Intheair
we use a spray bottle set to a fine mist and shower Delfin and Bluey with it and they absolutely love it. they spread their wings out so we can spray under their wings, then they turn around with their wings out then shake around, wag the tail feathers.
we use to feed rainbow lorikeets and had close to 150 on our balcony at one stage and it only started with 2.

ErinSA
there are many ways to train your bird I can only recommended the methods that I have used. I found clicker training works really well as it communicates and reinforces wanted behaviour. you can also use the words good boy or good girl. an example would be taking food from your hand. has Intheair posted teaching your Parrot clear ways to communicate with humans helps build the birds confidence in humans if you find a method that builds trust and bonds you and your birds then you're on the way to having a fantastic pet.
Good Luck and please give feedback

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InTheAir
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Re: Alexandrine wont stop biting

Post by InTheAir » Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:51 am

Zentoucan:believe it or not some people use spray bottles to punish birds, not give them baths.

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Re: Alexandrine wont stop biting

Post by AJPeter » Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:34 pm

Ouch!

Yes l hold my hand up that once l lost my temper and knocked Billie off her perch when she bit me, l also used a whistle to join in with her screaming, I am sure l have never used a spray bottle to punish Billie, and the 5th of December IS nearly a month ago.

Yes may l add my apologies ErinSA for taking your thread off track

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MissK
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Re: Alexandrine wont stop biting

Post by MissK » Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:16 pm

Let's put Erin back on track. Here's the original post:
Hello I have an Alexandrine female that won't stop biting,,bought her from people who did not want her anymore,she is about 2 years old?will she get better with time?
Erin, there are a lot of things about the situation you did not tell us, but I believe it is the rare bird who cannot be rehabilitated from biting. I think you have an extra advantage in that the bird has a new start in a new situation with you.

If you can, please describe the bird's overall living situation - how long have you had her, where's the cage, how big is it, what's inside, what does she eat, does she come out, does she bathe, does she play with toys, are there any other pets, who lives there too?

Also describe how she interacts with you - does she take food from your hand, tolerate you being near, step up, allow you to maintain the cage calmly, does she demonstrate any behaviour that might indicate an interest in nesting?

Please tell us a little bit about her physical being - are her wings clipped, has she been to the vet recently, does she act well or sick, are all her body parts present, healthy, and functioning, does she get 10-13 hours of quiet, dark, undisturbed sleep?

Most importantly, have you been able to discover what prompts the biting, and under what exact circumstance it occurs? Are you able to recognize actions or attitudes in the bird that predict a bite is coming?

You tell us everything you can think of about the current situation with you, and we will all try our best to understand the problem and make sensible recommendations.
-MissK

zentoucan
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Re: Alexandrine wont stop biting

Post by zentoucan » Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:50 pm

Yeah I know people used spray bottles to punish birds but they are set to spray a jet of water and these people then spray straight into the birds face. That sort of training is redundant. we use the fine mist setting and spray the bird body and they do enjoy it. I can do this because my birds trust me.

AJPeter I believe your math is incorrect if you posted on the 5th of December that you were bitten on the lip. bet that hurt, I wouldn't know. on the 25th of December you posted that haven't been bitten for over a month. the 5th to the 25th is 20 days which is less than 3 weeks, not over a month. Ouch
I never struck or hit my birds and Delfin and Bluey are not my first birds. in fact I have being dealing with birds for around 35 years so I'm not some newbie and have try a lot of different training methods and the latest method I have used works extremely well. I have noticed that over time, with research most things improve. The training techniques and methods from 35 years ago are so different from todays. I would be hesitate to take training advice from a person who has admitted to knocking their bird off the perch, using a whistle when the bird is squawking loudly or being bitten when interacting with the bird.

I'm not saying that the method I use will work on all birds. but I have told a few of my friends that have birds, this method and they have all had a various levels of success this is due time spent, results were achieved in three days to a fortnight.

Erin SA
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Re: Alexandrine wont stop biting

Post by Erin SA » Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:23 pm

Thank you for all the advice..I'm going to try my best to describe to you- she is in a large parrot cage when we are not home,2 days ago she finally stepped out of the cage and now sits on top,she has rope toys with beads ect,she loves shiny beads,she takes food very gently from my hand,she only bites when I bring my hand close to her and it is empty,she does not talk,but does make sounds when I talk to her,I have 3 children( no they do not come near the cage ) and we have a 6 month old IRN but he is in the kitchen and she is in the lounge,hope this gives a better idea ,thank you so much for all your replies, my husband says he is amazed at how patient I am with her,but even though I've only had her for a month I am already attached to her and do see some improvement in her behaviour,just think she needs to gain more trust in me

Erin SA
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Re: Alexandrine wont stop biting

Post by Erin SA » Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:32 pm

And yes she gets at least 9 hours of undisturbed sleep,I cover her cage partially,again thank you so much for the replies

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Re: Alexandrine wont stop biting

Post by AJPeter » Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:37 pm

Well done, keep working on the relationship between you and your Alex, already you are seeing an improvement. Try for a longer sleep period 12 to 14 hours
AJPeter

Erin SA
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Re: Alexandrine wont stop biting

Post by Erin SA » Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:41 pm

Thank you I will do

MissK
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Re: Alexandrine wont stop biting

Post by MissK » Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:55 pm

I agree, it doesn't sound bad. My thinking is that she just needs time to grow familiar and gain trust. Once the quarantine is over, if your IRN is a little farther along in being socialized to the family, he can literally show her how it's done.
-MissK

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Re: Alexandrine wont stop biting

Post by AJPeter » Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:45 pm

Billie has taken to biting again, l have noticed this goes in cycles of time, also l have noticed that if l take things slowly she understands and will watch me closely but not bite for instance to get the tray out l have to take out her toys and the water bowl, that is not dificult but her toys? Oh no if l plunge my hand in to grab a toy she will bite and not let go, l am not made of the stuff of heroes and will take my hand out with her hanging onto my finger how do you make her let go?
Howerver l discovered that fear is something they feed on, so now l approach her cage slowly telling her what l want to do, and giving encouraging signals slowly advancing on her toy she will let me take it out with out biting me. There are times when she is on my shoulder and somebody comes at the front door, so l lean towards the cage and shout off and when that does not work l speak softly, get off and eventual have to resort to the words "Big Stick!" Which usually works and if not l gently prise her off my shoulder with a spare perch. I bet some people will object.

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