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Help With Biting Parrots

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Author Topic: Help With Biting Parrots  (Read 15496 times)

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Lesley

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Re: Help With Biting Parrots
« Reply #40 on: March 02, 2011, 12:32:10 PM »

I dunno if it will help, but I wrap a towel around my arm when I want Flint to step up. 90% of the time he does it no problem, then on the odd occation he will really try taking a chunk out of the towel (one time he was so busy trying to bite it he was hanging upside down off my arm! - I wasnt prepared for that and wasnt quite sure what to do so just continued with him to the cage but he flew off before I got there).

He prefers to step up onto a towel anyway but its good protection for the arm as well. I only offer my bare arm when Flint is in an affectionate mood.
The towel also allows you to ignore the bite.

Might not be for everyone though.

My feet are another matter altogether - cant exactly wrap them up in towels to go about the house  :rofl:
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dcaudill

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Re: Help With Biting Parrots
« Reply #41 on: May 26, 2011, 11:24:32 PM »

I have to wrap my arm in a towel too, not only because of the biting but I got tired of looking like I ran my arm through a thorn patch...those little claws are sharp!

How do you go about making a 4.5 month old Congo to stop biting? I know he doesn't understand he hurts, but still..geez.
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Liz

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Re: Help With Biting Parrots
« Reply #42 on: May 27, 2011, 06:47:00 AM »

I say a firm no and put her on her stand and leave her for a while. She got the message
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seanthesheep

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Re: Help With Biting Parrots
« Reply #43 on: May 27, 2011, 07:17:47 AM »

I agree with Liz a firm No, it worked for mine
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Greg Glendell

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Re: Help With Biting Parrots
« Reply #44 on: June 05, 2011, 05:27:13 PM »

I have to wrap my arm in a towel too, not only because of the biting but I got tired of looking like I ran my arm through a thorn patch...those little claws are sharp!

How do you go about making a 4.5 month old Congo to stop biting? I know he doesn't understand he hurts, but still..geez.

Hi,
You just calmly walk away from the bird each and every time this happens; you leave the room and close the door behind you.  Don't do *anything* to the bird.  Never say 'No', never return it to the cage; just remove *yourself* and everyone else from the sight of the bird for a few minutes.  If the biting persists, ask the bird to accept the use of a hand-held stick as a perch and use this to carry him with you.  Use reward-based training when teaching  'step-up' onto a stick.   

 
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Greg Glendell
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pinky

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Re: Help With Biting Parrots
« Reply #45 on: June 05, 2011, 07:16:33 PM »

Hi Greg, I have done this a few times after Casper ( not hand tame) has lunged and nearly made contact. All I could hear after a short period of silence was ' come on, come on, what ya doin!!!' in a plaintive voice hahaha. I went back in and carried on as normal once he was quiet. I have to say he remained very bemused with me for ages afterwards so it must have made him think
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Jo

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Re: Help With Biting Parrots
« Reply #46 on: June 10, 2011, 06:00:19 AM »

I say a firm
no and put her

 on her stand and leave her for a while. She got the message

That's the rule of thumb for us too, a firm no and onto stand for a wee while, it gives a clear message and seems to do the trick  :thumbsup:
Jo Charlie and Dexter
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Greg Glendell

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Re: Help With Biting Parrots
« Reply #47 on: June 10, 2011, 08:10:37 AM »

Hi Charlie,
I'd like to know what you think about the use of applied behaviour analysis methods in working with parrots. 

I'm not saying the use of aversive methods does not 'work' (because they do).  But the point is the *effect* these methods can have on birds.  It's like the difference between shouting and admonishing a small child when it does somethng 'wrong' or offering a less confrontational response instead.   The use  of aversive methods on birds tends to make nervous ones more fearful, or aggressive ones more confrontational.   This is why I suggest a bird's behaviour is never contested.  But instead we use more bird-friendly methods.  Use of 'No' implies a bird has made a 'mistake'.  But birds cannot make errors; they react to things as their instincts and learnt behaviours tell them to.  So, if a bird bites, the 'error' (the reason why it bit) is *always* with the person the bird was interacting with, and not the 'fault' of the bird.  A bird can never be at fault.   

Where a bird is co-operative and friendly; this again is due to the way people interact with it; it works both ways. 


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Greg Glendell
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geffsgrey

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Re: Help With Biting Parrots
« Reply #48 on: June 10, 2011, 10:30:42 AM »

Its Carrot or Stick approach, do you hit with the stick or feed the carrot, I know which one I would choose to be taught by, and too teach.
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Re: Help With Biting Parrots
« Reply #49 on: January 03, 2012, 10:53:21 PM »

my bird franie, is 19 weeks and he has suddley started to lunge and bite my husband to the point where blood has been drawn, i have tried with the telling of the no and the putting him back in the cage nither has wored
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Pat

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Re: Help With Biting Parrots
« Reply #50 on: January 03, 2012, 11:30:07 PM »

By reacting to the bite you are encouraging him.  Parrots don't know good or bad attention, they just know attention and how to get it, so he bites, you say no and he gets to go home!  Don't use his cage as a punishment otherwise he will soon learn not to go in there and be a devil to get home, always make it a fun place to go, give him a treat when you put him in.  If he bites your husband, put him back onto a perch or something, say nothing, turn your back and walk away.  He's only young and at the moment he is either asserting his authority, or he is choosing his best friend.  Either way, biting isn't acceptable so try not to react and yeah, I know it's difficult, but maybe a firm "No!" then put him back onto a perch somewhere and walk away.  See how that goes, but if he is favouring you over your husband, then ........ that's the way of the Grey I'm afraid, you'll have to try and get your husband to do the nice things, maybe when you are out of the room or something.  I've got two Greys, one is ok and one I can't get near, it's just the way they are, but at 19 weeks, he's rather young to be choosing his favourite, I would say he's trying to assert authority and trying it on.

Greg Glendell

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Re: Help With Biting Parrots
« Reply #51 on: January 15, 2012, 06:00:27 PM »

By reacting to the bite you are encouraging him.  Parrots don't know good or bad attention, they just know attention and how to get it, so he bites, you say no and he gets to go home!  Don't use his cage as a punishment otherwise he will soon learn not to go in there and be a devil to get home, always make it a fun place to go, give him a treat when you put him in.  If he bites your husband, put him back onto a perch or something, say nothing, turn your back and walk away.  He's only young and at the moment he is either asserting his authority, or he is choosing his best friend.  Either way, biting isn't acceptable so try not to react and yeah, I know it's difficult, but maybe a firm "No!" then put him back onto a perch somewhere and walk away.  See how that goes, but if he is favouring you over your husband, then ........ that's the way of the Grey I'm afraid, you'll have to try and get your husband to do the nice things, maybe when you are out of the room or something.  I've got two Greys, one is ok and one I can't get near, it's just the way they are, but at 19 weeks, he's rather young to be choosing his favourite, I would say he's trying to assert authority and trying it on.

Hi Pat and anyone with a biting bird.
I think we need to be *very careful* about using emotive phrases like a bird 'asserting its authority' and suggesting any unwanted behaviour be contested by saying 'No' to the birds etc.  These methods are not grounded in an objective approach, and hark back to the horrible article at the start of this thread some years ago. 

I would implore anyone who interacts with any animal to have a reasonable grasp of the main principles of applied behaviour analysis.  By this means you can ensure two things
1. You will not be unintentionally reinforcing any *unwanted* behaviour (which is *extremely common* in pet parrot owners) and

2. that you will be able to work with your bird in the most bird-friendly way possible. 

We need to remember these points as well:
3. Parrots are not 'designed' to be 'pets' like other domesticated animals; they come with all their wild-type behavioural needs, and will strive desperately to carry these out, regardless of how little their carers understand the reason for doing so. 

4.  Where a bird has been hand-reared, it will have been deprived of its normal parental care and will, to put it crudely, be pretty screwed up even before you acquire it.  Such birds will be mal-imprinted onto humans, both socially and sexually.  The *sexual* componant of imprinting lies dormant within the bird's brain until it reaches sexual maturity, for greys this is usually at 2 to 3 years old.  At this point, a h-reared bird will tend to reject being treated as a 'baby' and the parent/baby relationship you may have had with it will end.  Instead, it will likely change its favoured person from a 'friend', to wanting a sexual 'mate'.  So it is likely to dump its first favoured person and find someonme else it can 'mate' with.  You can blame breeders for this behaviour, if the bird was deprived of its parents while very young.     

When offering suggestions for overcoming unwanted behaviours, such as biting, self-plucking etc.  I do feel we should keep to objective, proven methods grounded in the science of behaviour, rather than anecdotal advice. 

Remember, we cannot force a bird to 'like' one person as their favourite person over another.  The bird *will* decide for itself, and it has this 'right' as an adult bird. 

Where  biting occurs and the bird likes you, then say and do *nothing* other than turn your back on the bird and leave the room and stay out for a few minutes.   Adult birds will defend their (sexual) interest in their favoured person, and challenging this is usualy counter-productive; it gets the bird even more worked up and actually reinforces the behaviour one is trying to reduce. 

Non-favoured persons may, with reward-based training) be able to handle the bird so long as its favoured person is not around at the time.  Such handling should be done with great care; the bird is best moved around on a hand-held stick perch, not your hand.  It is best not to attempt to interact directly with the bird; you are likely to be bitten.  If you are bitten you have made a mistake. 

Birds are not 'moral' beings with some nice code of ethics. Their behaviours are determined by how we care for them, combined with their (often desperate) urges due to the frustrations inherent in captivity. 

So, my plea is this: please don't think of words like 'domination' and 'authority'.  Instead think of how you, as a bird's carer can use *bird-friendly methods* to ask your bird to do (or not do) certain behaviours.  If you *can* devise incentives (rewards/consequencies of behaviurs) then you can change a bird's behaviours without using forceful, coercive methods. 



 



 
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Greg Glendell
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Nikki

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Re: Help With Biting Parrots
« Reply #52 on: January 15, 2012, 06:42:30 PM »

I have been following this thread with interest as I have a parrot who seems to go out of his way to bite me.  He will stalk me on the floor to attack my feet.

Billy is we think around 14 years old and we have had him for almost 3 years now.  He will shout on me, talk to me and take food from me through the cage.  He also lets me touch him down his back when he is on the perch.

He will not step up for me and I have to use a stick for him to step up with a plastic bottle with the bottom cut out over my hand to protect me from being bitten.  When Billy bites he bites hard and continues to "chew" until he's finished. 

He is much better with my partner and will step up for him no problem most of the time.  If he is out of the cage and I offer him a treat he will most likely lunge at my hand rather than take the treat.  I sometimes think Billy wants to be ok with me but he is unsure and maybe it's because I am unsure of him?

I really want to try and remedy this as best I can and any advice would be much appreciated   :thumbsup:
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Greg Glendell

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Re: Help With Biting Parrots
« Reply #53 on: January 15, 2012, 08:22:39 PM »

Hi Nikki,
Ity sounds as though your bird prefers your partner and that is his choice.   If he was hand-reared he may be human-imprinted,and percieves men to be of the opposite sex to him  (regardless of the *actual* sex).   

I do not think you can force the bird to prefer you to your partner.  So, I would only handle him when your parner is not present and even then with caution, as you do already. 
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Elizabeth

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Re: Help With Biting Parrots
« Reply #54 on: September 17, 2012, 05:34:15 AM »

I want ti thank the op for the link. Reading the article turned on a light in my head.
Yes, I can realize part of my (tiny compared to many) issues are exactly that I allow Mr Huxley to be in control, since I am not certain..
DUNB!
 So  iwill stop being passive.
The one area I can realize this is petting him. He growls now the moment I reach to pet. i had stopped becuse i though well he does not like it. But he LOVED it at the store, and the first two days.
So it seems to be a control issue. And I will just go ahead and pet him if I want. "I am in charge"..
I alos odred the person's book from Amazon. And another top rated one.
Those should help me some.
Thanks again for the link from the op..
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FeatherMonkey

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Re: Help With Biting Parrots
« Reply #55 on: September 17, 2012, 08:56:29 AM »

Having not read the article in question...

Mmm flock animals don't control others now greys are bossy, obstinate and intelligent and are more than happy training there owners for a treat or attention or a bit of noise making.

My concern is growling this is the final warning/threat and I am going to bite, it should of stopped way before growling, I also suspect a fluffing up making himself as big as possible.

I suspect you're missing you're introducing something new to him, that at the moment is still a threat! Maybe a bangle, a bracelet, a ring, new nail varnish mine generally hate nail varnish because they don't get to see it, but whilst I agree being firm, consistent is better. It should be positive and some days they just don't want to be touched. I have a game with Hickory of from the toes to the nose where I flick her feathers up, if she's in a grouchy mood I just don't play they are allowed to set the ground rules. If they have some control you'll find a better relationship with them the only thing in the wild that forces them to do anything is a predator.

I get what Greg is saying about no but it can be a positive reinforcement and should be, it means stop what you're doing, but it won't fix things. I actually have an example that is kind of working for me, my 2 do fight and have been worse this year. We have a trouble spot, that when together it can escalate quickly so using it to our advantage, we put them together no and nicely is used but we know what really is going to change the behaviour is rewarding them for playing nicely not all the no's and nicely so when it calms we feed them lots of treats.
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Stef/Stefan

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Re: Help With Biting Parrots
« Reply #56 on: October 23, 2012, 02:09:27 AM »

I found the beginning of the article very useful.  Darwin was also hand tame since hatching.  About 6 months ago he started showing aggression towards my hubby, so no biggy, I became the primary care giver.  But now I can't get Darwin to step up for me either.....if he is in his cage or on it I have to convince him with fresh fruit or veggies to go where I want him to go.  If he is away from the cage he's like butter in my hand.  I have tried to tempt him with sunflower seeds to step up, tried the two hand technique as mentioned in the article, and today he bit me a good one.  Darwin is now 18 months old and I do not want this behavior to continue.  Is there anything else I can do to show him that I am the boss not him and when I request him to step up in or on his cage I need him to do it on command?  Any thoughts or suggests would be greatly appreciated.
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Clare liverpool

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Re: Help With Biting Parrots
« Reply #57 on: November 06, 2012, 01:24:31 PM »

I found this article to be really helpful.
Once the laddering technique is used and it works, do you then give them a treat or not? Thanks
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aytenb

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Re: Help With Biting Parrots
« Reply #58 on: June 28, 2013, 01:50:59 PM »

I found this Article really interesting since my Parrot is Anti-Social with all the Family apart from my Mum, she works a lot though and i'd love to be able to reward and interact with him daily. Does anyone have any tips how we could make a bond stronger towards our Grey? I'm not wanting to pick him up and for him to be around me constantly, i just want him to know that we aren't a threat to him and we can feed him without him trying to nip us or be scared. I let him out often but it takes at least half an hour to try and put him back.. :(
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lionel

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Re: Help With Biting Parrots
« Reply #59 on: October 26, 2013, 12:21:39 AM »

Hi all, I have a huge problem with my parrot when it comes to biting for many years now. I've had my parrot since I was about 3, 4 or 5. The day my parrot arrived into my house is one of the earliest memories of my life and I'm 22 now. I have never stroked my parrot while she is out of its cage and I have never been able to hold her on my hand. While she is in her cage she'll let me stroke her though she has a tendency to sometimes move her beak towards my hand and I'll pull back thinking she is going to bite. Ones I did not do that as an experiment because I noticed that my parrot bites my parents extremely gently and she actually bit me and did not let go. Only when I give her food is she very careful not to bite my fingers or my hand. While she is out of her cage I have tried to give her food and then stroke her but if I put my hand anywhere near her she'll drop the food and stalk. Only my parents, my uncle and auntie have been able to gain the full trust of my parrot. I tried again tonight to get my parrot to come onto my hand and she just latched onto my biting it as hard as she could and even scratched me with her claws. I thought she was trying to climb on so I kept my hand there till I noticed the aggression. When I tried to shake her off she continued holding on until I shook more wildly.I'm not weak but I bruise very easily and heal very slowly so whenever I get bit I stay away from my parrot for a while.

I would really appreciate some advice that's applicable to my case baring in mind that I know this parrot for at least 16 years and have never succeeded in gaining her trust. I've tried following general advice on how to stop parrots with no success
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