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Old 09-07-2013, 06:11 AM
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Mouthing OK?

I've only had my Eclectus for 3 weeks now and he is still really young. He is settling in nicely, however he does mouth a lot.

To be clear, it's biting with barely any pressure. I've been allowing this because I thought it would be good to show him biting is OK when it's soft, and not okay when it's hard. I don't really want to attempt to eliminate a natural parrot behavior and say 'no biting at all' because I thought that could be confusing and unnatural?

When I let him mouth me, he sometimes starts to add more and more pressure the longer he mouths my fingers, and when it gets to a point that I'm not happy with, I say 'No' and put him on the floor and ignore him for a couple of seconds.

Is this the right thing to do? Or should mouthing never be allowed? I would hate to be encouraging biting and don't want to ruin him.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:24 AM
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Re: Mouthing OK?

Maybe when he starts 'mouthing' you could substitute your fingers for an item that it is acceptable for him to bite, like some leather, wooden blocks, toys etc. That way he knows that it's ok to bite but only certain things and not your fingers.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:27 AM
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Re: Mouthing OK?

Thanks!
Yeah I have considered that, but using that method it doesn't teach the bird bite restraint, like soft/hard bites.

That to me is the same as 'no bite ever', and I just get concerned if he ever does bite, and doesn't know what pressure is acceptable, he could seriously hurt someone. That's a big beak he has! lol.
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:15 PM
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Re: Mouthing OK?

The biting or "beaking" is natural part of growing up. Usually their siblings or other immature flock mates would help them learn what is acceptable behavior (biting). yes you should help him learn what's acceptable within your flock. The beaking should not be discouraged. he's not being aggressive.
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Old 09-07-2013, 03:54 PM
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Re: Mouthing OK?

Quote: Originally Posted by henpecked View Post
The biting or "beaking" is natural part of growing up. Usually their siblings or other immature flock mates would help them learn what is acceptable behavior (biting). yes you should help him learn what's acceptable within your flock. The beaking should not be discouraged. he's not being aggressive.
This is good to know because Rio loves to put my fingers in her mouth. She isn't the slight bit aggressive when doing it either. She will bite me though if when I give her a toy, like a foot toy, if I hang on to it for too long. Lil bugger. She is 7 months old.
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:56 PM
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Re: Mouthing OK?

Quote: Originally Posted by SoCalWendy View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by henpecked View Post
The biting or "beaking" is natural part of growing up. Usually their siblings or other immature flock mates would help them learn what is acceptable behavior (biting). yes you should help him learn what's acceptable within your flock. The beaking should not be discouraged. he's not being aggressive.
This is good to know because Rio loves to put my fingers in her mouth. She isn't the slight bit aggressive when doing it either. She will bite me though if when I give her a toy, like a foot toy, if I hang on to it for too long. Lil bugger. She is 7 months old.
I think that's a case of just being over stimulated (excited). My pet of many years will bite me(too hard) sometimes when she gets to going crazy. But I play kind of rough with her too.
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:57 PM
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Re: Mouthing OK?

My greenwing macaw is a year old and has done the same exact thing since she was a baby. I have yet to run into a problem with it, although she does put a little too much pressure down on occasion. Her favorite thing to do is "hold my hand" while standing on one foot and being scratched behind her head.
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