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blue04 02-14-2014 06:26 AM

please help I am lost as what to do.
I bought a young african grey 5 weeks ago (15 weeks old) after a week I was able to handle him out of his cage & he was a real pleasure having lots of cuddles & sitting with me playing. Last week I had him out of the cage & straightaway he drops his wings & pants as if he is excited & flaps his wings hard without flying he then nips & bites very hard drawing blood. I have followed advice by not reacting looking at him stern & returning him to his cage for timeouts all to no avail. I rang & spoke to the breeder he came from who explained this was normal bonding behaviour & he is asking to be fed & with me not reacting he will dispaly the above behaviour. I have since tried several times having little bits of fruit available etc as soon as he come out, he is not interested however & continues HELP!

Anansi 02-14-2014 04:59 PM

Re: please help I am lost as what to do.
Hello, Blue04, and welcome to the forum. I have an eclectus, not a grey, but I remember that my boy got VERY nippy when he was between 3 and 4 months old. Apparently, the weaning process put him in a perpetually cross mood. I just had to ride it out, and by 4.5 months, Bixby was a complete sweetheart.

So far as the biting is concerned, best thing to do is watch his body language. if he is standing on your hand when he decides to take a bite, use the wobble technique to dissuade him. This should not be done with enough force to dislodge him from your hand/arm as that could damage the trust between you. Just enough of a shake to slightly threaten his balance. Eventually, he will begin to associate hard biting with an unpleasant loss of balance.

And anytime he does manage to clamp on with his beak, don't pull away. But rather move into the bite. If your other hand is free, grab his beak gently, but firmly, with the thumb and forefinger to dislodge him. If your other hand isn't free, then he must be perched on you. So, wobble technique!

Also, you might want to start target training him. And, if he's fully flighted, flight training him. In Bixby's case, this served the dual purpose of working off his excess energy and giving him something upon which to focus his intellect.

Eclectus, and greys reportedly even moreso, are highly intelligent birds. And with such high intelligence can come boredom, which can lead to frustration. Challenging them with new learning opportunities gives them a constructive focus for their energy and their highly active minds. And as a result, gives them something to do other than biting you.

Patience, Blue. Patience, persistence and consistence will get you and your grey through this. Likely with an even deeper bond than you currently have. Please keep us updated on your progress.

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