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Old 01-17-2019, 04:01 PM
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Unhappy Young Lovebird biting issues...

Hello, first off, please forgive me if this is not the right way to begin a thread - this is my first time using a forum and I am just looking for some advice. Anyways, the issue is regarding my new peach faced lovebird, Darby. I got him from a pet shop, but not a large chain like PetCo, a small business called BirdHut where they seemed to me to take good care of their birds from what I saw while I was there. Darby is young, although I can't say exactly how young. He had a tiny bit of that dark color they have on their beaks, and this went away within a few days, I have had him for about two weeks now, and so far he has been adjusting pretty well as far as chirping and walking around his cage and checking everything out. I should add that I already have a budgie named Avery who is almost a year old. I have let the two of them meet, which ended with Avery giving him some pretty gnarly toe bites and making it clear that he does not wish to be friends, so I haven't done that again. He was initially very reluctant to let me pet him, and would back away when my hand came near. Here is the problem: he just recently stopped backing away and started showing curiosity instead of fear when I reached in to get him to step up - curiosity that freaking hurts. He bites, and very hard. I tried my hardest to endure and ignore the biting, but it seems like he is trying to test how hard he can bite into my skin. Here's the thing - I know he is a baby, and I know that this is, in large part, him teething and exploring like a normal baby, but I am at a loss as to what to do so it does not become something that he sees as okay or a "rewarded behavior". If I just ignore it, it makes no difference because he isn't paying attention to me while doing it. It is like an obsession with him, and I have stopped trying to get him to step up because I know it will just be hard bites and I am a human with nerves, not a lifeless cuttlebone, damnit! I am worried because he is so innocent and needy right now, and I feel like a meanie because I am not giving him that attention he needs because of this,

Thank you in advance for anyone willing to share their thoughts or advice here. It is deeply troubling to me as my birds are literally my life.

Casey





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Old 01-17-2019, 07:30 PM
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Re: Young Lovebird biting issues...

2 weeks is too soon to expect to be able to even touch your bird, honestly. Yes, when people get babies, they can and do, but yours was not a young baby (in all likelihood- plus, even people who get young babies go through a time-period where they aren't as easy going as they used to be). Stop rushing the relationship---I know it is agonizing, but no matter your intentions, birds are SLLLLLOOOOOWWWW...so, if you think 2 weeks is long enough, up that to 2 months..etc etc. I adopted a re-homed Umbrella Cockatoo and she knew how to step up but (barring day 1 when I removed her from the travel cage) she didn't step up for 3 months. She wouldn't let me touch her without getting nippy/jerking her head etc for 1-2. Do quiet things near her and try to let her see you putting treats in the dish. See if, over time, she will take food from your hand etc, but you really need to slow down. It will take much longer than you expect, but with patience, your bird will come around.
His cage is his safe-place--- you are invading it.
Let him show interest in you--if you can, leave the door open and allow him to come out and return on his own (only if it can be done safely). Do not initiate the interaction --let your bird come to you a bit more.

Last edited by noodles123; 01-17-2019 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:39 PM
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Re: Young Lovebird biting issues...

I wouldn't have pushed it if he wasn't showing curiosity in me as well, but I understand your concerns with taking it too fast. I want to stress that the bites are not in a territorial type way - at least it doesn't appear to be that way, more of a "what is this?" using his beak. No lunging at me or anything like that, and he does this in or out of the cage. I am glad to hear that it takes a lot of time, it makes me feel much less panicked about creating bad behaviors before they really stick and whatnot. I was leaving his cage door open at first, and he was coming out, but flying right to my parakeet's cage to socialize with him, but I read on one of these Lovebird sites that I should not do this, that I should teach him to step up and I take him out. I mean I don't know, I am just trying to do everything the right way and there is so much contradiction on the internet. Some sites say to under no circumstances do a certain thing and the next will encourage that same thing. I will definitely step back and let things happen at a slower pace with the knowledge that things happen over time with lovebirds, thanks for the advice.

Last edited by AveryDarby; 01-17-2019 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:14 AM
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Re: Young Lovebird biting issues...

When he bites you move his beak away with you thumb or another finger or gently jerk your hand but keep it there, without making any noise. This is to to show him that its not ok but also by not taking away your hand completely you are showing that you are in control. Give him some stuff to chew on so he gets his beak stimulation.
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