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Old 03-24-2020, 11:50 PM
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Advice on how to curb biting?

So I have had Zazu (8 month old male peach faced) for about 3 months. He was very skittish of me and my hands but we have made good progress. I got him from someone who could not keep him with her flock because he was courting the females (at 4 months) and started getting aggressive with the males.

We had made great progress with stepping up and Although he was scared, he never made an effort to bit me. About a month ago, we hit a snag where my parents came over and my mom reached into the cage to grab him while I was in the other room. He was understandably freaking out and I was able to distance my mother from the cage, but it made an effect on him and trust was lost.

While I started again to rebuild, that trust, he no longer would step up on my hand (use my arm instead) he started biting.

It's been a month and a half, and he is at the point where he is comfortable around me, will actively sit on my knee and arm without treats and on his own and will actually sleep there or preen himself. He also actively seeks me out, especially when I am eating to see what I am doing. He does not sit on shoulder or head, but will walk there with treats occasionally. The social distancing is doing great for our bond as he is out almost the entire day now as I work in the same room.

The main issue I have currently is the biting. I know it will take time for him get used to my fingers (even though I would love to help him with his pin feathers on his head) and I am working on desensitizing him, but I was wondering if there was anything I could do towards random (in my opinion) acts of aggression. For example, he will walk across the table to my keyboard and actively try to bite at my hands. He will even walk around the keyboard past my fingers to get a better view at them. I would like to say its territorial behaviour but he doesn't do it all the time when I am typing . His feathers are not so close to his body like when he is afraid, but I haven't seen him (or another bird) angry so I cant tell the difference in body posture just yet. I use a target stick to get him away and treat him to try and distract him from it, but that doesn't seem to curb the behaviour.

I am trying desensitize him by moving my fingers slowly closer to him and using a clicker and giving him a treat when he relaxes. When he reaches to bite, I move my hand away. I remember reading somewhere to just let them bite and try not to give them a reaction , but I found that only made him more daring to try it again. I would love to do the thing where you use long sleeves to cover the hand, but he gets freaked out by it.

I apologize if this rambles a bit, but I know this will take time, but I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to curb this behaviour. Some bites are starting to actually bruise so I am not sure if that should be concerning or not.
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:02 AM
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Re: Advice on how to curb biting?

One effective method to teach NO BITE is to shun him. When bites occur, a firm No Bite and then placing the parrot on a chair back and totally ignore him ( no eye contact at all, let him see your back) for a minute, no longer ( the parrot will likely forget the incident if its longer) and then he can return to where he was. This is difficult with parrots that are flighted since they just fly back to you right away, so a LIGHT clip may be in order until he learns.

There should be no treats involved immediately after a bite, you are teaching him that a bite is the beginning of a reward sequence. Do not put him in his cage; that teaches him that to get to his cage he bites.

Shunning is very effective and most birds get it pretty quickly.
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:05 AM
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Re: Advice on how to curb biting?

BRAINSTORMING: Biting Parrots

You have to become a bird psychologist! He is trying to tell you something!
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