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Old 01-28-2006, 06:26 PM
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Aggressive change

First I would like to say this is an awsome forum and I have refered to it many times with great success. I have had my Severe Macaw for about 3 weeks today, Duffy is a 9 yo male he has had 2 prior owners the first a male for about 6 years and a female with children for about 3 years. He lived for 7 mo in the females law firm which was predominantly women, we did alot of homework before we purchased him and know the pitfalls of getting an older bird. When we first got him he LOOOOOOOOVVVVEDD my wife and tolerated me but he would hang out with me but would scream sometimes to get my wife to come get him. I was only able to be around him for 1 week I am a cop and I had to go to a school for 2 weeks the night I returned as I expected he was aggressive towards me charging etc... but before the night was over he was hanging out with me again. NOW this is were it get wierd the next day he is all over me loving me kissing me beak rubbing talking to me more than he has ever done my wife. Then it gets stranger when he begins to charge my wife and biting her severely twice (drew blood). I am at a loss for ideas, a note I have a sinus infection and have been sniffing and coughing alot I thought Duffy was mocking me by sniffing and making nasaly noises could he be sick? and just acting out? As I sit here typing this Duffy is hanging out with me and when my wife sat down next to me Duffy made a point to go to her charging her and trying to bite her.
Any help would be appreciated,
Rick
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Old 01-29-2006, 08:23 AM
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Re: Aggressive change

Hey Rick,

Nice that you considered adopting an older bird. And as you know, they come with baggage!
First of all, the fact that Duffy has only been with you for three weeks makes your post a classic example of the adjustment that new birds make when they come to live with a new family. So often you'll hear that a bird "only likes women, or only likes men." I believe that birds like individuals and not genders. It's hard to explain the workings of a bird's mind, but as humans find certain people more attractive or likeable, so do animals. This can be based upon the interactive time that is spent with the bird and not necessarily the one who is the primary caretaker and provides the food, water, etc.
Also as you mentioned, they can change overnight or very quickly when it comes to who will be the object of their affection. Duffy has decided that you're the one the he/she want's to shower with affection at this point. This could change again, and your wife may be back in his good graces as fast as he turned to you.
If you are holding him and he lashes out at your wife, he's telling her to back off as he sees you as his "mate."
It's going to take time for Duffy to try to work this out in his head as to whom he seems to prefer, but each of you should try to interact with him as much as possible on an individual basis, and if need be, when the other is out of sight of him. This will give him an opportunity to have time with each of you and develop a relationship with both. There are no guarantees that he will love you both equally or even tolerate one more than the other.
He's been through a lot and time and patience is what's going to work the best for him as well as you and your wife.
Granted, he's older, but even some birds that are acquired at a very young age develop strong feelings towards one member of the family, and there are others that find everyone that they live with or ever meet equally special. It's the individual bird and not necessarily how it was raised or how it's being raised at the present time.
Continue with personal interaction from both of you and see what develops.
Because of his short time living with you, you will probably see many new and differse sides to Duffy over the next few months. Also, his age indicates that his/her hormones are very active at this time as he's reached sexual maturity.
Knowing that birds are flock animals, this will help you to understand that if he was with another bird, he would protect her as his own, also.
As far as his making sounds similar to you being sick, that is most likely just him imitating what he's heard. Bird do not cough, but do have the abilty to sneeze, and most respiratory infections are unable to be passed to your bird by you.
Good luck and I hope that you and your wife have a great life with Duffy.
Don't hesitate to ask for more help and I'm sure the others will be along to give you their take on the matter.

Michael
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Old 01-29-2006, 08:24 AM
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Re: Aggressive change

Quote:
by sniffing and making nasaly noises could he be sick?
That would be hard to say without seeing/hearing the bird. My own birds imitate any noice that is made. Some signs of illness would be staying fluffed up alot of the time, sleeping on two feet, actual sneezing with watery discharge, and abnormal poop. Those are some of the indications of a sick bird. As far as what is normal and abnormal poop, read this:

HTML Code:
http://alisonsavianrescue.homestead.com/Information.html#anchor_55
Now for the aggression. You cannot allow the bird to get away with that sort of aggressive behavior, or it will only worsen until you have a bird that nobody is going to be able to handle. When the bird charges, tell him 'NO!' in a firm voice. If he does not stop, then you need tell him he is being bad and put him in his cage for a time out. When he comes back out of the cage, watch him carefully and be ready to repeat the process over and over until the bird realizes that attacking his humans is going to result in a time out. Never show your bird fear, they feed on it. Your bird may decide that he like some people and not others, but you cannot let him attack those he dislikes. He must learn to at least tolerate all who live in your home, period. I would start with that and see how things work.
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Old 01-29-2006, 08:55 AM
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Re: Aggressive change

Firstly welcome to the forum

The aggressive behaviour cannot and must not be tolerated both for your wifes sake and the sake of Duffy. A firm NO whenever he does this and time out in the cage will usually do the trick, but it is going to take time.

When I first got Bucc, he was a mama's boy at all times, wouldn't even bother with the rest of the family, Then one day he started attacking my hubby, going for his ears, this lasted for a while each time he got a firm NO and time out, hubby spent weeks interacting with him, Now he is a year old and he has decided that he is my bird during the day when hubby is at work, but he is hubby's when he is at home, in the evenings. I know there is an age difference here but I'm just wanting to show that things do work out and that they will take time.

The biting and charging MUST STOP now, and the firm NO usually works. Good luck with this, let us know how you are getting on.

Pictures always go down well here.
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Old 01-29-2006, 12:27 PM
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Re: Aggressive change

Thanks for all the advise, I believe that you all hit on a good point TIME is the thing that will decide his attitude. I will be bugging you guys regularly for advise so that someday mabey I can help some poor bird sucker like myself lol. Another question I have is Duffy has begun to rub and tap his beak on things ie I sat him on the bed while I packed to go back to school today and he spent the whole time walking around rubbing his beak on the sheets I have read that this means he has something trapped in his beak I have looked as best he will let me but I can see nothing there anyideas?
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Old 01-29-2006, 12:58 PM
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Re: Aggressive change

Duffy is sure a good looking bird, As far as rubbing his beak, bucc does it all the time, on anything but usually my hair and after he has just eaten, Lovely. You are welcome to "Bug" us anytime, there is always someone who is able to help, and we now have some very knowledgeable people here. I think with time and the Firm NO and lots of love he will be fine and this will be his last home. Good luck

Thanks for sharing Duffy's picture.
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Old 01-29-2006, 03:06 PM
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Re: Aggressive change

Quote:
Duffy has begun to rub and tap his beak on things ie I sat him on the bed while I packed to go back to school today and he spent the whole time walking around rubbing his beak on the sheets I have read that this means he has something trapped in his beak I have looked as best he will let me but I can see nothing there anyideas?

Duffy is a good looking bird!
As far as the beak/face rubbing, it could indicate that he's having an issue with something being lodged, but it might just be a way that he satisfies an itch. I don't believe birds "mark" their territory and he might just enjoy the feel of different textures such as the blanket or sheet?
By the way...do you know for certain if Duffy is a boy or a girl?

Michael
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Old 01-29-2006, 07:24 PM
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Re: Aggressive change

Thanks for the compliment Duffy thinks hes a fine looking bird as well and reminds me by getting in my ear and telling me "Duffys a pretty bird" lol. Today he seemed to really come out of his shell, he began to sing and squawk but he was still aggressive towards my wife we used the no command but he is a bit on the hard headed side so it will take time. As far as male or female we are going on what we were told we are not really sure but the idea of DNA checking has crossed my mind.
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Old 01-29-2006, 08:16 PM
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Re: Aggressive change

Wow! Duffy is HANDSOME!

Great pic!
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Old 01-29-2006, 10:10 PM
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DNA Testing for Duffy

Not sure if you're familiar with DNA testing, but you can do it yourself if you are willing.
It can be done with a blood card, whereby you collect some blood from a toenail that you cut, or you can use breast feathers, also.
Avian Biotech is one of the best and easiest labs to use.
Blood tesing $19.50, Feather sexing $24.50.
They send you what you need to do it if you contact them.
www.avianbiotech.com

If you don't have the desire to do it yourself, you avian vet can do it, also.
Much more pricey, but for one bird, not so bad.

Michael
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