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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 11-08-2015, 04:19 PM
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Re: BRAINSTORMING: Biting Parrots

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I completely agree. When a parrot bites you, really any response is a good response for them. They only seek attention and negative attention is just as good for them. Parrots are weird, huh?
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Old 11-08-2015, 04:29 PM
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Re: BRAINSTORMING: Biting Parrots

Quote: Originally Posted by Anansi View Post
If the reason isn't already readily apparent, reviewing the interaction to see why the bite occurred.

That's exactly it! Figuring out why the bite occurred and, if possible, a way to avoid getting bitten again in the future. What can we do differently to avoid the bite? Was there any way to determine that the bird was about to bite? Was it something we accidentally did that resulted in the bite? Or was there something in the environment that resulted in the bird biting?


Thinking about the situation and reviewing the events that happened so that we can better read and understand our birds, thus avoiding bites and creating a stronger relationship.
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Old 12-08-2015, 03:04 PM
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Re: BRAINSTORMING: Biting Parrots

I received a hard nip last night when I was putting Pépe into his cage at bedtime. The first mistake I made was in getting him to bed much later than usual. He hates going to bed, and he'd fallen asleep on my tummy, so I let him stay there until Daddy came home late from work (yeah, we're THOSE pet owners — "Daddy's home!" We don't have kids, as you can probably tell.)

Pépe turned, squeaked, and nipped my finger as his body crossed the threshold into the cage, then did it again, fairly hard for him. He has never bitten me very hard, and still didn't draw blood or leave a mark. This one hurt, though.

I stupidly let out a surprised, aggravated "AAAH!" and left Pépe in his cage. Then I turned to my husband and said, thinking aloud, "Now I can't cover the cage, because he'll think of it as punishment. Maybe I shouldn't even close the door. It wasn't THAT bad. I shouldn't have yelled, that was foolish." (I often say things like this out loud to help my husband learn.)

I ended up leaving him in the cage (Pépe, not my husband), and we sort of hung around and behaved normally for a little while before covering the cage and making the usual "good night" sounds. We always softly tell him good night in Hawaiian and English, which calms him down and tells him it's sleeping time.

What I learned is what I already knew: Don't react! That it happened at bedtime added an extra element of "oops, I messed that up," because we didn't want that to be his last interaction with us that day.

And I need to get the poor bird to bed earlier. He was sleepy and cranky and didn't like being woken up and then told to go to sleep again right away. Also, he likes to stay up late, which is a topic for another post.
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Old 12-23-2015, 09:53 AM
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Re: BRAINSTORMING: Biting Parrots

Quote: Originally Posted by Anansi View Post
Thank you! The myth that you just ignore the bite and give no reaction just kills me. It's true that we shouldn't give a big, animated reaction, as that could become a reward of sorts in and of itself, but allowing yourself to become a chew toy is both unnecessary and largely ineffective.
This is all kind of a relief to read because I just concluded on my own that the "ignore the biting" advice from my parrot behavior book wasn't working. My girl is young and seems to enjoy chomping different substances, including flesh, to strengthen her beak and test boundaries. (Those are the motivations as they "seem" to me -- who knows really?)

Now I dip my hand (if she's on it), say "Easy" in warning tone, and try to redirect her beak to a toy. If she is intent on flesh I take her to her perch (she's only in her cage to sleep) and walk away, keep my back turned to her for a while. So far this hasn't completely cured yet but it hasn't been long and it's improved things.
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Old 12-23-2015, 10:53 AM
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Re: BRAINSTORMING: Biting Parrots

It sounds like you're approaching it just right to me. Depending on the inherent stubbornness of your bird, it might take a while to get the behavior completely under control. But consistency in both the consequences of bad behavior and the rewarding of good behavior will eventually yield positive results.
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Old 01-10-2016, 06:58 PM
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Re: BRAINSTORMING: Biting Parrots

Quote: Originally Posted by ManuIki View Post
What I learned is what I already knew: Don't react! That it happened at bedtime added an extra element of "oops, I messed that up," because we didn't want that to be his last interaction with us that day.
I don't believe that "not reacting" is a very good idea. Sure, you don't want to reward the bird for doing this behavior, but at the same time, you don't want to ignore it.

Rather than not reacting, you should have tried to calmly get the bird off of you, then think about how to avoid the situation in the future by figuring out the cause of the bite.

From the sounds of it, you already know why it happened, so you may be able to better avoid another bite in the future.




Quote: Originally Posted by Ginnybird View Post
This is all kind of a relief to read because I just concluded on my own that the "ignore the biting" advice from my parrot behavior book wasn't working. My girl is young and seems to enjoy chomping different substances, including flesh, to strengthen her beak and test boundaries. (Those are the motivations as they "seem" to me -- who knows really?)

Now I dip my hand (if she's on it), say "Easy" in warning tone, and try to redirect her beak to a toy. If she is intent on flesh I take her to her perch (she's only in her cage to sleep) and walk away, keep my back turned to her for a while. So far this hasn't completely cured yet but it hasn't been long and it's improved things.

Ginny, I fear you may have misunderstood the point of this thread. You're right, it's *NOT* about ignoring the bite, however, we aren't telling you to *GET* bitten, then correct the bird. Rather, this thread is about *NOT* getting bitten in the first place! If you will, an example.....


Bird is sitting on top of the cage, facing somewhat away from you. You quickly reach your hand up towards the bird to ask for a step up, startling the bird in the process. The bird turns around and bites you. Say this happens hundreds of times. Each time you reach up to ask for a step up, moving too quickly, the bird turns around and bites you. What has the bird learned? Any time they are on top of the cage and a hand reaches for them, they need to bite. The bird has now practiced this behavior multiple times, therefore it has been learned.

Now, lets say it's the same scenario. Bird is on top of the cage and you reach up to ask for a step up, startling the bird in the process. The bird turns around and bites you for the *FIRST* time. Lets say the first time you get bitten, you realize that you accidentally startled the bird, resulting in the bird. You think about the situation and how you might approach the bird differently. Now, lets say the second time you approach the bird, you go slowly and say "Hey Paulie, wanna step up?". The bird sees you, the bird hears you, and moving slower, the bird doesn't freak out. Knowing how to step up, the bird then steps onto your hand without biting. Lets say this is your approach every single time, and every single time the bird doesn't bite? What has the bird learned? To step up from their cage. No "cage aggression".





In other words, the longer a bird has to practice an undesired behavior, the harder it can be to change that behavior, and the more a behavior is ignored, the worse it may get. Just because a behavior has stopped doesn't necessarily mean that the bird has properly learned not to do the undesired behavior. There's this phenomenon called "learned helplessness", and that is that regardless of the outcome of the situation, the animal has no choice in the matter.

As in, if you have a screaming parrot and you continuously ignore the behavior without trying to figure out why the bird is screaming and try to encourage a desirable behavior over the screaming, then sure, one day the parrot might stop screaming.... but that doesn't mean that the bird is happy nor healthy. Physically, they might be healthy, but not mentally. Having a bird scream for hours upon hours, for days at a time... weeks, months, even years... and then simply stopping is not a happy bird. If you were to encourage a bird to forage, to play independently, give them plenty of exercise (flight!) and bathes and teach new behaviors, then this would be a bird that is more likely mentally challenged and happier than a bird that is bored out of it's mind and screaming for something.





I hope this makes sense.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 12-02-2016, 06:15 PM
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Re: BRAINSTORMING: Biting Parrots

our new little guy/gal gets upset and slightly nippy/chirpy when we reach our hands in to take him/her out, so the first thing weve tuaght 'em (had 'em for exactly a week now! 11/25/16) is how to climb down to a blue cement perch low on the door and to stay there while we open it! now when he/she wants out he/she just climbs down and sits on that perch, or if we want to take him/her out we tell him/her to get on to the perch as we tap on it and he/she quickly slides down and sits onto the perch! admittedly he/she playfully groom/nips which we tell him/her no now when he/she does it because the pressure would slowly become painful, so instead we give foot/beak toys and be consistent on the no hand nibbling rule! thus far, complete angel!
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Old 02-11-2018, 02:08 PM
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Re: BRAINSTORMING: Biting Parrots

Great Read, thank you for this

Anansi
Birds are very perceptive about body language, so I would move in such a way that my displeasure was clearly communicated. A more brisk, direct pace than usual on the way to the cage, with facial expression completely closed off and stern. No eye contact. (I found the body language to be important not only for the communication aspect, but also to differentiate this kind of trip to the cage from other times when it's not a timeout. Birds are good at making associations. They work it out.)



I have learned Levi’s cues and I do not get bit much anymore. However there has been a time here & there where I wasn’t paying close attention & get bit. That’s what I do. I tell him no & briskly walk him to his cage. Set my watch for 5 minutes before returning.
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:35 PM
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Re: BRAINSTORMING: Biting Parrots

My new 4 month old nanday conure Finley was not biting from anger or scared at all but just whilst playing on his back. I kindly said to him "ouchies baby you hurt mommy" "gentle beak" and he somehow got it and bites softly after that has been said. I do have to remind him about 3 times a week and tell him "gentle beak" and he obeys and bites softly. How is this possible? I did the same with my sun conure (who has never actually bitten me in any kind of painful way) when he would bite a bit too hard while playing on his back also. Is it that Ollie told Fin in bird talk that it means foe him to not bite as hard? It's so awesome but also seems too good to be true. Thoughts?
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Old 04-09-2018, 08:51 AM
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Re: BRAINSTORMING: Biting Parrots

Birds can, and do, learn from each other. I'm not sure that learning not to bite is one of them, but I wouldn't completely doubt it, either.
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