Biting rescue

Sharona

New member
Apr 17, 2021
8
2
Hi all, I took in a rescue cockatoo and he bites without warning he can just be sitting one moment and the next he flies to attack you, I have 5 other rescues so im not new to bites but the trouble is my family they are so scared of him a few days ago he was on the back of my husbands chair and started doing head bobbing and all of a sudden bit him on the face for no reason, I love this little boy to bits but hes starting to affect my family life, could someone please please give me some advice on how to calm this down

Thank yoy
 

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
9,884
1,546
USA
Parrots
Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
There is always an adjustment with rescue and rehomes. Even ones from a bad situation can grieve their missing people or other birds. Acting out is common.

I always do a lot of hand feeding treats and just saying hi, while they are out abd on their cage or play area, and I put in treat only dish if they are caged as many can be cage protective. I do this many many times a day , I've heard aiming fir 50 times a day!!!

I try and make a routine and talk them through everything, feeding time, cleaning time, always let them know when I am coming in, or leaving the house. I introduce everyone in the home. When possible I give them several walking tours of the home.

You might want to target train. Keep very short no more than 5 reps at time but you can repeat again after 20 min or half hour. Burd tricks on you tube has some good target training videos.

Thanks for taking him in. Remember don't rush stuff. Take time to build that trust bank.
 

Betrisher

Well-known member
Jun 3, 2013
4,246
62
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Parrots
Dominic: Galah(RIP: 1981-2018); The Lovies: Four Blue Masked Lovebirds; Barney and Madge (The Beaks): Alexandrines; Miss Rosetta Stone: Little Corella
My cockatoo was like this when she arrived and continues to misbehave occasionally, although she's *much* better than she was. I found that target training helped enormously. It gave her something else to think about besides biting and attacking (she really was dreadful, flying at people with claws outstretched to rake faces and chomp flesh!). More recently, I've added a bit of a rope playgym to our outdoor space and she spends a lot of time on that, walking up and down and swearing at the wild corellas overhead. I give her *lots* of native branches to strip (she does this for most of her day, along with shredding the cardboard boxes I put in her cage).

The thing about cockatoos is that they're probably the most intelligent birds and therefore go stir-crazy if you don't keep them gainfully employed. I'm quite sure that's how 'Setta got to such a level of aggression at her former home. So, all the time-filling solutions like training, foraging, shredding and stripping are great for birds like these. They need to have stuff to dismantle and to puzzle at.

I would recommend that you always carry a chopstick/target stick with you when handling your bird, so that you can offer it to him as an alternative bite-object or, if he does latch on, you can use it to gently disengage his beak from your flesh. Always carry treats as well, so you can reward him as soon as he shows calm normal behaviour.

Another important tool is providing lots of opportunities for flight. This uses up a lot of pent-up energy and really brings down the level of aggro you see. So, start teaching your bird to come when he's called and keep increasing the distance over which he has to fly. This has lots of benefits, from building good, strong flight muscles (helps birdie get out of a jam quickly) to building air sac capacity (vital for indoor birds) and maintaining general fitness. The best benefit, though, is knowing your bird will fly to you on command if he happens to get out!

If you persevere, your bird will respond over time and if you have the patience you can teach him a much quieter, easier way of living. It'll be great for both of you! Best of luck! :)
 
OP
Sharona

Sharona

New member
Apr 17, 2021
8
2
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
My cockatoo was like this when she arrived and continues to misbehave occasionally, although she's *much* better than she was. I found that target training helped enormously. It gave her something else to think about besides biting and attacking (she really was dreadful, flying at people with claws outstretched to rake faces and chomp flesh!). More recently, I've added a bit of a rope playgym to our outdoor space and she spends a lot of time on that, walking up and down and swearing at the wild corellas overhead. I give her *lots* of native branches to strip (she does this for most of her day, along with shredding the cardboard boxes I put in her cage).

The thing about cockatoos is that they're probably the most intelligent birds and therefore go stir-crazy if you don't keep them gainfully employed. I'm quite sure that's how 'Setta got to such a level of aggression at her former home. So, all the time-filling solutions like training, foraging, shredding and stripping are great for birds like these. They need to have stuff to dismantle and to puzzle at.

I would recommend that you always carry a chopstick/target stick with you when handling your bird, so that you can offer it to him as an alternative bite-object or, if he does latch on, you can use it to gently disengage his beak from your flesh. Always carry treats as well, so you can reward him as soon as he shows calm normal behaviour.

Another important tool is providing lots of opportunities for flight. This uses up a lot of pent-up energy and really brings down the level of aggro you see. So, start teaching your bird to come when he's called and keep increasing the distance over which he has to fly. This has lots of benefits, from building good, strong flight muscles (helps birdie get out of a jam quickly) to building air sac capacity (vital for indoor birds) and maintaining general fitness. The best benefit, though, is knowing your bird will fly to you on command if he happens to get out!

If you persevere, your bird will respond over time and if you have the patience you can teach him a much quieter, easier way of living. It'll be great for both of you! Best of luck! :)
Thank you so much, its great to know that someone has been through the same and that
My cockatoo was like this when she arrived and continues to misbehave occasionally, although she's *much* better than she was. I found that target training helped enormously. It gave her something else to think about besides biting and attacking (she really was dreadful, flying at people with claws outstretched to rake faces and chomp flesh!). More recently, I've added a bit of a rope playgym to our outdoor space and she spends a lot of time on that, walking up and down and swearing at the wild corellas overhead. I give her *lots* of native branches to strip (she does this for most of her day, along with shredding the cardboard boxes I put in her cage).

The thing about cockatoos is that they're probably the most intelligent birds and therefore go stir-crazy if you don't keep them gainfully employed. I'm quite sure that's how 'Setta got to such a level of aggression at her former home. So, all the time-filling solutions like training, foraging, shredding and stripping are great for birds like these. They need to have stuff to dismantle and to puzzle at.

I would recommend that you always carry a chopstick/target stick with you when handling your bird, so that you can offer it to him as an alternative bite-object or, if he does latch on, you can use it to gently disengage his beak from your flesh. Always carry treats as well, so you can reward him as soon as he shows calm normal behaviour.

Another important tool is providing lots of opportunities for flight. This uses up a lot of pent-up energy and really brings down the level of aggro you see. So, start teaching your bird to come when he's called and keep increasing the distance over which he has to fly. This has lots of benefits, from building good, strong flight muscles (helps birdie get out of a jam quickly) to building air sac capacity (vital for indoor birds) and maintaining general fitness. The best benefit, though, is knowing your bird will fly to you on command if he happens to get out!

If you persevere, your bird will respond over time and if you have the patience you can teach him a much quieter, easier way of living. It'll be great for both of you! Best of luck! :)
Thank you so much, I will give target training a go but its finding his treat it takes so long to work out doesnt it x
 
OP
Sharona

Sharona

New member
Apr 17, 2021
8
2
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
There is always an adjustment with rescue and rehomes. Even ones from a bad situation can grieve their missing people or other birds. Acting out is common.

I always do a lot of hand feeding treats and just saying hi, while they are out abd on their cage or play area, and I put in treat only dish if they are caged as many can be cage protective. I do this many many times a day , I've heard aiming fir 50 times a day!!!

I try and make a routine and talk them through everything, feeding time, cleaning time, always let them know when I am coming in, or leaving the house. I introduce everyone in the home. When possible I give them several walking tours of the home.

You might want to target train. Keep very short no more than 5 reps at time but you can repeat again after 20 min or half hour. Burd tricks on you tube has some good target training videos.

Thanks for taking him in. Remember don't rush stuff. Take time to build that trust bank.
Thank you so much, I will have a look on youtube now at the moment hes / she is sitting there like butter wouldnt melt lol all my other birds have went though similar as they are rescues too but theres nothing quite like a cookatoo bite, she /he broke bones in my finger and it had to be stitched, I always find it sad how people do this to animals then just past them on :( I will try the treat dish too xx
 

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