Experience with Grey biting the same spot on the same hand

DRB

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Jan 23, 2016
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Perjo - Female CAG hatch Nov 2015
Perjo has never been a vicious biter but she’s a Grey so maybe once a year she’d get me good and with some intent.

The past 16-17 days she’s bitten me three times in the exact same spot, left hand knuckle of index finger (because that the most common perch position I offer her) and she’s done so viciously with intent to harm each time. Tonight it was while trying to place her in cage for bedtime, which she usually accepts or looks forward to.
After I set her down I raised my voice and said NO and she started making kissing sounds and lunges at whichever hand was closest for about 20 seconds. Not sure why this came about but I now have a very bad cut and scab situation that won’t heal properly because it’s been three times in 17 days.

I’m wondering if she knows this is a weak spot for me right now or if the scab is a bother to her while perched on my finger or if it’s a focal point for her because I react to it?
If it continues another two weeks it will be concerning.
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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I'm sorry you guys are having issues.
Sometimes something happens to cause them to loose trust or fear hands. Even when we have had them for years.
When I've had this happen, I respect their new take on things. And work to earn back trust. Lots of hand feeding treats. And if needed switch to hand held perch for awhile . Lots of extra treats when they go back to cage.
Sympathy on wound. Yep any wound mine go after and pull off scabs. Tho not in aggression, they think they are helping.

This video is good for showing use of target training, to help an Amazon who has trust issues with the husband. In fact before they can begin tgey have to reward just for letting come near. Then just to touch the chop stick. Brief sessions then a break. Hope you find it helpful.

 

SailBoat

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Jul 10, 2015
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Also, remember that in the Northern Hemisphere we are deep into Hormonal Season.

I'm unsure as to whether our Parrots target a specific finger or part theirof. I do know that they become aware of areas we react earlier /more offer when bitten.

I am in favor that it is likely you are using the same hand /fingers. Remember that once you have Step-up in place, you should be switching what or were you are requesting a Step-up to as to avoid a strong pattern, which they will only accept.
 
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DRB

DRB

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Perjo - Female CAG hatch Nov 2015
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99% of time I use left hand for step up and right hand for for stepping down off left hand. Right hand usually means we’re done with whatever we were doing and it’s time to be placed somewhere else.
 

Laurasea

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is your bird around 2-5 years old?

When bird reach adulthood , things change a little bit. Babies let you do anything and are forgiving of your blunders. Adults want to be asked not told, and expect more manners and respect.

Also while babies are more tolerant of just sitting around a cage. Adults start to get frustrated and need more mental stimulation and activities. They go through puberty and start to have hormonal seasons.

This is often when birds get re homed. People get frustrated that the bird has changed and is not like the baby it was. Adults are just different from babies, especially in such intelligent parrots.

If you are getting bitten , it isn't about dominance , its about trust.
 

Laurasea

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If you desire she also does behavior consulting, pretty reasonable and by phone.
Here is more of her advice and I will link article:https://blogpamelaclarkonline.com/2019/01/31/parrot-and-start-buttons/

"

Antecedent Changes Only for Biting​

Biting is different. The best strategy to resolve biting is to avoid it – identify the antecedents and change those. Many people will advise consequence changes, such as a time out, when a bird bites. This never works. For a consequence change to work, there must be contiguity. This means that, for a consequence to influence behavior, it must occur very quickly after the behavior occurs.

grey.jpg

If you try to give a parrot a “time out” in the cage for biting, by the time you get the bird into the cage, contiguity has been lost. The consequence occurs too long after the bite for it to have any meaning to the bird. I just did a consult with a client who has been using time-outs for years and her bird was still biting frequently. By focusing on antecedent changes, the problem has now almost resolved.

Avoid the Situation and Build Behavior to Resolve Biting​

If your bird bites you, you must avoid the bites by changing the antecedents. If your bird bites your earrings when on your shoulder, then don’t allow him on the shoulder anymore. If he bites when you try to pet him, then don’t pet him under those circumstances anymore. If he bites when you change out food dishes, then teach him to station on a perch in the cage or remove him from the cage completely when you feed. If he bites when you put your face close to him, then don’t do that anymore.

imagesca00gzuq.jpg

At the same time, you must also begin offering positive reinforcement for all cued behaviors. This helps to build compliance at the same time that you remove opportunities for biting. The combination of these two strategies works every time.

Just Read the Body Language!​

People will typically advise you to change the antecedents by carefully observing your parrot’s body language. This is good advice, but often doing so is easier said than done.

parrot-536994__340.jpg

If you don’t have years of experience with a variety of birds, it can be hard to recognize and interpret body language accurately. New World birds, such as Amazons, macaws, and conures, are often the easiest to read. Their body language tends to be more overt, if not dramatic. However, the African grey may only slightly raise the feathers on his shoulders to alert you that a bite is coming. His is not so obvious. Your cockatoo might chatter his beak, but whether he means to bite or have sex with you may not be immediately evident.

Reading body language is a skill that develops over time. Just telling someone to “read the body language and you won’t get bitten” may be of little help. The ability to read body language requires a good deal of sensitivity and that level of sensitivity will likely take practice and dedication to develop. It has taken me years of work to be able to spot every message my birds are transmitting.

Most humans aren’t very good at reading the body language of other people, much less that of animals. Expecting them to be able to read their parrots’ successfully, even if it has been described to them, may be simply expecting too much. Further, many parrots learn to mask their body language before biting for one reason or another.

aggressivegrey-1.jpg

The Function of Aggressive Displays​

Behavior has function. This means that your parrot does things for a reason. While some biting results simply from a heightened state of arousal, the function of most biting behavior is either to make us stop doing what we are doing or to get a reaction from us. However, biting is not a natural behavior for most species, and therefore most individuals will initially display some signs that a bite is on the way, as the grey above demonstrates. If the owner ignores these signs time and time again, the bird can learn to simply save his energy and go straight for the bite.

So, what if we did something even better? What if we developed a form of communication with our birds that allowed them to indicate to us when they wanted to interact – a sort of permission they could give us to forge ahead?

The Benefits of Start Buttons​

We can offer them a Start Button. This concept is useful for any species. It is especially useful for animals who suffer from fear or aggressive tendencies."
 
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DRB

DRB

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Perjo - Female CAG hatch Nov 2015
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is your bird around 2-5 years old?

When bird reach adulthood , things change a little bit. Babies let you do anything and are forgiving of your blunders. Adults want to be asked not told, and expect more manners and respect.

Also while babies are more tolerant of just sitting around a cage. Adults start to get frustrated and need more mental stimulation and activities. They go through puberty and start to have hormonal seasons.

This is often when birds get re homed. People get frustrated that the bird has changed and is not like the baby it was. Adults are just different from babies, especially in such intelligent parrots.

If you are getting bitten , it isn't about dominance , its about trust.
She turned 6 on Nov 25
 
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DRB

DRB

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So tonight we did our bedtime routine. Sit in quiet room, cage in sight, lighting dimmed and we talk. TV was off this time. We whisper and go through a vocabulary routine. I step her up to my left hand and quickly to my shoulder.
She usually wants some scratches for a minute then I transfer her to her cage with no problems.
Today she was reluctant for the scratches and kept making her kissing sound but her eyes were focused on my left hand as I pulled it away. So I leaned over and let her walk off my shoulder to her perch attached to inside the cage door, I planned on closing the door. After the transfer she poked her head out the door so I could not close it, she has done this a hundred times but today she took a sharp jab at my arm as I was trying to keep her from walking back out of the cage to another perch. She again made the kissing sound when she jabbed.

She made her way to her swing perch, where she sleeps and stuck her beak out for my nightly touch of the beak goodnight.

She’s being a bit neurotic about all this all of a sudden.
 

Laurasea

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well not many parrots are thrilled about returning to the cage :)

Hopefully with lots of treats and postive reinforcement you guys will get through this.
 

ScottinSoCal

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Sep 7, 2019
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Had a Blue Front Amazon. Now have an African Grey (CAG)
This is all anecdotal, but...
Scooter bit me once, back when I was visiting her at the rescue., They required several weeks of visits, both to gauge my long-term interest, and to see how well we'd bond. I had to go, she didn't want me to go, and when I put her back in her cage and tried to give her a beak rub, she bit me - hard enough to draw blood.
Since she came here, though, I've tried to do things more on her schedule. I ask her if she wants to go outside, and I ask her if she want to go back inside. I ask her if she wants to go upstairs (to her night cage) and get some sleep. If I know I'm going to be around for a while, I open the door to her daytime cage and let her decide if she wants to be out, exploring. A beak-bump on my lips is her "yes". If the answer is no, she just keeps doing what she does, or she starts grooming. Both tell me "not quite yet". Sometimes she just wants to sit outside, perched on my leg, basking in the sun, for an hour or more, so on warm days I bring my kindle. Some days she just wants to pop out for a few minutes, poop, eat some dried lobelia twigs (she loves those things), then go back inside.
I don't know what her experience was, at her original home, but she's feather-plucked enough that she has no feathers on her breast, and down to her stomach. When she got here, what she mostly said was "Scooter! No! Ow! You little a**hole!"
Don't say anything around your parrot you don't want other people to hear.
Two years later, what she says is "Good Scooter. Such a good Scooter. Love the Scooter." She doesn't feather pluck, and she doesn't have neophobia. She trusts me, she trusts herself to be able to move around, and she trusts the house to be a safe place for her.
I don't think her original home was abusive, or didn't care about her - I was told they insisted that a beautiful, and expensive, stainless steel cage went with her, along with a huge bag of toys and perches. But I do think they expected her to be a dog - to learn tricks and obey commands, and do what she was told when she was told. But parrots aren't like that, and they don't respond well to it.
 
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DRB

DRB

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Perjo - Female CAG hatch Nov 2015
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Update
She seems to have stopped this temporary habit.
Doesn’t mean she still doesn’t nibble or take a small pinch at me.
 

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