Help with a Biting Galah


New member
Apr 7, 2022
Galah & Cockatiel
Thank you! I have adopted a 1 year old Galah from a friend so he's been with me now 7 weeks. I allowed him to stay in his cage until he was ready to come out about 3 weeks I positioned his cage close to the hub of our home so he would get used to the day to day noise and routine. I have a little Cockatiel Benji (Girl) they have been quite happy with each other's company (separate cages). Brodie came with a different name so I have been calling him Brodie from the moment he came to my home. He is a talker and says his old name "Hello Georgie" along with other words which is adorable. I felt giving Brodie his new name would hopefully give him a fresh start and from what I read online it seemed to be ok to do.

While he was still getting use to us my husband and I would frequently come up to the cage and talk quietly to him and he would let us do a quick scratch. He has a bird stand and I have have him out of the cage every day now since 2nd March and even managed to teach him to do a little wave with the clicker. He is very cute the only issue I am having with him is he is a biter! :oops::oops: My friend said he didn't bite initially but her husband was doing the "taming" and my guess is he didn't do this well and somewhere along the line Brodie has learned to fear the hand. I don't even try asking him to step up anymore as he will bite and keep biting! He does step up when he needs to be transported from one spot to another e.g. if he flies off to a section of the room he's not familiar with he will allow me to help him back to his perch so I take that as a win! He doesn't allow us to scratch, pat or tickle him when he's out of the cage as he seems very nervous and will try to bite. The last week when he's out of the cage he has been playing with his ball by flipping on his back and rolling the ball around with his feet which was very encouraging to see as this showed me he was starting to relax and feel comfortable. However the issue I still have with him is that while he will fly to me and continues to want to fly to me once he lands on me he won't take a treat as a reward he will just bite. So I don't give him the treat (trying to remove unnecessary hand movement) I tried just saying "goodboy!" and allow him to just sit on my arm but within a few seconds he will start biting my arm, fingers so I take him back to his perch and walk away (which is what I do everytime he bites). I know it's still early days but I am covered in scratches from his claws and I am thinking to buy "sleeves" just to protect my arms and fingers! I can't wear gloves as I believe my friend's husband wore gloves as Brodie freaked out when I tried wearing them. I am hoping that he will eventually be this nice bird that will be happy to hang out but not sure if "once a biter always a biter" ? His diet is sprouts (home made from beans, seeds, lentils) and pellets and he also gets "lunch" fresh veges. His treat of choice is pumpkin seeds and cashews.

I would love to hear any advice :)
Welcome to you and Brodie, thanks for joining! Seven weeks generally a sufficiently long "Honeymoon" period to observe innate personality. Some parrots are biters by nature, others learn fear of hands or individuals. Chronic biting not acceptable imo for the long haul, fortunately several methods to quell worth trying. Attempting a "reset" of bond helpful by building trust:
Some use the "shunning" method for bad behavior with verbal "no" and placing on perch or inanimate object. Ignore, no voice or eye contact for brief period. Bite Pressure Training can mitigate intensity and frequency of biting:

What brand pellets for Brodie? Some types deceptively high in sugar and artificial colors/flavors and may have supportive role in aggression.
I am not an expert with larger birds like cockatoos as I haven’t researched too much about them.
But seeing that it is spring time and your bird has been with you for a short time now, I think maybe spring has a role in this too, which means hormones will be raging! And it really sucks since I have experienced it first hand from my aunt and uncles two birds.
And it may not just be spring time as you stated that it could be due to his underlying history.
Again, inexperienced with this species, but I would try just going through the whole trust building process. And seeing the outcome of it. It’s important to go at the birds pace.
I know it’s hard but try not to react when he bites as that will elicit the response he was looking for and will continue to do biting gestures just to continuously receive that response from you. But I know it’s a difficult thing to handle since it hurts.
Take it slow. Create a positive attitude and environment. And try not to react.
I’ve heard target training helps too though I need to look more into it myself.
That’s what I can advise. :)

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