Parrot Aggression

kme3388

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Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)

Hi everyone, I was going to ask for some help with my Eclectus parrot Nico. He’s so aggressive towards others. This is a re-enacted video. I would never let Nico intentionally bite someone. Both myself, and my husband knew Nico would do this as he always does.

This happens every single time anyone besides myself is around Nico. No one else can feed him, bathe him, watch him, handle him, clean his cage, and such. Is there anyone with experience with parrot aggression? Is there anything that can help Nico tolerate others?
 

zERo

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I have this problem with both my Quaker and GCC.
No one but me can do anything with them, especially with Tom the GCC.
In the next several months, I’m going to teach my dad to train and handle birds. I really hope it is successful and, at least, he can handle them to a lesser extent than me.

I don’t own an Ekkie but I feel like this is a fairly common problem for people. Could your husband try to target train him?
Or hand him a treat several times a day? To help Nico maybe begin to associate your husband with good things?
 

SailBoat

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I am an Amazon Snob and consider Eclectus Parrots different from other mid-large Parrots in general. Although there are many over lapping behaviors, aggression is a behavior that can be effected by numerous stimulus triggers. Hormonal being just one, add to this they can easily be stimulated at near anytime of the year, only added to the confusion.

Watching the video and reading your information has me believing that this is more than Hormonal based as visitors triggering the reaction. This implies territorial and possession issue may be at play. I.e. You are the favored Human and one can see a combination of territorial, possession and protection behaviors to drive-off a another suitor or enemy.

Normally, this requires desensitizing, so that visitor are not seen as suitors or enemy, but accepted members of the family. As stated in the above Post, work with your Husband to increase the number that can interact with your Parrot. He gets to provide all the goodies and treats!
 
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kme3388

kme3388

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Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
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I contacted Nico’s vet as we have tried everything. Nico will snap his training sticks if my husband engages with him. He won’t take any food from my husband, and will bite if my husband gets close enough instead. If my husband approaches Nico he will charge him.

I will say Nico is loyal to what he considers his. He loves unconditionally. My husband just doesn’t ever see this side of Nico. Nico will fight to the death to protect himself, or me. However I don’t think that’s healthy for Nico so I’m trying to get him help for more positive interactions.
 

zERo

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Okay I don’t like BirdTricks much but simply put, there target training videos are great, especially for birds who snap/bite targets sticks.
Here’s one:

So he won’t take treat from your husband at all? What if he sets the treat down in front of him, so Nico at least sees the treat coming from him?
 

saxguy64

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Perhaps start a little simpler. Give Nico a special bowl just for treats if he doesn't already have one. Have hubby dtop a favorite treat in the bowl whenever he walks by. No forced interaction, just the treat. Hopefully Nico will start to see your husband as a source of good things without feeling like he has to defend himself or you. Baby steps.

Side note, my Patches used to do the ekkie growl too, but he used it as a voice when he was being defensive. We called it his grumpy old man voice. He had two phrases with it. GO 'WAY! and BACK OFF! If your fingers were close to for him to reach when he said it, you had milliseconds to get out of the way! 🤣
 
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kme3388

kme3388

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My husband would have to throw a treat and run. If Nico can see my husband he will charge. He will do this to guests as well.

For feeding it’s been challenging because if my husband feeds Nico, and I don’t he feather plucks. I have some medical issues that require surgery on my legs. I won’t be able to feed Nico for a few days at least. With that I need someone to be able to care for Nico.
 
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kme3388

kme3388

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Nico has a tall tree stand I put him on. Because he has a broken wing he can’t fly. If he could fly this would be way worse. If he sees my husband it takes him awhile to climb down this tree stand to attack. We call it Nico’s getting on his boxing gloves time. Usually my husband will come grab me to intervene at this point.
 

saxguy64

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I can't imagine how frustrating that must be. They're so picky about certain things, for sure.

My YNA is kinda similar. I'm her person, period. she's VERY protective of me. Nobody handles her but me, largely because they're afraid of her. But... I have occasions when I have to be away for a long weekend or a week. When I'm not here, my older son feeds the birds, and once I'm out of the picture, she doesn't have to defend me, and he's suddenly the good guy. She'll put her head down for scritches and hang out with him. As soon as I return, he's back to being the enemy. I guess she sees it like, daddy's not here, if I'm not nice to you, I'll starve to death, and believe me, Baxter likes her groceries!
 

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I can't imagine how frustrating that must be. They're so picky about certain things, for sure.

My YNA is kinda similar. I'm her person, period. she's VERY protective of me. Nobody handles her but me, largely because they're afraid of her. But... I have occasions when I have to be away for a long weekend or a week. When I'm not here, my older son feeds the birds, and once I'm out of the picture, she doesn't have to defend me, and he's suddenly the good guy. She'll put her head down for scritches and hang out with him. As soon as I return, he's back to being the enemy. I guess she sees it like, daddy's not here, if I'm not nice to you, I'll starve to death, and believe me, Baxter likes her groceries!
Who has that song… If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you‘re with.
 
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kme3388

kme3388

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These are other videos of Nico. He’s a loving parrot, and so smart. I just don’t want someone who is new to parrots thinking Ekkie’s are horrible, and human eaters. Nico knows how to say his name, and step up. He’s very smart. He also lets me touch his feet, beak, and such. Nico isn’t a huge fan of someone “petting” him or touching his feathers.
 

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View attachment 49937
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These are other videos of Nico. He’s a loving parrot, and so smart. I just don’t want someone who is new to parrots thinking Ekkie’s are horrible, and human eaters. Nico knows how to say his name, and step up. He’s very smart. He also lets me touch his feet, beak, and such. Nico isn’t a huge fan of someone “petting” him or touching his feathers.
He’s such a cutie!
No one thinks that! I know many people have parrots who are one person or just a few people birds.
I think this is a relatively common and possibly normal emulating-wild-behavior.
My Quaker is very selective about when I can pet him too, he’s okay with a head scratch maybe 1-2 times a day but only if he’s sleepy.
 

saxguy64

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No worries about me thinking anything bad about ekkies, I love them, and I absolutely adore Nico. There's just something about him that shows in his attitude and his little face. ❤️ And as I'm sure you know, ekkies that like being petted or scratched are few and far between, so that's not out of the ordinary. Even if they don't like physical contact at all, that doesn't make them any less loving or worth being with. They're just different in so many ways, but they're smart and funny and quirky and have so much personality. :)
 
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kme3388

kme3388

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I can train Nico to do a lot of things. I cannot train Nico to like someone that he doesn’t. He used to have favoritism towards the lady who ran the shelter I adopted him from. He wasn’t especially tolerant of anyone else. My thoughts are that no matter where Nico would have ended up he would always of fixated on one person. I get that vets, trainers, and other bird owners have birds that are capable of being “family” birds. Both of my conures would be “family” birds. Anyone can hold them, and interact with them. If you offer them sunflower seeds you are making it to their favorite list. Nico just isn’t this way.
 

saxguy64

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Yeah, I get that. I guess then the goal is less about getting him to like other people, and more about just getting him to tolerate them without being so aggressive. Tall order, I know, but would surely make things easier in the household. Does he behave any different with hubby if you're not present? Not just out of the room, but not there at all, so Nico understands mama is not an option right now.
 
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kme3388

kme3388

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These are a few things that I’ve tried with Nico to help get him be more tolerant of others:

Target training Nico will refuse to do with others. He will grab the wooden stick, and snap it. Then scream.

Just giving a treat with no expectations, or asking for anything in return. Nico takes this opportunity to bite.

Having my husband feed Nico for an entire day. Nico lost I believe it was 3-5 grams because he didn’t eat the entire day, and on top of it he feather plucked. So I thought this was doing more harm than good.

I had my husband set down a treat on our kitchen table. To where my husband can then step back without Nico charging. Nico just didn’t eat the treat, and then focused on me. So I removed myself, and then he didn’t eat the treat. Then on top of it screamed at my husband.

Locking Nico in his cage at specific times, and having my husband feed him. That way Nico can’t get to my husband, and he knows this. Then he just refused to eat, and started biting the bars.

I’ve grown up with birds. I love training them. Nico has challenged everything that I know. I get that he thinks I’m his mate. I didn’t do anything to bring that on. I already knew I can’t “pet” his back, under his wings and such. I just do his normal cares, and train him. He’s being a stickler, and I don’t know how to fix it.
 

DonnaBudgie

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These are a few things that I’ve tried with Nico to help get him be more tolerant of others:

Target training Nico will refuse to do with others. He will grab the wooden stick, and snap it. Then scream.

Just giving a treat with no expectations, or asking for anything in return. Nico takes this opportunity to bite.

Having my husband feed Nico for an entire day. Nico lost I believe it was 3-5 grams because he didn’t eat the entire day, and on top of it he feather plucked. So I thought this was doing more harm than good.

I had my husband set down a treat on our kitchen table. To where my husband can then step back without Nico charging. Nico just didn’t eat the treat, and then focused on me. So I removed myself, and then he didn’t eat the treat. Then on top of it screamed at my husband.

Locking Nico in his cage at specific times, and having my husband feed him. That way Nico can’t get to my husband, and he knows this. Then he just refused to eat, and started biting the bars.

I’ve grown up with birds. I love training them. Nico has challenged everything that I know. I get that he thinks I’m his mate. I didn’t do anything to bring that on. I already knew I can’t “pet” his back, under his wings and such. I just do his normal cares, and train him. He’s being a stickler, and I don’t know how to fix it.
If I didn't know better I would say that Nico hates your husband! It must be more than a bit scary to be attacked in your own home by a parrot. It would make for a bad nightmare- "I dreamed that Nico got out of his cage and tore up my face!" So unpleasant for all of you.
 
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kme3388

kme3388

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Nico’s vet did get back to us. She did recommend a zoologist who trains the animals at a zoo, and appears to be very educated on Ekkie behavior. I’m going to try to get ahold of her, or at least try to join a seminar. Maybe it can help? Maybe I missed something?
 

saxguy64

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Nico’s vet did get back to us. She did recommend a zoologist who trains the animals at a zoo, and appears to be very educated on Ekkie behavior. I’m going to try to get ahold of her, or at least try to join a seminar. Maybe it can help? Maybe I missed something?
A fresh pair of educated eyes definitely couldn't hurt :)
 

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