Pineapple conure biting during play unsure if it is aggressive

April34

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May 23, 2022
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April, pineapple conure
Hi! I'm very sorry if I do anything wrong here as this is my first time on this site. I have a pineapple conure named April, I just got her hand raised about a month ago. She is usually very cuddly and sweet, however has been biting lately. This brings me to my question. I play a game with her where I take one of her favorite foods and hold it in front of her, then move it away when she tries to grab it. I do this for a while until I finally give it to her, however instead of taking it, she simply bites my thumb.

I have no reference really for how hard she is biting but it hurts quite a bit and I am unsure if it is like an overexcitability thing or if she is simply upset and doesn't like the game. So far I have been just not giving her the food when she does this, however she has been continuing. I am unsure what types of biting are which and whether I should correct them or not. She has calmed down since, but seemed agitated before. Basically what I'm asking is, is this a bad game to play with her? I guess it could be like teasing but I thought it would be nice to give her a little game to get treats. Any and all help and information appreciated as I am new to this and would like to make sure I raise a well behaved healthy and loving happy bird!

(Edit: so that I don't have to make a separate question, should I be correcting playful biting off it begins to hurt?)
 
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IndySE

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May 5, 2016
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Young babies don't quite know what hurts you and what doesn't - you have to teach them :) Every time she does it say "Ow!", don't give her a snack, and place her back in the cage. My Green Cheek was a lot bitier when she was younger, but is now fairly gentle.. the only time she hurts me is when she means to hurt me lol.

It is also possibly she knows it hurts you and is being a stinker because you're playing hard-to-get with food. But result should be the same. A hard bite means you don't get attention or food.

My conure seems to like a bit of 'teasing'. We play a game where I try to poke her fluffy belly and she bites me (firmly but not causing me pain). Tis great fun all around! Try mixing up the games you play with her and see how she responds. If it's just overexcitement and not knowing her limits, she'll probably behave the same.
 

wrench13

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IMHO, this is teasing her, and not the kind of game with her that you think it is. Yes, parrots can get over stimulated, which means they need a time out to cool down a bit, but this seems like a nip from her because she is pissed off. Any action or set of conditions that causes your parrot to nip or bite needs to be carefully studied and considered, because you don't want the behavior to become a habit.

  • Nips or bites that are caused by you - learn and then avoid these
  • Nips of bites that are definitely not your fault - use the 'shunning' method of communicating your displeasure, by immediately placing the parrot on a handy, nearby chairback or other neutral place and ignore her for 1 minute, no eye contact, no talking about her. Must be done immediately and by all people in the household. Not her cage - that only teaches her that nipping or biting gets her brought back to her cage.
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
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I agree. Tempting your bird with her favorite treat and then taking it away earns you a bite, I think,

Maybe she liked the game before but she does not now.
 

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