psitticine

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Dec 23, 2022
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Chichi (2021 - 2022)
Rainy (current)
Hi guys, I made a similar post before but there have been slight changes since then so I have new questions! If you commented on the original post, welcome back to the saga!

My adorable Quaker, Rainy (unsexed, 7mo) started biting excessively a few weeks ago. A lot of the time she starts as soon as I pick her up, or even if she flies to me in the first place. I’ve been persistent with time outs and she’s improved in that it SOMETIMES works. She’ll still fly back to me after I put her down for a T/O, but her behavior didn’t change at all until maybe 2 weeks ago. Now about half of the time when she flies back, she’s not as bitey. So it looks like she may be getting the picture.

My real question is about other forms of discipline… I have turned her upside down two or three times but it feels a little cruel, so I don’t think I’ll be employing that method anymore. The one I’m more interested in is gently grabbing her beak between my fingers for a couple seconds as soon as she bites. I know time outs work for a lot of birds, but has anyone tried either of these other two methods? Any others that have been effective? Thanks in advance :)
 

Kel31787

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Jan 27, 2023
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Indian ringneck
X3 Quaker parrots
X2 cockatiel
1 goffins cockatoo
The behavior experts at my shop tell me to put them in their cage close the door and walk away. They say not giving them attention does the most. I’ve never tried to grab the beak or anything. I have a bonded pair of green Quakers and sometimes the male will try to bite or lunge and I just found that ignoring him works great because he will say “come here! Hey come back here!” And start calling our names and then he calms down and we can go back to play
 

wrench13

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THe following is predicated first by making sure that the bite was NOT your fault. Trying to interact with your parrot when he is amped up, or clearly does not want to be disturbed or otherwise indicating he is not into playing or stepping up, etc. Know thy bird! Know his body language. Know the outwards signs he is not in a mood to play or otherwise.

So parrots are not like dogs or horses (forget about cats). Parrots do not respond well to punitive discipline and using that can often backfire, badly. The 'experts' in the shop mentioned by KEL31787 are correct in that depriving the parrot of your attention is an effective way of communicating displeasure of his actions. Called 'shunning', its how unruly youngsters in the flock are kept in line. TO do this effectively, say in a firm, authoritive voice "No Bite" (dont yell it), and immediately place the parrot on a nearby chair back or other ( NOT his cage - that only teaches him to bite when he wants to go back to his cage). Turn your back to him and totally ignore for 1 minute. No longer, or the lesson will be lost, no shorter or he will not associate the action with his bite. One minute - no peeking and no talking about him or the bite - nothing! After that you can try re-establishing contact. TO work, this has to occur every single time he bites and it must be done by all members of your family (your 'flock').

Things that don't work:
Turning him on his back
Spraying with water
shaking him
yelling at him
holding his beak
Putting him back in his cage
Other physical forms of punishment, and we have read in here some really cruel things people have done to try to curb biting (and screaming!). Any sort of physical punishment is first of all dangerous, parrots are so lightly built you could easily hurt him badly, and second of all, parrots do stuff just to see what happens, so giving him attention in the form of the actions above is counter productive - all you did is give him more attention.
 
Last edited:

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
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I would not turn my bird upside down as a punishment. You want her to trust your hands and enjoy being touched.

I admit I have held beaks still and said, “no” firmly but that’s tricky. Again you don’t want the bird to be scared so you have fear interfering with your message of “don’t bite.”
 

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