psitticine

New member
Dec 23, 2022
8
13
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Chichi (2021 - 2022)
Rainy (current)
Hi everybody! This is my first post :)

I have a four month old Quaker named Rainy. I think s(he) is a female. She's a crossover breed, and the breeder told me they usually end up being female. I'm in the early stages of taming/training, and have never had a quaker before. I knew she would be a challenge, so please don't take any of this as complaint!

Rainy lives in my office and works from home with me during the week. I try to give her enrichment time out of the cage every day, for as long as possible. She loves to be around me and I love to be around her, but she's very prone to bite. As she's getting older, it's more and more common for her to start nibbling and biting my hands as soon as I pick her up. She doesn't want to be put down, but also wants to keep biting. She isn't aggressive with me but just seems to think it's fun--which I know is on brand for a quaker, especially a young one. She's also very antsy, never wants to stay in one place and loves to crawl on me. I'm not too worried about that though. I know it's good for them to be active. I'm mostly just taking issue with the chronic biting.

Usually when she's like this I place her on a free standing perch outside of her cage to let her forage or play with a rope toy, which she loves. But normally if I let her up on my shoulder after letting her hang out on her own for a while, she'll go back to biting. I've stopped putting her back in her cage when she's misbehaving because I know she should like to be in her cage, and feel safe inside it. If I give her scritches she'll usually calm down, but then resume as soon as I stop. I'm trying to make a habit of using affection as a reward rather than a distraction though. Sometimes if I give her something to chew on she'll stay on my shoulder and chill while I'm doing something else. While I'm working, she'll step up to my shoulder for a few seconds, but then crawl down my arm and start working at my keyboard to steal keys. Every time!

Her behavior is so repetitive that I'm worried these are becoming habits that will be hard to break. I know repetition is key with them, but I don't know where to draw the line, or how to know when something isn't working or if she just hasn't caught on yet. Because her behavior is so routine and consistent, it's starting to seem like she perceives the back and forth like a game.

As for enrichment, I've started keeping her cage open so she can come and go as she pleases for food, water, and toys. She has a soft rope toy, a rope perch, a hanging perch, a foraging toy, a toy just for biting, and a plastic hanging toy that she can jostle around. She LOVES plastic lol. I have a jar of plastic beads, plastic chain links and a rubber ball that she likes to play "basketball" with. She loves that. I want to get her a more advanced foraging toy soon, and a puzzle toy once she has foraging figured out.

She is not cage aggressive, and she's never been afraid of my hands! All of the online material I've come across in my searches seem to be focused on those rather than what I'm seeing.

When I spend time with her outside of my office, she's much more well behaved! She'll sit on my shoulder, ride along while I'm doing things around the house, let me read while we hang out, etc. My best theory is that she's come to consider the whole room (my office) as her territory, not just her cage. I'm not sure how to correct that, or if that's even the problem! I tried to explain the situation as thoroughly as possible, but if you have any questions or need me to clarify anything, let me know! Any friendly insight or advice is appreciated :)

P.S. I'm not sure if this is relevant, but: I have never seen her "quake," save for maybe three times total. I don't know if this means anything but thought it might be helpful to know.
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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Congratulations on your quaker she looks beautiful.

Its really only babies that quake. I only have one adult who will rarely if super excited.

Quaker will preen us try and remove scabs and freckles. A true bite is painful . They are very able to draw blood leave a mark or bruise.

Can you post a video of her doing this?

Does she let you rub her head ?

It does sound like a game...

They are active and needs lots if stuff to do. I have mine forage for veggie, in a simple way and put seeds or popcorn in foraging cups. Example if stuff i do for mine.
20221205_075539.jpg

They need lots of stuff to climb to search out little fun toys or chew options. It could be she is really bored .

They can learn bite pressure. As what you find acceptable. Use the same phrases , i tell them be nice, or be careful if they are wanting to beak around. If they aren't I tell them no abd squint my eyes are them and and shift them to a perch by my chair . They are good at reading us , my eye squint is enough. If you had more than one you would see them eye squint at each other when mad. Or maybe you've seen her do thst to you. Even tho they can hop or fly back the point is made. It didn't take mine long to learn to be careful.

You do have to be consistent very consistent. And use the same words. A warning, the repeat shift them..
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
3,901
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How did I miss A NEW QUAKER ON THE FORUM?!

I wonder if your bird is playing and doesn’t realize she’s hurting you when her nibbles get too hard.

If you were a bird you’d be covered in feathers and have a hard beak to deal with these nips. Of course you don’t have that. So once the nips go from gentle to painful I would say something like “ouch! Don’t bite!” Or “be gentle” and pull your hand away or put the bird on a chair back or play stand for a bit of a time out.

If she wants to be pet, moving your hand away might be enough negative reinforcement for her. My Quaker gets unhappy if I’m petting him and then take my hand away.
 

Dan69

Member
Nov 6, 2022
32
87
Parrots
Blue Crossover Quaker named Murray
Welcome! I'm a relatively new bird daddy myself. My crossover also likes to pick and peck at whatever I'm trying to do, but oftentimes he is content just chilling out on my shoulder or back of my neck. Fortunately Murray is so far a relatively low maintenance bird when it comes to quakers. He just wants to be around me for the most part and he's content. Welcome to the forum, and hello, Rainy!
 

wrench13

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Wild parrot flocks practice what is known as shunning with unruly youngsters. WHen she bites, immediately place her on a handy neutral place like a chair back, NOT the cage,. Turn your back to her for 1 minute, no longer. No peeking no eye contact, no talking to or about her. Then you can try resuming life. TO work, this must be done every time. Also helps like Heather said, to say "No Bite" in a forceful voice, not shouting, but firmly.
 
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psitticine

psitticine

New member
Dec 23, 2022
8
13
Parrots
Chichi (2021 - 2022)
Rainy (current)
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  • Thread starter
  • #6
Wild parrot flocks practice what is known as shunning with unruly youngsters. WHen she bites, immediately place her on a handy neutral place like a chair back, NOT the cage,. Turn your back to her for 1 minute, no longer. No peeking no eye contact, no talking to or about her. Then you can try resuming life. TO work, this must be done every time. Also helps like Heather said, to say "No Bite" in a forceful voice, not shouting, but firmly.
I’ve been practicing time outs for a while. It seemed to be working for a few weeks, but she’s been exercising her wings a LOT, and now she’s able to fly right back to my shoulder and go back to what she was doing. She also knows how to climb my office chair. 😅 I can put her back down, but it becomes a cycle. Not sure how to prevent that!
 
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psitticine

psitticine

New member
Dec 23, 2022
8
13
Parrots
Chichi (2021 - 2022)
Rainy (current)
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  • Thread starter
  • #7
How did I miss A NEW QUAKER ON THE FORUM?!

I wonder if your bird is playing and doesn’t realize she’s hurting you when her nibbles get too hard.

If you were a bird you’d be covered in feathers and have a hard beak to deal with these nips. Of course you don’t have that. So once the nips go from gentle to painful I would say something like “ouch! Don’t bite!” Or “be gentle” and pull your hand away or put the bird on a chair back or play stand for a bit of a time out.

If she wants to be pet, moving your hand away might be enough negative reinforcement for her. My Quaker gets unhappy if I’m petting him and then take my hand away.
For the most part, she does just nibble! So that’s a positive. The problem is just how constant it is and that it’s so often. Once she starts she’ll go forever. Time outs have been the thing I’ve leaned on so far, but she’s taken to flying back to me when I set her down a lot of the time. I’ve heard that time outs work more often than not though so I’m thinking persistence is key with this situation in particular.
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
3,901
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My boy nibbles on me, too. It’s when it gets a bit too hard that I remind him “don’t bite” or “be gentle”. Way too hard and he gets a time out.
 

Aprilxoxo

New member
Dec 11, 2022
13
19
Parrots
Galah
Hi everybody! This is my first post :)

I have a four month old Quaker named Rainy. I think s(he) is a female. She's a crossover breed, and the breeder told me they usually end up being female. I'm in the early stages of taming/training, and have never had a quaker before. I knew she would be a challenge, so please don't take any of this as complaint!

Rainy lives in my office and works from home with me during the week. I try to give her enrichment time out of the cage every day, for as long as possible. She loves to be around me and I love to be around her, but she's very prone to bite. As she's getting older, it's more and more common for her to start nibbling and biting my hands as soon as I pick her up. She doesn't want to be put down, but also wants to keep biting. She isn't aggressive with me but just seems to think it's fun--which I know is on brand for a quaker, especially a young one. She's also very antsy, never wants to stay in one place and loves to crawl on me. I'm not too worried about that though. I know it's good for them to be active. I'm mostly just taking issue with the chronic biting.

Usually when she's like this I place her on a free standing perch outside of her cage to let her forage or play with a rope toy, which she loves. But normally if I let her up on my shoulder after letting her hang out on her own for a while, she'll go back to biting. I've stopped putting her back in her cage when she's misbehaving because I know she should like to be in her cage, and feel safe inside it. If I give her scritches she'll usually calm down, but then resume as soon as I stop. I'm trying to make a habit of using affection as a reward rather than a distraction though. Sometimes if I give her something to chew on she'll stay on my shoulder and chill while I'm doing something else. While I'm working, she'll step up to my shoulder for a few seconds, but then crawl down my arm and start working at my keyboard to steal keys. Every time!

Her behavior is so repetitive that I'm worried these are becoming habits that will be hard to break. I know repetition is key with them, but I don't know where to draw the line, or how to know when something isn't working or if she just hasn't caught on yet. Because her behavior is so routine and consistent, it's starting to seem like she perceives the back and forth like a game.

As for enrichment, I've started keeping her cage open so she can come and go as she pleases for food, water, and toys. She has a soft rope toy, a rope perch, a hanging perch, a foraging toy, a toy just for biting, and a plastic hanging toy that she can jostle around. She LOVES plastic lol. I have a jar of plastic beads, plastic chain links and a rubber ball that she likes to play "basketball" with. She loves that. I want to get her a more advanced foraging toy soon, and a puzzle toy once she has foraging figured out.

She is not cage aggressive, and she's never been afraid of my hands! All of the online material I've come across in my searches seem to be focused on those rather than what I'm seeing.

When I spend time with her outside of my office, she's much more well behaved! She'll sit on my shoulder, ride along while I'm doing things around the house, let me read while we hang out, etc. My best theory is that she's come to consider the whole room (my office) as her territory, not just her cage. I'm not sure how to correct that, or if that's even the problem! I tried to explain the situation as thoroughly as possible, but if you have any questions or need me to clarify anything, let me know! Any friendly insight or advice is appreciated :)

P.S. I'm not sure if this is relevant, but: I have never seen her "quake," save for maybe three times total. I don't know if this means anything but thought it might be helpful to know.
I am deffinatly not an expert when it comes to parrots but ive raised other kinds of birds and also had this exact problem with my parrotlet. He nibbled my fingers and nails to the point of blood sometimes (never aggressive) and when i paid attention to anything else the nibbled that too. I found out that his nibbling was him preening me and he stopped when i gave him scratches back. He was the worst nibbler when he had alot of pin feathers on his head so it was his way of telling me he wanted help freeing them.
As for the keyboard the gensture of tapping something to some birds is like saying hey look at this. Mother birds do this to teach their young to eat (atleast for poultry) and i used tapping when i wanted my parrotlet to taste different things. Downside is they dont understand that sometimes your simply just doing your own thing and not trying to tell them things.

Being calmer outside your office is most likely due to that your quaker might be being more careful and alert to a different environment.

What i did when my parrotlet was biting was either give him lots of pats or offered him a bath. Never a sure way of getting him to stop since to him he was just showing me how much he loved me. Never figured out how to stop him eating my keyboard other them making it impossible to him to reach it.

P.s. i found timeouts didnt work for my parrotlets biting and keyboard destruction because to him, he was doing what was instinctual. Grooming flockmates is not only a practical exercise but also a social and bonding opportunity for a bird.
You would really have to find out what the motives behind the actions are before you can go about fixing them.
 
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psitticine

psitticine

New member
Dec 23, 2022
8
13
Parrots
Chichi (2021 - 2022)
Rainy (current)
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  • Thread starter
  • #10
I am deffinatly not an expert when it comes to parrots but ive raised other kinds of birds and also had this exact problem with my parrotlet. He nibbled my fingers and nails to the point of blood sometimes (never aggressive) and when i paid attention to anything else the nibbled that too. I found out that his nibbling was him preening me and he stopped when i gave him scratches back. He was the worst nibbler when he had alot of pin feathers on his head so it was his way of telling me he wanted help freeing them.
As for the keyboard the gensture of tapping something to some birds is like saying hey look at this. Mother birds do this to teach their young to eat (atleast for poultry) and i used tapping when i wanted my parrotlet to taste different things. Downside is they dont understand that sometimes your simply just doing your own thing and not trying to tell them things.

Being calmer outside your office is most likely due to that your quaker might be being more careful and alert to a different environment.

What i did when my parrotlet was biting was either give him lots of pats or offered him a bath. Never a sure way of getting him to stop since to him he was just showing me how much he loved me. Never figured out how to stop him eating my keyboard other them making it impossible to him to reach it.

P.s. i found timeouts didnt work for my parrotlets biting and keyboard destruction because to him, he was doing what was instinctual. Grooming flockmates is not only a practical exercise but also a social and bonding opportunity for a bird.
You would really have to find out what the motives behind the actions are before you can go about fixing them.
This is super helpful! Thank you!
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
3,901
6,836
Congratulations on your quaker she looks beautiful.

Its really only babies that quake. I only have one adult who will rarely if super excited.

Quaker will preen us try and remove scabs and freckles. A true bite is painful . They are very able to draw blood leave a mark or bruise.

Can you post a video of her doing this?

Does she let you rub her head ?

It does sound like a game...

They are active and needs lots if stuff to do. I have mine forage for veggie, in a simple way and put seeds or popcorn in foraging cups. Example if stuff i do for mine.View attachment 46606
They need lots of stuff to climb to search out little fun toys or chew options. It could be she is really bored .

They can learn bite pressure. As what you find acceptable. Use the same phrases , i tell them be nice, or be careful if they are wanting to beak around. If they aren't I tell them no abd squint my eyes are them and and shift them to a perch by my chair . They are good at reading us , my eye squint is enough. If you had more than one you would see them eye squint at each other when mad. Or maybe you've seen her do thst to you. Even tho they can hop or fly back the point is made. It didn't take mine long to learn to be careful.

You do have to be consistent very consistent. And use the same words. A warning, the repeat shift them..
“A warning, the repeat shift them..”. What should this say?
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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“A warning, the repeat shift them..”. What should this say?
I give them a warning like be nice if they are using more pressure than I find acceptable. But if they use their beak on me a second time at too much pressure I shift them to perch while telling them no.

They like to test...is this too much pressure ? they test and test till they find the limit. Then they stay well below that limit, unless really want to show they are upset then they use my max allowed limit. Which is nothing like a bite , but gets there point across. At least that's how it worked for my 3 . Really smart girls!

I pay attention to body language, I do my best to never put them into a position where they need to bite. I use permission based, like they are allowed to refuse a step up. Which is beyond rare for them to refuse.

The only exception for me to be at risk for a bite is sticking my hand in their cage . They will bite fast and hard enough to draw blood then. Or hands on their cage to move it if they are inside.

Thats our story. I was fair and consistent about bite pressure. Phoebe really liked to test a lot in the beginning but I don't think it took long. I'll throw out a month but pretty sure was less than that
 

Cottonoid

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Welcome!

I have a six month old Quaker and he also learned bite pressure pretty quickly. He's also really responsive now to me just saying "ow, that hurts me, I don't like that" or "be gentle" when he's beaking around my shirt trying to remove all my freckles :sneaky:
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
3,901
6,836
I give them a warning like be nice if they are using more pressure than I find acceptable. But if they use their beak on me a second time at too much pressure I shift them to perch while telling them no.

They like to test...is this too much pressure ? they test and test till they find the limit. Then they stay well below that limit, unless really want to show they are upset then they use my max allowed limit. Which is nothing like a bite , but gets there point across. At least that's how it worked for my 3 . Really smart girls!

I pay attention to body language, I do my best to never put them into a position where they need to bite. I use permission based, like they are allowed to refuse a step up. Which is beyond rare for them to refuse.

The only exception for me to be at risk for a bite is sticking my hand in their cage . They will bite fast and hard enough to draw blood then. Or hands on their cage to move it if they are inside.

Thats our story. I was fair and consistent about bite pressure. Phoebe really liked to test a lot in the beginning but I don't think it took long. I'll throw out a month but pretty sure was less than that
Ok. I understand now. Yes, the warning works with Willow, too, and used to work with Lucy unless she judged that I REALLY DESERVED A BITE OR TEN. Which I did, in bird logic, when Lucy bit.

Opie may start telling YOU to “be nice” or “be gentle” when you’re scritching his pinfeathers. If he is talking for you already I bet Opie will learn to say “Be Quiet!”. Let us know when he swears appropriately, ok? He should get a present or something.

How did you find a baby QP in need of rescue? Or did you just want a pal for Cotton? Are they getting any closer to being preening buddies?
 
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psitticine

psitticine

New member
Dec 23, 2022
8
13
Parrots
Chichi (2021 - 2022)
Rainy (current)
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  • Thread starter
  • #15
Welcome!

I have a six month old Quaker and he also learned bite pressure pretty quickly. He's also really responsive now to me just saying "ow, that hurts me, I don't like that" or "be gentle" when he's beaking around my shirt trying to remove all my freckles :sneaky:
Mine tries to eat my tattoos :LOL:
 

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