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About the biting...

Discussion in 'Behavior Byway' started by MrsPHD, 9/15/18.

  1. MrsPHD

    MrsPHD Moving in

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    I haven’t found my special bird yet so I don’t have a problem to solve but I need to know more about biting. How often do your birds bite and why? I’m primarily interested in well bonded birds you’ve had for a long time. Young birds going through puberty I get. Also, how much is too much? When do you say “ok I have a problem” vs “eh whatever, birds bite”? Has anybody ever had a bird who’s biting made them give them up or stop handling them altogether? All stories welcome.
     
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  2. TikiMyn

    TikiMyn Biking along the boulevard Avenue Spotlight Award

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    @Laurie made this excellent thread about it:
    Video - How to Teach Your Bird Not to Bite | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum
    Reading all the comments is very helpfull:)
    I rarely get bitten. Henkie had learned to bite when he first came here, after he learned other ways of communication he almost never bit. If I respect him and treat him well, I can avoid it. Only times I have been bitten is when he was very hormonal and getting up close and personal with something, protecting a space(hormonal), or when he was over excited/stimulated. ALL were my fault. Although those bites have been few and far between(I went about three years without a bite for sure), they were caused by me purposly taking something he ‘loved loved’ but was dangerous or something, and because I wasn’t paying enough attention while he was getting protective of something or over stimulated.
    Since Fëanor arrived he has been more hormonal, I don’t know whether that is nessicarily related but since I have been bitten three times I think. Mostly because he was getting horny with my school bag or something and I reached out without paying attention to get it.
    With Fëanor it is different. He is a very emotional guy, at first when he didn’t like something, he bit. He was clipped by his previous caretakers, that didn’t help. He saw Henkie do something he didn’t like and took his anger out by nailing the thing closest to him. I have worked with him on communication a lot, and it is so much better now! But he still bites if he really dislikes something. If he is wants something but Henkie claims it while Fea is on my hand, he does still bite sometimes. Not a lot though and he doesn’t bite to hard. I am still working on teaching him other ways of communicating.
    Blue doesn’t bite generally either. Others teach him to bite for attention so he does that soemtimes. Also, he bites when he is protecting me. Because he is unable to fly away and attack, he bites me when my brother(he hates him most of the time) walks by. He does take Some chunks of skin with him. I am sure this could be worked through with proper training, but he is not ‘mine’ but my stepmom’s who is not interested in that.
    Tiki never bit me, only when it was his very very very last resort(when I had to towel him) and even then it took a couple of incidents for him to actually bite.
     
  3. JLcribber

    JLcribber Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    The only way a bird can bite you is if "you" put your flesh in target range and provide the opportunity to bite (which they never miss). So it's all about how "you" handle them to not get bitten. If that requires a tool like a T stick so be it. The point being that if you get bit it is almost certainly because of something "you" did or did not do right. Nobody knows more about a biting bird than I do. :)
     
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  4. cassiesdad

    cassiesdad Joyriding the Neighborhood Weather Authority Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    With the littles, biting will happen once in awhile...usually when they're tired, or when we have to handle them when they're not in the mood for it. We tend to use a "hands off" policy with them...only physically interacting with them if they want that to occur...or goodness knows, if there is an emergency.
    People have commented on how little we physically interact with our birds...well, my wife and I consider them to have the right to be birds...if they don't want to interact with us...fine. We're always here to be near, if they choose. I think that's why we got along with our IRN (a known non-cuddly species) for so long. Titan knew we weren't going to force anything on him he didn't want...so when he wanted something from us, he'd come to us.

    Igor Tiel is also like that...he'll fly over to you when he wants scritches or some such...as soon as he's had enough, he'll fly away. :)

    Getting back to biting...Milton has gotten me many times. The thing about Milty is that he'll show you- in body language and verbally- that you may be heading for a bite if you don't back off. He's a very good bird in that way...and if you tell him that, he'll agree with you. :)

    The other circumstance where Milty will bite is if he gets overexcited...a rather common thing in 'toos. He gets excited in his play...and when he watches "The Price Is Right." These are times I know to give him a LOT of space to expend his excitement and energy.
     
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  5. lexalayne

    lexalayne Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    I learned a lot about reading body language from Barbara Heidenreichs dvd’s. She goes in depth about eye pinning, fluffing feathers, and talks about how not to get bit. When my daughter was young - 5 - she desperately wanted to hold my umbrella cockatoo. This bird was very jealous of her being my youngest child. I made her watch these over and over. And she was the only one that could give her her favorite treats. All I can say is it worked and she was never bitten.
     
  6. Dona

    Dona Jogging around the block

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    I've had many birds and have gotten some nips and bites, but most of the time I deserved it. I didn't pay attention to the signs or was in a hurry. Didn't respect a bird's need for me to be hands off sometimes. However, my female caique was a gem, friendly and fun for 5 years and one day I needed to take her in from her play gym after a short time when my son called me to pick him up from school. I put my hand out to her as I always did and she aggressively bit me. Then she bit me for 2 more years every time she had a chance. After trying everything I could, I became terrified of her and I gave her and my male to a parrot behaviorist. My male caique never bit but I couldn't give just my girl away. They were a bonded pair who always got along. It was heartbreaking.
     
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  7. Brittany0208

    Brittany0208 Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue

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    Java is very nippy when hands are near, and I'm trying to work around this by telling him 'No' or ignoring it. Thing is, that darn neck is so long, he tags me even when I think I'm out of reach. I know he isn't biting out of aggression, but fear, and we have a long way to go. He has a very crushing bite as opposed to piercing.
     
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  8. JLcribber

    JLcribber Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    The beak is always quicker than the hand. It is not quicker than the eye. But it's pretty close. :lol:
     
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  9. Sylvester

    Sylvester Rollerblading along the road

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    I only get bitten if I 'force' an issue.
     
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  10. cassiesdad

    cassiesdad Joyriding the Neighborhood Weather Authority Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    ...isn't that the truth!

    I've also found out that as you get older, the beak gets even quicker! ;)
     
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  11. Nancy B

    Nancy B Rollerblading along the road

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    Freddy nips at Joe once or twice every day, and head bobs after. To me it appears to be over excited after he gets home from work, he's been working a lot so he's also seen him a lot less, and me a lot more. He maybe annoyed with that too. Granted it's not a bite that leaves marks, but an uncomfortable pinch. We say NO BITE Fred, and put him somewhere to relax. After a while he calms down but not sure what really causes this.
     
    Last edited: 9/19/18
  12. Nancy B

    Nancy B Rollerblading along the road

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    I"m sorry that experience led to that outcome :(
     
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  13. cassiesdad

    cassiesdad Joyriding the Neighborhood Weather Authority Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    That does sound like 'too over-excitement, for sure...especially if Joe is considered to be a "playmate"...my brother is a "playmate" to Milton. Milty loves when he visits...and gets excited...and over-excited at times with him. My brother knows this and can read Milty's body language, so he deescalates the situation well.

    If Milton starts to get over stimulated, we always remove him from the area and put him back on his cage...if he wants to, he can attack and chew his toys...or rip his phone book, which he just loves to do. Both activities let him expend his energies on inanimate objects...and not on us...;)
     
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  14. Nancy B

    Nancy B Rollerblading along the road

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    I tend to redirect faster than Joe does. I seem to know when he's going to nip. It's his general attitude. The erect crest, and the strut he uses. This morning I folded clothes and put Freddy on his play place sooner than he wanted to go, I got a grab, and I said NO BITE FRED. After I folded the clothes I put my hand out and said WANT TO COME, he proceeded to bite the chair cover instead of my hand. Lol so I took my hands away and said I'M SORRY YOU'RE MAD....he proceeded to give me a piece of his birdie mind before getting back into his cage for his nap.
    And yes, Joe is more of a playmate, I am more "mom", the caretaker. I see the definite roles between us.
     
    Last edited: 9/19/18
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  15. cassiesdad

    cassiesdad Joyriding the Neighborhood Weather Authority Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    ...that's Freddy's body language! Good on you to catch it. :)
     
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  16. Nancy B

    Nancy B Rollerblading along the road

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    I"m getting really good at it! Sometimes I will intercede and say NO FRED...and he chirps lol, to which I responded BE NICE, GENTLE. And he will sometimes stop. He really does seem to listen most of the time lol. Sometimes I will put him somewhere just because I don't like the feeling I'm getting from him...that happened last night just before I got him back to his cage, I got a little grab, he lunges like he's going to bite, but he'll grab me instead.
     
    Last edited: 9/19/18
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  17. Nancy B

    Nancy B Rollerblading along the road

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    @cassiesdad my son didn't speak well until he was almost 4, same strategy :) exactly the same!
     
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  18. Linearis

    Linearis Walking the driveway

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    Gotta say my parrotlet is a bit nippy (gasp, shocking... a parrotlet who is nippy???), but she's pretty good about it... usually she just growls and then I leave her alone. Idk if I should even call it nipping... she nibbles my fingers, idk if she wants to eat me or what.
     
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