Biting

Discussion in 'Lovebird Lane' started by Tango1, 9/6/11.

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  1. Tango1
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    Tango1 Meeting neighbors

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    "This is a recording" Ha! My little Tango most of the time is a sweetheart, however, if I want to switch things around in her cage or mess with her food, she goes crazy with the biting, and, believe me, she has a very sharp beak for such a little bird. She loves her Java tree, and also gets ticked off with me if I go to get her and put her back in her cage. I have had to gone to the towel for picking her up, which I hate to do, but sometimes I don't have the time to wait until she's ready to cooperate.
    Also, I would love for her to bond with my daughter and grandson's, but, even though she used to be good with my daughter, she is now starting to try and bite anyone that tries to interact with her. She loves the attention and gets very excited when anyone is talking to her. Just don't try to touch her. I still take her to work, so she is very well traveled and used to people, but is still people shy as far as interacting with them.
    Any suggestions?:confused:
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  2. 65sunnyday
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    65sunnyday Biking along the boulevard

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    She sounds very territorial--what breed is she, & what age? Oh, duh--a lovebird. I'll bow out, as I have only read about them. Many people on here are quite experianced (& enthusiastic) about their Lovies.:D
  3. Tango1
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    Tango1 Meeting neighbors

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    Thanks for replying. She's 7 months old. I think she is extremely territorial when she's on her Java tree. But when she's in her cage I can just pick her up lots of times to bring her out if she won't do the step up move.
  4. Laurul Feather Cat
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    Laurul Feather Cat Biking along the boulevard

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    You need to train her to step up on a hand held dowel for transfers off her areas where she bites. This will eliminate the biting. Not hard to do and very advantageous for handling a territorial or scared bird. You say you take her places. It could be she does not like being taken places and is biting out of a desire to not go out of the house. You said she is shy and being a territorial bird, having strangers around would make her twice as shy and aggressive.

    My opinion.
  5. Tango1
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    Tango1 Meeting neighbors

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    Sometimes my brain has "hiccups". I'll try the dowel and see if that helps. As far as taking her to the barber shop I work at. I've been taking her since day 1 and when she's there in her cage, which is right in my station, she's very active, content and happy. She even takes naps there and she doesn't at home. She does these cute little chirpies like she's singing herself to sleep. She gets very excited when people talk to her. She can't get to the front of the cage fast enough, but she doesn't want to be touched, which, I understand, is not unusual for any breed of bird.
    I've been taking her over to my daughter's lately which is new to her and probably making her nervous, but there's a reason for that. Kim has a blue-headed Pionus who is not quite 5 months old. She and her family will be going away at the end of Sept. for a long weekend, so Tango and I are moving into their house to take care of Lucy (her Pionus). We thought that would be easier than me going back and forth. We're trying to get the two birds used to each other. So far, they seem to be okay with each other, but I have a feeling that taking care of two birds for the weekend is going to be more tiring than if I was taking care of my two grandson's for same amount of time. lol
    Thanks for you input.
  6. Ankou
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    Ankou Rollerblading along the road

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    Are you certain she is a female? Females (especially peachfaced) are a bit notorious for being territorial birds and it may be something you'll need to to work with for a long time. If you need to move things in her cage, until you have more trust with her, try taking her out of sight of her cage. She can't get as angry about you moving things and touching things if she can't see you doing it. (If you can, get her out of earshot of her cage too. Rattling toys as they are moved will alert her to what's up.)
    In fact, I've heard that re-arranging their cage and help decrease their territorial-ness. (But it never really worked with my girl, but she does stay more calm when she can't see me mess with her toys.)

    Do your grandchildren handle her more roughly or act unpredictably around her? I don't know how old they are but younger children can be loud and a bit rough, which can terrify a parrot (even if they are never loud and rough with the parrot!) This could easily lead her to distrust them, and rough hands from one person can lead to fear of every person's hands.

    I agree too you should work on "step up" with her. All toweling a terrified bird will do is teach being put away is a horrible, frightening thing. Eventually she could associate you with the towel, and trust will be even harder to come by. Taking the time to put her away without scaring or upsetting her badly will go a long way towards the trust you want to establish with her.

    Getting past her fear will be a big step. It sounds to me like she likes people, just not hands. Try to make handling her a positive experience instead of one that just lands her back into her cage and away from her beloved tree. Does she have a favorite treat? Try feeding her out of your hand or just reward her when steps up. Once she will step up, try to just have her sit on your hands a bit before moving her to where you want. (Also, a bit of her favorite treat in her cage can make being put away a more positive experience.)
    Once she is comfortable with stepping up you can try other things, like getting her to sit in your palm or touching her with your other hand. It's a slow process, but one that will hopefully be rewarded when she discovers hands are not all so bad and can provide things like head skritches.

    Finally, if that wall of text isn't enough, sometimes not everything will change.
    I've had my girl for 11 years and I still cannot touch the toys in her cage if she's in there. I can touch the toys outside her cage and clean the perches/grate in her cage, but the cage toys are HERS and therefor off limits. I can only move/clean them with her out of her cage doing something fun (playing with her favorite foot toys, enjoying a millet spray.)

    You may have to find your own tricks, but have patience. :heart:
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  7. AZReno
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    AZReno Sprinting down the street

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    She has reached maturity and is hormonal. This will only get worse if it isn't dealt with. By far, the best thing you can do and a real must for her, is to shorten her days, lengthen her nights. Giver her 11 hours of sleep a night. Long days trigger this type of behavior in her. Other things to avoid, anything that she can consider a nesting place (sleepy huts, tents, large food bowl), mirrors, and stuffed buddies. keep rearranging her cage, just don't do it with her in it. Handler her more, don't let her bite! Avoid it at all costs and if she does bite, giver her a consequence for it if you can, putting a lovebird on the ground is a pretty good consequence for most. Get her (or make her) toys that she can chew, palm shredders and popsicle toys are good.
  8. Julsiebean
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    Julsiebean Sprinting down the street

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    You mean lovebirds aren't supposed to bite?:rolleyes: Kokomo would bite her own shadow if she could catch it.
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  9. Julio
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    Julio Meeting neighbors

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    I'm afraid you are experiencing the hormonal wrath of a female lovebird :p. At 7 months as AZReno explains they are getting in their hormonal stage and therefor will become very territorial about stuff they see as their own. Have you seen any signs of her trying to hump (sorry for using that word) anything? Or maybe making the sound where they show they are in their turned on mood ( like a slow rattlesnake sound). Or perhaps she is spreading her wings.

    But im afraid that is pretty normal when you have a female lovie, some actualy are lucky and dont get it as bad as others do. So far people have given you allready great advice
  10. Lovebird57
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    Lovebird57 Sprinting down the street

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    I had to take away shredding toys in Kito's cage. She stopped being as cage aggressive towards me immediately. She readily comes out. I have shredding opportunities elsewhere and she is quite happy about that. She gets excited when I change her food and water. If she is in her cage, she'll jump on me and gets so excited that she'll nip at me if I am not fast enough!
    :)
    She is aggressive towards my husband when he talks to her when she is in her cage. He made the mistake of teasing her when we first took her in. He tries calmly talking to her while she is in her cage. She gets ramped up. He still doesn't understand that she will never change towards him because he still teases her on occasion. The bird is smart. She is aggressive towards the tiels so I can't let them all out at the same time. I do a lovie time out and then a tiel time out. This is depressing to Mango because he wants to be with Mojo.

    Poor Kito is super hormonal because of Mango. She flirts shamelessly with him. The boy is in love with Mojo and won't give her the time of day.
    Last edited: 9/10/11
  11. Tango1
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    Tango1 Meeting neighbors

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    Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I don't check this board often. Yes, I had a DNA test on Tango and she is definitely female. I've tried the dowel and that really ticks her off. I hate using the towel method, but believe it or not, she doesn't fight it and she seems very calm. My grandchildren don't touch her because she won't let anyone touch her but me. It's strange. She doesn't seem to enjoy her bath, but she doesn't attempt to bite me at all when I have her in the sick. She even let's me lift her wings to splash water under them. Just like a female. Persnickety. lol
    Thank you for your suggestions. I'll just have to try different ways of handling her until I hit on one that she responds to.
  12. Tango1
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    Tango1 Meeting neighbors

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    Thank you everyone for your great advice. I'll hit on something that works with her eventually.
  13. Laurul Feather Cat
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    Laurul Feather Cat Biking along the boulevard

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    How about using treats to give the hand held dowel a good connotation in her mind. You start out by showing the dowel and giving a treat. Later on you touch her chest with the dowel and give a treat. And so on.... Dowel training will really, really help your relationship with her.
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