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Diagnosing agression triggers.

Discussion in 'The Training Court' started by amazoncrazy, 10/19/09.

  1. amazoncrazy

    amazoncrazy Meeting neighbors

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    I wasn't sure exactly where this one fit best so if it's in the wrong place, please feel free to move it.

    Some of you may have already read this because I've posted it on other forums but I figured it's worth repeating here.

    Out of my flock of six, only one of my birds has never had another owner. I got interested in parrots after I started doing volunteer work at a rescue and Peppers, my RLA, was the first bird addition to my family. I did a lot of research before bringing Peppers home and everything I've read always says that parrots don't bite without reason. In fact, it is my understanding that actually biting is a pretty uncommon behavior in wild parrots. I think that figuring out the reason that this behavior is manifesting itself in our captive friends can often be the hardest but also the most important thing to do when you are dealing with a parrot that has any sort of biting issues.

    Since I don't know much of the history of the members of my flock, I had to figure out a way to really find out what things upset them so I started a bite journal. (I call it a bite journal but I really record whenever things upset them, not necessarily just when they attempt/succeed in biting).

    As we all know, parrots are very complex creatures and there are a multitude of things that could possibly upset them. With this thought in mind, I pretty much record everything that was going on at the time the incident occurred. Here is an idea of the type of information I always try to include.

    What happened? - total explanation of the event/actions that took place.

    Who was involved? - All people in the area, not just the one that was interacting with the bird should be included here. Sometimes when a bird bites it has nothing to do with person it bites, prime example of this is displacement biting.

    What was the victim’s response? - Very important thing to note, especially if you think you might be dealing with a bird who bites to get attention.

    What colors were the person wearing? - I never would have thought this one was very important until I got Hans who does not like it when people are wearing the color red. If I wasn’t keeping a journal, I’m not sure I would have realized that he reacts to the color that way.

    Is there anything new in the area? - Look around the room, do you see anything that is new? Remember parrots can perceive many common objects as threats (we see this all the time with new toys) something that looks completely harmless to you might be sending your feathered friend into a frenzy.

    What else is going on? - Are you sitting at the computer, watching tv, on the phone, or otherwise distracted? I know that there are two of my birds that I cannot be on the phone with and in general, Sydney hates it when my attention is devoted to anything but her, lol.

    What time is it? - Time of day is important to note because in my experience, some birds are more likely to be grumpy closer to bed time and others are not morning birds and prefer to be left alone then.

    If you have other animals, were any of them in the room? - If your flock is not used to being together include other birds here.

    Does the bird look overall healthy (not puffed up? ect)? Are the bowls full and clean? Do the papers need changed? - This one I include more as a reminder to make myself check. I would get grumpy if my food bowl and home were dirty and I assume they would too!

    The same concept would probably work great applied to pretty much any unwanted behavior. . . After you figure out the cause, these things are a lot easier to either learn to live with or start to work towards changing.

    I know that a lot of that probably seems pretty basic. I think it's important to start from square one whenever I'm dealing with most behaviors in parrots though. If I didn't, I know there have been many times already in my short time living with a flock that I would have completely overlooked the cause of certain unwanted behaviors
     
    Rooary, HyacinthWings, Anna M and 3 others like this.
  2. Cynthia & Percy

    Cynthia & Percy cockatoo mania Super Moderator Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Veteran

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    thanks for sharing you should also include things in the room like TV was it on
    my birds respond differently according to what is on the TV
     
  3. amazoncrazy

    amazoncrazy Meeting neighbors

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    Great suggestion! I usually include that in the what else is going on section but it's not something I actually mentioned, thanks for pointing that out because it's definately worth mentioning.
     
  4. Nelson & Gang

    Nelson & Gang Sprinting down the street Avenue Veteran

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    I have often recommended a bite log when dealing w/ aggressive behaviors in birds. It's not always evident @ the time what caused the action/reaction of your bird - looking back at it at a later time can give you the possibility to seeing something you didn't notice before. Even if it's something simple like an object being out of place ~ or reaction of another person.

    I slightly disagree w/ the fact that birds do not bite each other in the wild. If you watch wild birds (exotics) in flocks - you will notice that the bonded pairs do in fact bite each other in the wild for various reasons ~ to get another's attention, divert attention, etc. The only difference is birds in the wild have feathers to protect them from the bites and they appear to go off more unnoticed. However, our skin does not have that same protection from the bites. ;)
     
    HyacinthWings likes this.
  5. amazoncrazy

    amazoncrazy Meeting neighbors

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    Very true, I often see that behaviour in my amazons actually. I guess I don't think of those as bites even though they pretty much are. I always call them love nips, lol.
     
  6. JLcribber

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

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    Amanda keeps Tika in line with love nips all the time. Sheryl doesn't bite but it sure feels like it sometimes. :D
     
  7. Jacqi

    Jacqi Strolling the yard

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    Great suggestions. I'm sure the same general template could be used for non-typical screaming/calling or plucking. The idea that it might not be evident at the moment, but you may see a pattern over time is very interesting & very important- especially to an impatient person like me. :( hehe
     
  8. Tango1

    Tango1 Meeting neighbors

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    My precious love bird, Tango, only gets aggressive with her biting when I'm doing something that has to do with food in her cage. I might be putting or taking out a kabob and she tries to bite me vigorously. I have extra dishes in her cage for veggies, treats, etc. She tries to bite me when I'm putting those dishes in or taking them out. Otherwise, I can just reach in there and pick her up and bring her out if she's not reacting to the "step up" command. She my complain, but never bites. Confusing, to say the least. I would appreciate any suggestions.
     
  9. Welshanne

    Welshanne Ripping up the road Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avian Angel

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    she is just protecting her home and it is a natural thing for her to be doing no matter what. Can she be out of her cage and away from it while you change her bowls etc? Might help you never know. Good luck.
     
  10. Brigidt36

    Brigidt36 Biking along the boulevard Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Veteran

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    Wow, I can't believe I have never seen this sticky until today. Guess I miss more on here then I thought :(. Oh well.....

    What a great idea!!!! Def worth doing and every once in awhile re-reading to see if there are any set patterns.
     
  11. minty marie

    minty marie Checking out the neighborhood

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    :irnb:my baby boy jasper (he may be 7 months old but hes still my baby) is an indian ringneck and he used to bite A LOT! but now its just when its getting close to bed time and also in the morning (I have to get up at 7:00 am for school)
     

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