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How do you handle biting?

Discussion in 'Behavior Byway' started by Kestrel, 5/17/19 at 3:16 PM.

  1. Kestrel

    Kestrel Strolling the yard

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    My cockatiel, Ayrendi, whom I just brought home two days ago, seems to be settling in nicely. He/she (not sure yet) has decided his favorite spot when he's out in perched on my shoulder which suite me just fine. I wear glasses though and Ayrendi has also decided that he likes to chew the arm. In fact he is becoming quite fixated on it already. So I took my glasses off today while I was holding him and when I did that he got "mad", made irritated sounds and started biting my ear.

    Granted, we are talking about a cockatiel here so it's not like he can cause a lot of damage but nevertheless, it was not a sweet nibble, it was clearly an "I'm mad you took my toy away" bite. Enough to hurt but not break skin. I know better than to do any kind of reprimand, or anything like that so I just ignored the behavior and turned my head away. He calmed down after a bit and cuddled with me again and eventually took a nap.

    Then again this evening, he wanted out of his cage, so I opened the door, he came to me and got on my shoulder. I was wearing a tank top, and he started chewing at an exposed metal loop on my bra strap, so I tucked it away better under my shirt so he couldn't get at it and he did the same thing again. Mad noises and biting at me, which I ignore ignored but he seemed to stay upset for considerably longer.

    Should I maybe just be putting him back into his cage when he acts like this? Or is there some better way to handle it? Keep in mind he's still a baby, only 10 weeks old. It's not like I'm afraid of him or anything I just don't want to start any bad habits.
     
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  2. Tiel Feathers

    Tiel Feathers Cruising the avenue Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

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    I think he’s just exploring his environment and getting mad when you take away his fun. I remember my cockatiels doing that, and one still does. None of mine have ever actually bitten me or really even hurt me. I would reidirect him to something he can play with. For my birds regular bird toys never did the trick, but personal items like hair ties, papers, buttons, etc. did. He should grow out of it. Too quickly I might add. Baby birds grow up too fast!:heart:
     
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  3. EkkieLu

    EkkieLu Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue I Can't Stop Posting! POSTAHOLIC

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    My babies can do major damage if they bite. So as soon as the usual nibbles get a bit hard I say Noooo and if they don't let go I blow gently in their face and they always release immediately. I want them to know that what they're doing isn't acceptable behavior.
    They all get excited at times and may latch on while climbing or playing, but teaching them to be gentle has worked very well.
    I'm only referencing my 3 boys here...Lucy is a totally other story! :sad11:
     
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  4. Kodigirl210

    Kodigirl210 Rollerblading along the road

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    Every species is different. Tiels are pretty laid back so I would just make sure you always have a treat or toy ready to “give” when you are “taking” something away. Unfortunately the fixation with glasses may never end. I prefer the extra warranty plans that cover accidental damage. :bored:
     
  5. EkkieLu

    EkkieLu Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue I Can't Stop Posting! POSTAHOLIC

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    Lol! My crew loves my glasses too!
     
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  6. Zara

    Zara Rollerblading along the road Avenue Spotlight Award I Can't Stop Posting! POSTAHOLIC

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    Don´t take your glasses off. Leave them on otherwise when Ayrendi is older and out of the nibbling stage and you start wearing glasses... there will be a new toy. Best wear them so he sees them as a part of you. This being said, they will most likely always be seen as a fun playground ;)

    Best not to put him in the cage after displaying this sort of behaviour. If there´s a routine and you know when this behaviour will start, ++``+ put him back in the cage before it happens. If you put Ayrendi in the cage after, he will associate this behaviour with returning to the cage and so when he wants to go to the cage, he will get all nippy.

    My little Adelie like to nibble on my tshirt or bra strap, I let her. My clothes are clean so it´s fine.

     
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  7. Kestrel

    Kestrel Strolling the yard

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    @Tiel Feathers I agree with you. He's actually super sweet like 99% of the time. And I mean I did take something he was enjoying away twice. To him he can't understand why. I don't really blame him for getting frustrated. Reminds me of my kids when they were toddlers LOL

    Having a special toy/treat ready to let him chew on instead is an excellent idea! I have done that with puppies when they get "chewy" and it has always worked beautifully. I don't know why it didn't occur to me to try that with Ayrendi. I'll find something he really likes.

    Thank you all for your help!!! As always this community is awesome and I appreciate everyone who takes the time to comment.

    :heart::heart::heart:
     
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  8. Kestrel

    Kestrel Strolling the yard

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    @Zara oooh that is a good point! So just leave the glasses on and redirect to a special toy?
    Good point about the association with the cage too! Girl I have learned so much from you already! You're a wealth of knowledge. Thank you!

    Now I have been taking him out when he "asks" he gets really chirpy and in known he wants out. Do you think I'm going to regret that? Should I wait until he's quiet to take him out?
     
  9. Lady Jane

    Lady Jane Joyriding the Neighborhood Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Look in the Behavior Byway forum . Good articles there on this subject.

     
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  10. Kodigirl210

    Kodigirl210 Rollerblading along the road

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    Yeah I found redirecting doesn’t work with my glasses. I’ve been trying for 5-months lol. Hence the warranty ;)
     
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  11. Kestrel

    Kestrel Strolling the yard

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    @Kodigirl210 oh boy! LOL well good thing my frames are not expensive! :cool:
     
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  12. Kodigirl210

    Kodigirl210 Rollerblading along the road

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    @Kestrel - well a Grey also has a teeny bit more bite strength than Tiels or my GCC’s LOL :coffeescreen:
     
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  13. Kestrel

    Kestrel Strolling the yard

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  14. Tiel Feathers

    Tiel Feathers Cruising the avenue Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

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    I like to have a loosely structured routine with my birds so they know what to expect during the day. If it changes a bit on the weekends or other days, it’s okay because they know the difference. This helps keep the calling to come out at a minimum. When your bird is out, it’s a good idea to have him play on a playstand by himself once in a while too, so he learns to be independent.
     
  15. Zara

    Zara Rollerblading along the road Avenue Spotlight Award I Can't Stop Posting! POSTAHOLIC

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    I never let my birds out when they are noisy.
    When do you buy the child ice cream? When they scream and demand it? or when they are being good? ;)


    My frames are deisgner but I´m not very materialistic. It´s only money.
    Things you can do to cut back the interest, when you notice they are paying interest in your glasses to offer them another toy, something interesting. Or when you see the beak coming in to grab the arm of your glasses, just lean away a little so they miss. It is similar to earrings.
    I don´t know if they will ever lose interest. My birds like to perch on the arms of my glasses :)
     
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  16. Kestrel

    Kestrel Strolling the yard

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    Gotcha! Ayrendi seems to be doing better. I go ahead and let her out first thing in the morning even when she's chirpy because she's expecting to be let out and I figure I can't really blame her for being excited. But after that I have been trying to wait until she's more quiet before I let her out.

    She actually has been leaving my glasses alone a lot more already just after I started moving my head away when she went for them. I've noticed that she's really full of herself first thing in the morning and that also seems to be when she's the most "nippy". She flew around a lot this morning and even when she landed she was kind of in "klutz" mode flapping her wings and jumping around then flying again. I'm so glad I didn't let them cut her wings! I can see it's really good for her to get that energy out both physically and emotionally. I can imagine she would be feeling pretty frustrated if she had to keep that all pent up.

    Question, we have one window that has no blinds and is pretty clear. She's run into it once (not hard, but still). I have marked it with some blue painter's tape for now but do birds learn about certain windows or should I put something permanent up to help her see it?

    Anyway, we are having a good time getting to know one another and Ayrendi seems to be bonding really well with my kids too. The only one who isn't in love with Ayrendi is my dog LOL. I have never seen such a display of sulking and moping before in my life. It's kind of sad but its also kind of funny because this is one of the most loved dogs in the world and I would put money on that. Since Ayrendi arrived you would think the dog is being completely neglected the way he's acting. And while he's generally spoiled on a regular basis anyway, he's been even extra spoiled lately! In effort to stave off the jealousy, he's been getting extra belly rubs, treats etc. and even an extra fetch session every day since Ayrendi arrived (he usually gets one a day). But we are strict with him about getting too excited because he tends to want to rush at the the cage when the bird gets noisy or moves around a lot. So we have been getting after him for that and he has also caught on to that we put him up whenever Ayrendi is going to be let out. Even though he tends to nap at those times anyway the dog does not approve LOL. So he mopes around the house and and has been protesting at meal times (he still eats, but when we aren't looking ). Such a baby! :roflmao:
     
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  17. Zara

    Zara Rollerblading along the road Avenue Spotlight Award I Can't Stop Posting! POSTAHOLIC

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    Yes, my birds get pretty exited when they know I open the doors. I keep the schedule pretty loose so they don´t get so locked on.


    Yes, not to mention it will keep her in tip top physical condition for when it´s time to lay. Diet can only do so much, it has to be balanced with exercise, and flight is the best.
    There´s a huge list of advantages.

    Try some sort of pretty decal.


    My dog doesn´t like the flapping wings. I put him out most days, especially in the summer mainly for the heat. In the winter I have the birds out most of the day as all the windows are closed so he does come in and try to sleep. He´s not interested in the birds which is ironic as he was the one to find Aldora and alert me...

     
  18. Kestrel

    Kestrel Strolling the yard

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    You're lucky! My dog has a pretty strong prey drive. I knew going into this that he will never be allowed to be in the room while Ayrendi is flying. But we used to have a ferret (he died of old age) and my dog learned to completely ignore him and accepted him as "not his" so my goal is to get my dog to the point where I can have Ayrendi on a harness and leash attached to me with the dog in the room ignoring her. But we are a long way from that. I have to see him have lost all interest in Ayrendi while she is in her cage before we can even think about moving in that direction.

    He is actually improving by the day. When Ayrendi gets noisy now I can see him think about running over there but instead he will look at me. Then he sulks LOL. It's just going to take time. He's really a good dog though, very smart, so I am hopeful.

    Oh man! This is why I really hope Ayrendi turns out to be a boy! LOL
    I have elected to just wait and see if she loses her pearling or not at 9 months. But the idea of her laying if she IS a girl absolutely terrifies me!

    But one crisis at a time! Right now I'm just trying to get her to eat well and gain some weight.

    I like the decal idea. I'll see what I can find. Thank you as always for the advice! :)
     
  19. Zara

    Zara Rollerblading along the road Avenue Spotlight Award I Can't Stop Posting! POSTAHOLIC

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    Ah I see. My dog has zero prey drive. He likes to be left alone and sleep. He never jumps up because of his bad hips so he´s super inactive. He likes to be stroked , given treats and snooze lol. If I do have him with me and the birds, sometimes he´ll go to the door and sit and look at me to signal he wants to leave.

    Just remember that your dog is sensitive to sound so if Ayrendi gets vocal, put the dog out for a bit so he doesn´t have to suffer the noise.

    You kept saying She so I assumed you had her DNA tested. That will be interesting to see what he or she is :)
     
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  20. aqualover9

    aqualover9 Walking the driveway

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    If he bites really hard, you should remain calm and collected so he'll understand that biting is not gonna earn him attention or a treat. Try not to show signs of anger (which I'm sure you're not but just in case: try not to yell out in pain). If it gets really bad, you can try to put him back into his cage for a minute or two to show him that biting will result in less attention and after that, you can take him back out and resume playing normally. (You might want to try enforcing positive behavior by giving him treats and praising him too.) Hope this helps :)
     
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