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Paco bit me! How to handle this situation

Discussion in 'African Grey Alley' started by Snowghost, 4/22/19.

  1. Snowghost

    Snowghost Walking the driveway

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    Paco has been with me for 3 weeks, been going slow. He nipped a little, just touching the skin but no bite, which I understand he is scared. I stepped over the line I guess and tried to take a pic of a toy on the inside of his cage, he reached for me and I said no but he got me! Ouch!

    Well I just said no firmly and he went into his cage and I closed the door and left the room. Was this ok?

    I have a problem, when he is on top of his cage he is taller then I. I know this isn't good. So I stand on a stool.

    Not sure what to do now. I will offer him a nutri berry and see how we do.

    I have been trying to get him used to a T stand but it's been a slow process and he is still afraid of it.
     
  2. Snowghost

    Snowghost Walking the driveway

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    Shoot I forgot to add, I tried to search files on this topic but came up empty handed.
     
  3. Clueless

    Clueless Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    There are tons of threads on bites but most of us realize afterwards that it was something we did that caused the bite.

    I've been told the standing higher than the bird isn't important.

    Frankly though, birds always want to be higher so it's easier to get them to step "up".
     
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  4. Kodigirl210

    Kodigirl210 Rollerblading along the road

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    Standing higher than the bird is old school based on outdated thinking. People were basically comparing a dog pack to a bird flock suggesting alpha beta behavior. Birds do not function on that type of hierarchy because they are birds not dogs.

    A bird likes to be high up because he feels safer not because he’s trying to dominate. And no, the bite was not Paco’s fault so he probably doesn’t understand why you reprimanded him and you shouldn’t have reprimanded him.

    If Paco was reaching for you while inside his cage, you should have backed out, not yelled. He’s in a new environment, frightened and now this human sticks his hands and this other thing that I don’t know what it is into his “safe” space and you’re surprised he bit you regardless of your order?

    He hasn’t given you his trust yet and this will probably set it back farther. Your expecting him to understand that just because another human took him somewhere else and is giving him more food and things that he has to instantly trust and do everything you say. It won’t happen and if you keep to that thought process, it will never happen.

    Most rehomed birds whether conures, CAGs, or Tiels or any other birds take months to years to become comfortable and responsive to their new home. Some never adapt. Everything you do has to be on Paco’s timeline and not on yours. You really, really need to stop trying to hurry things if you want a lasting relationship.

    Let Paco be. Leave the door to his cage open so he can go in and out as he wants. That way he can explore his surroundings without pressure. If a T-stand scares him, don’t use it. Every time you force him to do something he is afraid or doesn’t want you erode what little trust and goodwill you had built up. Treat him when you see him so he sees the positive. Talk to him in a normal tone of voice until he becomes used to it. Sit, talk, laugh or whatever so he can observe and begin to understand you are safe.

    Most of all, stop setting unreasonable expectations because all it does is end in disappointment. Most AA members who have taken in a rehomed CAG have needed 3+ months to be able to touch or get the CAG to step up or anything else. For deeper interactions probably 6-months plus. And for some they still can’t touch or interact with their rehomed CAGs but they accept it because the point is giving the CAG a good home and anything else extra is a bonus. :)
     
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  5. 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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    @Kodigirl210 you always give good advice .I bet those blue banners will be coming soon under your avitar.
     
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  6. Fuzzy

    Fuzzy Rollerblading along the road Celebirdy of the Month Avenue Veteran

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    At least you know what you did! Biting is communication. You'll know not to repeat the action next time! :) There was no point in giving him a time out as he didn't do anything wrong. The easiest way to avoid getting bitten is to avoid the bite, ie. watch his body language and heed it.

    Absolutely it doesn't matter that he is higher than you when on top of his cage. Most birds prefer to be high up where it is easier to spot predators. As Kodigirl said, hierarchy in unlikely to exist in prey animals like parrots.

    Desensitising is a slow process. Just gradually bring the T-stand closer and closer to his cage over days or even weeks, making sure not to evoke more than the mildest of responses. Eventually it will be close enough to his cage that he can choose to step on it/investigate it if he wants to. Make it more attractive by hanging toys similar to his favourites from it and if it has a food bowl put some favourite treats inside. I did this with Ollie when desensitising him to a travel cage. Then when Paco is used to climbing on it next to his cage, gradually move it away so that he has to fly to it. That way he'll have another area apart from his cage to hang out on.

    Meanwhile pair yourself with wonderful experiences like favourite treats so that Paco looks forward to interaction with you. :D So yes, if his most favourite treat in the whole world is a Nutriberry, hand him one as reinforcement for any behaviour you want to see more of, like calm body language, or stepping up on you, etc. Otherwise watch for what he goes for in his food bowl first - these will be his favourite things. Remove them so they become more valuable and use them as reinforcers. Here, unsalted cashews and almonds are favourites so I use them for training.
     
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  7. Snowghost

    Snowghost Walking the driveway

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    Whoa hold on everybody, I didn't reprimand him, I just said no, like I always do when he goes to nip, I didn't yell and didn't punish, he went into his cage and I just closed the door, written communication sure can be misconstrued.

    I know it was my fault, I invaded his space and he got scared. I just want to do if this happens again.

    As for standing higher, very interesting to learn that the hierarchy does not matter with parrots. Thank you.

    I had a wild caught Amazon, that a friend gave me that was so terrified I couldn't even get her out of her cage for months. We were buddies for 25 years.

    I am not use to such an intelligent parrot as a CAG. It's some what intimidating to talk to him and he looks at me and cocks his head with such an interesting look in his eye and has even responded ok to me twice when I told him something. He will also step up on my arm and had given me kisses. One by accident I think, he fluttered to the floor once and he stepped up on my arm. I was tisk tisking and he leaned over an touched my lips with his beak. (Previous owner taught him this) I don't encourage this as we don't know each other.

    I am looking forward to an long and healthy relationship with Paco and I have a lot to learn.
     
  8. 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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    Saying no is a reprimand. Instead redirect his attention in a positive way. Saying no will guarantee you another bite.

     
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  9. Clueless

    Clueless Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Actually, I say no to my guys if they're starting to explore something they shouldn't. It works for Secret to keep her away from the brass drain in the shower. As soon as I say no, she stops.
     
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  10. Snowghost

    Snowghost Walking the driveway

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    Thank you.
     
  11. Hawk12237

    Hawk12237 Rollerblading along the road

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    The little nip touching the skin is a normal sequence from a bird. It's not an actual bite. Rather testing the waters. Your both new to each other relatively. So he will test the perch ( your finger or hand) before stepping up to assure it's safe. Much like we humans would say ,touch something to see if it's hot before grabbing. Or shake a railing to assure the bridge is safe. You get my point.
    It's a trust issue, don't take it the wrong way. Parrots use their beak frequently as an extra hand, to assure balance. People often mistaken that as a biting response. No, not always.
    Next, he bit you inside his cage. His cage is his safe place. Just for a moment, picture that it's you sitting on the perch in side that cage. What do you see? You see a person coming toward your safe spot, is going to take my food? Is he going to take my toys? What does he want?
    Again it's a different level of trust here. Most parrots are pretty protective of their cage. Mine are. I've learned to "ask" to reach in, ask to pet them, and etc. They learn what that means over time. Sometimes a nip can mean no in their form of communication. Continue then the nip turns to a bite.
    Being firm with a bird is perfectly fine. Mine know when I get upset or mad at them over their behaviour. Parrots like greys, amazons, cockatoos, macaws have a higher emotional level. They know when they made daddy mad, and are willing to make it right the next time around. They get over it, just as you will too.
    The emotions are something parrots are good at picking up on. It's ok to be firm, it's ok to be mad, they come to learn these emotions. Just as they are capable of being mad at us. But even if it's a few hours or a day, the next day they start fresh, and ready to forgive and forget, just as we do.
    The thing about a bird being higher than you ( a dominance thing) ha ha...that's horse crap, a myth. Being higher for them just makes it easier to fling food at you and hit their bullseye.
    In conclusion, it takes time for you and your bird to learn each other, to grow the trust, to understand each other's ways. Imagine how you fell in love with your significant other, you learn each other's ways, you learn trust you grow.
    It's not any different with a bird.

     
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  12. Kodigirl210

    Kodigirl210 Rollerblading along the road

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    I think you need to redirect your perspective. If a child did something the parent didn’t want, what happens? They are reprimanded. How are they reprimanded? Most civilized parents will set the child down, explain and walk away leaving the child in a “time out” as punishment. Which is exactly what you did to Paco.

    I did not tell not to reprimand Paco as a criticism. You asked if what you did was correct and I told that it wasn’t and why it wasn’t. It is not a personal criticism but if you take it as such, you will find the forum isn’t very helpful to you. We are trying to help you grow as a parront, not shut you down but remember these are posts and nuance is lost when you are posting, just as it is lost when we text or email.

    Also remember we are trying to inform you, not impress you. When I post, I usually have a 5 or 10 minute window and I can’t sit and do a super fancy, dancey post that is all pretty with substance. I just go for the substance. I disseminate information in the fastest way possible without being über blunt but as I run out of time so do I run out wasting it. So please, take the information as it is meant, as information that you can use to help your bond grow. ;)
     
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  13. Snowghost

    Snowghost Walking the driveway

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    Thank you all for your wonderful insight and information. I truly appreciate it, too funny a parront. Michael the first few nips I figure was just testing me out. I was wrong by invading his space. Interesting to know about the different views on letting a parrot sit higher then you.
     
  14. Snowghost

    Snowghost Walking the driveway

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    Thanks Hawk, I have save your response in my email. I do enjoy this group and its wealth of information.
     
  15. Hawk12237

    Hawk12237 Rollerblading along the road

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    AA has a wonderful group of people that can offer up advice. We on AA all come from all walks of life, experience and observance over years of parrots, and we all share our experiences on here. No matter how experience one may seem, we're always learning new and exciting things from other parronts on here.

     
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  16. Clueless

    Clueless Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    and it's important to remember that EACH BIRD is different.

    Not just the KIND of bird, EACH and EVERY bird.

    For instance, Secret is highly unique. Who else has a parrot that wants skritches, leans against the bars for them and yet hisses the entire time. Maybe in our second decade together the parrot will relax more. I can dream, right?

    Sigh.
     
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  17. Snowghost

    Snowghost Walking the driveway

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    Oh we are getting along famously! I am spending more and more time with him and always tell him what I'm doing and I move slowly. I was so used to my wild Amazon, she just screamed and whistled and not tame at all so I didn't really go near her physically but we communicated. I understood her squawks and she understood me.
     
  18. Fuzzy

    Fuzzy Rollerblading along the road Celebirdy of the Month Avenue Veteran

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    Great to hear, Terri! :D
     
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  19. Hawk12237

    Hawk12237 Rollerblading along the road

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    Hi Terri,
    Grey's are curious parrots, they study "you", they study "what" you do and they watch. They learn from watching you.
    For example, my grey "greyson" likes to ride around on my shoulder and watch what I do.
    Such as me combing hair and shaving, I tell him exactly what I'm doing. So in medicine cabinet, I have his own brush...a child's tooth brush. I give it to him and tell him, comb your hair and shave....he takes tooth brush combs his hair and shave under his beak. Then I say, ok done, and we put tooth brush of his up.
    My point here is they watch and learn, and even ask questions. My grey always asks when I am cooking, washing dishes, or what not... " whatcha doing boo? " he asks. So I carefully explain each thing... He now asks when I wash dishes.... " washy washy boo boo? " ...yep I say,, now we'll dry dishes and put them away....Ohhhhhh he says.
    What works for me is I always ask him first I can pet him, if he wants up, or a treat, or to come out of cage. Sometimes I just lean on his cage and play with his toy he ignors, and say ooohhh this is fun. Next thing you know he comes and plays with it with you. Togetherness is more fun to a grey.
    The true loving bond takes time terri, no need to rush it, it will never be a cake walk at first. My BFA zon was classified by many, vets, avian staff, other parronts as the meanest Amazon they've ever seen. It took years to break her. Nearly 6 years!!! I never gave up.
    Now 7 years later you couldn't ask for a tighter more loving bond. I've had 14 birds in life time, and fostered 6 others, none were ever as tight, loving and understanding as poppers my zon.
    So yea, it can take a few weeks, to several years. Each bird is unique. You will never find two birds exactly alike personality wise....!:cool:


     
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  20. Snowghost

    Snowghost Walking the driveway

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    Hawk, I do love to read your posts about your adventures with your birds. I have to remind myself that Bugsy (White Front Amazon) was scared when I first got her 25 years ago, the poor thing was in a cage that was to small, she had no socialization with anyone, too terrified to come out of her cage. With love and patience she would fly to my shoulder and we would chatter all the time. I am certainly enjoying the journey getting to know Paco more and more each day.
     
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