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Very mouthy B&G Macaw

Discussion in 'Behavior Byway' started by SpecialistElbru, 9/8/18.

  1. SpecialistElbru

    SpecialistElbru Sprinting down the street

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    I am working with a two year old B&G Macaw that insist on mouthing my fingers, I am trying to reduce the behavior but don't really know what to do.

    - Background on Calypso -
    Calypso is just over two years old, He was pulled from the nest at 6 months just after he started coming out of the nest. He was hand feed for about 3 weeks, I only occasionally feed him during that time. After the 3 weeks he pretty much eat on his own. I did occasionally give him warm mash from a spoon but only once every month or two, until he was one year old, them only twice after that.

    Calypso threads ...
    Blue&Gold dose not like going 'off balance' | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum
    Avoiding inadvertent training | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum

    I have been working with Calypso the B&G for over a year now. I really love the bond of trust that I have with him. that trust works both ways. To gain his trust, I let him mouth my fingers shortly after he was pulled from the nest. He loves to nibble my fingers and hands. I did not mind allowing him to mouth my fingers, but what I take issue with is that he is constantly doing this behavior whenever I am with him.

    I have been using two different verbal cues to control his behavior. When he would nibble on my fingers I verbalized "hay" to mean that he was biting too hard. If he continued I would move my hand away and ignore him.

    Calypso is not allowed to nibble the hand he is sitting on and he is not allowed to grab my clothing. Whenever he does, I issue the command "cutitout". If he continues, I pop his tail feathers with my finger. It did not take too long for him to figure out what "cutitout" meant. To be precise, when he would start an non-allowed behavior, I said "cutitout" he would vocalize displeasure and stop the behavior, without me having to pop his tail feathers.

    I've been training Calypso, so that I can do public demonstrations with him at David's place. David will also take Calypso to outreach programs. David is not happy with me letting Calypso nibble on my fingers.

    Calypso enjoys, me petting his head and rubbing the white patches on his face, but when ever I put me hand that close, he always wants to nibble my fingers. Is there a way that I can get him to stop or at least do it less and still be able to give him head pets?

    I was thinking that I might give him a sign that I am willing to allow some mild nibbling, but I won't allow nibbling any other time. Do you think the sometimes nibbling is too much. Do you think I will need to make him stop all together? How do I get him to stop?
     
  2. AussietheLovie

    AussietheLovie Moving in

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    If you're referring to gentle nibbles (nothing that could cause pain, maybe poking around with his tongue a bit), Calypso may be preening you. You preen him- petting his head, rubbing his face- and as a social animal, he may wish to return the favor. Unless he's hurting you, it sounds like he just wants to keep you as neatly groomed as you keep him, in a healthy, natural way for a parrot.
     
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  3. Peachfaced

    Peachfaced Biking along the boulevard Moderator Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Vendor

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    Maybe he needs something like a child needs a pacifier? He's still very young. A foot toy might do the trick; a baby toy (chewy rings), wooden block, or stainless steel foot toy to idly entertain himself with instead of your skin.
     
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  4. faislaq

    faislaq I have a macaw and don't post enough photos Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award I Can't Stop Posting!

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    I'm no help here. Buzzard is 14 and beaks my fingers almost all the time. It works out because I can wrap my fingers around his noggin for some serious scritches & even use both hands for pins with no fear of nipping. Plus it gives me a chance to kiss his cheeks. :laugh: I let him do it as long as he likes as long as he doesn't bite too hard. I do think he is been doing it less lately. Not less often, he still does it every time, he just stops sooner. I don't see him ever stopping, though. It seems like his way of showing affection.
     
  5. hrafn

    hrafn Jogging around the block

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    My adult B&G loves my fingers almost as much as he loves his toes. He's always got my fingers in his mouth, playing with them and 'preening' them and beaking them and giving himself scritches with them (lol).
    As long as your baby's not being rough and hurting you, I don't think it's behaviour that needs to be stopped. He just loves you.
     
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  6. Peachfaced

    Peachfaced Biking along the boulevard Moderator Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Vendor

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  7. Macawnutz

    Macawnutz Seriously Nutz! Super Administrator AA Advertising Exec Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    My very first question is.. Who owns this bird? Every thread you start about him leads with I am working with a B&G macaw.

    What is this birds daily routine like? How much attention does he recieve? What kind of daily attention does he recieve?

    I have show birds. They live like any other bird 90% of the day. Screwing around making messes, wanting scritches, running flying chewing and being naughty crazy birds... Two times a day for 30 minutes they have to pretend to behave and do a show. Their cue for show time is a music change.

    The bird you are talking about is young. Macaws are mouthy birds to begin with and you taught this behavior to him for comfort. If it were me, I wouldn't necessarily unteach it.
    I would teach him that when it's time to work the mouthing is not part of the routine.

     

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