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2 1/2 Year Old Bird Suddenly Very Bitey!

TurkeyTalker

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Hello! I have a male GCC who’s 2 1/2 years old. For the past few months in general he has been acting different - he bites me often (and with a considerable amount of force given his size) and has become very moody as he’ll go from cuddling to lunging at me. In the past 6 weeks in particular he has become very nasty. He used to be so sweet and now EVERY SINGLE time I interact with him or even walk by too close he will bite me so hard that my skin is cut open and the surrounding flesh swells. It may be worth noting he has also been exhibiting a lot of mating behavior for the past couple of months but that has died down considerably in the past 6 weeks and has been replaced with his new interest in biting me.

He has recently been to the vet for his annual check up and got a clean bill of health. His diet has changed in the past few months but only because I’ve introduced new vegetables into his diet. He still eats the same pellets mixed with the veggies.

He’s gone through much smaller stages of bluffing, hormonal surges, and moodiness and we always worked through them but this current thing he’s got going on has been lasting such a long time that I’m afraid it may cause long term damage to our bond. What should I do?!
 

Mizzely

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Does he do this primarily near his cage or "stuff"? Do you live with anyone else who is not being treated this way?
 

TurkeyTalker

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He is nasty to everybody now. He will act this way regardless of where we are or what we’re doing.
 

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Sorry I hadn't seen this thread before.

It's good that he's back to normal! I do want to point out though that birds don't "bluff".... it's really a form of communication that, if ignored, can lead to actual biting... and people are generally told to ignore the behavior, so they end up getting bitten and the bird may stop the warning message and go straight for the bite... which results in "bites out of no-where" because the bird has simply given up warning the human that they will bite.
 

scott199

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This thread’s dead but I wanted to update for anyone who may stumble upon in the future. Whatever it was it’s over now. Now he’s back to being sweet, cuddly, and talking about how pretty he is!
Did anything change, did you do anything different, or did he/she just one day decide to be nice again ?
 

TurkeyTalker

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The only thing that changed was I spent some extra time with him every evening but without really holding or petting him(he just wanted to explore at this time - not be touched) And then it’s like one day he went back to normal. It’s very strange to me but I’m glad he’s back to his old cuddly self. Now he’s back to cuddling and kissing on everybody in the family and chatting non-stop.
 

TurkeyTalker

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Sorry I hadn't seen this thread before.

It's good that he's back to normal! I do want to point out though that birds don't "bluff".... it's really a form of communication that, if ignored, can lead to actual biting... and people are generally told to ignore the behavior, so they end up getting bitten and the bird may stop the warning message and go straight for the bite... which results in "bites out of no-where" because the bird has simply given up warning the human that they will bite.
Yes I’ve been told ever since I had him to ignore the behavior or else he would learn he could act out and get me to leave! And it makes sense to he would resort to just skipping right on ahead to biting without warning. So how should owners react to birds who are displaying aggression or frustration?
 

Monica

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#1 - don't get bit (easier said than done until you learn to read body language and avoid situations that result in a bite)
#2 - if you do get bit, set the bird down to cool off for a minimum of 3-5 seconds, longer if necessary, and figure out what went wrong and how to avoid that in the future

If a bird is in their cage and lunges when you walk by, then try changing your approach - try offering a treat any time you walk by! It is not necessary the bird take the treat from you, you can simply drop it into a cup and keep on going.

If you train new behaviors, you could cue them to do a behavior instead of biting, redirecting their focus somewhere else and rewarding that, just giving them some time to cool off.... just ways to avoid the bite, and if possible, redirecting undesired behavior into desired behavior that can be rewarded. :)
 
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