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Aggressive play in young white-capped Pionus

Hoender

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Chenay
Hi all

I have a young white-capped pionus (about 18 months old) whom I have had for six months. He is generally very sweet and laid back. My concern however is that his favorite way of playing with his toys is to attack them quite aggressively. He has interacted with all his toys this way since I have had him and it does seem to be done in the spirit of play rather than aggression. When he tries to play with me he treats me the same way as his toys. There is a difference between this play fighting (his feathers are not ruffled and he seems excited rather than angry and doesn't actually bite but rather 'boxes' me with his beak) vs when he is in a mood and warns me off with fluffed feathers (and a nip if I don't heed his warning).

I obviously don't want to encourage this type of play in case it does escalate into aggression as he gets older. My question is how to I discourage this behavior? Currently I ignore this behavior and offer him a head scratch which he loves. Also how do I play with him in a more appropriate manner?
 

expressmailtome

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macawpower58

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Many parrots play rough, many (mine included) love to attack their toys, and us too, if we get in the way.
IMO the play with the toys is normal, and I'd allow it.
Learn to deescalate your bird before approaching though, so the rough play doesn't fall onto you.
If he's playing too rough with just you, stop and back away until he calms.
Try again. If every time he nips and bites you walk away, it might get through his feathery head.

When my Amazon plays, I DO NOT INTERVENE.
Some birds just get too wound up and are better left to play. ;)

Also, if your bird warns you, and you persist, who's fault is it you got a nip?
Learn to listen when your birds warns you off.
 

Dartman

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Nerd loved to beat the crap out of his favorite toys, Lurch would do it to certain ones then look at me like this could be you...:devil:Dobby is pretty mellow but will beat up his toys when he wants attention or is just in a mood so it's normal. Wait till you get him to finger wrestle you...
 

momazon

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It is tacky, but I hang a roll of toilet paper in the cage for an aggression toy. Most of the time it is untouched, but there are days my zon has shredded it. Dobby was the same way. Once in a while you just gotta kick someone's backside to maintain your self respect:sissfgt: Other than that. yelling OW and acting hurt seems to get the point across. My zon knows to say "sorry Mom" when she plays too rough. They pick up patterned responses so quickly that it's a tool to use. (Someone asked me once what to say when my zon said thank you. I told them but they couldn't bring themselves to talk to a bird :welcomesign: )

I would try some cage toys when the bird is too rowdy to be out, but I don't give stuffed animals since reading about crop impactions , just shreddable paper ones.

Best of luck!
 

Dartman

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Yep, Dobbys been a happy boy and sweet heart here but he does like to beat the crap outa a toy or bell occasionally. And the new girl Pippen loves to beat up her toys and try to bite fingers through the bars. Hopefully she calms down after a while and Dobby and her can be friends but going to watch and carefully supervise if it gets to that point. Right now no out time together though so far Dobby just makes his excited happy to meet you noises at her.
Glad to see you Momazon, I hope everything's going well for you and yours.
 

momazon

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Hey Terry,

I got absorbed by the fast lane at work again and haven't checked in forever. I am well and staying well! I hope you and Sandy and Dob are all enjoying life:)

Who is Pippen? I am excited to hear this! Is this a bird that will actually cooperate and let you hold it? Give Dobbers a cracker for me. My daughter and I talk about you guys all the time, and we agreed last week we still miss Dob but are so grateful for your loving home.
 

Dartman

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Pippen is a yellow sided Green Cheek Conure a guy had land on him at his work warehouse in Fairview. He saw my lost ad for Lurch and thought she was Lurch. I told him Lurch wasn't yellow and no band. He said he couldn't safely keep her so I said we'd be right there at 10 pm at night. She was sitting on his shoulder cuddled against his neck and wouldn't leave him. I grabbed her and she complained as I put her in the carrier but didn't bite. She saw the bowl of food and dived in while we talked. She flew in to the open door and landed on him at 7pm and refused to move till I got there.
She cuddled into my neck the whole ride home and was good for two days then felt better and started biting. Got her s check up and she's good to go. Tried to find her family for a month and now she's ours. Dobby seems ok with her but not so sure she won't mess with him.
There is a thread about her in lost and found with pictures.
 

momazon

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Well, I am sorry she is not Lurch, but glad you got her.
 

Dartman

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She seems to be too. We let her out and she was pretty good. She flew till she got tired and plopped on the kitchen floor. She was giving me the I want to be rescued look so I put my hand down and she hopped on happily with no drama and sat there looking around and wanted to see Sandy so I offered her to her and she ran up and cuddled behind her neck and rubbed her head on her hair trying to scritch herself. I snuck up and she allowed some scratches with a occasional pinch or warning gentle nip if I did it wrong so she was much better.
Like I said look up the Pippen threads to see pictures and our adventures. :xflove:
 

momazon

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How exciting, I hope they can work out the BirdyRules and get along! We were just talking about Dobby and how funny he is. He does love other birds, and dogs too. Pippen sounds like she will be a good addition to your household!
 
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