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Bite-y and angry IRN

Buganjimo

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So, my IRN, Rhea has been a little,,, angry? territorial? Angsty? something along those lines lately. I got her at around 4months, and shes about 18 months now.
when I got her, she was terrified of humans, hands, and me. I worked on just approaching her cage, giving her treats, etc. we used to work a ton on target training, although recently she's become scared of the stick.
at almost exactly a year of having her she warmed up quite a bit, she'll now fly from her cage to me (im sitting on the bed next to her cage) and take the treat from my hand. she also recently stepped up onto my arm for the first time.
although this is all good, she's also been pretty,,,, angsty is what I'd say. I can barely do work because she'll come swooping down and try to get my pencils, so I took a new (never has had lead it in) pencil out and took anything she'd eat (the eraser) out to give to her so she could chew on it (supervised) while I do schoolwork. that helped for a bit, but she really only wants the ones I use.
more lately though, she's been biting and aggressive. she'll come and sit next to me, or on my legs more often, but if she sees my hands, she'll lunge and bite me.
today too, I had a glass of juice and she was trying to have some, so I said "hey, no" and went to move it, but she started biting my hand, then flying away.

I do think she is almost "testing the waters" as she's around that age, but I'd like some advice on how to train her not to bite, or teach myself to avoid bites. IRN bites hurt, lol
 

Rain Bow

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It sounds like you may have a few things going on here. I'm lacking for knowledge other then guessing based on reading other species advice. This is a time of year that many of us are dealing w/ crankier fids in some parts of the U.S. I'm not sure what age is puberty for a IRN, another possibility.

Ultimately, it sounds more like any attention, good or bad that Rhea can get from you is what she's choosing to try every thing she can to get it from you. I say that knowing they (Parrots) all choose this when they feel they're being ignored, specifically the words they feel... IRN's are so cool! I love opportunities to watch them on Youtube.

@painesgrey
@fashionfobie
@Beasley
@Monica

I think you may get better advice from these AA champs. I don't know much about IRN other than they're very independent & not usually cuddly birds. Welcome to AA! Nice to meet you!!!

:hug9:
 

fashionfobie

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@Buganjimo IRN are definitely independent birds in comparison to other popular species. I am not sure where you are located, but it is spring in my area and my birds are going through a wave of seasonal hormones. 18 months - 2 years is typical for sexual maturity and development. They normally will start trying to breed in the wild around 2 years old, but don't typically have success until they are 5 years old. Hard work being a parrot parent in the wild. In captivity they can have nests much younger than their wild counterparts.

I keep a PlumHead parrot, they share a lot of similarities with IRNs. From what you describe I think your bird has actually accepted you as part of her flock. She wants to try and explore everything you are exploring. This is a very good sign in my view. She trusts you! I keep some colourful pen caps on my desk and I can hand them to my Pi when he wants my pen, keyboard or mouse. I have gone through a few mice, so I needed to do something to keep that beak busy. He finds orange pen caps to be the bees knees of all pen caps. You could also try keeping little wooden foot toys around your desk and hand them to her when she is curious of your pencil. I keep a t-stand and a pile of twigs on my desk. ---as I am typing, Pi is pressing my F2 key repeatedly...he is pretty sure I am working on this keyboard because there must be some sesame seeds in here :p ---

You will need to be careful about sharing food with her. I know with my Pi I need to place him in his cage with his own food whilst I am eating... a lot of times he will jump shamelessly into my plate and take what he wants. It is really cute, but not a healthy thing for him and he shouldn't be doing it. Pi will also fly into the kitchen and if he could he would hop into a hot pan for some green beans. So I needed to change how I interact with him around food. In his eyes what is mine is his, what is his is his ESPECIALLY if it is a snow bean...he really likes beans.

Then mid day he will try and feed me all of his mushed up beans... and is very concerned why I don't want any :depressed::confused: Silly Pi Pi. Pi was a very mouthy younger bird and I know what you mean about the strong beaks...not comfortable. Try redirecting with small toys and see if it helps. That was what I did with Pi and he figured it out.
 

Buganjimo

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thanks so much! I am really happy she's more comfortable being around me,,,, but not so much the bite marks on my arms :/
I'm in Canada, so its fall right now. is that still hormone season?
thanks for the advice with the toys :)
 

Monica

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Whenever a bird becomes "bitey", a lot of people will blame it on hormones and say "it's that time of year". There's two major problems with this.... one, it often doesn't take into account where this person lives... two, many people set their homes up in such a way that birds could breed year round, meaning that they may unintentionally be setting their birds up to be hormonal. Therefore, you see this advice *YEAR ROUND*. "We" keep our birds on a strict day/night schedule, feed them a nutrient rich diet which may tell them it's time to breed, potentially provide them nest like places to sleep and on top of that, some people are unknowingly sexually stimulating their birds by petting them inappropriately. People will then say that the excess hormones are natural and that it'll blow over in time... but not all birds will 'return to normal' because they are kept in this suspended state of wanting to breed which could result in aggression, chronic egg laying or other undesired behaviors. This part isn't actually normal at all.

I'm not saying you do any of this, but it gets brought up a lot....




I agree with @Rain Bow and @fashionfobie in that she's interested in you and looking to grab your attention - or whatever you have. What can she do when you are busy? Can she... forage? Can you... train new behaviors and cue those behaviors for her to perform? If she's trying to take your drink, can you provide a drink for herself? (this ones tough! Since birds can still prefer *YOUR* item over their own! the grass is always greener on the other side! ;) - I know! When I first started feeding my flock pellets, I had budgies... they would never eat their own pellets, but they would happily fly into a different bird's cage and eat the pellets there! :rofl: )
 

Buganjimo

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yeah, Monica, I'm not at all blaming it just on hormones, I realize there is a lot I could be doing too :)

I do believe rheas life motto is the grass is always greener on the other side :rofl: whatever I have she Must Share. except her sharing is a lot like taking.... but I will be finding some other things to keep her busy lol,
thanks!!
 

fashionfobie

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I will crush up some walnut or other nut treat wrap it tightly in some paper. It is a simple thing I can make in a few seconds and it buys me a few minutes of happily occupied birdie.

I have also used the inner case of a corn husk, Pi loves that! You can also try giving her a few project vegetables, snow peas or cauliflower or a chilli..so much fun to destroy!
 

Buganjimo

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thanks!! those sound so fun! I've found if I shove some little almond slices in her favourite foot toy she's pretty occupied too!
 

painesgrey

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I've only had my IRN since late 2017, but she was already about 18 months old when I got her. She has always been somewhat independent, territorial, stubborn, but insatiably inquisitive.

It's a battle to keep her occupied and to try to keep her from things that she shouldn't be messing with. I try to provide her with lots of foraging and shredding opportunities (she'll go through a regular wesco bird kabob in about an hour), but sometimes she just insists on investigating things that are around the house. This becomes another opportunity to get creative. Piper and Cake spent quite a while working on getting sunflower chips out of a tiny ziploc food container the other day. Vine balls and little wiffle balls are excellent ways to stash some treats for them to work on. @Matto sells some excellent little foraging toys on his site.

 

Fuzzy

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Think about what you are doing to make her bite. Sounds like she is resource guarding: you the human are using your hands in an unpredictable (maybe fast?) way to remove the items she is making a beeline for. So she is associating your hands with taking things away from her. Who knows what they'll take away next? Try to set things up so that you don't have to grab things from her and move more predictably and slowly around her. Think of how you can provide things for her that she can do rather than can't do.
 

Rain Bow

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Thank you everyone for popping over! I noticed yesterday... That there seem to be a few people w/ IRN & No one has been responding to their questions. Ya'll were the only ones I knew may be able to assist. Fuzzy, I was trying not to bug you because of the upgrade. Trying not to bug the Mods this month. :fairy:
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@Buganjimo Spring & Fall are peaked hormonal times. I'm not sure if its the drastic change in temperature or the change in the way the light strikes or if its both. I got a Zon & he gets cranky in the fall because he has some arthritis & the cold makes him sore & painful. In the spring as it warms he's a happy & motivated male looking to "have a good time!" He has decided I'm his person & gets very miserable w/ my husband. He thinks he has to protect me.

We are careful to give him the best diet we can afford. He gets sprouts & herbs. He gets fresh w/ a nut & more live than most fids. He also had come to me w/ poor diet in the past that has caused damage to his vascular system & his eyes. Please feed your fid well, we're here to help!

My guy gets normally 12 hours of darkness a night. If he doesn't get this his nastiness will come out w/ not only my grown daughter but yes, even me his chosen one. It's funny how much these guys need but if given what they need & get specific training time w/ there owners they will flourish & become the beautiful flower of birds as the were designed. Good luck! Please keep us updated on how things are going.
 

Rain Bow

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Would love to have continued, but personal life just got too busy. :)
I totally understand! Plus w/ your flock I can see how just that life could get to be too busy! I'm very :smuggrin:happy to see you're still posting.
:bighug:
 
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