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Bluffing or aggressive?

Beakz

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Hi! My baby super sweet (not so much anymore) 7/8 month old Indian Ringneck is biting the LIVING CRAP out of me. My fingers are FULL of bites. And I’ve reason on the bluffing phase , and how I’m not supposed to react to the bites and I don’t, at least I haven’t until recently he’ll bite me RIGHT on the bite that’s healing and I can’t help but flinch my hand away. I don’t know what to do!! It’s been going on for about two weeks, one moment he’s super sweet and the next he’s going ham on my fingers. I do my best to ignore it and continue interacting but it’s so hard. I don’t know what to do. I know it’s not recommend but sometimes I have to put him in his cage because he keeps on attacking my fingers no matter what I give to distract him. I love this bird but my fingers are suffering VERY much. (As you can see)
 

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expressmailtome

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Faun

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Never ignore a bite this may only encourage him to bite harder.
What is prompting the bite? The problem solving part of this can be the trickiest. Hormones, territorial behavior, a change of some sort in you that you haven't noticed like a hair style, color your wearing etc.
I would include plenty of time out and away from his cage on various alternative perch or play stands, reward him any time he is not biting and use high value treats for this so his favorite treats. Make sure treating are small pieces we want him to connect that not biting equals good things. When he does bite put him on a stand away from his cage you dont want to inadvertently train him to be cage territorial. Completely ignore him when he bites.
I don't own an INR but have heard the nippy phase can be normal.
I hope this helps and those bites look REALLY painful!!
 

Beakz

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Melisa
Never ignore a bite this may only encourage him to bite harder.
What is prompting the bite? The problem solving part of this can be the trickiest. Hormones, territorial behavior, a change of some sort in you that you haven't noticed like a hair style, color your wearing etc.
I would include plenty of time out and away from his cage on various alternative perch or play stands, reward him any time he is not biting and use high value treats for this so his favorite treats. Make sure treating are small pieces we want him to connect that not biting equals good things. When he does bite put him on a stand away from his cage you dont want to inadvertently train him to be cage territorial. Completely ignore him when he bites.
I don't own an INR but have heard the nippy phase can be normal.
I hope this helps and those bites look REALLY painful!!
We got a new bird but that was about a month ago, but he doesn’t seem to bothered by her and I do my best to give each of them personal time so they won’t feel ignored, they’re both still very young and seem to have gotten used to eachother. We have have also been traveling lately and I always take the birds with me, maybe this change could be part of the problem? Although I think they’re used to it by now but maybe not. He’s been what I think is “bluffing” for about two weeks. I will start doing doing what you mentioned , hopefully it helps!
 

Destiny

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Honestly, I don't think "bluffing" is real.

Or more accurately, I think it is mislabeled or misinterpreted by many parrot sources. I suspect that the "bluffing phase" that happens to some adolescent parrots is actually a natural response to inappropriate handling and missed body language cues, not aggression or "just a phase". Baby parrots, like many baby animals are able to adapt to a wide range of potentially frightening situations. They are very open to new experiences and tend to bounce back quickly from rough handling, like being restrained for hand-feeding or moved from place to place. As parrots mature, they become more wary and less accepting of stressful situations. Their individual personality and preferences develop and they will no longer be okay with being forced into a position that makes them feel uncomfortable. They start to exert control over their surroundings and "push back" when they don't feel safe or happy. This can develop into lunging and even biting, if you miss the subtler clues that your parrot uses to communicate his feelings. It might feel like this behavior is coming out of nowhere, but it is likely that he has been trying to tell you for a while and you either didn't notice or learned to ignore his warning signs.

Similar behavior can be seen in dogs - young puppies are very tolerant of new experiences, but when they reach a certain age, they will suddenly start to be much more fearful and cautious when encountering strangers or new sights/sounds. At times, this can lead to fear-based aggression, especially if they have not been socialized adequately at an earlier age or if they have an inexperienced owner who is unable to recognize the early signs and forces the dog into scary situations. The puppy feels like it must protect itself from danger and may develop aggressive tendencies as a defense mechanism.

Here is an article that talks about this idea and provides some training suggestions that focus on positive reinforcement and mutual respect:

Do Animals Bluff?

I think the key point is that "bluffing" is not really a phase that the bird will just "get over" if you ignore it. Rather, it is a sign that your bird is maturing and its husbandry needs have changed. You may need to change how you interact and slow down or back off until you gain a better understanding of your bird's boundaries and personal preferences.

It is very likely that your bird is biting for a reason. The tricky part is figuring out the cause(s) and finding ways to work with your bird so you are both happy and nobody gets hurt!
 

fashionfobie

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I was about to link the same article, Thanks Destiny! Do Animals Bluff? is a must read for a parrot owner.

I will also add that asiatic parrots do not allopreen, preen each other, to the same degree as other parrots. Physical touch is very sexual for IRNs and as your little parrot starts becoming an adult rejection of a "mother's touch" is normal. I am not sure if you are trying to scritch your IRN or not, but just consider keeping your hands to yourself a bit if you are.
 
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