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Conure developing biting behavior

mangobird

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Sam
Hi everyone. I've had my jenday conure Kahlo for about a month now :) He's always been a bit on the timid side, but recently, anytime I put out my finger and ask him to step up, he bites like bloody hell and leaves holes all over my finger :shifty: He always seems to get aggressive when I try to take him off of somewhere where he enjoys, such as my shoulder, his cage, or his playstand. I am extremely confused if I'm doing something wrong, considering he didn't have an issue until recently. Is there any advice as to how I could fix this issue?
 

Lady Jane

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When a bird is biting it may be frightened, guarding its territory or trying to control the owner. How are you handling the biting? What do you do right after the bite?

Birds have very subtle body language before they bite.

 

mangobird

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Sam
When a bird is biting it may be frightened, guarding its territory or trying to control the owner. How are you handling the biting? What do you do right after the bite?

Birds have very subtle body language before they bite.

I’m not sure exactly why he’s biting, I’m sure there’s something I’m missing and I don’t know what it is. When he bites, I try my best to stay quiet and calm. Usually I’ll pull my hand away and leave him be for a few minutes, but sometimes when I have to move him, I’ll keep trying until he steps up.
 

Tazlima

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There's your problem. He's saying no and you're insisting. That won't result in compliance; it will just teach him to say no more forcefully by biting. Instead of insisting he do something he doesn't want to do, wait for a yes (barring emergency situations, obviously). My grey frequently says no in two situations... coming out of her sleep cage when she wants to sleep in a bit longer, and coming out of the bathroom after a shower. I have two ways to get a yes. One is to wait. When she's ready to come out, she'll call me (literally- she imitates a phone ringing, which she learned at some point was a reliable way to get a human to enter the room). That, or I make her want to say yes by making the prospect of coming out more attractive - usually by offering a treat to lure her out.

Some days, I swear she says no just to test and see if I'll respect her wishes. I'll be like, "okay, I'll come back later", and as soon as I start to walk away, she's suddenly ready to cooperate. Other times, she's just happy where she is. She's spent a couple nights in the bathroom. I figure if she's happy and not hurting anything, why not?

Training parrots is paradoxical...The more you respect their desire to back away, the less they'll feel the need to do so.
 

JLcribber

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Well the first thing that jumps out is that you've had this bird one month. Just a speck of time to a bird. You have not "earned" this birds trust or respect yet and will not for some time to come. That's only if you stop "insisting" on behaviours as Tazlima said. Things need to be the birds choice. If the bird isn't making the right choice then you are not offering a juicy enough "reward" to get that choice. There's got to be something in it for the bird. Everytime.

If you keenly watch/study your bird you will begin to read/understand your birds body language. They speak very clearly once you learn the language.
 

mangobird

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There's your problem. He's saying no and you're insisting. That won't result in compliance; it will just teach him to say no more forcefully by biting. Instead of insisting he do something he doesn't want to do, wait for a yes (barring emergency situations, obviously). My grey frequently says no in two situations... coming out of her sleep cage when she wants to sleep in a bit longer, and coming out of the bathroom after a shower. I have two ways to get a yes. One is to wait. When she's ready to come out, she'll call me (literally- she imitates a phone ringing, which she learned at some point was a reliable way to get a human to enter the room). That, or I make her want to say yes by making the prospect of coming out more attractive - usually by offering a treat to lure her out.

Some days, I swear she says no just to test and see if I'll respect her wishes. I'll be like, "okay, I'll come back later", and as soon as I start to walk away, she's suddenly ready to cooperate. Other times, she's just happy where she is. She's spent a couple nights in the bathroom. I figure if she's happy and not hurting anything, why not?

Training parrots is paradoxical...The more you respect their desire to back away, the less they'll feel the need to do so.
Thank you for this!!! That was really helpful! I feel so bad knowing I was the thing that pushed him to bite :(
 

mangobird

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Sam
Well the first thing that jumps out is that you've had this bird one month. Just a speck of time to a bird. You have not "earned" this birds trust or respect yet and will not for some time to come. That's only if you stop "insisting" on behaviours as Tazlima said. Things need to be the birds choice. If the bird isn't making the right choice then you are not offering a juicy enough "reward" to get that choice. There's got to be something in it for the bird. Everytime.

If you keenly watch/study your bird you will begin to read/understand your birds body language. They speak very clearly once you learn the language.
Thank you for your advice, I’m absolutely going to change the way I go about things. I guess I didn’t realize that I was making such an obvious mistake. I’m glad I know now and I can fix the way I do things.
 
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