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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey y'all. So I've had Froot Loop for about 3 1/2 weeks now...and he is great and I love him so much, but I feel like we have been taking steps backwards after his first week here. :( At first, he wanted to come out of the cage all of the time, and I loved that he wanted to be around people so much...but now he acts like he rarely wants to get out. Also, he isn't big on eating treats....he ate millet for the first time today; which i was excited about, but he refuses all veggies and fruits and "people foods"...so i don't know what that's all about! I heard that they looooved treats...esp "people foods"; but maybe he is just different. It worries me that he won't eat anything other than seed though. Also, he doesn't really like to play with any toys...AT ALL! which is also different than what i've heard of most plets.:rolleyes: Anyway, my biggest frustration is that he has started doing what every plet owner dreads....the biting phase. I know it's normal, but he just grabs on so hard and won't let go...he even breaks skin. And it has made everyone lose the desire to handle him, b/c he keeps biting more and more. I've tried some of the things i read about (like doing stepups, blowing lightly at him, distracting him, saying no...) but NOTHING seems to work!!! it's like once he gets that beak in, you better have the bandaids ready b/c he won't be letting go anytime soon. :( Sorry this was so incredibly long...just thought i'd spill all at once. I do love him though and he is growing up so quickly! Y'all have a great one, spasticat
 

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I gonna make a guess here and say that their biting is out of fear in some cases..it's is their way of saying No. The cage is saftey and security and maybe you will have to start over with him. If the room is too noisey or too many people, you may have to work with him privately and slowly. Example= my friends come over and the first thing they do is go and speak to b'Jo and baby talk or whatever and she puffs up gets the mean face and they say...oh how cute then try to put their finger to the cage...wrong the puffed up look means get away. The friends of mine she loves are the ones who talk to her from across the room, do not advance on her but wait for her to ring her bell for them to come ove there and THEY get to scratch her head. Do you think that maybe he's processing too much too fast...I don't know but maybe that is it. Slow it down with just you two so he will bond, and I'm sorry for this but you are gonna get bit alot we all did and sometimes till do. I may have this observation all wrong and it not be your case but may be it helped some...
 

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Don't worry too much about the food issues - some parrotlets are just picky (just ask Memmey!). Keep trying new things hopefully his tastebuds will improve.

The biting is a problem. I personally take an agressive approach in making him understand that I'm boss. the few times my birds bit me, I physically restrained them and made them very aware that the behavior was uacceptible. My birds still will put on a threatening show at times but they will not bite me in a way that causes pain (let alone breaking the skin).

Oh, my birds are terrified of bandaids! :rolleyes:

Regards,

Art S.
 

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I did the same thing as Art. it worked great. I work with birds so I just restrain them as I would a bird at work and hold them with their stomachs facing up. It gets their attention and i have control of their heads and wings.

I did this just a few times with Gelato and he no longer bites me like he used to. When he is on my shoulder I may get a nibble here and there, but that is their nature. he just no longer bites hard.

I did the same thing with my quaker parrot and he is perfect (except for the shrieks sometimes).

Some people will say that destroys trust on the birds... I have to disagree. It sets boundries. My quaker still picks me over anyone else and my parrotlet flies to me for safety when he is scared.
 

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Personally I would only try the restraining thing if I already had a good relationship with the bird. If the bird already trusted me and was biting - as a warning - as it would to another bird – then I might try the restraining method, as the bird would know I am not going to hurt it.

But if it was a new bird or one that doesn’t trust humans I would be wary of this approach, as there is the potential of the bird becoming more fearful of people and you could damage any ground you have made while building trust with the bird.

For a bird that was trying to bite me that I don’t have a relationship with – I offer the back part of my hand – make a fist and offer the bird the flat back part of the hand – the skin is tight and they can not get a grip on the skin to bite – ‘usually’ when they see they don’t get a reaction from their attempts at biting they will stop. It also gives the human confidence as it doesn't hurt.

I did this with my male when I first got him. It didn’t scare him and he soon gave up trying to bite. If he continued to try to bite – I would move my hand toward him to make him jump to a different perch.

For a period recently he became cage aggressive and toy aggressive – All I had to do was show him the back part of my fist when I entered his cage and he would just bluff – He remembered.
 

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Ive only had cloud for a week or so, and the step ups did work for me. However he is constantly testing his boundaries. If he bites me now, I immediately do a step up, then back in the cage he goes. He really hates that!
I dont pretend to know that much, but Cloud was definately a biter! Like the others said, maybe if you try to "start over" and gain his trust again slowly before even trying to handle him, he may remember you are his friend. :)
 

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you know.... what I said did come off a little off. I've had my quaker for a while now and the parrotlet I hand fed for a couple weeks before weaning him. . . so I have had his trust for the most part.

for a new bird, I think you should build up the trust. BUT if you already have the trust, imo restraint shouldn't be a problem. Restraint doesn't and shouldn't hurt the bird. It controls the movement of the head and wings. If you don't know how to restrain a bird, I would say don't even try. Try the other techniques. Whenever my quaker went through his bitey phase, I only had to restrain him a couple of times before he got the clue... same with my parrotlet. neither were put into a painful position, but they realized that they could not use their beaks to bite. After a few seconds like this, I placed them on my other hand and praised them.

Like I said, it worked for me.
 

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Pado,

To me this isn't about trust but about 'pecking order.' In my opinion, the biting thing has a lot to do with dominance and setting boundarys. A bird needs to be shown that you are the boss but you are also benevolent.

The thing I don't like about the step up method is that the bird learns that if he/she bites, it means 'time to go home'. Soon he/she will learn to bite good and hard to let you know he/she wants to go home.

I think your method is very similar to mine and catfish's. It accomplishes the same thing, and in your case, considering your bird likes to be held in your fist, it's probobly better. The important thing is training the bird in such a manner that the bird gets a consistent message that you care for him/her, he/she is part of your flock but you are boss.

In my opinion, trust comes from consistency.

Regards,

Art S.
 

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I believe we’re talking about two different scenarios – Tame and Untamed.

I agree – when dealing with a tame bird – As with my male [who is tame] I would have no problem ‘letting him know who’s boss’ and that biting me is not acceptable – I’ll chase him with my hand or cup him because I know when I release him and the situation is over he will still treat me like a member of the flock because he does not fear me.
I don’t do this but I wouldn’t have a problem doing it as I know it would not affect our relationship.

[Just for the record: Anyone cupping their bird be careful not to restrict the birds chest – they don’t breath like us - they need their chest free to move as they breath]

But I believe if you try to dominate an ‘untamed’ bird in this manor or dominate period -you will do more harm than good. You will put fear in the bird and it will be counterproductive to your training or taming. I would NEVER do anything like this to my new female – I want her tame not to fear me. I wholeheartedly believe if I tried to dominate her, I may achieve this but she will also fear me.

As a side note: In the book and DVD the Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill and the book ‘Parrots for Dummies’ [I know, weird name but it’s a good read] It is believed against popular belief that there is no Dominance per say in the Parrot world.

A Parrot flock isn’t one HUGE group of birds – It’s actually more likened to a human neighborhood.
There are two Parent birds and their offspring, or single birds - that live within a flock – they all know the other birds to an extent and will even interact with SOME [but not ALL] of them. There are even birds in the flock that dislike each other – Just the same way we would know and treat our neighbors.

There can be a bird that would appear to be stronger and braver than the others and therefore considered dominant by us - but like a Man protecting his family [in our neighborhood] A pair, or family of Parrots will not put up with his so called dominance.

In the book Parrots for Dummy’s – the author believes it’s a myth and there is no truth in regards to our belief that you should place a birds cage lower than the human because the bird will believe it is dominant over the human simply because it is higher.

She believes a bird acts up and bites when higher because it is on a higher perch – and in the wild this is how they would act with another Parrot – SIMPLY because they have the ADVANTAGE at that given moment. It is easier to bite at someone downward that it is to bite at someone from an upward angle – But switch the birds places and the perceived dominance roll is immediately reversed.
 

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Pado,

And you said you weren't an expert...

I agree with you completely, all of my comments were related to tame birds.

However, in this case, Spasticat has already tamed her bird and now she experiencing a regression. I'm guessing this is caused by her bird asserting himself. This is why I think either of our techniques will be effective.

Regards,

Art S.
 

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That of course for the rest of you is..... The Man point of view. Now here is the counter point....just keep being sweet to him and telling no biting and give him treats when he is good and eventually he will get tired of being aggressive realize he is in control of you and ring his bell for you to come when he calls. and that's called The Female point of view........LOL
 

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Memmey, I think that might work with females but males, like men, respond well to authority ;) .

Regards,

Art S.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey y'all just thought I would update...

Froot Loop is doing MUCH better! I tried so many things, and a combo between the "fist making" technique and gentle restraining seems to be breaking his bad biting habit. yay! I can tell he is growing up! :) Also, I started playing with his bell and laughing as I did, so he started playing with the bell later! Now he rings the bell, swings, sits in his happy hut, and tugs on his other toys. yaaay I was so excited! Thanks for your help and suggestions....he has not been biting anyone hardly at all! He still won't touch fruits or veggies, but we're gonna take it one step at a time. ;) Thanks and y'all have a great one! -spasticat
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just read the posts about the male and female points of view....too funny! I guess I'm a female with a male point of view (strange, i know...), b/c the sweet stuff just didnt work with my little guy. He's a stubborn one. I like being sweet to him, but he's sure gonna know who is boss! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Okay so I just got home (I've been away from the house for 2 days), and my parents were taking care of Froot, and he decided to take quite a chunk out of my dad today....made him bleed.:( So much for the no-biting... Oh well we will keep working on it. Maybe he missed me?? I really don't think he likes me THAT much though, haha! :rolleyes:
 

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You have only had him for 3 weeks? That is not long. Chipper was a wild child for several months. Slowly, I gained her trust. Always be positive. Sing to him, talk to him, tell him every thing you are doing, say "Scritches," "Kisses," whatever. They like to know what is happening.

Sing every night, then cover him up and let him sleep for 12 quiet hours.

How big is your cage, what toys and perches do you have?

I think time will help also. He is tiny and new and needs some time to feel secure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sally, I guess it has only been 3 weeks. wow it sure feels like a looooot longer than that. :rolleyes: He has a decent sized cage....about 2 feet wide, 16 inches high, 16 deep. Nothing compared to your amazing cage, but i'm on a college student budget. (aka broke all the time. :rolleyes:) Perches: 2 wooden ones at different heights, one of the big twisty rope ones from petsmart (his favorite), and he has a ladder that goes from front to back of his cage. He has a ropey swing, a fuzzy happy hut that he sleeps in, and 2 other hangey/springey toys with bells. Thanks! Wow i'm sitting here thinking, and I seriously cannot comprehend how it has only been 3 weeks....I feel like it has been way way longer. Oh well I'm off to study. :( Thanks for all the posts y'all!
 
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