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Hello fellow parrotlet lovers! I am a new parrotlet owner (and a first time bird owner) and I would love to chat with some that are well experienced with dealing with parrotlets. My baby is four months old and she is amazing! So acrobatic and intelligent. I am madly in love. However, she bites! She will chirp at me and "ask" to be held...and then bite me a moment later. It is important for me to note that I have two children ages 5 and 3. They are very happy about owning a baby bird and they want to help me take care of her. With my supervision, I allow my two children to hold my parrotlet. However, they are getting bitten. I refuse to apply any negative techniques to my parrotlet to get her to stop biting (shaking, tapping, yelling, placing on the floor where she feels scared) and so I am looking for some positive reinforcers to implement in order to "ask" her to stop biting. Does anyone have any "nice" methods of stopping the biting that I could utilize to encourage my baby not to bite? Thank you in advance for any help!
 

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Welcome!

You must really keep an eye out for your bird when children are at play. Usually children that young needs to look, not hold. As far as biting is concerned, parrotlets do that. As your p'lett gets older, the stronger the bite.

Look at the left side of the monitor and you will see forums. Training and bonding is a very important forum. There is the Gentle Beak training. This is a good way to start. Read it and follow the directions.

The parrotlet has a nature about it that makes them bite. Your bird is 4 months old and is going through its terrible two's right now. Be patient when she bites . Try not to react when bitten.

Keep writing about her and send some pictures and a name.

David and Bogie, the parrotlet.
 

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The technique most of us have had the best luck with is the Gentle Beak Technique. Here is a link on the forum http://talkparrotlets.com/showthread.php?t=12871
You can also find other descriptions of the technique elsewhere using google.
As a rule it is preferable to use positive reinforcement training to negative reinforcement. Just remember that either one the reinforcement must be immediate and proportional. The problem with the negative items you mentioned is that things such as yelling, tapping, shaking are things many birds would consider fun. Other items such as placing on floor are too far removed from the biting event for the bird to make the connection.
Also, our relationships / bonds with our birds are built on trust. Parrotlets are prey animals, about everything in the world wants to eat / hurt them and they know it. Wariness, skittishness, fear is what keeps them alive in the wild. To earn their trust we must avoid scaring them or making them unsure of us as much as possible.
 

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Hello, welcome! Glad to hear you are so in love with your Parrotlet :p they are wonderful aren't they?
Children are tricky. I don't have any yet, but I want some. My worry is that Parrotlets are so fragile and children can be reactionary (not to their fault they just can't help it) and it could put the bird in danger. Parrotlets are really passionate and oppinonated (as are all Parrot) and its just normal to get bitten sometimes. There are a lot of factors. Why is she biting, what is she trying to communicate, how to deter.... You can't ever train them to completely stop using their beak. She may be going through a phase at this point also of maturing and they get significantly more nippy, and grumpy, and just like to chew.
Search "biting" and you will find so many different tips and techniques in old threads on how to distract and proper reaction. In the family sense, your situation is unique of course and you know your children so I can really only share what I envision for my future kids. My goal is to teach them about the birds and make them aware of protecting them, perhaps very closely supervised contact on occation for educational purposes. Mostly I think while they are very small I will have to confine the birds more than they are used in order to protect them.
It's wonderful your kids will learn about birds so young. My first pet was a Parakeet when I was about 7, I'm so glad I was introduced to them. I look forward to following how you navigate this stage and learning from some tips I'm sure you'll have for me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you so much to those who have responded to my post! I really appreciate imput from those who have been with their parrotlets longer than I have. I love this website. I have found on here the "gentle beak" technique and I have already started to implement this into my training with my Aurora. I was searching for positive reinforcement and I found it, thank you! I do feel that my two young daughters may be a bit excitable for my baby parrotlet. I have taken that into consideration and will continue to patiently train her to not bite. I love this little baby bird so much! XO to all the parrotlet lovers out there helping each other better train their birds.
 

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You sound like such a caring and conscientious mom - to both your kids and your little birdie :). I did want to add to the other comments that birds react to our energy so if you could encourage the kids to remain calm that will help. You probably already thought of this but I had a friend who got so excited when she saw the senegal I had at the time that she would squeal about how cute he was and dance around. He picked up on her energy level and would go berserk every time she came in the room.
 

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Grace's point is a really good one.

Levi does NOT like my dad, but is fine with my mum and sister and boyfriend... it puzzled me for a while until I figured out that my dad is a VERY LOUD man. He talks loud, he makes loud noises, and he makes fast movements. So Levi gets really defensive whenever he sees my dad, now associating all those scary things with him. When you or your children are interacting with your parrotlet, try to use very slow movements and speak in quiet voices.

Having said that.. parrotlets will always bite. Levi bites me when he wants scratches, and then bites me when he wants me to stop. He bites me when he wants to go back into his cage. He bites me when he's mad because I took something away from him. And he bites when I touch things in his cage.
 

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Welcome! I'd agree that young children are probably too excitable for a parrotlet. I'd be very careful in their interactions, for the sake of both the kids and the bird. Parrotlets are so small and easy to injure, and when they get worked up or upset (or bored) they bite, that improves but doesn't stop. Another good strategy to use is distraction--they're less likely to bite if they're already chewing on a toy! Have something on hand that you don't mind her chewing on when you're playing with her.
 

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These guys are particular. Every one is different. Jasper (Bourke) knows when we have a friend come over if it's a man there will be wiskers to preen. He just flys right over to our friends and startes giving them a little preen. :p
 
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