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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My friend just got a new parrotlet a few weeks ago. Recently he's been acting like a little devil. I haven't seen it personally, but he's talked about it with me.

The bird squawks non-stop, as if he wants attention. Then when my friend let's him out, he bites the crap out of him. So basically, he's making a lot of noise, and being very agressive.

He also doesn't sleep at night, until a loong while, in which he just spends the night squawking and chirping.

I've made as many suggestions as I could think of, but he's tried all of those to no avail.

Anyone know what could be wrong and how we can fix it?

Thanks!
 

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This doesn’t sound like normal behavior at all. Your friend should talk to the breeder AND make an appointment with an Avian Veterinarian.

Its possible there is something medically wrong with the bird – its also possible it wasn’t properly weaned and is stressed – either way, he should address the situation with a certified avian vet ASAP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, i'll pass the info on.

I know, I was so shocked to hear about his bird acting like this! Considering the little guy was so calm and quiet before.
And Kai was nippy, but never agressive.

I tried reading up on some stuff, and it sounds like he stressed because of his lack of sleep and stuff.
I hope it is not anything serious.

We talked to the breeder (she is a good friend of mine), and we are both absolutely stumped. Cause he was completely weaned a week before he left, and like I said before was SO calm.

Any other ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I talked to my friend some more.
The bird is eating fine, he eats a lot actually.
But I learned he tends to nibble at himself on his back (usually where a bird puts it's beak to go to bed). My friend says the only way to stop him from doing that is offering him millet.

It seems a vet is definately in order.
 

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I have a couple of ideas. First, make sure the baby has found his food and water. I was instructed to keep food and water in shallow dishes on the floor of the cage until I saw her find and use the regular dishes higher up. Also, if the food dish has an unfamiliar food in it, the bird may not recognise it as something edible. That would be something to yell about!

Second, recognise that what you have is a baby bird who has been taken from his nest, away from the safety of his flock. I think he could be screaming for the flock. He knows that he must find his flock or die in the jaws of a predator. He probably thinks your friend is that predator. I carried my baby parrotlet in my pocket with me and kept her within my sight almost all the time until she was comfortable enough to entertain herself in her cage. I still had to check in and call to her from other parts of the house so she knew she was not alone. It was a big job, really; parrotlets are so small and quick...and they use that sharp little beak to get around...

So, my guess is that the bird is terrified. I don't know how experts would handle the situation. However, I would consider taking him back to the breeder to keep another several days, where he can feel secure and calm down. Your friend should visit and handle him every day. Perhaps something from his cage could stay with him for some continuity (people do that for puppies all the time with a piece of a towel or something). Then when he comes home again, his new person-- his flock-- should remember that, just like a human infant, the baby must feel that the flock is there with him in order for him not to feel as if he has been left for the predator to eat.

I was worried that handling my baby bird all day long would have me stuck with an insecure, spoiled brat; but her breeder insisted that I treat the baby like a baby and let her grow up as she became confident. What I ended up with a year later is a confident and friendly non-biting bird who loves adventures and adores meeting new people.
 

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Does this bird in question have a species appropriate mate? As Lily stated, a bird instinctively tries to find their mate or flock, if they don't it means a sure death. I have never met a person that stays with their bird 24 hours a day, thus the bird's mental/physical/emotional/psychological need for a mate.
 

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It was only 9-12 hours a day I spent with her when she was a baby! I covered her and put her in a dark, quiet spot alone for at least 12 hours of rest every night. It was grueling at first, but she quickly became confident and accepted my friends and my cats as the rest of the flock. I can now leave her for hours at a time. She understands that this is part of the routine. The radio and cats are the rest of her flock while I am gone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I know he spends all day with it except when he is at school. And food is no problem.

I'm having trouble too, I'd like to go see the bird myself to see how he acts. At least then I can describe the problem better!

Roger (cute name,eh?) was kept with little blue parrotler, and a black-cap conure when he was a baby, but he was moved to his own cage about one or two months before he came home.

That COULD definately be something, because there are birds around him ALWAYS when he was at the breeders, it might be a hard transition.

We are bringing him to the breeders on the weekend for the breeder to take a look at him, and maybe he'll relax a bit being around birds.

What do we do in the long run?
 

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Is he covered for 12-13 hours of sleep every night? I think a dark cover is important. If he's covered and in a VERY QUIET place, I can't imagine that he wouldn't sleep. Keep us updated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, he's covered at night when my friend goes to bed.

He protests the cover, and starts squawking.
 

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Well, see what the breeder and vet say first.

If he has no classes, maybe your friend can spend hours and hours with Roger this summer. Once the bird is used to his new home and can entertain himself in his cage, your friend should be able to leave Roger alone -- perhaps for short periods at first, with plenty of things to chew and forage. I think I had a huge advantage by having other pets for activity around the house (fish, maybe?) and because the breeder strongly encouraged me to take my bird with me whenever I could. She has never been totally alone! Some people use the TV as company for their birds; others say it is bad for them. I know my bird enjoys the radio. (Classical music!)
 

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Sorry, Musicjan, I keep getting bumped off and can't keep up with what floks are saying. You are right, sleep is very important! My bird was getting 10 hours a night and I figured she would nap during the day. I had a very cranky bird. Just like human babies, they don't necessarily get the rest they need without being in a totally dark, quiet place for 12 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok... well...
it turns out the guy doesn't sleep at all at night, poor thing. He does most of sleeping during the day I presume.

He also doesn't enjoy music. He flies around like crazy and looks very unhappy. So my friend plays a cd of bird noises, in which he immitates... so that might be why he is so vocal.

If he is covered at night he squawks, if not he chirps. This is really quite fickle. I'm pretty stumped, but hopefully the visit will fix things.

Thanks for all the help guys!
 

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What does the cage look like? What toys? What foods does he get? A very wide variety of nutritious foods is needed. A very big cage that is fun is important. Can the bird fly? Any extra playgyms? Chipper and I are always together, all day. She loves her big cage, her food and being with me.

Yes, if he can find a good sleeping arrangement, that would help. ALSO, tell him to have a ritual. Sing before bed. Even read a book!

Can you get a photo of the cage and toys, information on the food? It is all important.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Cage is rather small, I dislike it cause I think it is too small, but he stayed in that his whole time at the breeders, so I don't know how it can make a difference. And yes he has lots of toys.
He used to be let out a lot, but after his nippiness, I don't think he is as much.
The food is pellets... zupreme and... a mix of something else. I forget. I don't think he's been accepting any fruits/veggies yet.
 

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I think he needs a nice BIG cage more than a mate. To be in a small cage is very sad. Nothing to do, no way to fly and jump and play! Also, you cannot fit any big toys in there.

That would be the first thing to do. I had a feeling it was a small cage.

I have a Kings cage. There are some really great cages out there in many brands. That is absolutely the first thing to get. Getting another bird would be awful in a small cage. The friend needs to learn about cages and toys and care first. I am sure he wants to bond to the bird and one bird is great for bonding. It would be sad to see him get two in a small cage.

Also, maybe a featherbrite light would help, after a good cage was purchased. I also take Chipper outside in a cage to get some sun and fresh air.
 

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I think every bird benefits from a mate, but I also have very different ideas in parrot keeping than the average American :) I have made some good friends overseas and have learned their methods of keeping, which I have been adapting as my own, and have been much more pleased. On the cage, yes! As large as possible!!! My favorite parrotlet cage thus far has been the Kings 21 x 32 x maybe 61 high. Actually it is the one pictured above with Chipper in it, the bronze/brownish one. It is amazing what a difference the cage will make, sometimes fear and/or aggression fade away quickly when a larger cage is provided!

There are many issues to address, cage, environmental enrichment, diet, training, lighting, temp/humidity, etc, etc. Basically your friend has a lot to learn and is lucky to have you!!
 
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