TalkParrotlets.com banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I'm new here and I am looking for some advice. I've had my parrotlet for three years now (I got him as a baby). At first he was so sweet and very smart, looking to try new things and be friends with everyone, but now he is very mean. For some background, his cage is 2 feet wide and 3 feet long and he gets plenty of time outside of his cage. He has his flight feathers too. He has plenty of toys and natural perches. He also gets a mix of seed and pellets for his main diet and some fruits and veggies occasionally. The vet says he is perfectly healthy. However, for the past year or so he has developed a habit of biting people and is very territorial of the kitchen counter top (he screams and attacks anyone who goes near it when he is out and about). His behavior has gotten quite bad to the point where I can't interact with him and have a positive outcome. I don't know what is going on with him and I'm at a loss of what to do. Does anyone have tips or advice for me? I would very much appreciate the help.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,871 Posts
Hi and welcome to the forum!

As I am sure you know, there are no quick fixes or magic bullets when it comes to parrotlets. Even the most bonded bird is sometimes like this.

Some strategies that I can think of off the top of my head would be: move the cage away from the kitchen counter top if possible - maybe that can break some of the cycle of crazy. Increase the amount of sleep each night to reduce hormones, making sure it is nice and dark. Work on active training in Gentle Beak. Is there something that he will work for, like a particular treat (or, in the case of my parrotlet, a kleenex)? That would help you make progress in training. Others will hopefully have some thoughts and tips. Parrotlets are challenging animals, but with the extra work they are worth it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hi!
My parrotlets cage is actually in the living room - he just loves spending time in the kitchen when he is not in his cage... It is his go to spot as soon as his cage is open. He loves cheerios but loses interest fast. I think he sleeps pretty good, it is always dark in the living room at night. I am hoping he is going through "terrible twos" or something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,823 Posts
Hi! Welcome to the forum! You say it is pretty dark where his cage is when it is time to go to sleep. Questions....Do you cover him at night? Is it real quiet around his cage at night?


Also, try introducing new treats and foods. Chop up an almond and let him have some. Get nutraberries and break them up a little so he can have a healthy treat. Put a floret of fresh broccoli in between the bars of his cage and leave it there all day. Put it next to a perch so he can eat at it. Leave a spray of millet in his cage all the time.



These are just suggestions that I used for my p'letts over the years. Also, buy him some chewing type toys that you can hide little treats in them, like a sunflower seed or two or other treats. This way, he can forage for the treat and satisfy some of the chewing/biting problems.


David and Vicki;):rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thank you!
I don't cover his cage at night but maybe I should if that might help. He is across the house from the bedrooms so it is quiet where he sleeps. I've tried nutraberries - which he doesn't seem to care for. He loves millet (I put it through the bars and secure it with a clip so he can munch on it. I haven't given him broccoli - I will try it! Also, I have a foraging toy for him but I don't think he knows how to use it. In the past I've made origami stars that I fill with treats for him which he sort of got the hang of. If he doesn't understand how to forage how do I teach him?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,823 Posts
Be careful when you cover him up! He may freak out! The best way to introduce him to a covered cage is to cover him slowly during the daytime, then take it off after 5 minutes or so. If he freaks out, slowly take the cover off. My Bogie was never covered. He lived 10 years and no matter what I did, he never accepted a cover! So, I made sure he was in a very dark and quiet spot where no light can disrupt him. ( Like lights outside the home from passing cars, etc).


Just a thought....is anybody play-fighting with him? Do you have a cat?


David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I will be careful introducing him to a cover! Thank you! We only have three small dogs that don't pay much attention to him. It's only me and my parents that interact with him. He likes my dad more than anyone...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,607 Posts
I have owned parrotlets for over 20 years and always covered them at night. They had no issues being covered for the first night or anytime after that. I had parakeets before that and always covered them as well.

Has your routine changed at all recently?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
238 Posts
Hi and welcome.

I am relatively new to having a parrotlet - but have had various bird breeds up to galah size. Parrotlets were just not available here in Australia until recently.

We used to have this awesome hornbill visit us every day when we lived in Papua New Guinea, but he's another story! They're very similar to a toucan in size and look, if you don't know what they are.

When it comes to biting, which includes my parrotlet, I found that never (and I mean never) pulling away when they do bite but rather pushback accomplishes a couple of things. They *have* to let go because they can't get a good grip on you when you're pushing back. It also means their biting doesn't achieve whatever it is they want you to stop ...such as staying away from their territory etc. The expression on my parrotlets face when I did it was priceless! He definitely did not expect me to do that! With that being said, I do get the occasional nip - but I think it's more from a bit too much "enthusiastic" grooming me on his part! (freckles, dots and spots he tries to remove, and I've only found distracting him working at present.)

There is another technique called "gentle beak" which is awesome too and I've started that as well .... it's in a sticky ~~~> https://www.talkparrotlets.com/showthread.php?t=12871 <~~~

I hope you get it sorted! You are going to need patience though, because if he's established it as a "successful" behaviour to protect what he regards as his, it will probably take some time to turn it around, whatever the motivation for the biting it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I tried a cover last night and I couldn't believe it! He was cooing and grinding his beak. I don't think he has ever been so quiet through the night and early morning. I am a college student, so my routine has been a bit whacky for the last year or so due to the pandemic...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I will certainly try the push back method. It's hard not to pull away when he bites because it hurts! Pilot likes to nibble at freckles too! Its funny to watch him get confused when he cant get them.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,871 Posts
Glad to hear he likes to be covered! Tumi enjoys being covered as well.
Parrotlets aren't easy nuts to crack, but they are worth it. A bunch of small changes and consistency will hopefully add up to big changes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
It will be interesting to see if covering him up at night makes any difference in his behavior. A tired bird is a grumpy bird. Regardless, it may improve the quality of rest he gets. Make sure to give him 12 hours sleep every night.

There has to be a reason why he has changed. Trying to pinpoint the reason could be hard. Has he had a traumatic experience of some kind in the last year? Have you moved? Have you moved his cage to a different area? Is there anything new in your home? A new person? Any new pets?
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top