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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I came across this site after some googling.
I have had my parrotlet for 2 months now, I took him home when he was 3 weeks old. We quickly got to know each other and bonded really well. He learnt to step up and ate a variety of foods. Last week he bit my neck a couple of times when I tried to get him to step on my finger to taker him to his cage. This week I took him out and he went straight for my neck, again biting me. He was very aggressive and I was hesitant to take him out until a few days later when I did and he was doing well until he tried to bite again! He is now not eating fruit or veg and isn't tempted to come out the cage no matter what I do. If he does come out because I have a treat for him, he just takes it and flies back into his cage! Any ideas about his behaviour?
 

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Yeah, I got a baby also right now. He is a bit of a jerk. Everything goes into his beak and biting is a way of life. I am trying "gentle beak" with him but being young he still does not have the smarts to catch on quickly. Given that he is getting better. For a while the family bought me bandless ear muffs to keep Rio from chewing on my ear. Now he is better but still bites hard at times.

Anyway I suggest using the gentle beak technique and a lot of patience, and loving care.

Ear protection
 

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They use their beaks like we use our hands. In regards to not eating the vegetables and fruit, many people sprinkle chia seeds on top to entice their bird to eat it. I would keep offering the vegetables and fruit over and over, because some birds take longer to eat it regularly than others. I would try to take your bird out of his cage every day.
 

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I also have a baby parrotlet (almost 3 months old).

I would make the outside of his cage interesting, perhaps some perches and toys so that he wants to come out.

As for the neck biting, in my opinion, being on the shoulder is a privilege. I stop my bird when she tries to walk up my arm, I offer my finger to step up and then place her on my shoulder. I also ask her to step off from the shoulder, talk to her and then offer to go back on the shoulder. Works for me so far. You could also put on a scarf for a while...
 

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When birds start coming out of their “baby stage”, they can become naughty. They will start exploring things with their beaks. Unfortunately, often that involves biting. Biting is never fun and being bitten on the neck and ears must especially hurt. The Gentle Beak technique (which can be found in the Training and Bonding Section) has been successful technique for a lot of bird owners. Another way to stop biting is redirecting his behavior – whenever he bites, in a calm voice say, “No” and redirect his attention with a chew toy, rope or cuttlebone. If he is on your shoulder, you will probably need to remove him. Never punish him. They do not understand it and it could escalate the aggression. All birds bite and it is something we all have to overcome with our birds. With time and patience, you will gain their trust and the biting will diminish.
 

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Welcome to the forum! It is so nice for you to post a concern! Your p'lett is just a baby and will examine your body as he starts to discover things. " Gentle Beak " is one of the best ways to try to curb your baby's biting impulses. This site has many forums for your reading enjoyment. Be patient with your little one and be firm.
David and Vicki
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the responses. I trained him to step up but he refuses to do this when he is on my neck biting.
I've also noticed two whole feathers at the bottom of his cage and a very small one. Could he be molting, is it not a bit early?
Took him out today and he was just so angry it seemed. Just wanted to bite and he was so jerky.
It's so upsetting to see him like this as only at the beginning of last week he was an angel coming out often to play and eating his fruit with gusto. Although he is eating broccoli this morning.
I have firmly told him no after every bite, do I just keep going with that?
 

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Tumi does not have shoulder privileges because of neck biting. He is allowed on my knee, my arm, anywhere I can see and manage, but not on my shoulder because when he is scared he turns into a tiny vampire. I recommend limiting shoulder time in favor of the less painful knee/elbow time.
Molting in captivity doesn't follow a set pattern, so it could be a molt. Molting birds are itchy, which makes them extra impatient and bitey.
Tumi responds well to Gentle Beak. He doesn't take no for an answer, but can be redirected easily by Gentle Beak. I would see about that.
Parrotlets are passionate birds, and are quick to bite when they are "angry" for no reason. Being so small, they have to defend themselves ferociously if they want to survive in a world that is way too big for them. But they are so cute, and so worth the bandaids! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OTE]
Tumi does not have shoulder privileges because of neck biting. He is allowed on my knee, my arm, anywhere I can see and manage, but not on my shoulder because when he is scared he turns into a tiny vampire. I recommend limiting shoulder time in favor of the less painful knee/elbow time.
Molting in captivity doesn't follow a set pattern, so it could be a molt. Molting birds are itchy, which makes them extra impatient and bitey.
Tumi responds well to Gentle Beak. He doesn't take no for an answer, but can be redirected easily by Gentle Beak. I would see about that.
Parrotlets are passionate birds, and are quick to bite when they are "angry" for no reason. Being so small, they have to defend themselves ferociously if they want to survive in a world that is way too big for them. But they are so cute, and so worth the bandaids! :)
Thanks for that, I would like to know how you got him to understand that the shoulder is a no go. I don't seem to be managing that!
 

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New update! I wore a hoody that covered my face and ears. He did so well being out and even though he seemed on edge he only nipped me a couple of times, I think it was happy nipping. No biting! The top of his head definitely looks different, a bit whiter maybe? I will try spraying it with water. I put him back after 10 minutes because I could see he was trying to bite, when he went back in the cage I gave millet and praised him. He seemed okay with that even though he's normally out for much longer than that. Hopefully we can start getting back into out regular routine. I don't want to be afraid of taking him out because he keeps trying to bite!
 

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The trick to keeping Tumi off my shoulder is simply removal. He honestly enjoys being on my knee, which is the best place to start if you are removing privileges, since it is a long climb to the shoulder. I put him on my knee, and if he made it past my elbow, he would find himself placed back on my knee (I put my hand between him and the shoulder and he is forced to step on it, making no birdie compliance required). We are well bonded now, so he likes the knee or arm because he can get scritches there and he knows that he can't get petted while on my shoulder. Occasionally I place him on my shoulder, but honestly I prefer the top of my head to my shoulder, since it is less painful. It does help that I have long hair and he can climb on my hair like a jungle gym, but mostly he spends time now on my knee.
Hoodies are a great plan! I also used a LOT of scarves when Tumi was young, although mostly because he enjoyed snuggling in them.
I would definitely start with the Gentle Beak training. Even a fully bonded parrotlet does bite, and as a species they are among the most aggressive parrots. They are often "angry" without any reason, and seem to think that it is fun. Tumi's favorite way of playing is beating up bells quite violently and yelling at them. But I love my passionate little dude!
 

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The trick to keeping Tumi off my shoulder is simply removal. He honestly enjoys being on my knee, which is the best place to start if you are removing privileges, since it is a long climb to the shoulder. I put him on my knee, and if he made it past my elbow, he would find himself placed back on my knee (I put my hand between him and the shoulder and he is forced to step on it, making no birdie compliance required). We are well bonded now, so he likes the knee or arm because he can get scritches there and he knows that he can't get petted while on my shoulder. Occasionally I place him on my shoulder, but honestly I prefer the top of my head to my shoulder, since it is less painful. It does help that I have long hair and he can climb on my hair like a jungle gym, but mostly he spends time now on my knee.
Hoodies are a great plan! I also used a LOT of scarves when Tumi was young, although mostly because he enjoyed snuggling in them.
I would definitely start with the Gentle Beak training. Even a fully bonded parrotlet does bite, and as a species they are among the most aggressive parrots. They are often "angry" without any reason, and seem to think that it is fun. Tumi's favorite way of playing is beating up bells quite violently and yelling at them. But I love my passionate little dude!
Thanks for your response. I have taken him out quite a few times since and it has gone really well. I like the idea of not giving him attention and pettings when he is on my shoulder. There are half a dozen tiny whole feathers lying at the bottom of the cage which assures me that the trouble he's having is because of the molting. He likes getting tangled in my hair too but likewise it doesn't bother me at all. Now I know it's the molting I'm feeling pretty confident that we're going to do just fine!!! Thanks everyone!!!
 
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