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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok some of you may be familiar with my Parrotlet (Pookey) who was sold to me as a two-bird combo deal. He was raised with a Cockatiel and used to ride on his back. After recieving great advice from you all I ended up splitting them up and things were going great. (Thanks to Memmey, etc.!)

Pookey started out scared of me and wouldn't let me near him. I worked up to him coming out of his cage to hop on my arm and ended up on my shoulder where he will nuzzle me and let me rub him with my cheek and nose. He really seemed to be bonding with me. I then started working with him to start trusting hands. I would feed him millet sprays and slowly he learned to hop on my hand and eat and even perch on my finger. Things were progressing very nicely.

Suddenly he began acting strangely. He started biting my hand while I was feeding him, but I just figured it was kind of accidental. Then he would start attacking hands aggressively. It keeps getting worse. Now he hops up my arm and gets to my neck and starts biting my ears for no reason at all. I tried putting him back in his cage immediately when he did this. I tried being firm and saying "NO BITING" every time he did it but he doesn't seem to care.

Now it is so bad that I don't even want to get him out of the cage. He just ends up attacking me, and quite honestly if that is how he is going to act, I will have to get rid of him, or just give him food and leave him in the cage all day.

I really want to train him to behave. I feel like I am being MORE than patient and loving. But I have limits and I don't want to own a bird that attacks me. I would just as soon own a rattlesnake or a snapping turtle.

I don't know what I did to make him this way. Any ideas?
 

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OH NO CHIEF!
It sounds to me like you will really have to start fresh with him. Is he clipped? Do you have a t-stand?
If it were me, I would make sure he is clipped, and use a dowel stick to start retraining him. DONT let him on your shoulder, its a domination thing. Until he has mastered the step up and step down with the dowel stick, then start using your finger.
I'm sure others will also have some great advice, but this seems to work with me with the biters!
Good luck & keep us posted! :)
 

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"Obnoxious bird"~ aren't they all ? :rolleyes:

Sorry, Chief don't mean to make light of your situation but I couldn't resist - mine is so nosy and into everything - "Obnoxious" fits. :D

I don't have any professional advice but I can offer what worked for my guy. When I first brought him home,
3 ½ months ago (he was a rescue but still under a year old) he would nip when I put my hand into his cage, he had NO FEAR. The first few times of this was enough for me - So from then on when I entered his cage for chores I would make a fist and offer him the back part of my hand - he would still try to bite but they can't get a grip on that part of your hand.... if he persisted in trying I would move my hand ( the back of my fist) SLOWLY toward him until he backed off or jumped to a different perch.
After just a few times of this he stopped attempting to bite and would just sit and watch what I was doing. I guess he figured it did no good to bite as I didn't pull away and he wasn't getting the response from me he wanted.
Good luck with Pookey (very cute name by the way).
Cheers -
 

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I think they can get into moods. Just keep being very calm. If he is nippy on your shoulder, take him home or to a playgym. Talk quietly. I like to set a calm example. I like Chipper to fly, so I rarely clip her.

Has anything changed? Play time changed? Are you gone more? Does she get 12 hours of very quiet sleep and a nap? Same good food? Sweet potatos, veggies, pasta.. Does she have a light? I like my Feather Brite light. I only use it for a couple hours a day.

Could be his age, he is just "going through" something. We all have good and bad days. I do hope things get back to normal soon.

Oh, how large is your cage? Fun toys, lots of kinds of perches?

Chipper got MUCH happier after we got her a huge cage!!! Also, her light. I hope to hear good news soon!
 

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Oh Chief I 've been wondering about you so much. My heart was so big for you and your situation. I was hoping that things were good since we haven't seen you around. You know your P'let came to you as the most unusual thing alot of us had ever seen and I'm afraid your are being challenged with a situation that even experienced people are confused by. I don't know if we can give you perfect answer cause we don't actually see him in action. From what you have said though he dominated the teil and he got away it it for a while. He was so young and he has now got him a bad habit. But it's not his fault, he's not too old to change but please don't give up. I'm guessing the other bird is easy huh? let us go again and see what all we can find out. Alot of heads are better that one. Don't despair when you read advice that seems too simple. I'm here to tell you that you have a extremly unusual case. Hang on friend we will find out what to do. I'm glad to hear from you. Pookey he's a trip...!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys. Memmey you are very sweet for your help and concern. I really want things to work out well and I must say I am trying sooo hard to be patient. We do have good moments when he is sweet. My biggest concern is that we were making positive momentum. Now those moments are becoming more and more rare. We're going the wrong direction.

Hopefully we can find an answer.

Thanks again,
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey guys, thanks again for the support. Just a quick update, we had a much better weekend. I am taking a firmer stance with Pookey as I do think it is a dominance thing. I had originally been leery to invoke discipline as I was trying to gain trust rather than create fear. I think that my earlier efforts in gaining trust now allow me to show him who's the boss without him thinking I am out to hurt him. I like Art's suggestion and will incorporate it the next time he gets real aggressive with me.

I'll keep you all posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Memmey! I am sorry I haven't posted for a while. Thanks for thinking about Pookey. Here's where we are.

I tried the restraint method that Art recommended. When he started biting I held him in my hand so he couldn't move. He then continued to try to bite the hand that was holding him so that wasn't easy. Anyway, it worked for a little while in that he stopped trying to bite me. After a while he would bite again, but as I held him each time he seemed more determined to bite me rather than deciding I was the boss. So ultimately my efforts to establish dominance only established an increased fear and aggresiveness. I abandoned that method and went back to just putting him in the cage when he bit. So I have run out of ideas and patience. My time with him has diminished to about 30 minutes in the evening and 10 minutes in the morning. The rest of the time he's in his cage. Even when he is out and he's on my shoulder, I know it is only a matter of time before he gets carried away and bites me hard. It is really sad because he CAN be really sweet and seems to LOVE when I use my nose to stroke his head and back. He closes his eyes and tilts his head and just get lost in the moment. Just about the time time we are all watching and thinking "AWWWW, how SWEET!" he will reach up and try to clamp on my nose.

When we took the birds to a bird shop to get their wings clipped we left the cockatiel and Pookey at the store and went to eat. We warned them to be careful that Pookey will bite. When we returned, the lady told us that pookey laid on his back and let them stroke his belly while they clipped his wings. He never tried to bite them even when they were clipping his wings. The adult son of the shop owner was VERY fond of Pookey and wanted to know where he could find a Parrotlet. The place we got Pookey from was out of P'lets so I had no idea. As time went on and several moments of angry confrontation took place, we decided as a family it would be in the best interests of Pookey to find him a new home. Regardless of whether it was his own doing, it is not fair to pookey to sit in his cage all day. When I went out of town my wife and kids were afraid to let him out because he would bite them, or scream at them if they got near him. So he would sit.

I finally broke down and called the lady who owned the bird store and asked if her son would be interested in having Pookey. She jumped all over that. So as we speak, she and her son are on their way here to come get him and take him to a new home. They know all about his biting and still want him. They think he is an angel. Maybe he just responds better to them. It makes me very sad to have him leave. Even though there were times I thought he wanted to peck my eyeballs out I still really liked him and wanted so badly for him to change. But the good news is that this family obviously knows about birds and have access to lots of free toys and food. He should be very loved and I am very happy to know that he will get the nuturing and stability he needs.

I will give you all an update as I will be checking with his new owners to see how the transition goes. I can't thank you enough Memmey and everybody else who helped me out. I guess I will take the blame and state that I must not have the qualifications of a good P'let parent. I really did try though.
 

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I'm sorry that things didn't work out for you but it was good of you to realize that he might be better somewhere else. I hope everything works out for you and for pookey at his new home. So do you still have your tiel??
 

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Chief - don't beat yourself up. I know in the 'ideal world' the consensus is, its best not to re-home our birds but in this case you have done Pookey a service. He obviously needs some work and training.

You didn't lock him away to a life of isolation in another room or set him free or give him to the kid down the street who has no idea how to care for a bird - just to get rid of him. There are many stories of people doing these kind of things - after all - to them "its just a bird". The lady I rescued my P’let from, her friend had put him outside on her patio in the winter – in 40-degree weather and left him there – he was 4 months old.

You joined a Parrotlet site to gain some insight and gave it your best shot - but in the end you found Pookey probably the best place for him - with People who know and work with birds.

So I applaud you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So do you still have your tiel??
Thanks for your kind words everybody. To answer this question, yes. The tiel is as sweet as can be and is as happy and loving (and "pet"able as can be) Apparently we are not total flops when it comes to owning birds. Just the Parrotlet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Pado your comments also meant a lot to me. This was so much harder than I thought. It was horrible. Like giving up a kid for adoption.
 

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Awww that great Chief - I'm glad you still have a feathered friend.
Yes, they say the Parrotlets are actually more like Amazons - their much larger cousins.

I know for a fact I wouldn't have been able to handle my P'let if he was my first Parrot - they are feisty and very much a handful.
 

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Sorry it didn't work out, but it sounds like a wonderful family for him! Do stay in touch with them and let us know. It sounds good that they really wanted him!!!:)
 

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Chief - You're very welcome. I meant it, you did the best thing for him. I bet it was very difficult for you and your family. But I'm glad you still have the tiel - they are awesome birds.

The Parrotlets are handfuls - I can't imagine trying to handle one with an issue :eek:
 

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Chief,

I second all of Pado's comments. I'm glad you found Pookey a good home!

Good luck with the tiel, sounds like it's a great fit.

Art S.
 

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Chief It's good to hear from you and you have to believe this...that whole situation was not your fault. You were a brand new bird owner who was sold a mismatched species pair, who actually weren't a pair at all. I could be so mad at the lady who sold you them but what good is it going to do. You have turned a horrible situation around for the good. Do not feel bad feel good about your decision, you did the right thing for Pookey. They know birds and they can handle him and give him what he needs. I would love if you would still join in with us and post about your little teil, poor little thing it got a rough start too, p'let's are a tough little bird to have on your back( literally on it's back). Don't leave just because you don't have Pookey anymore you have an experience to share that folks can't even imagine.. There are all kinds of birds here too, stay with us your a good person who did the right thing:D :D :D
 
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