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Hi,

I bought my parrotlet (Oliver) about a month ago. He is six months old and a lot of fun. I have never owned any kind of bird before and had never even heard of a parrotlet until I discovered the pet store in our area that actually breeds them. He won't eat anything but his seed mixture unless it is totally pulverized - no small pieces of anything. Will this change as he gets older? I would like to give him pieces of fruit, etc., but it is a waste as he just throws it to the bottom of his cage.

Also, most of the time he is very loving and good with me; however, a lot of the time he bites my husband, who is very nice to him. Not always does he bite him, but at least half the time. Anyone have any ideas how we can stop this?

Thanks

Paula
 

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Hi Paula,

Believe it or not Oliver is already a head of a lot of others in the eating department - in my view, as long as he is picking up the food and throwing it, thats a good sign - some won't even go near new food.

Mine did the same thing when I first got him - he would attack the Broccoli I clipped to the cage and rip it apart seemingly not eating any - he would do the same thing with Apple - Banana - Bread anything clipped to the bars - But over time while 'destroying this intruder' I guess he must have been getting a taste of it and over time started eating it - Although, sometimes he still shreds it to pieces.

At times he is still suspicious of new foods - the last one being a Tangerine I was eating - But I just ignored him and kept picking at it and eating it myself keeping it within his reach - in my experience their curiosity eventually gives in and mine came over to test what I was fussing over - he now loves to have his own slice ( always careful he gets no pits of course :)

So I would say, keep offering Oliver different foods - my guess is he will eventually start to eat it.

As for the biting - I'm not sure if I will be in the 'popular' vote on this - This is from my personal experience and I am not saying it will work for Oliver or any other bird.

I don't accept biting at all, never had from any of my birds - you hear just ignore it, don't make a fuss - yada yada yada.

Biting hurts - as humans our instinct is to yell and pull away - I've read don't do this because it creates 'drama' and the bird learns to like the drama -
I say - whatever - sometimes you just can't help yelling and pulling away when you are not expecting a bite.

I had some experience with my last Bird who had a much larger beak - although in her life she only bit me once (others, many times) but I learned how to avoid having her have the need to bite me.

When I rescued my Parrotlet who came for a not so good beginning - I let him settle in for a few days before trying to do anything with him.

He didn't know who I was and although he would come up to me at the bars when I spoke to him, he would nip when my hand came into the cage - so when I put my hand in the cage and he bit I would (gently, very gently) push back toward him.... ( I read this, its not my own invention :)

*** BTW this is not recommended with an untamed bird or one that isn’t human bonded - it could make them more afraid of you ***

Mine was human friendly - hand raised - but I wanted him to know from the get go I would not accept this biting behavior.

When he would bite I believe he was being cage aggressive and not biting out of fear. When he bit and I would move my hand toward him instead of away from him, it always shocked him and he would jump away. He would of course come back trying to threaten me with an open beak, so I would make a fist and offer him the back of my hand, moving it slowly toward him until he backed away - since he couldn't get a grip on the tensed back of my hand he would usually jump to a different perch out of my way.

After that when I entered his cage I offered him the back of my closed fist first and would move him out of my way - he quickly stopped even attempting to bite and would just sit and watch what I was doing in the cage -

*** Just to be very clear - this was all done moving very slowly and not 'attacking' him ***

On the 3rd or 4th day of this when my hand entered his cage and he just sat there watching me - I offered him my finger, he came down hard with his beak to my finger but stepped onto it - that was about three months ago - the only other time I've been bitten was my ear lobe - I pushed back with my head and that has never happed again * well yet anyway :)

Today, he is not a bit cage aggressive - but then I read that could all change with age ... we'll see :)

Anyway, I hope all this rambling can help with Oliver some.

Cheers.
 

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Please make sure you are feeding him premiun bird food and offering him the fruits and vegatbles. I have always had food issues with my little bird and I was given some extraordinary advise today by a very very knowledgable person. I was told to feed the fruits and vegatbles in a red dish. I was also told that some birds chew the fruit for the juice and never eat the plup. Let's see he told me to offer papaya and pineapple.. I'm trying everything to widen her diet from seed only. Please be very careful that your bird gets some good nutrition. He probably ate baby mush and now he is resisting solid food. Sometimes young little birds will starve with eating issues. Maybe do what your doing and still offer unpulverized seed and the fruit and vegatbles also he has to eat something.. By the way what are you pulverizing..seed? what kind and how are you doing that, shells and all? The main thing to say go to a avian vet if you see this continues, don't take a chance with your little bird....mem
 

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welcome!
mine seem to be going thru a phase where they wont eat anything but seeds! grrrr
they better snap out of that soon lol
 
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