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Bad bite last night!

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Bad bite last night!

Postby Reneelynn » Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:02 am

Hello, I am new to the forum. I have a 28 year old blue and gold macaw named Bert. Generally Bert is extremely tame. Last night out of the blue while doing our usual nighttime routine he lunged and bit my lip. He didn't just bite it, he wouldn't let go. I have a huge fat and injured lip and was shocked and really bummed out. Some information that might help, we adopted Bert 3 years ago. He is crazy about my husband who doesn't return the feeling as he was supposed to be my bird. We've deal with this by my husband not really engaging with him because my husband just isn't into birds. So I spend all my time with Bert and am the main caregiver. He seems to enjoy my company but he's not crazy about me like he is my husband, it's u requited love no doubt. But it is what it is. Anyway, I don't know what to do now. This attack to my face felt very vicious in that he dug into my arm, bled profusely, and literally wouldn't let go of my lip. Having a giant bird attached to my face was petrifying he easily could have taken my lip off. He bit at me when we first got him but nothing like this. any advice?
Reneelynn
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 6
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Cockatiel
Blue and Gold Macaw
African Grey
Flight: No

Re: Bad bite last night!

Postby Reneelynn » Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:41 am

A bit more info, we are a very pet centered family, three small dogs and Bert. He gets lots of attention every day, same room, eats with us, sits with us. He does exhibit nesting behavior. He will go into the bathroom closet and make a "nest" if I forget and leave the door open. Last night my husband had just walked away when Bert attacked my face. I think it's possible he was mad, but...Now I'm nervous to handle him. Otherwise he's been an awesome bird, sings, dances, and just really tame. He was rehomed to us from a bird sanctuary for a similar reason...His male owner got a fiance and be was being aggressive to the new lady in his owners life. Now he is doing the same thing to me. He is obviously a bird who prefers males and has a history of aggression toward females. I called the aviary when we first got him and discussed his obsession with my husband and behavior toward me. They essentially blamed me and didn't think his history really mattered. Here we are 3 years later, same problem. I almost think he needs a male owner. I'm definitely open to opinions as I love him and have become attached but feel really discouraged.
Reneelynn
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 6
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Cockatiel
Blue and Gold Macaw
African Grey
Flight: No

Re: Bad bite last night!

Postby Pajarita » Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:46 am

Welcome to the forum, Renee and friends! I am so sorry you had to go through this! It's so disappointing and disheartening when one is the 'rejected' suitor, isn't it? I had the same situation with a couple of birds of mine who also preferred my husband to me even though he is NOT a parrot person but they not only accepted me, one of them is actually giving me a hard time right now because she now wants to be on me all the time. So there is hope! But before we go into details, please tell me a bit more about his care like what is his diet, his light schedule, his routines, etc. The reason why I ask these questions is that, when it comes to hormonal birds, it's one thing to have a bird in breeding season but another altogether if the bird is overly hormonal.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11631
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Bad bite last night!

Postby Reneelynn » Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:47 am

Hello, thanks for replying! Bert's diet is fresh fruit and a few veggies, raw nuts, some people food when appropriate, oatmeal, and fruity pellet mix. He eats well and I'd call him a foodie. I will say Ive noticed this last week he isn't eating as much, unless I offer favorite foods by hand which is not typical, but he is eating. He sleeps when we sleep, we are night owls, up till 1am, sleep till 9/10am. We go to work and he also naps while we're gone as I catch him sleeping when I get home. Right now he is screaming at my husband. He here's we are up but not been downstairs yet. He has taken to screaming anytime we leave the room and he doesn't get to come along.
Reneelynn
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 6
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Cockatiel
Blue and Gold Macaw
African Grey
Flight: No

Re: Bad bite last night!

Postby Reneelynn » Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:54 am

Haha yes it does hurt to be rejected but most of us get the hint after awhile and move on. I tease my husband that he must be irresistible, he says Bert making googly eyes at him all the time creeps him out. Bert will holler when we sit close. He seems to like my attention but I am only a consolation! He also would nest full time if I let him hang out in the bathroom, which is his nesting spot in the closet!
Reneelynn
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 6
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Cockatiel
Blue and Gold Macaw
African Grey
Flight: No

Re: Bad bite last night!

Postby Reneelynn » Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:11 am

Bert's routines are to hang out with us when we get home from work snacking and socializing. He cannot fly at all so he does get to come outside and sit on the deck. We watch TV in our room at night and I have let him come up the stairs and spend about an hour sitting in here with us. He's even potty trained. But he has a history of being aggressive on top of his cage. He likes to possess different areas of the house. Currently it's the bathroom and closet, and since I've been keeping that door shut now it's a spot on our stairway, a landing. Last night I went to pick him up off of that landing and he was in lunge position. He lunged at me but stopped as usual when I told him formally to step up. This is the thing is that he is possessing areas. I called the Aviary when I first got him and told them about his cage tap aggression they said well that's your fault quit letting him be on top of the cage period so I did quit that but I can't stop him from trying to take control of other areas of our house. And I take it that's nesting Behavior. He also was mad I think because my husband talked to him and then walked away and he was left with me and that's when he bit me.
Reneelynn
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 6
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Cockatiel
Blue and Gold Macaw
African Grey
Flight: No

Re: Bad bite last night!

Postby Reneelynn » Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:14 am

and he does lunge a lot, not just at me but as they walk by him all the time. So I guess in any other circumstance I would have saw that lunge and wings up as a warning however this is his normal behavior and he's never struck out so violently at anyone. He literally latched onto my face and wouldn't let go until I decided to move my arm and drop him. It was awful.
Reneelynn
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 6
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Cockatiel
Blue and Gold Macaw
African Grey
Flight: No

Re: Bad bite last night!

Postby liz » Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:11 pm

If he is happiest when in the bathroom closet let him in. He is hormonal. Rainbow is too and is turning boxes into mulch. She gets cuddly when in season.
Myrtle for some reason has not been hormonal this year. She does get jelous of Rainbow getting attention. She will be mean to him if he gets attention. On my shoulder if she can't reach him she bites me but does not bring blood.
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liz
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 6467
Location: Hernando FL
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BF Amazon Myrtle
Cockatiels: Shadow Tammy Tommy Maggie Lacy Flutter Phoenix Jackie Andy Gimpy Louise
Flight: Yes

Re: Bad bite last night!

Postby Pajarita » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:08 am

Lunging but not biting is typical of B&Gs -it's called 'bluffing' so the behavior you mention is perfectly normal for them -but, of course, biting is not (well, it is but up to a certain point]. Now, for what you tell me about his routine, I think the problem you have is that your bird is overly hormonal and, as he (was he DNA'd a male or are you assuming his gender?] has fixated on your husband, he -most likely- regards you as competition for his love (overly hormonal always means aggression but sometimes it also means plucking or self-mutilating]. This would be especially true if he sees any kind of show of affection between you two -which I assume he does. And the fact that your husband is not a bird person and has stayed way from him so he can bond with you made things worse (parrots will bond with whoever they choose and keeping the chosen one away from the bird will not change this]. He might also be eating too much protein (do you free-feed the pellets and nuts?]. The one thing I can tell you without the shadow of a doubt is that the pellets you are feeding are not good for him. They are, pretty much, the worst pellet there is in the market because they not only have artificial stuff in them (coloring that has been found to cause hyperactivity in children], they also have sugar -a HUGE NONO for parrots! Of four macaws I personally know of that have been diagnosed with diabetes (all of them over 20 years of age], three of them ate the fruity pellets for years (the fourth's previous diet is unknown].

Now, let me explain why I think that your macaw is overly hormonal. All birds are photoperiodic -this is a long word that means that their seasons (breeding, molting, etc] are governed by the amount of light they receive (photo meaning light and period meaning season]. Birds are not like mammals which produce sexual hormones all the time but increase production when they are going into estrus (heat]. Birds only produce sexual hormones when it's breeding season, the rest of the time (resting season], they don't produce any at all so their gonads (sexual organs] shrink and become dormant. When you keep a bird to a solar schedule (with full exposure to dawn and dusk or it might not work at all], the bird produces sexual hormones only part of the year so, even during breeding season, it doesn't become overly hormonal but just hormonal. But, when you keep a bird to a human light schedule as you do, the bird produces sexual hormones month after month and year after year. This makes their sexual organs grow disproportionally large creating physical discomfort and even pain (because the gonads end up displacing other internal organs -male birds have their testicles inside their bodies] - this, added to the sexual frustration (basically, the bird is terribly sexually aroused all the time but has no relief whatsoever] creates a real bad situation for the poor animal.

If to this you add too much protein (high protein is also a breeding trigger for them] and inadequate artificial light [which would not help in the production of the happy and reward hormones - you need full spectrum lighting of certain specifications for that] and no flight (flight is the ONLY way they have dissipating 'bad' -sexual and stress- hormones from their bloodstream] you end up with a 'problem' bird in your hands. And this is what I think it's happening with your bird and I bet it's not so much that he doesn't like you but that he is so very uncomfortable...

B&Gs are actually considered low hormone birds (there are 'hormonal' species, 'normal' species and 'low hormone' species, the macaws all fall in the low hormone classification] and are very laid back birds - to the point that they can actually be good with children, something not normally found in the parrot world. But this doesn't mean that they cannot get overly hormonal, they do!

Now, if you want, I can give you some pointers on how to remedy the situation...
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11631
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes


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