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"Adoptive" bird - questions regarding behavior and food

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"Adoptive" bird - questions regarding behavior and food

Postby Animallover_84 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:02 pm

Hello!

Ok, so I ended up “adopting” a Black headed Caique :bcaique: and now I´ve got some questions regarding my new family member. I´m not sure if it´s a male or female. The previous owners, whom just recently bought the bird themselves (could not keep it due to it attacking both a family member and their other bird, an Amazon parrot) didn´t have any DNA results/papers, but was told it´s a male from the owner before them. The parrot is between five and six years old (that´s all the previous owners know).

I plan on getting it a friend (in the shape of a White bellied Caique :caique: ) later. I´ve got to get one more cage and naturally I also need to find a suitable bird to “adopt” (or if that turns out to be impossible; I need to find a trustworthy breeder). I would definitely prefer to “adopt” over buying from a breeder but I don´t want my bird to remain alone… so I feel I have to keep an open mind.

The Parrot is an absolutely adorable little bird…but I have some questions regarding it´s behavior and eating habits.

First of all, it tends to bite when being “told” (aka. being removed from the particular situation) not to do something (such as for example pull or bite? my hair) and when being put back into its cage (for example when I have to open a door or when cooking).

The previous owners used to (when it would not go back into the cage on its own) put a t-shirt around it and then put it back…so I´m guessing it has some bad associations that´s to do with going back into the cage.

I´m trying to teach it to step up on my hand willingly and I´m using a clicker and a target-stick to achieve my goal (of being able to put it back in it´s cage when needed without getting bitten). So far it´s going pretty well, it´s not biting me quite as much anymore (I think…). I´ve only had the bird for a few days now, so I would say we are making progress.

Do you have any advice on how to make the bird less prone to biting? Because of the biting I haven’t dared introducing the bird to my two small dogs yet (they´re naked so it could cause them a lot of pain if the bird would decide to bite). The bird is used to dogs according to the previous owner and my dogs are used to different types of small animals (like rats and mice for example) but they´ve never met a bird (wouldn´t want their first encounter to be a painful one).

Secondly, I am surprised by its lack of playfulness. It´s a Caique for heavens sake, it´s supposed to be crazy and play all the time…isn’t it? It´s been living on its own (I´m guessing since it was separated from its siblings) and I wondering if this has got something to do with it´s lack of the “classic” Caique behaviors like jumping up and down, hanging upside down/swinging, playing on it´s back etc.

It´s not particularly interested in toys, tried a variety of different ones; like for example cat balls, different baby toys and plenty of homemade toys (according to the previous owner it didn´t care much for any of the toys they provided either). It does however enjoy shredding paper, newspaper and sometimes cardboard (mostly it doesn´t care about the homemade toys made of these materials however…just plain paper etc.).

Thirdly, what to offer it as treats (for example during training) and fresh food?

So far, I´ve only found one thing it likes and readily accepts (most of the time at least) and that´s cashews (unsalted of course).

When it comes to fresh veggies and such I really haven´t found anything that the bird enjoys. Tried a variety of veggies such as for example fresh bell pepper, kale, cabbage and carrots and some frozen veggies such as broccoli, haricot verts and green peas. I´ve also tried a mixture of red rice, quinoa and a blend of grain, oats, wheat etc.

The bird tries a bit and just immediately spits it out/throws it on the floor. How do I get my bird to eat a healthy diet consisting of more than just pellets?

/Animallover_84
Animallover_84
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Re: "Adoptive" bird - questions regarding behavior and food

Postby liz » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:56 am

How long have you had it? What are you feeding it? What is your light schedule?

Birds don't bite just to bite. It is the only defense they have when they are scared.
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Re: "Adoptive" bird - questions regarding behavior and food

Postby Pajarita » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:47 am

I am sorry to say that your expectations are way off the mark, my dear. For one thing, you should not really be teaching it anything or even interacting that much with it yet. He went from one home to another and still another in a matter of a few months, that's terribly, terribly stressful to them. You need to give it time to get used to his new home, new human and new routines - to learn to trust you. Forget about asking it to step up for now - this implies an amount of trust in you that is simply not yet there. It takes months and months to win them over so slow down and arm yourself of patience because that's the only thing that is going to work.

You also need to realize that you can 'tell' parrots anything. They did not evolve to live in a hierarchical society so the concept of 'obeying', 'following a leader' or discipline/punishment does not exist in their psychological make-up. You need to make them believe that everything is their decision and you have to make them want to do it.

As to a healthy diet... well, it takes years, a lot of trying and a lot of wasted money because you need to keep on offering it even when the bird doesn't eat it. But, as long as you free-feed the bird a protein source in his cage [which is bad for them, by the way], you won't be able to switch it - or even train correctly because for training to be successful, you need to offer what we call a high value item as a reward and that's always a high protein food [like the cashews he now accepts]. Besides, caiques cannot eat a high protein diet, it's not what they evolved to eat and it's unhealthy for them and makes them much more difficult to handle because it triggers sexual hormone production [which makes them unpredictable and aggressive]. The way to do it is offer them the healthy food at dawn and leave it there all day long until the sun is halfway down to the horizon when you would take away the healthy food and offer the high protein food as dinner [the portion should be enough to fill its crop and just a little bit more, in case one day he is hungrier]. After the bird falls asleep once night falls naturally [there should be no artificial lights on], you should take away the bowl of protein food and cover the cage for the night. My caique is a fabulous eater! He LOVES his veggies and fruits so much that I have to always make sure I have an extra piece to give to him while I am doing the cages or he would go into the very first cage I am putting the food in to steal food :lol: Also, if you follow this feeding schedule, you will have no problem whatsoever getting the bird into the cage -he will, most likely, go in by himself.

I would also concentrate on winning this bird over before I even consider getting another one. Not that I don't agree with your wanting your bird to have a companion because I do! I, myself, strive to get all my birds companions but you've never had a parrot before and, if you are like everybody else [and I do mean EVERYBODY - myself included] you really have no idea of how hard it is to keep them healthy and happy so give yourself some time to get your 'feet wet' and establish a good bond with this bird and then and only then look for another bird [this should take about two years].
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Re: "Adoptive" bird - questions regarding behavior and food

Postby Animallover_84 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:58 pm

liz wrote:How long have you had it? What are you feeding it? What is your light schedule?

Birds don't bite just to bite. It is the only defense they have when they are scared.


Thank you for answering!

I understand that it´s not biting just to bite. I believe it´s more of a “No I don´t want to…” (insert for example get down from your shoulder and quit “pulling” your hair or go back into the cage etc.) Scared…maybe but it likes to fly/walk to me and enjoys hanging out with me and it even “cuddles up to me” when it´s getting tired etc.

I´ve had the bird for almost a week now (not a lot of time to get acquainted, I know). It´s not just biting as in biting…it´s kind of (I´m not sure how to explain it) like it´s opening it´s beak and pulls the head back n forth really fast on my hand for example? Frustrated with me for telling it to stop “pulling/biting” my hair? Hormonal? Mostly this weird biting-type-behavior occurs when it doesn´t want to get down from my shoulder/head and I put my hand for it to step up on? Both actual biting (I get tiny little itty-bitty wounds…kind of like I would’ve gone a match against a rosebush) and this weird “open beak” behavior seems to occur less frequently, compared to in the beginning.

I feed it a pelleted diet called Nutribird P15 (original) right now, since that´s what the previous owner gave it. Not sure I will keep feeding it this particular pelleted diet in the future though (trying to figure out which pelleted diet is the best I can find in my country). Beside this I’m giving it some cashews/almonds and millet sprays as treats(and I just bought a seed mix today to give as treats/put in toys etc.). Been trying to figure out what type of fresh foods such as veggies and fruits and various grains etc. it likes… but so far it unfortunately just throws it around.

As far as light schedule goes…it varies somewhat due to when I have to leave home. Unfortunately, I have trouble sleeping and therefore the amount of time that I sleep varies, as do the time I get up in the mornings. However, the bird’s bedtime stays around the same time every day, regardless of my own crazy late nights. I can tell when it’s getting sleepy and then it gets to sit in its cage and get ready for bed for a while, before I cover the cage and then I wait a little longer before I turn off the lights and say good night. Despite the fluctuating wake-up time, I at least keep the same routines for going to sleep/waking up as far as the preparations etc. goes. It´s been getting around 9-12 hours of sleep/darkness every day. I read that parrots don´t really need 12 hours of sleep to be healthy etc. but maybe despite my best efforts…the fluctuating time in the mornings affect my bird negatively?

I´m beginning to suspect my bird may be a little hormonal? It started touching (nipping) my face today. Quite gently but it still felt like it was “pinching” me. Not sure if this has to do with me accidently touching the bird in the “wrong” way or if the fluctuation light schedule/sleep has anything to do with it; but this makes me even more convinced it needs a friend, to give that kind of attention to (not saying it necessarily needs to be breeding; in fact, that´s just the opposite of what I want…but a friend to cuddle up with and preen etc. would do my bird good).

/Animallover_84
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Re: "Adoptive" bird - questions regarding behavior and food

Postby Animallover_84 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:01 pm

Pajarita wrote:I am sorry to say that your expectations are way off the mark, my dear. For one thing, you should not really be teaching it anything or even interacting that much with it yet. He went from one home to another and still another in a matter of a few months, that's terribly, terribly stressful to them. You need to give it time to get used to his new home, new human and new routines - to learn to trust you. Forget about asking it to step up for now - this implies an amount of trust in you that is simply not yet there. It takes months and months to win them over so slow down and arm yourself of patience because that's the only thing that is going to work.

You also need to realize that you can 'tell' parrots anything. They did not evolve to live in a hierarchical society so the concept of 'obeying', 'following a leader' or discipline/punishment does not exist in their psychological make-up. You need to make them believe that everything is their decision and you have to make them want to do it.

As to a healthy diet... well, it takes years, a lot of trying and a lot of wasted money because you need to keep on offering it even when the bird doesn't eat it. But, as long as you free-feed the bird a protein source in his cage [which is bad for them, by the way], you won't be able to switch it - or even train correctly because for training to be successful, you need to offer what we call a high value item as a reward and that's always a high protein food [like the cashews he now accepts]. Besides, caiques cannot eat a high protein diet, it's not what they evolved to eat and it's unhealthy for them and makes them much more difficult to handle because it triggers sexual hormone production [which makes them unpredictable and aggressive]. The way to do it is offer them the healthy food at dawn and leave it there all day long until the sun is halfway down to the horizon when you would take away the healthy food and offer the high protein food as dinner [the portion should be enough to fill its crop and just a little bit more, in case one day he is hungrier]. After the bird falls asleep once night falls naturally [there should be no artificial lights on], you should take away the bowl of protein food and cover the cage for the night. My caique is a fabulous eater! He LOVES his veggies and fruits so much that I have to always make sure I have an extra piece to give to him while I am doing the cages or he would go into the very first cage I am putting the food in to steal food :lol: Also, if you follow this feeding schedule, you will have no problem whatsoever getting the bird into the cage -he will, most likely, go in by himself.

I would also concentrate on winning this bird over before I even consider getting another one. Not that I don't agree with your wanting your bird to have a companion because I do! I, myself, strive to get all my birds companions but you've never had a parrot before and, if you are like everybody else [and I do mean EVERYBODY - myself included] you really have no idea of how hard it is to keep them healthy and happy so give yourself some time to get your 'feet wet' and establish a good bond with this bird and then and only then look for another bird [this should take about two years].


I´m not even sure how to answer you. The ton in your text feels extremely condescending (not sure if this was intended or not, but you might want to consider this in the future). First of all, you have no idea about my expectations or knowledge regarding birds, parrots or animals in general. Secondly, your idea of not interacting with an extremely intelligent animal because it may cause it stress? Seriously? If I would leave my bird without interaction or training, it would go completely insane in no time at all. It loves to come out of its cage and comes to me by its own free will. It readily takes treats from my hands, climbs around on me etc. I don´t believe it would be less stressful to be ignored, than to come to a loving home with lots of time outside the cage.

Clicker training is a way of communicating with animals on its own terms; I can´t see how that in any way, shape or form would be a bad thing. In fact, my bird is already a lot easier to get back in the cage, than it was in the beginning of our journey.

I´m well aware that birds don´t follow leaders. This fact however doesn´t mean that you can´t teach birds things. I don´t believe in punishment for any animal; I believe in rewarding the good behavior…hence the clicker training. You write that you have to make them want to do things by their own free will…which coincidently is exactly what clicker training is about. You might want to do some research before you tell people they´re wrong…For example when I´m teaching the bird to “step up” - it makes the decision to “step up” to get a treat – I don´t force it to do anything; it´s all up to the bird.

Not sure what you mean by “free feeding it a protein source” but if you mean the fact that I and most other parrot owners offers pellets as a stable diet, then yes, I suppose I do? Pellets are regarded as the best option available for birds in captivity (not as the only source of food of course, they should be given a variety of veggies etc. as well).

You end by writing that you believe I should wait for about two years before I get the bird a friend. I hope that I will find another bird, well before that time has passed; because I don´t believe in having a lonely parrot. One of the things (the most important thing according to me and what I believe should be according to everybody) is that a bird needs another bird to be happy, healthy etc. so waiting defeats the purpose of learning what the bird needs…since I would then refuse it, the one thing it really needs.

To have only one rat or only one guinea pig is considered cruel by most people (which is very good, because these animals are extremely social beings in desperate need of friends) …why is it not considered cruel having just one parrot? We are talking about one of the most intelligent and social beings on the planet, and your advice is against giving it a friend?! Waiting for two years, when its already been alone for somewhere between five and six years is unbelievably cruel. My number one priority is to find this poor lonely bird (that craves attention and interaction) a friend to talk to, play with and snuggle up with. My bird deserves the best that I can offer it and this includes getting a friend as soon as possible.

In my country it is even (at least almost) against the law to keep birds on their own. There is an exception (well two, but the first one is pretty stupid according to me, so I don´t even consider that an option); it states that you can have just one bird if you basically spend 24/7 with it…but can anyone really do that – everybody needs to go shopping etc. (besides I´m not a parrot so it wouldn´t matter anyway, I can´t speak “parrot” and so on). The other exception (the one that I can except) is if the bird is unusually aggressive and for some reason doesn´t tolerate any other bird.

/Animallover_84
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Re: "Adoptive" bird - questions regarding behavior and food

Postby Pajarita » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:54 am

You misunderstood most of my posting and I am afraid that you are confusing parrots with feathered mammals - which they are not. Parrots need interaction but they are not naturally people-oriented in any way - even the ones that were handfed and imprinted to humans. And there is interaction and there is interaction because -to use a human example which is closer to how parrots behave than dogs- you can have a real nice interaction by simply sitting next to a person and chatting for a while with him/her and then you can have a nice interaction with somebody you love by hugging them close and kissing them. Both activities are interactions but they are completely different in how they affect the participants. Parrots are like people, they don't like strangers taking physical liberties -it's disrespectful and not welcome. You should spend a lot of time with the bird [hours and hours and hours] but only talking, singing, whistling, offering a treat every now and then -not as a reward for doing something right but as a gift, as a token, something to show it that you want to be its friend. As time goes by and the bird learns to trust you, it will show you it wants [or not] a closer relationship. Parrots observe, analyze and make decisions on their own and they choose who to trust, who to like and who to love so the best way to have a long term relationship with them is to give them the respect any sentient being should receive and allow them to choose you [or not].

This is the most important time you will ever spend with your bird. It is the foundation of your entire relationship with it and creating a situation where the parrot feels it has to bite you [if it breaks skin, it's a bite and it's aggression] is VERY unwise because you are reinforcing the notion that you are not listening to what he wants.

You are also misinformed as to what a clicker does during training. It's not something that allows you to communicate with an animal on its own terms, it's nothing but a super quick "Well done". It's not even necessary for training - neither are actual food rewards or targetting. I don't have training sessions with my birds, give them rewards, use a clicker or anything and they are extremely well-behaved and obedient. My birds don't bite, don't scream. don't fight among themselves, come out and go back into their cages without a single problem and know a HUGE lot of commands and phrases. All I do is treat them with respect and love, and as companions instead of pets. I don't own them, they simply live with me - and they learn because they love me and trust me and want to please me.

As to diet, there is absolutely no scientific research that says that pellets are the best dietary option for parrots - all you find is people repeating something they heard from somebody else and not a single study. I am very science oriented. I don't go by what people tell me, I do my own research and I have been doing research on parrots natural diets since 1994 and almost every single day. I was born and raised in a South American country where there are parrots and have observed different species feeding in the wild in a couple of other countries, too. First I research their dietary ecology, then the indigenous flora of their territory, then I go to scientific studies and last I use common sense and my own experience feeding multiple parrots for 26 years - and I am still learning! So I urge you to do in-depth research on caiques natural diet and you will see that it's low protein, low fat, high fiber and high moisture. Pellets are very low moisture [bad for their kidneys and liver], high protein {bad for their kidneys and liver and, to make matters worse, the level of protein is unknown in pellets], low fat [that's good about them] and bad fiber [not all fiber works the same]. On top of this, they are made with inferior ingredients [animal feed grade versus human grade], processed so they have no phytonutrients whatsoever and the vitamins in them are lab-made [which we know are not really utilized by the body the same way that natural food-derived ones are].

I am sorry you found my tone condescending. It wasn't mean that way. I was just trying to show you the right way of doing things being that you have admitted that you have no experience with parrots - not that any of us is sure that all we are doing is correct because we are not! The thing is that none of us had any experience when we first started and we all made lots of mistakes so we are here to help other people not make the same mistakes.
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Re: "Adoptive" bird - questions regarding behavior and food

Postby Animallover_84 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:00 pm

The ton in your text still feels condescending and you keep making assumptions about my bird-knowledge etc. and also regarding my interactions with my bird. For your information, just because this is the first bird that´s living under my roof, it doesn’t mean that I have no knowledge about parrots or that I look at my bird like I would a mammal (not that all mammals are the same either).

Where have I possibly lead you to believe that I´m “kissing and hugging” my bird? It comes to me by its own free will and sits on me, next to me or chooses to sit on its cage and whistles etc. My interaction with the bird mostly consists of talking to it and it running around looking at stuff, shredding paper etc. I don´t force it to do anything, nor do I force it to be near me, this is all the bird’s choice. In fact, sometimes I would prefer if it would not sit on me.

Clearly, we have different views on training birds and also regarding clicker training, targeting etc. Clicker training is used with a number of different animals very successfully, even as far as for example training polar bears at the Zoo to accept health checks etc. Birds are no different in this regard, in fact (yes, I know chickens and parrots are not the same) chickens are often used to teach people the art of clicker training and timing especially. Your way of looking at clicker training is extremely simplified and what I would call misinformed; but I will stop discussing this topic with you because it´s clear to me that you just want to be right.

Regarding biting we seem to have different ideas as well. To me biting (even when the animal is breaking skin) is not always a sign of aggression. Fear and a number of other reasons can also make an animal bite. For example (yes, very aware that dogs and parrots are not the same): I had a dog that bit me on several occasions seemingly unprovoked. He was not a dog that I would necessarily describe as an aggressive dog, regardless of the biting. He was extremely insecure and most likely also had a syndrome that made him lash out…unpredictable and untrustworthy – yes, but aggressive, no (he didn´t even know what he was doing). This particular bird bites only in very specific situations and it does it less and less for every day that goes by.

In describing the way, you interact with your birds, that they learn even if you don’t formerly train them etc. your sort of showing that your judging me based on your own mistakes and misconceptions. You wright that they “want to please you” which is something dogs may do (I would not say all breeds do, or all individuals - but anyway this is the common idea regarding dogs), birds however have no “will to please”.

Regarding pellets, I haven’t said it´s the perfect diet, only that it´s the diet recommended by veterinarians etc. Seeds and so forth just doesn´t give the bird all the nutrients they would get in the wild; due to the extreme variety in what they eat in the wild vs. what´s available to give them in captivity. You also seem to believe that all pellets are the same. In my experience, there are good and bad pellets (this goes for all species of animals) and you can´t condemn all pellets, by for example just looking at a few brands etc.

/Animallover_84
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Re: "Adoptive" bird - questions regarding behavior and food

Postby Pajarita » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:30 am

The way I look at it, if an animal's natural diet is meant to have a moisture content of 85 to 95% and it's hard-wired to only eat and drink at dawn and dusk, free-feeding it a diet that is only a max of 10% moisture is VERY bad even if it was actually formulated for the nutritional needs of the species [which they are not because nobody knows what these are]. And the ONLY brand of pellets that is made without soy, with human grade ingredients and with naturally derived vitamins is Tops. But even Tops has no phytonutrients and it's way too dry for them so, no, there are no 'good' pellets and a vet's recommendation means nothing if the vet has had no birds of his own and has not done in-depth research on their natural diets [and this has to be species specific, too] because avian medicine texts don't cover parrot nutrition at all [I have a couple of them] so their opinion is as uninformed as anybody else's, I am afraid. I know that seeds have gotten a bad reputation but that was because people were feeding them seeds and water and nothing else. Seeds and nuts are part of every parrot natural diet [with the exception of the nectar eaters, of course] so unless you believe that man knows better than nature and that evolution did not exist, it's not logical to say that seeds are bad for birds. I have been feeding my birds [and I had an average of 240 under my care when I had the rescue] gloop and raw produce for breakfast and seeds/nuts for dinner for over 20 years and have never had a single one get a bad physical or show any signs of malnutrition. Quite the contrary! Even the ones that come to me with liver and kidney issues do hugely better under the fresh food diet to the point of birds that are borderline hepatic failure end up with actual normal bile acids levels after a few years! And I'll tell you something else, if you free-feed your caique protein food, he will end up in soft molt and hormonal. It has taken me almost an entire year of a good diet to get my caique's endocrine system back on track after being free-fed protein food!

I also did not assume you had no knowledge about parrots, I am going by what you posted: always wanted one but could not have it because father is allergic. You will find out that reading about parrots, looking at parrots and even interacting with somebody else's parrot is not the same as living with one. HUGE difference! And you will find out that thinking that you know enough already is the worst mistake you can make because if there is one thing that a good parrot keeper needs is the humility to realize that, when it comes to parrot husbandry, we are all babes in the woods... it's only that some of us have been 'in the woods' longer than others. :) I have had parrots for 26 years [and I am not counting the ones we had back home when I was a young girl], have cared for hundreds of them covering a wide range of species, have rehabilitated birds with medical and behavioral issues, do research every single day on them and, if there is one thing I have learned and can assure you of, is that I don't know anywhere near enough!

I also did not say that you were hugging and kissing your parrot. You misunderstood, I used that as an example of human interaction that, in a way, correlates to the way parrots regard physical interaction.

As to training... well, it might surprise you to find out that I ran a dog and cat shelter for years and have trained A LOT of rescue dogs to the point that I used to specialize in aggressive dogs which I would foster in my house to rehabilitate [all my animals are rescues or adoptions, dogs, cats and birds]. Very successfully, I might add. So, yes, I do know about clicker training [I even have a certificate saying that I am a dog trainer -not that it's worth more than the paper it's printed on] but I still don't think it's necessary. People have been training dogs and lots of other animals for thousands of years without a clicker -and still do, as a matter of fact- so if they were essential to training, nobody would have been very successful, right? I would also not use a zoo practice as an example of good animal husbandry... zoos are terrible places for animals and the people who work there often don't have any empathy whatsoever for them [and I know because I worked in one].

You are also misinformed as to whether parrots have the capacity to 'want to please'. I can assure you that they do! It's only that it's not the same as dogs which want to please any Tom, Dick or Harry that :shock: :shock: shows them a bit of love. Parrots will only want to please their chosen one and they will only please this chosen one if the request is a 'logical' one -which only means it needs to be logical to the parrot and not necessarily to the human because although it's perfectly logical for us to expect a pet not to destroy our home, as far as parrots are concerned, chewing your furniture is not a bad thing - same as throwing food all over the place. Parrots bond very deeply to their humans [if the humans do everything right, that is] and love them dearly and, where there is love, there is the desire to please -especially when there is high intelligence in the mix.

I don't know where you get that I am projecting my 'mistakes and misconceptions' on you... I will be the first one to admit that I had misconceptions and that I made mistakes with my parrots but, in all honesty, there is nobody who has not made mistakes with parrots or had misconceptions. And I am sure that we are all still making mistakes every day because although we have learned a lot about them in the last twenty years, we are only now scratching the surface and there is much more to learn than what we have already learned. It's kind of like the tip of the iceberg... And that's why I always tell people to do their own in-depth research! Not only because you don't want to take somebody's word as the gospel given the huge amount of misinformation there is out there on birdsites but also because we are learning new things every day about them.


As to the 'type' of bite [aggression bite versus fear bite, etc], you are thinking dogs. Parrots have two types of bite: defense/protection [which, of course, includes fear] and 'you are not listening to me so you give me no choice but to bite you'. They don't have 'aggression bite' because parrots don't have natural aggression [they are not predators and they did not evolve to live in a hierarchical society]. The first one is instinctual, hard-wired into their brains. The second one is one that humans teach them when they insist on asking or doing something the parrot is not willing to do. And this is the one that you do NOT want to reinforce with an newly adopted parrot. You simply do not want the parrot to think that you are not going to respect its wishes because, if you do, you will have double work to get him to stop doing this. I have taken in many aggressive parrots. A lot of them were just misunderstood and never showed any aggression whatsoever but there were a few that were hard nuts to crack because the previous owners did not treat them like parrots and taught them to bite - and the only thing that works is to avoid getting bit by never putting the bird in a position to have to do this. You say that the parrots is biting less and less every day and that is good but your parrot is in its honeymoon period and that means that he is on his very best behavior right now so if the best behavior means biting there is a distinct possibility that, once the honeymoon period is over, he will continue biting. I was just trying to make it easier on your parrot for the long term...

Look, you seem to take every single recommendation/advice I give you [which is based on many years of personal hands-on experience on many birds, a lot of research and out of a sincere desire to help birds] as an affront to you but I can assure you that this is not the intent. Why would I bother? I don't even know you! You talk about a 'condescending tone' which is pretty much impossible to judge from the written word as it implies a tone of voice but it might be that you think that because I tell you that you are misinformed and attribute a tone to my correcting you... It might be the 'my dear', which I use all the time with everybody [it's an old lady's affectation, I guess]... I don't know. I am here to help birds. Period. This, in my mind, means translating birds needs, behaviors and physiological functions to the people who care for them so as to give the bird a semi-good life [which is EXTREMELY hard to do!]. Sometimes this means telling people they are doing something wrong. It's not meant as disrespect to the person or condescension. it's simply that there is no other way of doing it.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 13503
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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