Trained Parrot BlogParrot Wizard Online Parrot Toy StoreThe Parrot Forum

HELP ME PLEASE!

Discuss the methods and techniques of clicker training, target training and bonding. These are usually the first steps in training a young parrot.

HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby Santiago » Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:25 pm

Ok, Ill be as brief as possible. We got a conure last yr @ Christmas. the bird came from a pet store, and we assume he was around 6mos age. For aprox 3mos he was stick trained, and mainly handled by 1 person to help with bonding. The bird has over the course of the year become social with all 3 people in the home and will snuggle/cuddle with any one of the 3, although he still recognizes the 1st person as his "mate" as he will go to her if something spooks him & stays with her primarily. He has a very odd behavior that despite all our research we cant figure out....he bites randomly, not "beaking"...BITING. He may fly over to you, want to be petted and in the middle of petting will turn and bite (no it's not a pin feather he's been though his molt and it can be a "with the grain petting). He has flown over to 1 of us landed and just instantly bit. Sometimes the bird will be as cuddly and gentle as you could ever imagine, and others he's just a mean spiteful chomper. He will fly onto the floor sneak around and bite your feet, chase the dogs or sneak up on one and bite them, etc.

We have tried almost every suggestion we can find to get him to stop, he is totally unphased by blowing on him, trying to knock him off balance(earthquake), pushing against him, & probably most anything else we've read to try, and are at a loss as to how to get him to understand that biting hurts us and that it's not acceptable. It's been about 6weeks since he bit hard enough to draw blood. He's bitten hard enough at times to cause scarring even. If theres any suggestions or if someone wants to get into a in depth q/a Ill be happy to. As I said it's a brief overview...Thanks in advance!
Santiago
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 4
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Green cheek conure
Flight: Yes

Re: HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby Michael » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:40 am

Santiago wrote:We have tried almost every suggestion we can find to get him to stop, he is totally unphased by blowing on him, trying to knock him off balance(earthquake), pushing against him, & probably most anything else we've read to try, and are at a loss as to how to get him to understand that biting hurts us and that it's not acceptable. It's been about 6weeks since he bit hard enough to draw blood. He's bitten hard enough at times to cause scarring even. If theres any suggestions or if someone wants to get into a in depth q/a Ill be happy to. As I said it's a brief overview...Thanks in advance!


Sounds like you're only doing things that encourage biting. It is evident because you said it's getting worse so the things you are doing are making it worse. Instead of trying to focus on "get him to understand that biting hurts us", focus on not provoking him to bite in the first place. As upset as you are in him biting you, believe me that if he has to get to the point of biting, he is far more upset with you! Don't treat him that way because it is mean to the bird and only makes things worse.

I'm sorry I don't have time to get into a lesson in training but you can read my full approach to parrot keeping (not just training) with a focus on building a great bite-free relationship in my book The Parrot Wizard's Guide Well-Behaved Parrots.
User avatar
Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6151
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby liz » Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:09 am

Even the best talkers can't always tell you what is wrong. They bite to let you know. If your bird is biting then something is wrong.

My Myrtle is a brat that bites me when she thinks Rainbow is getting too much attention. She will actually fly to me to bite. She will knock Rainbow off the top of her cage. None of this happens if I am not in the room.

I am still investigating what I am doing wrong.
User avatar
liz
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 6869
Location: Hernando FL
Number of Birds Owned: 11
Types of Birds Owned: DYH Amazon Rainbow
BF Amazon Myrtle
Cockatiels: Shadow Tammy Tommy Flutter Phoenix Jackie Andy Gimpy Louise
Flight: Yes

Re: HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby Michael » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:52 am

liz wrote:Even the best talkers can't always tell you what is wrong. They bite to let you know. If your bird is biting then something is wrong.

I am still investigating what I am doing wrong.


Don't do things wrong. The easiest way not to is not to do anything at all. But then what's the point of having a bird? You slowly and experimentally lay on everything one by one from scratch and you find out exactly what is or isn't wrong. This is largely how training works. Start with a blank canvas and then teach it everything. Assume everything that wasn't trained is wrong and don't do it until it is trained. None of my birds ever bite me. And I can do a lot with them.
User avatar
Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6151
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby Santiago » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:39 am

Michael wrote:
Santiago wrote:We have tried almost every suggestion we can find to get him to stop, he is totally unphased by blowing on him, trying to knock him off balance(earthquake), pushing against him, & probably most anything else we've read to try, and are at a loss as to how to get him to understand that biting hurts us and that it's not acceptable. It's been about 6weeks since he bit hard enough to draw blood. He's bitten hard enough at times to cause scarring even. If theres any suggestions or if someone wants to get into a in depth q/a Ill be happy to. As I said it's a brief overview...Thanks in advance!


Sounds like you're only doing things that encourage biting. It is evident because you said it's getting worse so the things you are doing are making it worse. Instead of trying to focus on "get him to understand that biting hurts us", focus on not provoking him to bite in the first place. As upset as you are in him biting you, believe me that if he has to get to the point of biting, he is far more upset with you! Don't treat him that way because it is mean to the bird and only makes things worse.

I'm sorry I don't have time to get into a lesson in training but you can read my full approach to parrot keeping (not just training) with a focus on building a great bite-free relationship in my book The Parrot Wizard's Guide Well-Behaved Parrots.


1. At no point did I ever say "it's getting worse"
2. Since when did doing what many professional bird tamers say to do when the bird bites become encouraging biting? ie: blowing on him/earthquake...both these and other methods used when the bird bites are well established methods to distract the bird in order to get the bird to release.
3. At no point do we "provoke" the bird to bite, as I said the bird will at times fly to someone land and instantly bite...no provocation has occurred.
4. We aren't treating him in any way as you suggest that is "mean to the bird", he has a regular schedule, abundant food/water, socialization, loving attention, play, etc.

We simply are asking for advice on ideas for why the behavior may exist and suggestions for how to correct the behavior. Your reply comes acorss as nothing more than Everything youre doing is wrong, I dont have time to help you, BUT YOU CAN BUY MY BOOK...which if anything turns me off to ever consider the purchase! You're not "sorry", you had enough time to type out all of what you did, and to suggest I purchase the book, then you had enough time to ask a few questions and read the reply once made. If your only suggestion is to buy a book which profits you, and you dont care enough to even begin to help someone before suggesting it then just dont even reply!
Last edited by Santiago on Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:59 am, edited 3 times in total.
Santiago
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 4
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Green cheek conure
Flight: Yes

Re: HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby Santiago » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:53 am

liz wrote:Even the best talkers can't always tell you what is wrong. They bite to let you know. If your bird is biting then something is wrong.

My Myrtle is a brat that bites me when she thinks Rainbow is getting too much attention. She will actually fly to me to bite. She will knock Rainbow off the top of her cage. None of this happens if I am not in the room.

I am still investigating what I am doing wrong.


I understand, that's what we're trying to figure out...what's wrong...we give him attention both in group and 1on1 settings and he definately lets us know when he wants attention, he'll fly over land on us or right next to us, sometimes want to cuddle, sometimes turn to be petted etc, then just totally out of the blue while being given attention even if hes just wanting to cuddle and be talked to bite. All of us knew from the beginning to never scream or jerk away when he does so he doesnt get a "rise" out of it and think it's a game or fun, as I had said we've tried blowing on him, doing the earthquake, pushing back against the bite, distracting him with objects, all of which do nothing, he totally ignores those "release" methods and many times will clamp down even harder. Being the size bird he is you cant see if his eyes pin, and he doesnt ruffle his feathers, rarely is there ever any sign that is a "typical indication" he is going to bite, he just will turn and bite seemingly for no reason, even though we KNOW there must be one.
Santiago
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 4
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Green cheek conure
Flight: Yes

Re: HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby Pajarita » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:31 am

Welcome to the forum and don't worry, help is on the way! Michael did not mean anything by what he posted. To him, it's not just a matter of 'making money' and if you read his comments and his books, you'll see that this is the case. But let me explain to you what I think it's happening.

GCCs mature sexually at around the age of yours and that is a BIG factor in the aggression. Let me explain a bit about birds physiology in general and GCCs in particular. ALL birds are photoperiodic - this is just a long word that means that light regulates their endocrine system [glands and hormones]. The length of the daylight hours the bird is exposed to is what tells its body if its time to sleep, eat, play [these are the natural biorhythms within the 'circadian cycle' -circadian meaning 'around one entire day'], molt and breed (these being the natural biorhythms within their 'circannual cycle' -meaning around one entire year] - photo meaning light and periodic meaning season. Keeping a bird to the same light schedule all year round doesn't work for them because what you are artificially doing is telling its body that it's breeding season all year round - something that is NEVER supposed to happen because it makes their sexual organs too big and they hurt. Now, light is not the only thing that can make them hormonal. Feeding too much protein does it too. And GCCs are particularly susceptible to this because, in the wild, they are mainly fruit eaters so, when you free-feed them high protein food [as in filling up their bowl with seeds or pellets and leaving it there all day long], their bodies react to the too rich diet [which, by the way, it also destroys their livers and kidneys after a while] by producing sexual hormones because what guides Nature in determining what season is best for each species to breed is food availability - that's why you have birds that are 'long-day breeders' and 'short-day breeders'.

Now, as to the 'methods' that were recommended to you by 'trainers': the earthquake, the blowing in the face, the pushing against the beak, etc.... well, let me put it to you this way: these people might call themselves 'trainers' but they are definitely NOT bee quickly behaviorists! The ONLY thing to works to break a parrot out of the habit of biting is make it so the bird does not have a reason for it! I know it sounds stupid to say this but it's not - not really. Parrots are not naturally aggressive so if the bird is physically comfortable in every way -not overly hormonal, good fresh food diet, lots of out of cage time and, in the case of GCCs LOTS of one-on-one [and that does NOT mean training!], fully flighted, entertainment, good housing, etc. the parrot will not bite unless he feels threatened or pushed in any way.

I currently have one GCC but had four in total [the other three were rehomed after rehabilitation and they are still doing great]. All of them were given up because of 'behavioral issues'. All of them ended up doing great and the one I have right now, a female named Codee, is the sweetest, sweetest thing ever and she was also given up because of screams and bites. When I open her cage and she comes out, she quickly runs up my arm to perch on my shoulder and give me a kiss [she presses her beak against my cheek and goes 'SMACLon my cheek - and she keeps on kissing all the time she is with me. If I say "I love you!" to her, she kisses me, if I kiss her body, she kisses me, if I scratch her head, she kisses me, if I talk to her directly, she kisses me - the little bird is a kissing fool and she melts my heart every single time she does it!

Now, we have just gone through the winter solstice and the days are going to be getting longer and longer so putting your bird on a strict solar schedule with full exposure to dawn and dusk is not going to show any improvement in her behavior any time soon but it's something that you need to do if you want the biting to stop and a healthy and happy bird. I also strongly suggest you check the diet she is getting -mine gets gloop and produce [a large piece of fruit, much larger that you would think the bird needs] for breakfast and all day picking and a measuring tablespoon of a budgie seed mix for dinner with a small piece of nut [half an almond, a quarter walnut, like that]. This added to a multivitamin/mineral supplement twice a week and a cuttlebone in her cage does the trick.

In the meantime, I suggest you stop aggravating the bird by doing what you were told to do to make it stop biting and limit your physical interactions to after breakfast and before dinner [this time of the year, dinner should happen at 3:15 to 3:30 pm depending on how bright the day is -lights should be off at 3 pm and the cage should be covered no later than 5 pm] and watching its body language like a hawk so as to avoid getting bit as much as possible.

Let me know if there is anything I need to clarify.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 13340
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: HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby Navre » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:57 pm

Paj covered it, but having a GCC who was bitey at that age, I do think the puberty is part of it.
Navre
African Grey
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 1741
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Turquoise Green Cheek Conure
Timneh African Grey
Hooded Parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby Santiago » Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:34 pm

Pajarita wrote:Welcome to the forum and don't worry, help is on the way! Michael did not mean anything by what he posted. To him, it's not just a matter of 'making money' and if you read his comments and his books, you'll see that this is the case. But let me explain to you what I think it's happening.

GCCs mature sexually at around the age of yours and that is a BIG factor in the aggression. Let me explain a bit about birds physiology in general and GCCs in particular. ALL birds are photoperiodic - this is just a long word that means that light regulates their endocrine system [glands and hormones]. The length of the daylight hours the bird is exposed to is what tells its body if its time to sleep, eat, play [these are the natural biorhythms within the 'circadian cycle' -circadian meaning 'around one entire day'], molt and breed (these being the natural biorhythms within their 'circannual cycle' -meaning around one entire year] - photo meaning light and periodic meaning season. Keeping a bird to the same light schedule all year round doesn't work for them because what you are artificially doing is telling its body that it's breeding season all year round - something that is NEVER supposed to happen because it makes their sexual organs too big and they hurt. Now, light is not the only thing that can make them hormonal. Feeding too much protein does it too. And GCCs are particularly susceptible to this because, in the wild, they are mainly fruit eaters so, when you free-feed them high protein food [as in filling up their bowl with seeds or pellets and leaving it there all day long], their bodies react to the too rich diet [which, by the way, it also destroys their livers and kidneys after a while] by producing sexual hormones because what guides Nature in determining what season is best for each species to breed is food availability - that's why you have birds that are 'long-day breeders' and 'short-day breeders'.

Now, as to the 'methods' that were recommended to you by 'trainers': the earthquake, the blowing in the face, the pushing against the beak, etc.... well, let me put it to you this way: these people might call themselves 'trainers' but they are definitely NOT bee quickly behaviorists! The ONLY thing to works to break a parrot out of the habit of biting is make it so the bird does not have a reason for it! I know it sounds stupid to say this but it's not - not really. Parrots are not naturally aggressive so if the bird is physically comfortable in every way -not overly hormonal, good fresh food diet, lots of out of cage time and, in the case of GCCs LOTS of one-on-one [and that does NOT mean training!], fully flighted, entertainment, good housing, etc. the parrot will not bite unless he feels threatened or pushed in any way.

I currently have one GCC but had four in total [the other three were rehomed after rehabilitation and they are still doing great]. All of them were given up because of 'behavioral issues'. All of them ended up doing great and the one I have right now, a female named Codee, is the sweetest, sweetest thing ever and she was also given up because of screams and bites. When I open her cage and she comes out, she quickly runs up my arm to perch on my shoulder and give me a kiss [she presses her beak against my cheek and goes 'SMACLon my cheek - and she keeps on kissing all the time she is with me. If I say "I love you!" to her, she kisses me, if I kiss her body, she kisses me, if I scratch her head, she kisses me, if I talk to her directly, she kisses me - the little bird is a kissing fool and she melts my heart every single time she does it!

Now, we have just gone through the winter solstice and the days are going to be getting longer and longer so putting your bird on a strict solar schedule with full exposure to dawn and dusk is not going to show any improvement in her behavior any time soon but it's something that you need to do if you want the biting to stop and a healthy and happy bird. I also strongly suggest you check the diet she is getting -mine gets gloop and produce [a large piece of fruit, much larger that you would think the bird needs] for breakfast and all day picking and a measuring tablespoon of a budgie seed mix for dinner with a small piece of nut [half an almond, a quarter walnut, like that]. This added to a multivitamin/mineral supplement twice a week and a cuttlebone in her cage does the trick.

In the meantime, I suggest you stop aggravating the bird by doing what you were told to do to make it stop biting and limit your physical interactions to after breakfast and before dinner [this time of the year, dinner should happen at 3:15 to 3:30 pm depending on how bright the day is -lights should be off at 3 pm and the cage should be covered no later than 5 pm] and watching its body language like a hawk so as to avoid getting bit as much as possible.

Let me know if there is anything I need to clarify.


Thanks so much for the response. We've been making sure he's getting uncovered/covered as you've suggested with the solar schedule, and switched him over to gloop (was on pelletts and some dried fuit (he refuses to eat any fresh {we buy fresh & have just put it in the dehydrator} & surprisingly in a matter of a week he already seems to be doing slightly better...he's not screaming as often in the evening, will let you pet his back more and just isn't being near as aggressive. We've had BIG birds before never used pellets, & they were in a room that never needed us to cover/uncover them, and hand fed them from the time they were babies and had never had this issue, we were able to start the trust bond from infancy, but were'nt able to do this with him which I'm sure made a big part of the difference. I'm hopeful that with additional time he will become the gentle loving playful bird we had hoped for. If we never reach that point that's ok and then hopefully he'll at least not be aggressive and bite/go after the other pets or us & we can live with that & will still love him and give him the best life we can.

Again thanks for the response and suggestions!
Santiago
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 4
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Green cheek conure
Flight: Yes

Re: HELP ME PLEASE!

Postby Pajarita » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:23 pm

Insist on the fresh fruit. It's extremely important that they eat raw produce because it's the ONLY way of getting enough enzymes and good bacteria into their digestive tract. The frozen produce is, in reality, more nutritious than fresh [and thus, also better than the dehydrated] but it has lost the 'power' to repopulate their intestinal flora so, if you only feed frozen, dehydrated or cooked, the bird will end up with more bad bacteria in the intestines than good one and that makes fertile ground for both bacterial and fungal infections so fresh produce is essential. Now, just in case you are not aware of this, parrots are very distrustful of new food so convincing them to try a new thing takes a looooong time. To give you an idea, I once had a gray that took five whole years to try her first blueberry even though ALL birds love them and she got them once a week, every single week of those five years and saw all the other birds eating them! But GCCs seem to have a definite preference for fruits so just keep on trying and he will eat them.

Now, I have to tell you that I never give anything dehydrated to my birds. The ONLY dry things they eat are figs, dates, raisins and currants and none are dehydrated, just naturally dry [which retains part of the moisture]. Birds are prey animals and that's why they are crepuscular feeders [they eat and drink at dawn and dusk because this is the time of the day that the position of the sun rays makes it more difficult for predators to see them] so they are hard-wired to drink only at these times and not that much of it, either, as staying down in the ground for long is dangerous - so nature made it that they derive most of their hydration needs from the food they eat [plant material having a water content of 85 - 95 percent] so feeding them dry food does their kidneys a huge disservice. The best avian vet I ever had always made a point of telling people this as she had seen several birds that had actually fainted from dehydration! But way before they actually faint, they live a looong time with a dehydration so mild that even though nobody notices anything [it's very hard to tell when a bird is dehydrated because the things we look for in mammals -dry gums and skin that lost elasticity are not there in birds], their kidneys are suffering.

No touching his back! You can only touch a parrot on his head and neck. That's it! Nowhere else in their bodies but most especially not the back or the belly as they are both erogenous zones big time!
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 13340
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


Return to Taming & Basic Training

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests

Parrot ForumArticles IndexTraining Step UpParrot Training BlogPoicephalus Parrot InformationParrot Wizard Store