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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
 
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Biting Birds

Hi,


Is there a bird whisperer in this forum somewhere? I'm looking for steps to take in training my lovebirds and parrotlets not to bite. I have handraised my birds and they are very bitey. I thought by handfeeding them would eliminate the bitiness, but boy was I wrong.

So how does one (if possible) train a bird not to bite. I let them out a good half hour a day and spend time with them. I have them doing tricks and trying to bond with them, but they still bite. My parrotlets will fly to me and then bite.

HELP!!!!!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 08:58 AM


 
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How do you react to the bite?
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 09:01 AM
 
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Well how I dealt with biting with Phoenix when he was a baby was when he'd bite I'd give a firm no and put him in his cage for 5 mins while I ignored him, if you do what my mom does and scream he actually laughs and does it again because she responded it's like haven a kid ignore the bad behavior and they'll see it's not working plus they'll learn if I bite her shell put me in my cage and since birds r social creatures they just want to hang with their flock (us) now if he bites which he never really was a biter, all I have to say is NO BiTING in a firm (I'm the boss) voice and he'll stop b/c he knows if he continues it's in his cage n I'll ignore him for a good 5 mins n I time it lol it's like a timeout try this it will take a few times b4 he understands but jus try also if u don't wana do the full time out 5 mins u can say no biting n put him on his cage and turn your back to him essentially ignoring him count to like 10 n try again n repeat if he bites

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 09:07 AM
 
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Also if your parrotlets are quite young n they can fly they feel dominant u may wana clip their wings b/c then they have to rely on YOU making them see that you are now dominant not them, only once they realize that you are their mommy (leader of the flock) then let them grow their wings also imagine doing the time out routine once they understand if they can fly they'll jus fly away from you so u can't put them in their cage and if you let this occur then they feel like hey I'm the boss I didn't wana go in my cage and I flew away and she let me I don't have to listen to her.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
 
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I've told them No bite. I've even held one in a towel scratching its head for 15 min. This helped a little where she will at least come to me but then she bites me. I will try the time out with my baby parrotlet and see how it goes. I will keep you posted.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainHowdy View Post
How do you react to the bite?
At first I reacted badly it really hurt and your immediate response is to shake them off which I did and she flew back to her cage. These parrotlets hang on once they bite it isn't pleasant. To act like nothing happens is very difficult when your in pain. Why does she come to me and then bite? I don't get that behaviour.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 09:40 AM



 
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She may just be playing rough. Parrotlets are closely related to Amazons which means they're gunna be feisty. Lovebirds are generally snappy an nasty. Both species can be. But at the same time they can be nice. You could get a big hand raised umbrella cockatoo that will bound over to you for a tickle but then take a finger off. Birds can be unpredictable

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 10:28 AM


 
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if any of my birds bite they either do not get to come out or they go back in to their cages depends when the bite occurs if you are holding the bird and it is biting move your hand where the bird has to stop biting to get its balance back

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 10:40 AM


 
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Of course if the bird wants ti go back to its cage then you're reinforcing the behaviour.
It us hard not to react.
Birds do not like to be unsteady. Give them the mini earthquake hand shake treatment.
Just wobble your hand so they re unstable.
My IRN hangs on.
I make him do whatever it was I was asking him to do.
I want to show him I'm boss, he does what I want!
Biting does not get him out of things.
Even when he draws blood!
Watch the body language. If they're giving the biting signals then leave them for a few minutes and try again.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 12:49 PM
 
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I'm getting permission to share this. I decided to post it before getting permission because I'm sure she will say yes. I hope I don't get into trouble. :O) It has worked for many.

Kim

Gentle Beak technique works like this ....

The first thing you have to do is get the bird to associate the words
"Gentle Beak" with a gentle touch to (or from) the beak. How I did this
was to very slowly and gently reach out and touch their beaks, all the
while saying "Gentle Beak" in a very soft, sing-song voice, almost a
whisper sometimes. Ever so gentle, ever so soft and slow. If you can
do this while playing or giving skritchies, all the better as it is a
positive reinforcement of the term "Gentle Beak" which they will very
quickly begin to associate with gentle touches and strokes to their beak.
That's just the reinforcement part to help drive home the meaning of the
term and what's expected from it.

Then, you also use it as reinforcement when they bite. So for instance,
if the bird bites you, you immediately try and touch their beak gently and
say "Gentle Beak". I would do this immediately after the bite. So
instead of pulling back, and maybe taking the bird to a 'time out' cage,
or whatever else you'd do, instead you sort of stop. Just freeze (after
extricating your finger from the beak, or course). Just kind of hover
your finger there in front of them, and stop, just freeze, and begin to
softly chant "Gentle Beak". Begin to move the finger closer .... very
slowly .... to their beak. If you go too fast, they may strike out and
bite again. So you start over. Sometimes even if you go slow, they still
try and bite again. But I've found that usually if you calm right down,
just stop everything, and start VERY softly chanting "Gentle Beak", they
calm down too. Your aim is to get the finger in to gently touch the beak
and say the phrase. Now if you've been working with them when they were
not biting, they will begin to recognize this chant, and see the incoming
finger, and know that it is going to touch them gently. They calm right
down. It is a diversion of sorts. Offer much praise if you can get a
touch to their beak without them striking at you. No matter even if for
just a split second.

Now after a while, you will find that you can use it as a reprimand. They
will get so used to the phrase, and the motions that go with it (the ever
so gentle touch to the beak), that if they are in the midst of attacking
you, you can very sternly and gruffly say "!!GENTLE BEAK!!" and as they
become more familiar with what's expected, they suddenly will do an about
face, calm right down, and touch your finger gently when just a minute ago
they were biting (or were about to bite). Or they may gently touch your
finger INSTEAD of biting.

I've had my Cleo in attack mode .... I've yelled "!!GENTLE BEAK!!" at her
like I was most displeased ..... and she will suddenly reach over and very
gently touch the finger she just bit. It's freaky in that it almost
appears to be an apology of sorts. Then of course, you give TONS of
praise each and every time you are able to touch their beaks without them
biting (or each time you yell it at them and they respond by gently
touching your finger, instead of biting or immediately after biting).
Even when doing reinforcement training during the fun times, always praise
them when you are able to touch and they don't bite.

It has worked wonders for me.

Annette
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 12:56 PM


 
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One more thing... 1/2 hour a day really is not enough time for your bird to bond and feel special with you... If possible try short 10-15 minutes sessions 5-6 times or more thru out the day and give a light wing trim... you want the bird to be able to fly down not drop like a stone.. I have a sound I make at my birds when they bite... it sorta sounds like a angry budgie... the sounds they make at each other to say back off. Sorta like an ET ET ET sound...lol It works great for my birds as I have used it since they were babies and they understand exactly what it means.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
 
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Biting bird

Thank you so much for all your suggestions. I an working on the gentle beak procedure now. How long does this take before they catch on. He still bites after my first 15 minutes. But he did let me touch his beak a few times. I gave lots of praise.

Julie

I pray this will work for my little guy.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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Gentle beak

Quote:
Originally Posted by kimijean View Post
I'm getting permission to share this. I decided to post it before getting permission because I'm sure she will say yes. I hope I don't get into trouble. :O) It has worked for many.

Kim

Gentle Beak technique works like this ....

The first thing you have to do is get the bird to associate the words
"Gentle Beak" with a gentle touch to (or from) the beak. How I did this
was to very slowly and gently reach out and touch their beaks, all the
while saying "Gentle Beak" in a very soft, sing-song voice, almost a
whisper sometimes. Ever so gentle, ever so soft and slow. If you can
do this while playing or giving skritchies, all the better as it is a
positive reinforcement of the term "Gentle Beak" which they will very
quickly begin to associate with gentle touches and strokes to their beak.
That's just the reinforcement part to help drive home the meaning of the
term and what's expected from it.

Then, you also use it as reinforcement when they bite. So for instance,
if the bird bites you, you immediately try and touch their beak gently and
say "Gentle Beak". I would do this immediately after the bite. So
instead of pulling back, and maybe taking the bird to a 'time out' cage,
or whatever else you'd do, instead you sort of stop. Just freeze (after
extricating your finger from the beak, or course). Just kind of hover
your finger there in front of them, and stop, just freeze, and begin to
softly chant "Gentle Beak". Begin to move the finger closer .... very
slowly .... to their beak. If you go too fast, they may strike out and
bite again. So you start over. Sometimes even if you go slow, they still
try and bite again. But I've found that usually if you calm right down,
just stop everything, and start VERY softly chanting "Gentle Beak", they
calm down too. Your aim is to get the finger in to gently touch the beak
and say the phrase. Now if you've been working with them when they were
not biting, they will begin to recognize this chant, and see the incoming
finger, and know that it is going to touch them gently. They calm right
down. It is a diversion of sorts. Offer much praise if you can get a
touch to their beak without them striking at you. No matter even if for
just a split second.

Now after a while, you will find that you can use it as a reprimand. They
will get so used to the phrase, and the motions that go with it (the ever
so gentle touch to the beak), that if they are in the midst of attacking
you, you can very sternly and gruffly say "!!GENTLE BEAK!!" and as they
become more familiar with what's expected, they suddenly will do an about
face, calm right down, and touch your finger gently when just a minute ago
they were biting (or were about to bite). Or they may gently touch your
finger INSTEAD of biting.

I've had my Cleo in attack mode .... I've yelled "!!GENTLE BEAK!!" at her
like I was most displeased ..... and she will suddenly reach over and very
gently touch the finger she just bit. It's freaky in that it almost
appears to be an apology of sorts. Then of course, you give TONS of
praise each and every time you are able to touch their beaks without them
biting (or each time you yell it at them and they respond by gently
touching your finger, instead of biting or immediately after biting).
Even when doing reinforcement training during the fun times, always praise
them when you are able to touch and they don't bite.

It has worked wonders for me.

Annette
Hi Annette,

How many times a day do you do this? And how often in a day do you spend with your birds?

Julie
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 03:22 PM
 
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Julie,

Annette is not a member of the forum, she gave me permission to post this here. I would do it at least 2 to 4 times a day. And each bird is different so it would be hard to say how long it might take to work for your bird. And remember, not any one thing works for everyone/every bird. I think you are doing a great job and you know your bird(s) so try whatever you think might work.

Kim
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-17-2012, 07:17 PM
 
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All this advice is great, I will echo what everyone else has said, you cannot show weakness to biting, and I know its hard, but they are doing it because they know its getting you to do what they want. Also, biting is communication. They may not like what you are doing, or get scared. Dominance is also expressed in biting. I did the ignore technique with my Severe Macaw when she bit, I put her in her cage, told her she was bad, and left her alone. KC HATED being alone, and would generally learn what you wanted very quickly.



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