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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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New Bird Biting

I just purchased a maroon bellied conure. I wanting to see how people got their bird to stop biting. When i go to make him step up onto my finger he bites the hell out of me. Last night he broke skin is how bad it was. When he comes out he bites when hes in his cage he bites. In the store he didnt bite at all. I hand feed him treats and he comes right to me with no problem. If you need more information or whatever ask me and ill respond. thanks in advance
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 12:20 PM

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Firstly, I wouldn't be sticking my hands in any birds cage whether they're biters or not. Birds tend to be a lot more confident if they can come out on their own terms

Secondly, I'd be armed with treats at all times. If you know that he will come to you for a treat, then give him them. Whatever you do make sure you don't give him the opportunity to think about biting first. Coax him out with a treat and leave it at that. Don't say, get bit, and then give him a treat when he comes out because he's going to associate biting with receiving a treat

Thirdly, conures are extremely nippy birds. You have to really persevere with them to get them to stop. Parrotletsrock told me that if you gently place them on the floor and ignore them when they bite you, that they stop biting. It worked like a charm for me. My birds learnt that if they bite me then they have to go on the floor and won't get my attention. You only have to do it for a few seconds, otherwise they won't know what they did wrong

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 03:12 PM

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Daisy gave great advice for biting outside the cage.

When my Paulchen (blue) bites, because I put my hands in the cage to bring food and water, I say for several times: Be pretty kind, no biting!
If he doesn't want to stop then I gasp for the upper beak with my target finger and thumb. That makes him stop immediately and he flies away.

But try to remain kind and gentle. Perhaps your conure bites that much because he is afraid. Everything is new for him.
He is a little parrot, and his new partner is a big featherless human.
Try to do everything to earn his trust.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 04:08 PM

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You have all the advice you need and the only thing I would add is that you need to leave the bird alone for the first two or three weeks and wait until he/she takes the first step in establishing a more physical interaction with you. Parrots are not dogs, they haven't been domesticated for over 30,000 years and have not been bred for hundreds of generations to 'please' humans - you have to earn their love.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 06:40 PM
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If it were me I would start training. Training is a positive experience for bird and will associate you with the positive experience hence creating a stronger bond. Basically to break it down, the more time you are spending with bird in a positive hands-off manner, the more time bird is NOT biting you and creating a bond with you. As with any behaviour that isnt enforced the biting will diminish over time.
I would start with target training first.
I was in similar boat as you and got a rehome/rescue senegal and he bit the crap out of me....I had to learn real fast how to rectify the behaviour amongst others.
Dont punish bird as this will escalate the issue and bird wont develop any bond and will distrust you. Dont yell at bird or react when bitten as this can also enforce the behaviour. "no" means nothing to the vast majority of birds. As humans we understand...birds couldnt care less...he is biting for a reason...In fact words can act to enforce behaviour because some birds see verbal reaction on owners part as a reward.
By teaching targetting he will spend time with you in a postive way and learn to bond with you. If you cannot give treat without him biting you then target in cage to begin with and offer treat through cage bars. He will also begin to lose any fear he has of hands in the process.
This is a start and hope it helps,

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 11:13 PM

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With a conure I fostered, I had a similar situation as you. She didn't bite me until she came to my house. You have to think of it like this, they don't know what they are coming out to. Everything is scary and new and the cage is the most familiar thing. What I did with her worked in less than a week she was jumping onto the cage bars whereas before she would refuse to come out and bite.

After she was at my house for about 2 days (I wouldn't wait weeks before starting training-when an environment is new is the time when animals are the most receptive to accepting/learning new things, rules, or boundaries-so I always take advantage of that window in training all my animals), I went to take her out and discovered she wanted to bite and seemed scared of my hand coming toward her. So I laid a small receiving blanket over my forearm and hand. So it just looked like a soft surface. I knew she liked grapes, so I put a grape (millet woukd work too) on the blanket in a spot where she hand to get on the blanket to get it. After a few times of trying to get it without stepping both feet, she finally got on the blanket. The first few times it took a fww minutes so you just have to be patient and calm. Once she was on, I just backed out slowly wih her on the blanket.

Once out, I took her too a different room away from the cage so she woukd focus on me rather than trying to go back. I worked on step up training for short sessions. Made it positive with lots of praise and treats. She learned step up in a few days. The blanket thing worked like a charm because I didn't get bit and she wasn't scared of that. Within a week she couldn't wait to come out and would yell like crazy as soon as I came in the room in excitement because she new I was coming to take her out lol.

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~Anatole France
Owned by & slave to: Oliver, Gemma, Cozette, & the English Budgie Crew

Last edited by 4thebirds; 02-14-2014 at 11:17 PM.
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