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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2014, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
 
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My kakariki has started biting

Hi I need some advice my kak has just started biting he's bit me a few times but I thought it was just to see if my hand was secure enough for him to climb on (as for some reason I have it in my head that's what birds do test things with there beak) but he has now started biting the children mainly on the ears...he is 4/5 months old anyone have any advice on what I can do to stop him what could be causing his biting ??? TIA


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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2014, 04:06 PM
 
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Get him off of shoulders. He must be there if getting to ears. Birds on a shoulder feel that they are dominant and think they can do anything. Once you have a shoulder bird it takes a lot of consistent perseverance to keep them off. But it is worth it.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2014, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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Ok, I will do thanks, so the fact that the kids flinch around him wouldn't be helping either?


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 04:44 AM



 
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Yes get him off shoulders ASAP, it's a bird's favourite place and if they can't behave there then they shouldn't be up there. Those ear bites can really hurt Flinching will make things worse, in fact, ANY reaction will. I know it's hard, especially because they're kids, but not showing a reaction is best. If you give them a reaction you're giving them what they want

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 02:52 PM


 
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I don't agree with the not reaction theory (it implies that parrots are either stupid or sadistic and they are neither). And I don't agree with the no shoulder rule, either (parrots don't know of dominance, in a flock, every single bird is equal). If a bird bites, it's not a matter of not allowing the bird access to us (although it is a matter of not giving them the opportunity), it's a matter of figuring out why the bird is biting and fixing it. There is always a reason why they do it and 99.999% of the time, it's something we do or don't do that it's making them bite. Parrots are not naturally aggressive. It's not wired into them because they are not predators and they don't live in a hierarchical society so aggression, per se, is not necessary for the survival of the species or the individual and nature does not give an animal a gene or behavioral trait that they will never need. She doesn't work that way. Parrots only bite in defense, protection, frustration or pain. And, as we control absolutely everything about their lives (where they live, what they eat, when they wake up, when they go to sleep, who they play with, when they produce sexual hormones, whether they fly or not, etc), it's always our fault. It simply can not be otherwise.

Now, I am not in your house so I don't know what preceded the bite so you will have to take the time to pay attention and observe his interaction with you and the children. Could he be tired? (is he kept on a strict solar schedule?) Could he be hungry? (he is weaning and could need some handfeeding still -they do regress a bit) Could he be overly excited? (are the kids carrying on? playing video games with all those terrible electronic noises too loud?) Is he been asked to do something he doesn't want to do or at the wrong time? (parrots have times during the day when they are more receptive to interaction -after breakfast and before their dinner- or when they just need to rest -a couple of hours at noon).

Not allowing him on your children's shoulders will prevent him from biting their ears but it's not going to fix the problem so I suggest you re-evaluate your husbandry and observe the ABC:
Antecedent: what was happening right before and during the action (in this case his biting)
Behavior: what exactly happened? what did the bird do? was it a nip? (when he doesn't break the skin) - was it a bite? (when he breaks the skin) - did he display?
Consequence: what was the bird's and the human's reaction?

Does changing the antecedents change the behavior and/or the consequence?

Dealing with birds is very difficult for us because we don't think in flock terms, we think in a hierarchical type of society terms so, to us, aggression is aggression. But, to a parrot, aggression is pretty much the only way of letting us know that there is something wrong, something that is bothering/upsetting/scaring them. This is most especially true of clipped birds because a bird which doesn't want to stay with us and is able to fly, would do so but a clipped bird has no option but to bite because he can't get away.

Last edited by petiteoiseau; 02-21-2014 at 02:54 PM.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 03:21 PM



 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petiteoiseau View Post
I don't agree with the not reaction theory (it implies that parrots are either stupid or sadistic and they are neither). And I don't agree with the no shoulder rule, either (parrots don't know of dominance, in a flock, every single bird is equal). If a bird bites, it's not a matter of not allowing the bird access to us (although it is a matter of not giving them the opportunity), it's a matter of figuring out why the bird is biting and fixing it. There is always a reason why they do it and 99.999% of the time, it's something we do or don't do that it's making them bite. Parrots are not naturally aggressive. It's not wired into them because they are not predators and they don't live in a hierarchical society so aggression, per se, is not necessary for the survival of the species or the individual and nature does not give an animal a gene or behavioral trait that they will never need. She doesn't work that way. Parrots only bite in defense, protection, frustration or pain. And, as we control absolutely everything about their lives (where they live, what they eat, when they wake up, when they go to sleep, who they play with, when they produce sexual hormones, whether they fly or not, etc), it's always our fault. It simply can not be otherwise.

Now, I am not in your house so I don't know what preceded the bite so you will have to take the time to pay attention and observe his interaction with you and the children. Could he be tired? (is he kept on a strict solar schedule?) Could he be hungry? (he is weaning and could need some handfeeding still -they do regress a bit) Could he be overly excited? (are the kids carrying on? playing video games with all those terrible electronic noises too loud?) Is he been asked to do something he doesn't want to do or at the wrong time? (parrots have times during the day when they are more receptive to interaction -after breakfast and before their dinner- or when they just need to rest -a couple of hours at noon).

Not allowing him on your children's shoulders will prevent him from biting their ears but it's not going to fix the problem so I suggest you re-evaluate your husbandry and observe the ABC:
Antecedent: what was happening right before and during the action (in this case his biting)
Behavior: what exactly happened? what did the bird do? was it a nip? (when he doesn't break the skin) - was it a bite? (when he breaks the skin) - did he display?
Consequence: what was the bird's and the human's reaction?

Does changing the antecedents change the behavior and/or the consequence?

Dealing with birds is very difficult for us because we don't think in flock terms, we think in a hierarchical type of society terms so, to us, aggression is aggression. But, to a parrot, aggression is pretty much the only way of letting us know that there is something wrong, something that is bothering/upsetting/scaring them. This is most especially true of clipped birds because a bird which doesn't want to stay with us and is able to fly, would do so but a clipped bird has no option but to bite because he can't get away.
I completely agree. I do not think birds have a hierarchy as usually flocks are so big that it would be entirely pointless anyway. The only reason I don't allow a biting bird on my shoulder is purely because my face may get bit If I can trust the bird and the bird can trust me then by all means they can sit there but some birds I wouldn't. You're 100% spot on though

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 03:26 PM


 
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Do you keep your kak solitary?
So perhaps he could be biting because he choose you as a partner and doesn't want to share. That's normal parrot behavior.
I would buy a partner of his species for him, when the birds are bonded to each other he will probably stop biting.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 05:33 PM
 
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I think some birds may bite or get aggressive while on our shoulders because we are frequently trying to remove them, when they are happily sitting on our shoulders - and they may feel very safe there and may not want to go. I know that doesn't really solve the problem but it may explain it, some of the time anyway.

I only have Bourke and Scarlet Chested Parakeets (basically non-biters) so I am not seeing too much aggression but I know they usually don't like me putting my hand up next to them when they are on my shoulders (so this may be a clue and may back up my theory?). They will fly over and perch on my hand or arm when I hold it out and call them but if they on my shoulders already and I approach them with my hand, they usually move away or fly off. To get them off my shoulder, I usually just hold my hand a few feet out from my shoulder and wiggle my finger to encourage them to fly to it (it works sometimes) or else, I just get up and walk near their cages and they usually hop off. My birds are fully-flighted so that may also be a factor(since they can leave easily).

As far as the kids go (on getting bitten), it could be they are just being kids and may be a little rough for the Kak. Even if they are gentle when handling the Kak specifically, their other actions in it's presence may be too loud or too rough for your Kak's liking. And if he's wing-clipped and is therefor stuck with them, he may just be biting because he's upset or nervous. Just a thought...

Ron (a.k.a. Twitter09)

I have 2 Bourke Parakeets, 1 Budgie, 3 doves, and ~23 finches (and 2 dogs)


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 05:42 PM


 
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When I first got my linnies they were about 4-5 months old. They too bit me on the ear. I don't know why, they would sit on my shoulder and then make angry noises and bite my ear. I didn't really try to analyze it or figure it out, they weren't allowed on the shoulder anymore until we got to know each other a little better. After about 6 weeks I felt a little more trusting (and I'm sure they did too) and then they were allowed on the shoulder again. A couple of times they got "angry" at my ear and I would just put up my hand to block them and herd them down my arm back, therefore denying them the shoulder perch. A couple of times and they figured it out--accept the ear or get off the shoulder. Now they sit on my shoulder all the time (in fact they tuck into my neck right below my ear and I am not afraid of them biting me).

This happened for each bird, even though I got them a few months apart--but when I got them they were the same age.

On the other hand, they are linnies. My indian ringneck was NOT trustworthy and would get set off from various things in the house--like people moving around, me moving too quickly, etc. With her unpredictability and her razor sharp beak, she just was not allowed on the shoulders. In fact, I held her for very short periods at a time and would instead enjoy her company when she was on a perch next to me.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-23-2014, 05:40 PM
 
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All of my birds are shoulder birds, all are easy to remove except for my female Parrotlet. With her, it has to be her idea. If I reach behind me to get her then I'm going to get bitten. If however I gently pull my shirt forward, forcing her to come down on the collarbone I can easily remove her.

All of my birds know the word "NO". I no bird expert, maybe i'm doing it wrong, but it works for us. I basically use it the same way I did my children. If they are doing something I don't like, then I say "NO!" in a firm, authoritative voice (no screaming, no shaking my finger or anything at them...just "NO"). Then I remove them from whatever it was they were doing and place them into the "bird time out" zone which is usually their travel cage, but sometimes it's simply moving them a few feet away. They will take a few seconds...or longer, think about it and sometimes they return to what they were doing, but most of the time they don't.

Areas where we tend to use this...Marthanóir biting, Chestnut chewing on the plaster of the wall (corners of windows), Cinnamon throwing food at you, Skrill stealing stuff from all the other birds and M'éanín basically thinking he's the bird in charge and going all alpha bird on the flock, me included. Pancakes is the only one who never gets into trouble, she's just laid back and does her thing. Probably watches the others get in trouble and figures she isn't going there.
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