Join Date: Apr 2014
Thanked 90 Times in 65 Posts
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Beak Handling, Playing
As always it seems with me, the topic comes to Reptar again. He is still the strangest bird I have ever met. But this time, its mostly just out of curiosity. He's my lovable dork, always playful even with the drastic moody puberty period lately. Just a bit nippier.
Since I first got him, I wanted him to be able to handle anything. I can lift his wings, hold him around the body, hold him upside down, etc. It was about getting him used to any sort of situation if it became necessary later on, and he never once had any difficulty. While this was going on over the beginning weeks, we developed a sort of game. There was never any harm to it. I would hold each side of his beak between my fingers and he would just sort of move his beak/ tongue around, never putting any pressure.
Fast forward to Reptar at five months, its still the same sort of deal. I can grab his beak, or use that hold to roll him onto his back, and he does so without any pressure from me. I use it to calm him down when he's being a bit nippy and ignoring other cues, he holds one of my fingers when hes on his back and just kind of runs his open beak across my other fingers, again without pressure against my skin at all, even if he was in full on attack mode a second before.
Is this normal or even typical? I know that it isn't fully discouraging the behavior of being nippy itself, but it seems to be a really calming thing when he starts to act up a bit. We actively discourage the nipping otherwise. The nippy side itself isn't a problem overall, he is a very gentle bird otherwise, he's maturing towards adulthood right now and has phases that are noticeable.
I know that stroking birds along the back or even along the body can be hormonally stimulating, even with a bird not fully mature, so I avoid it. Is the beak in the same ballpark? I swear its like Reptar's "calm down" button, but I don't want to be doing anything too offsetting.
lindsay, owned by three conures
six tiels, two dogs & two tortoises