Join Date: Dec 2010
Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Picking 'Til It Bleeds!
Maybe someone has a suggestion about this...
Awhile back, Krikkit the nanday conure started getting in the habit of excessive picking with her beak; she'll choose a specific spot and pinpoint it repeatedly, with the precision and single-mindedness of someone trying to pull out a cactus needle with tweezers. I didn't pay much attention to this until one time she actually started drawing blood -- and just kept right on compulsively tweezing away! After that, whenever I'd catch her picking I would try right away to get her intetrested in something else, like a treat or a sound or whatever.
She's now reached a level that has me kinda worried -- she does this all the time now, and no matter how many times you wave her off from a spot, she'll either go right back to it or start up a new one and work it as hard as the first one. The points where she picks usually don't really bleed enough to notice, but there's around a dozen of them now and she's showing no signs of stopping this obsession any time soon.
Has anyone else here dealt with this before? When she does this insistent digging she mostly attacks spots on the upper part of my left arm. (I'm seriously afraid that I'm starting to look like a junkie!) The main reason I'm worried about her welfare is that I'll be watching TV and not notice that she's chosen a new site to start drilling, and then all of a sudden she'll strike a nerve and holy smokes I feel like somebody snuck up on me with a tattoo gun!!! I'm afraid that one of these times I'm gonna instinctively twitch or slap at the spot where I'm getting bit and end up breaking her neck or something!
My girlfriend said Krikkit was doing this because my arms were dirty and she was trying to dig the dirt out of my pores, but I've taken to scrubbing up pretty comprehensively and it's made no difference in her behavior whatsoever. I couldn't bear to stop letting her hop onto my person and cuddle and kiss and dance and "click" along while I sing to her... but I also don't wanna have to double-bag myself in a snuggie or a burqa every time she's out of her cage, either. Are any of you folks sharp enough to point me to an answer to this problem that's needling me???