Please please help with my biting conure - Talk Parrots Forums

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Thread Description: I would really like to stop Ziggy's biting

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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-09-2009, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Unhappy Please please help with my biting conure

OK, so basically, I love my maroon bellied conure to bits, but he's a little bit nippy.

He's about 9 weeks old, was hand-reared, and he's not afraid of hands or anything, but when he's with people he tends to nip.
I know parrots bite when they're scared or aggressive, but he's neither.

He's perfectly calm and friendly, but his 'exploring' bites often become very hard when he's excited or just for no reason at all.

I have no idea how to react, whether to put him in his cage, punish him, distract him, or ignore him!!!!

I would really like some first hand advice on how to stop this.

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-10-2009, 07:52 AM
 
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Blow on his face and say no biting, or put him down. I tried all that and Remmy got used to it and likes to chew on me. Now I do a fast intake of air when he does it and the sound makes him stop. Also I make a bbbbzzzzzz noise and he doesn't like that at all so he will stop. Fact is they love to chew. What level and where can you handle it is the question. I tried chewy toys while holding him. Nothing beats mom's hand! Yours sounds normal!
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-10-2009, 08:35 AM
 
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Startle him by dropping your hand when he bites..if that doesn't work, I tell mine want to go back to your cage, she's stops immediately, she'd rather be with me. They do bite, the have that kind of personality but this stage will get better. It's frustrating I know but hang in there!!
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-10-2009, 03:43 PM
 
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Startle him by dropping your hand when he bites..if that doesn't work, I tell mine want to go back to your cage, she's stops immediately, she'd rather be with me. They do bite, the have that kind of personality but this stage will get better. It's frustrating I know but hang in there!!
I would not do that, it can, in some cases make the bird scared of hands, thinking it is not a safe perch

You could try to distract him, or offer him a toy instead of your hand to play with.. something like that.
I blow in my conures face if she bites for no reason, I say a firm 'no', and ignore her for up to 30 seconds.
Then I go back to her, and go back to playing with her. That shows her that I am not going to reward her for biting.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-10-2009, 04:34 PM
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I agree with Bethany , it'll lose his trust with you.
you can try

-distracting him
-Ignoring the bitting , if you show no emotion he will eventually realize that he is wasting his time and stop
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-11-2009, 05:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beth View Post
I would not do that, it can, in some cases make the bird scared of hands, thinking it is not a safe perch

You could try to distract him, or offer him a toy instead of your hand to play with.. something like that.
I blow in my conures face if she bites for no reason, I say a firm 'no', and ignore her for up to 30 seconds.
Then I go back to her, and go back to playing with her. That shows her that I am not going to reward her for biting.
My birds are not afraid of my hands...they learn not to bite or this little bump in the road comes along.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-11-2009, 05:10 PM
 
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Quote:
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My birds are not afraid of my hands...they learn not to bite or this little bump in the road comes along.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-12-2009, 08:16 AM


 
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I have used 'the earthquake method' quite successfully with my parrotlet. The idea is not to scare or drop the bird it is to unbalance him/her so they have to concentrated to hold on. I gently jiggle my arm or drop it just a bit...only enough to distract him and unbalance him a bit. He learned very well and is not the least bit scared of my hands. I can reach into his cage anytime and ask him to step up and he will with no fuss. I am not sure if the other poster meant this same method or not.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-12-2009, 03:12 PM
 
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I also use the hand/arm roll on birds that bite... like ParrotletsRock said, it should be just enough to set them off balance so they have to focus on standing up, but without completely upsetting or dropping them (though I have done that with nasty Caiques and Macaws... bigger birds get bigger shakes because their bites hurt a LOT more ) Even my birds that are scared of hands get this treatment, because they'll hop on my arm then bite me Loki does it all the time if he sees my cell phone, and he's getting better and better about it.

Just make sure you pair whatever action you want to use with a verbal noise/command. Mine get a sharp "Nah!" type sound, that sounds similar to their angry little noises, they respond really well to it since you're speaking 'their' language. The biggest advice I can give is to watch how you react and try not to make too big a deal, or he might start to think it's funny to watch mommy make silly noises and blow on me every time i bite her



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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-12-2009, 03:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple View Post
My birds are not afraid of my hands...they learn not to bite or this little bump in the road comes along.
Hmm, the I guess its only with some birds
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Originally Posted by ParrotletsRock View Post
I have used 'the earthquake method' quite successfully with my parrotlet. The idea is not to scare or drop the bird it is to unbalance him/her so they have to concentrated to hold on. I gently jiggle my arm or drop it just a bit...only enough to distract him and unbalance him a bit. He learned very well and is not the least bit scared of my hands. I can reach into his cage anytime and ask him to step up and he will with no fuss. I am not sure if the other poster meant this same method or not.
Thats a good way of doing it, I think the people/websites I heard it from meant dropping it so the bird would fly off, or something!


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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-12-2009, 08:55 PM
 
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We have a sweet little black capped named Ziggi. Ziggi came to us as a rehome because he was a bad biter. Black caps can get this way as they mature (he is 4). They are a very bossy bird to begin with!

Ziggi prefers me, and will attack my husband fiercly. For him the arm roll is ineffective. He is biting to control and dominate. So I will ignore him. When he is in one of his nippy modes I put him on the cage and tell him to be nice. If he comes to me I just put him back. He does not like to be ignored by me at all and eventually calms down at which time I praise and snuggle him (He curls up in my collar).
Big Maggie and Clarke nip when they are feeling unsure of things, I hold still and quietly/calmly sy no bite, while I hold 1 finger up. This usually works.
First you need to figure out why the bird is biting in order to determine which method works best.

OT: I have also observed that birds who are force weaned/ or weaned too early are also nippy. Any one else notice that?
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-12-2009, 10:07 PM
 
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Yea, that tends to happen fairly frequently with birds who don't wean properly, they seem to me to be frustrated over it They wanted food, didn't get it, and now don't know what else to do about it, and develop the habit of biting to get what they want



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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-13-2009, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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Yea, that tends to happen fairly frequently with birds who don't wean properly, they seem to me to be frustrated over it They wanted food, didn't get it, and now don't know what else to do about it, and develop the habit of biting to get what they want
Oh no, now you're worrying me guys!

Do you think Ziggy could have been force weaned?

The breeder weaned him up till when we got him ,and we weaned him for a further 3 days (gradually decreasing feeds), because on the 2nd day he started eating seed and veges.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-13-2009, 11:57 PM
 
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Oh no, now you're worrying me guys!

Do you think Ziggy could have been force weaned?

The breeder weaned him up till when we got him ,and we weaned him for a further 3 days (gradually decreasing feeds), because on the 2nd day he started eating seed and veges.

I didn't mean to worry you! I don't think you did anything wrong by the sounds of it.

A force or improperly weaned baby in my experience is really nippy. I think it is because they are looking to your hands for food and get frustrated that they are not getting it so they bite. I was only curious to know if any one else had observed this.

In your Ziggy's case it sounds to me to be more of a dominance biting. Just like a toddler he is testing limits. In that case always make sure you are highest! Do not react to his biting. No loud noises, no firm scolding. The arm roll method may work.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2009, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
 
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I didn't mean to worry you! I don't think you did anything wrong by the sounds of it.

A force or improperly weaned baby in my experience is really nippy. I think it is because they are looking to your hands for food and get frustrated that they are not getting it so they bite. I was only curious to know if any one else had observed this.

In your Ziggy's case it sounds to me to be more of a dominance biting. Just like a toddler he is testing limits. In that case always make sure you are highest! Do not react to his biting. No loud noises, no firm scolding. The arm roll method may work.
Thank you.

It's getting worse now, he bites all the time.

I think it may be dominance biting like you said, he's just a naughty toddler testing his limits!

Thanks, I will try the roll arm method.

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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2009, 05:26 AM
 
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sorry to worry you, Ella! We just did a mini-hijack is all I think it's just like Danielle said, dominance toddler biting. He's gotta learn how hard he can nibble you before you say enough, just like a puppy would. It just hurts a little more!



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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2009, 11:36 AM
 
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it could be that he's bored as well, he may be very comfy on your arm and looking for something to do, which just happens to be biting you because he might get a reaction. you'll have to judge from his behaviour whether or not he's doing it for fun. you can try giving him a little foot toy to play with while you hold him, or a piece of paper to chew on instead of your hand.

hope something works

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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your suggestions.

I read something describing the different types of biting, and I think Ziggy is a 'random biter'.

He's nice and cuddly one moment then he's flapping his wings and attacking your finger.

I painted my nails pink the other day and he has a fascination with nibbling at my nails. It gets harder and harder until eventually he bites my finger just too hard and he goes on his 'naughty stand'

I put him on the 'naughty stand' when he bites and ignore him for a minute or two. Then if he comes back and he's nice then I'll reward him with a tiny bit of carrot, and if he bites, back on the 'naughty stand'
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-05-2010, 04:40 PM
 
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I found with my conure when she was going through this toddler stage that pushing back a bit into the bite (not hard at all, just enough to get her attention) would get her to stop and see I wasn't going to let her get away with it. If she persisted I simply put her on top of her cage and ignored her. She's quite well behaved...most of the time. Let us know how it goes Conures can be quite the nippy parrots at that toddler stage.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 08:08 PM
 
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Okay, here’s another disadvantage to parrot ownership. They bite - even the tamest of pet parrots will occasionally bite. Why? A variety of reasons – and sometimes it’s not easy trying to figure out exactly why! Sometimes, they’ll bite out of fear, or they just may be doing it out of boredom. Parrots also bite out of frustration or for reasons related to their innate territorial instincts. Indeed, parrots are truly complex animals.

Carmel Santos
Author of The Ultimate Guide to Parrots
The Australian Guide to Parrots
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