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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My new baby seems to be testing me. He is biting, not out of aggression but getting loose skin on my hand, like my knuckles and really pinching hard. So i have tried a little hand quake. So far that seems to work really well. I have heard that some people don't think that is a good method do any of you know why?
 

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I've done this with birds, but I have to admit it doesn't usually bring the desired results. I think putting them right in to their cage for a short time works better.
 

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Hi Shelly,

I've been doing the handquake thing since like forever. I think it's lost favor as people tend to do it incorrectly - like fling the poor bird to the ground.

The amount of quake that I find to be "correct" is just enough to catch the bird's attention/make it stop biting, but not so much that the bird is startled or put off in any way.

Roz.
 

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One of my conures does it, when ever I have him on my finger or hand he always searching for the hard skin/loose skin on my fingers, he would nibble at it and because it's hard skin/loose skin, it doesn't hurt so I never done anything about it :) If your bird is young, I would think he is just testing his beak. Mine nibble on just about anything. I'm hoping he'll grow out of it. I don't think mine will learn not to do it using the "hand quake" method, it's would just be temporarily stop but not permanent. I don't think this method would harm your bird. If it works and stopped beaking permanenly then please post back and let us know, I'm sure it would help so many others out there :) Sorry i'm no help but just wanted to share the info that my bird does it too :biggrin5:
 

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Your little guy just sounds very curious. Something I've found that has worked wonders to distract young, learning birds from picking at skin and clothes is to keep a little basket of foot toys and toy parts handy. Whenever the bird becomes an "idget" just present them with the basket of goodies. Distracting them to something more suitable to chew on has worked really well for me and my birds. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
good advice

Who the heck thinks a hand quake means throwing a bird to the floor? That has to be some sick person. I only had to use the method maybe 3 times and all it is, is barley a movement. It just sort of made him say ohhh what was that and forget that he was taking a chunk out of my skin. The results have been great. Jo ann who has been a great help said she was sure that he was just new and nervous and that seems to have been the case. He has been great since. Thanks you guys, i just couldn't understand why it wouldn't be ok to do it.
 

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" is barley a movement" :thumbsup:
That's exactly what I do. You can't even see the hand move it's such a slight movement.

"Who the heck thinks a hand quake means throwing a bird to the floor?"
Yeah, I know, right?
For the longest time I couldn't understand why people were thinking I was beating the crap out of my birds until I googled the hand earthquake and other birdie discipline. That's when I found out people were basically flinging their birds around. No wonder it's so frowned upon. But done gently the way we're doing it, I find it easily teaches the bird how to rate itself when nomming on humans. My birds chew on my fingers all the time and it's rarely very hard since they've learned what's ok and what's not.
 

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I'm SO happy your new baby is doing better! Give him time and you two will be the best of buddies!
 

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Yeah I know what everybody means about the hand quake, I think some people get very rough with their birds when it comes to biting.

Well I'm glad everything is going well and I can only assume he is biting because he's just a baby, obviously you have to make sure you reward his good behavior now rather than later so you can keep you and your birds relationship happy :D
 

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" I think some people get very rough with their birds when it comes to biting."

yeah, and if you're too rough with disciplining biting it makes them bite more, bite harder. it has to be very gentle corrections that only just get their attention.
 

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and treats!
 

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Treats yeah. And scritches. The positive interactions, in my mind, should be 95-99% of the time. Discipline's 5% or less. It's about developing a good relationship with the bird. Discipline is just communication with the animal, not the basis of interaction.
 

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I used the hand quake ( I called it the earthquake...lol) method for my p'let... but was VERY gentle... I jiggled my hand just enough that he had to pay attention to keeping his balance but not enough to make him fall or upset him..... I also make hi do ladders when nippy... or blow a puff of air in his face to distract him... He has learned when I make a sound like ..ETT ETT.. ( hard to type what it sounds like...lol... kinda like the sound a budgie makes to another when bothered) anyhow he has learned that means NO and listens to it.. if he is nipping and I make that sound he starts just gently beaking instead... glad your bird is responding!.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes so am I, i was so afraid that he would be naughty forever but he must have just been nervous about his first day or two with me. Nowhe seems to know what no means so i don't even have to do the hand quake thing. Did try blowing on him at first, didn't even phase him. He has been a love bug. He paces his cage until i let him out with me. He would sit on my shoulder forever if i let him. He does the cutest thing at night in his little fluffy tent, it's like a peekaboo thing. He shakes his whole tent talking back to me, we have quite the conversations before bed time. He is just toooooo cute, i can hardly take it. We are going on vacation soon so this will be his first trip in the camper, should be interesting. Better bring lots of toys. And his flight suit.
 

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I also find it helps to do the hand quake and then have a toy to redirect them with so they see that a hands not okay but a toy is, kinda like a puppy. Good luck its fun raising baby parrots im sure ull make a great team :p
 

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The gentle movements to distract the bird that you are describing work well with some birds. I also agree that providing toys and treats for their beaks to work on is great, too. Imitating the sounds they make to one another when the others bite them too hard is also helpful. All of your posts have been very good.

Birds are individuals, and the secret is finding what works for each bird that the owner is also comfortable with. I use the gentle hand movement with both the green cheek and the parrotlet because that distracts them from biting without frightening them in the least. Green cheeks in general are very skilled at hanging on. My green cheek never falls off of my shoulder. The parrotlet is not as good at hanging on as the green cheek, so I have to be very careful I don't dislodge him. That having been said, those two have very similar personalities, so I am not surprised that similar communication methods work equally well with them.

The linnie has never bitten hard enough to hurt in the least, so I would never have had to show her she was being too hard. The grey only bit me too hard once several months ago while she was still being hand fed. Nevertheless, I have to say that I do not plan to ever use any type of quaking movement with either of these birds. (I can't say what my unplanned reaction might be to an unexpected bite, but I would not "plan" to pull away or move quickly.) The reason I say this is because they are both very unsteady in perching on my hands. The linnie falls off a lot when I am just moving normally. She is flighted now, and I hope to keep her that way, so it is not a big issue, but I do not think it would ever make sense to move quickly with her because she would fall. The grey is not quite as easily dislodged as the linnie, but she comes pretty darn close. Additionally, the grey is so sensitive and easily frightened that I try to be very slow and deliberate with her. I think this method would be counterproductive with her.

To me, every method must be evaluated in light of the individual bird's reactions. Additionally, I do try to figure out if there isn't something rewarding I can do instead of punishing any time I am working to attempt to change any behavior. The bottom line with the green cheek, though, was that a slight hand movement never appeared to be "punishing" to her. She just seemed to realize it meant that she was being too rough. It would have been very punishing to the linnie, who would have been scared by it because she would have been taken off balance. It would have hurt our relationship instead of building it up. So, for her, I wouldn't have done it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I agree, and though it worked well in the begining, i also said a firm no when i did it so he seems to know that now. I just say no if he is biting a little too hard and he stops and looks at me. Then i tell him what a wonderful little man he is. I kind of look at it this way, if people care enough to look into this forum for help and be open minded enough to find new or different ways to stop biting in a gentle and humane way then they should be smart enough to know better than to hit, punish, or be cruel to a bird in any way. I know there are some real uneducated people out there but I would think anyone here looking for info has got to be somewhat interested in doing the right thing for thier baby. Thanks everyone for your help and advice.
 
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